3 Measurable Ways to Tie Game-Based Promotions to Sales


Running a game-based marketing program can be a great move for CPG companies.

Game-based marketing campaigns drive extended engagement with consumers and let you achieve a host of marketing goals — from growing your newsletter size to educating consumers.

But the ultimate goal is always for customers to make a purchase.

And one of the best parts of game-based marketing campaigns is you can tie your promotion directly to sales. This does two things:

  1. It helps drive a sales lift. Within your promo you can reward customers for making a purchases with extra game-plays or chances to win. This incentivizes the action, giving consumers a reason to make a purchase -- and make it now.

  2. It lets you measure the impact of your program on sales. Often with digital marketing it’s very difficult to measure the impact of your marketing on sales. But this isn’t the case with a game-based campaign. Because you have to track purchases to reward for them, you can actually measure the sales lift your promo drove.

At this point you may be wondering, okay sounds good. But how do I actually track those purchases?

Historically its been challenging to link sales to marketing efforts — especially for CPG companies. There’s not usually a loyalty program you can integrate with (which is how retailers track sales) and you can’t integrate with your retailers’ POS.

One solution is to partner with a retailer for your promotion. But if you’re looking to go solo, don’t worry.

There are three different options for CPG companies looking to link their promotion to sales. Each with their own pros and cons.

PIN or Sticker On-Pack

This is the best way for CPG companies to reward for purchase.

PIN or Sticker on pack is the most secure and foolproof method for rewarding for purchase. Plus the PIN or Sticker on your packaging serves as a media channel for the promotion in-store.

The downside is it can take a long time to get stickers on packaging (up to 3 months) so you need to start planning well in advance.  PINs and Stickers on packaging can also be a more expensive option, although stickers are typically easier to get onto packaging than PINs.

Entering UPCs

Entering UPC codes into the promo is a simple — and less expensive — way to reward for purchase. However, because there’s no messaging on the packaging (and most customers don’t know what a UPC code is) this method tends to get lower engagement than PIN or Sticker on Pack.

Something else to note about this method: a quirk in the law means you have to print sample UPCs in the rules and regulations so some “contesters” will take advantage.

Photo Receipt

This is another simple method for rewarding for purchase. Customers can take a photo of a receipt containing an applicable product and upload it in the promotion.

This option, as you can imagine, tends to get low engagement numbers. Most people tend to lose or forget receipts rather than hold onto them and enter them into contests.

The Bottom Line

The best way to tie your promotion to sales is with PIN or sticker on pack. But if that’s out of the question for your promo, you can still tie to sales with either UPC codes or photo receipts.

Regardless of how you do it, tying your promotion to sales is a huge asset to your game-based marketing campaigns, letting you reward for purchase and drive a measurable sales lift.