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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : December 04, 2013

How to build loyalty through games

Games are quickly taking over consumers' time spent online, whether online based or app based. Some are played to pass the time, some to earn rewards points from favorite brands. One expert explains how brands can use gaming techniques to better build loyalty.

by Kristina Knight

Everyone is looking for increased loyalty from customers. While the online and mobile spaces offer brands more opportunities to connect, they also offer shoppers more ways to bargain hunt, compare pricing or experience new kinds of retail therapy. Games are one way some brands are building better loyalty from their customers.

"Games naturally create the experience of hope, and of being successful. They build stronger social connectivity, especially within a community that provides meaning and cohesiveness," said Tara Armstrong, Vice President of Analytics and Strategy at Realtime Media."By offering meaningful rewards, the overall experience is perceived as satisfying. The goal is to extend this experience to an ongoing, meaningful relationship between the merchant and the customer. That is where loyalty programs can build of gaming mechanics."

When a brand engages consumers with promotions and games of value, those consumers will give the brand something in return. It's the simple economics of value exchange. By building a rewards structure through gaming, brands give customers longer-term perspective to create long term value.

"Creating user rewards and incentives, users feel invested, and as a result invest in the brand and its program," said Armstrong. "Even better if the content and activity involved in the loyalty program are rewards themselves. Realtime Media assists our clients in developing programs specifically designed to meet the target audience's needs and motivations, so prospects see the benefit of moving from one-time buyer to a loyal customer."

The Realtime Media platform rewards participants for sharing activities on popular social sites with additional chances to win prizes or receive a coupon. You can read part one of my chat with Tara here, including how games are impacting ecommerce.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: gamification trends, loyalty based games, loyalty marketing, online gaming, RealTime Media

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