Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Is gaming just for B2C?

We've all heard of Angry Birds and how successful that's been on social media sites and mobiles but surely gaming is for B2C firms not B2B?

I love a game, me. Whether it’s the latest app game (totally obsessed with 100 Floors), Poker, Backgammon or a good ol' game of Triv I'm up for it. I have a very competitive nature which can be rather ugly and should be kept private to those who have to put up with me for marriage or birth certificate reasons.

As much as I enjoy them could I justify playing a game at the office? Could you? Probably depends on your role but as a marketer we’ve only just won the fight for the right to party partake in social media channels without co-workers raising eyebrows and Directors demanding measurement for such ‘time wasting’. I don’t think I would get away with Officeville just yet.

Losing employee time to ‘slightly’ more acceptable online pleasures doesn’t seem to be fazing anyone. But I suppose with most people using their mobile devices at every possible waking moment plus the blur between office and home life expanding fun can be had during the commute, toilet breaks and evening bath times.  That makes me feel better cos if I was the boss I wouldn’t want anyone having fun on my shift unless it was going to make money. Am I being a pooper?

Luckily I am not the boss so putting my marketing hat back on and removing my miserly ruler of the universe cape, I totally get why gamification companies are knocking on marketers over-excitable minds about the benefits of using such platforms.  

It’s an enlightening moment for B2B. We can be cool, clever, engaging AND sell office water coolers all at the same time. Games can be used to build awareness, generate leads, drive traffic in all directions, expand databases, gain customer insight, build communities, train or motivate staff, increase loyalty, educate prospects or simply encourage customer feedback.

Obviously you need to do your research when trying out a new channel especially if it’s untested in your industry. Make sure you stay true to your brand and have clear and concrete goals on what you want to achieve. Maximize your exposure by combining digital social media and email with postcard mail shots. It won’t work as a standalone medium but as complementary tactic to your marketing mix you could stand out over your competitors.

Blockdot, a renowned digital studio who builds games across Web, mobile and social platforms is already creating games for us B2B folk. They developed a game for a major pharmaceutical company marketing a six figure gene splicing machine to a very targeted group of bio-engineers and for a leading hotel chain to communicate new upgrades at the hotel’s properties to travel agents.

I’d love to hear if anyone is getting involved in this new B2B marketing craze.  What game would you create? Mine would definitely have to be a virtual board game and I’ve named it already, ‘Mardevopoly’. Done no research, got no goals but I’ve got a name and I never listen to my own advice. Hands up who wants to play!

1 comment:

  1. We have already created ours! I work for a company called TerraQuest - the company does many things, but one area of focus is helping the Public Sector rationalise its estate. The problem is,often it is not known where buildings are,how much they cost etc. We give them sight of this through our work in land and property data.

    The bigger issue is culture. Often, people ar eunable to accept they dont know what they dont know. (Confusing, right?). We came across the concept of "gamification" through a contact of mine and we set about building an app to inform and challenge. We currently use the "Property Puzzle" in workshops, asking executives what problems they are encountering in the game, and what can be done to solve those problems. (Its also a bit of a brain teaser based on maths - fun in general).

    The problem is, B2B by its very nature has to be more serious and professional than B2C. Our target markets are all people out of work, but in work they adopt very different persona's and we have to market to them accordingly. For example, a Legal Advisors advertising using clowns etc wouldnt be very effective. (Unless some very clever messages were going across with them).

    However, I believe we have a lot to learn from B2C and the principles are still the same. Stand out, do something differently, coordinate across multiple communication platforms, and have a means of measurement.

    A point for debate: people in B2B are still people at the end of the day. Should we become more like B2C in recognition of this? Market to them about their day jobs, outside of their day jobs?