These four "F-words" of gamification are the key success factors in the recent multi-award-winning Red Bull Kas'Lami Tembisa campaign: fun, fame and fortune for free on your phone.
The game plan
Simply put gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanisms in a non-game context. It is defined as "the process of making systems, services and activities more enjoyable and motivating". In a business environment, it employs game design elements to improve user engagement, productivity and learning.
Creating a game of an activity that is to be done, is the most natural way to motivate us to get it done. It's human nature to put ourselves to the test, and create challenges and rewards for achieving our goals.
So how do we do it to motivate our customers and even staff to drive the behaviour we are hoping for? What's the blueprint of this gamification? We set the rules, levels, and rewards... isn't that exactly what the loyalty programmes do to get us to drive our behaviour and get us to that gym, or trying their newly launched product?
Let's unpack this further:
Rules: Set what they can and cannot do ie the behaviour you want to drive
Levels: Define the customer's goals and metrics
Rewards: Recognition given for adopting the behaviour at each level of engagement
The tip is that you need to let your consumer know the above - and we have found the best way is guide them as to the next step through messaging, like SMSes.
Critical elements of gamification are:
Using metrics... whether they are called points or miles or moolah - it all amounts to the same thing: a way to count your progress
Sometimes there are challenges or obstacles to overcome, like the ghost in Pac-Man, who can decrease those points or make you lose lives (I suppose that can be equated to not getting to gym the required number of times and losing your special discount)
And then there's the competitive element: the leaderboard, and the inevitable sharing or boasting of your score with friends. There's nothing like a bit of peer pressure and competition to drive people
And ultimately, the rewards whether they be fun, fame or fortune! Fun being the entertainment value, fame being the quest to share with your friends what you have created or what you have achieved, and fortune in the form of prizes you can win.
How to play (on mobile)
In today's times, what best to enable all of this than through technology... digital technology, like mobile? And in emerging countries, like in Africa, a critical success factor is making the game accessible to all. The use of mobile goes a long way to making it accessible to as many as possible, as mobile is with them all the time. Making it free to the user increases the reach even more, allowing someone without airtime loaded on their phone at that point in time to "play".
In South Africa where still 46% of the cellphones are not smartphones, coverage can be sparse and cost of connectivity is high, you need to give people choice of access entry mechanisms depending on what they feel comfortable using, at that point in time.
It's important we reward people for sharing your "stuff". We are a social community, and social media cannot be ignored - however, not only on social media, but on USSD and even SMS.
We applied the secrets above to making the mobile campaign for the Red Bull Kas'Lami Arts & Music Festival in Tembisa a success:
Red Bull seeks to enable talent within the youth to take the next step towards their goals and dreams, and as such has created a series of world music events for those who want to make a difference in today's musical landscape. Like the Red Bull Kas'Lami arts and music festival.
Red Bull invited local South African youth to a celebration of art and music at their Kas'Lami Festival. Kas'Lami being the local slang for "my hood". In December 2014, the Kas'Lami Festival launched in Tembisa, a large township near Pretoria, South Africa.
Needing to target the youth of Tembisa, we knew that the majority had mobile phones however, only 50% of cellphone users in the lower to mid-income consumers (LSM 4-6) have smartphones, so we couldn't use first-world solutions online to reach out to them. The coverage, cost of bandwidth and the devices the youth of Tembisa has, we had to make use of technologies on text and voice that were free or low cost to the consumer and worked without requiring the need to connect to the Internet.
In South Africa, Red Bull turned to us to help them reach out to people who didn't have fancy smartphones, and spread the word in the community through local papers, posters, etc.: To raise awareness around the festival and drive ticket sales, and engage the community of Tembisa.
We used a Missed Call entry mechanism with a choice of Reverse Billed USSD and mobile first responsive site to reach out and engage with the community - and advertised, on a geo-targeted basis on a free, text-based, digital ad platform frequented by the youth, as well as traditional ATL channels, and tracked the source of each entry.
The free-to-consumer, and easily accessible mobile call to action lead to a competition entry mechanism accessible on entry-level phones. The platform was not only to be informative, but engaging and fun as the festival promised to be!
The rewards-based mobile platforms, free USSD and mobile first responsive site, were instrumental in driving awareness and ticket sales to the event.
To explain South African-born USSD technology... Essentially, it is a call communicating through text as opposed to voice. It is a menu-based service that allows two-way text-based communication. It's a method that is cost-effective, and in this case free to the user, and it works across all phones and networks and most importantly, is familiar to the mass market.
And we were most excited to pioneer our own On Demand Mobile Radio Station to showcase the local artists.
By using locally relevant innovative solutions, mobile marketing has the real ability to enable global brands, like Red Bull, to reach the local mass market, successfully. Our experience shows that campaigns that adopt tools such as USSD and Voice are the most likely to get the results that literally speak for themselves.
The use of gamification with a points-based reward system drove the behaviour to learn about the event happening and how to get tickets, listen and vote for your favourite performing artist (received 16,270 votes), purchase tickets and spread the word by referral marketing. We offered something new, innovative, fun and free: the launch of our pioneered "On Demand Mobile Radio Station" to listen to the local artists performing at the festival. It was the most popular activity on the portal. We also learnt from the participants, who and what they liked... the top engagers were females in their teens who like music, especially Black Coffee.
The RESULTS of this campaign targeted to Tembisa (population of 463,000) were unprecedented:
We generated over 122,000 interactions on the text-based platform proving that you do not need images, glitz and glamour to communicate a message effectively in Africa.
The strategy generated over 500% WOM to spread the word - reaching over 73,000 people in less than three weeks - peaking at 13,000 referrals in one day!
Our On Demand Mobile Radio Station was so popular that the allocated 6,000 call minutes were used up in six hours!
And 95% gave permission to Red Bull to keep in touch!
The many awards won for this campaign are testament to the versatility of mobile and what it can bring to your campaigns.
Mobile Marketing Association Smarties Award - South Africa:
Gold for Cross Media Integration
Silver for Brand Awareness
Mobile Innovation Awards, London
Best Marketing Campaign
AMASA Awards - South Africa:
Best Small Budget Campaign
GOLD: Mobile Marketing: Interactive
GOLD: Use of New Technologies
GOLD: Best Low Budget
BRONZE: Most innovative Gamification campaign
Finalist for MMA Smarties Award - EMEA:
Mobile was instrumental to reinventing this entertainment spectacle and driving the youth of Tembisa to buy tickets to the event. The four F-words of gamification were the key to making a free platform available on feature phones, offering a fun engagement with the On Demand Mobile Radio, fame with voting functionality and fortune for the lucky Red Bull Kas'Lami ticket winners!
Candice Goodman is the DMA's Direct Marketer of the Year 2016. She has headed up Education at the Mobile Marketing Association of South Africa for the past five years, and was on the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA of SA) Advisory Board as Chairman, was the first Certified MMA Mobile Marketer in South Africa and is on the Education Committee of the IAB.
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