Some of the Largest Brands Are Using Game Based Apps For Advertising and Promotions

Over 550 businesses and schools have used a scavenger game application available on iPhone and Android mobile devices to drive and enhance their advertising and promotions. The SCVNGR app development platform includes notable users such as the Boston Celtics, Boston Globe, New England Patriots, Journeys, The New York Times, Universal Music Canada, Warner Bros, as well as colleges and universities including Princeton. Using mobile games as a platform for ads and promotions is one of the latest trends in consumer engagement, especially the millennial generation that grew up on video gaming.
 
The essence of the SCVNGR platform is three interconnecting elements: Challenges, which are things to do at places; Treks, which connect places and challenges; and Rewards, that offer benefits for playing. Players earn points in a Challenge – checking-in is worth a point, telling your friends where you are is worth 2 points, and and providing content about a location such as a picture is also worth 2 points. The platform’s database is understood to include already over 20 millions locations.
 
Marketing opportunities abound, from directing a Trek to a specific location with advertising and promotion opportunities along the journey and at the destinations, through utilizing consumer experiences and user generated content that involves the brand at Challenges and Treks. Of course, the Rewards can easily be tied to photo opportunities and further promotions. Fun and games are thereby able to leverage off brand related content, locations & competition.
 
For instance, a Philadelphia Diamond retailer, Robbins Diamonds, fashioned an interactive city-wide treasure hunt to find a hidden diamond ring. Clues were delivered to competitors cellphone’s by SMS text messages, mobileweb or in-app notifications. Pre-event publicity and media coverage included media from traditional print through to digital blogs. As a result, there were almost 2,000 applications for the 250 available spots and 2.5 million impressions for the retailer in TV, print, radio & internet immediately before their busiest season. See the full case study at scvngr.com

Advertising and promotions are no longer one way streets – mobile apps like SCVNGR & others are paving the way for experiential marketing utilizing the mobility benefits of those media and mediums that are with us 24/7 – the mobile phone. As Robbins Diamonds was able to accomplish, you can use a mobile app to rise above the noise produced by your competitors and saturated ad markets. As well, by involving your customers in an experience they will remember and associate with your product, you are creating a positive top of mind recall event that will be hard to match through conventional ads or promotional opportunities.

Online Educational Learning Games for Kids – Fun Way of Tutoring for Parents and Children

Online games are no longer limited to racing cars and computers are no longer used only for emailing and chatting. Online educational games for kids are becoming a popular way to teach kids about alphabets, number and words and other information.

Advantages of Online Educational Learning Games

Online educational learning games is an effective way with endless options for teaching kids of all age groups, children are also able to operate it without much assistance. Parents find it easier to teach kids through these programs, who become familiar with operating the computer.

Kids have fun learning phonetics, spellings and even a new language. Children are not willing to learn math tables or difficult words at school. They find it fun to sit in front of a Computer and learn languages and solve mathematical problems. In this age of computers, computers are becoming an important part of the child’s daily curriculum with parents opting to teach these kids new things each day with the help of online educational games.

Computer games are also known to improve the motor skills in children. In addition, the level of these games can be adjusted according to the level and learning ability of the kids. The makers of these games keep the kid’s interest in mind while designing them so that their interest is maintained. Another advantage of these games is that you can find free online games and do not have to invest in these expensive products.

There is unlimited knowledge available on the net, waiting to be tapped. There are so many interesting games available on the internet that the children are sure to find new games where they are through playing with the older ones.

Other activities that are available on the internet include online coloring games. This is also a constructive way that children can use to pass their leisure time and according to experts reflects the emotions of these children.

Another advantage is that the kids can lay in the comfort of their home and do have to be tutored elsewhere. Also, kids who are fond of playing on the computer can spend their time learning educational material instead on video games that teach violence.

Parents have to keep an eye on their kids and make sure that they do not spend time on the computer playing games that could be harmful for them. It is essential to direct the kids to educational sites that have beneficial games and are known to help the progress of these children.

Benefits of Mobile Gaming

So why is mobile gaming so popular? Is it the simplistic yet addictive nature of the games? Or is it the fact that nowadays the games look just as good as console games and are just as in depth and even multiplayer? Is it the ease factor? Or maybe it’s the price. There are a lot of factors that are appealing about mobile gaming.

Price: This may be the obvious answer to lead the pack. Games for your phone or tablet are in many cases free, or 1/10th the cost of a console game. The average Xbox or PlayStation game costs approximately $50. This is a far cry from the.99 cents you just spent to play a game that you can take with you anywhere.

The sting of picking out the wrong game hurts a lot more when you spent $50 on it and can’t return it. Or, if you get the game home and beat it within a matter of an hour or so and you’re left saying, now what? The value is simply much better in the mobile space.

Traction: Another “no kidding” response. There are just many more smart phones and tablets in peoples hands. Smart phones number in the hundreds of millions world wide which grossly dwarfs the number of households with gaming consoles.

A phone is a necessity and as of late, that phone of choice is a smartphone. Whether it be Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, or iOS, there are a slew of games for each. You will also find most of the games you can get on your Xbox or PlayStation you can now get on your Android or iOS devices. Madden anyone?

Form Factor: Your phone is always with you, in your pocket, in your purse, a game is never farther away than your fingertips. Nothing beats being able to pull out the phone and kill some zombies while waiting to see your doctor.

Smartphones and tablets are portable and easily handled. This makes a winning combination in the gaming space.

What’s next?: Look towards NVidia’s Shield or the Ouya gaming system. Android is taking the lead on revolutionizing the way games are played. The games you already own on your phone or tablet can be played on NVidia’s Shield, which is a 5″inch touch screen attached to a controller. Same goes for the Ouya, which is more in the vein of a console with a controller, but is connected to your Google Play account and you play Android games on your big screen television.

These two items will be big sellers around Christmas time. The games and mobile devices are simply much cheaper and more accessible to the masses.

The beauty of these types of devices lies in the redundancy. The games you purchase on your NVidia Shield or Ouya, are able to be played on your smart phone or tablet as well.

The mobile gaming industry shows no signs of slowing down and it is evolving at an exciting clip!

Digital Marketing and Its Impact on Small Time Game and Mobile Application Developers

Stephen DiMarco has hit a very valid point in his post about how online marketing needs to start to assess some of the more qualitative side of marketing in terms of a brand rather than just Google Analytics or PPC, etc. In a world that’s primarily driven by unique page views, PPC campaign numbers, CTR rates, and other hard facts, it’s an interesting thought. As a gaming company, we offer post-marketing services which includes this marketing and it’s driven by numbers. We’ve yet to see how this affects us a brand, and Stephen’s got us thinking.

There are a whole slew of developers that are online at the App Store, but there’s an inherent problem with trusting a single developer. Many developers have delivered a product that’s a stand-alone app that is basically a flash-in-the-pan while others have consistently turned out mediocre but reliable apps. Who do you trust; the company that turns out one stellar app after a long hiatus or a developer that just needs some new direction or energy in their creative processes? There’s no real concept of a brand, there’s no Unilever or P&G for the App Store and therein lies the problem for marketers for iPhone development.

Although many people would argue that apps are products that have a repeat purchase cycle, etc, there’s yet to be a single developer that’s built a very successful brand using just their apps. People view apps like a utility and look to promote them as such. Very rarely does anyone ever hear about the developer but rather the app itself. This is a problem in an industry where the first firm to truly brand itself will gain a massive first-mover advantage. Indeed it will be difficult, but if a firm is able to do so, they’d easily take over the App Store.

The problem, to a certain extent, lies in the tools that are geared towards quantitative metrics rather than qualitative metrics. For example, Twitter following dictates whether you are a thought leader or follower, a PPC campaign shows how well SEO or ad placement is working. Yes, they do provide numbers which can help translate into potential leads, but there’s no concept of a brand.

Resultantly, firms are looking to use their marketing dollars to build a brand. For us, as game developers, there’s an added challenge. Although it may be easy to build one stellar app and continue to tweak it over time, such an effort doesn’t build a brand in the long run. At this point, firms need to realize how their marketing channels are being used besides the metrics they provide. Do you use your Twitter account to talk with customers? What type of a Twitter following do you have? Does your website show how committed you are to your vision? These questions begin to emphasize how qualitative metrics become important. It’s great having numbers, but as companies grow there’s a need to build a relationship with customers outside of the traditional client-vendor concept.

For example, in the case of gaming studios, a loyal group of customers translates into many benefits. Beta testers are easily found from your Twitter following or customers that have written great reviews for your titles. Ultimately these are the people that will promote you for free. They don’t show up in the metrics, you find them by talking to them. This is a brand building activity that many firms ignore. Again, for small startups it’s difficult to find the right people, but most of the time they’re hiding right under your radar. Yet many firms ignore the potential of these testers and continue to push out apps without sufficient testing. There’s no reason when there’s a small group of dedicated followers that you need to deliver a game without proper testing. These people will be the life line for your game as you need the critical honest feedback about gameplay, controls, graphics, user interfaces, etc. Without these people, you’d never get the proper feedback which helps develop a truly outstanding title.

Nonetheless, many firms do use these techniques but need to realize that there’s a brand to be built using these types of activities. Reward your beta-testers with promo codes for free games so that they spread the word about you, their recommendation to other gamers will go a long way in making your company stand out amongst the army of developers on the App Store. As mentioned by Stephen, there’s a need to change from the quantitative towards the qualitative side of marketing to build brands similar to IBM, Apple, or Microsoft for app development companies. Firms need to get away from the purely numerical side of marketing and start to see where they want to be in 10 years time.