In A Marketing Slump? Try A Game
When Jimmy Fallon announced the release of his new game Tedzy, business owners around the world were left asking “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Welcome Tedzy, a tired little bear looking for feathers for his pillow. If you have an iPhone you are in luck: you can download Tedzy from iTunes to try it out. Android users will unfortunately have to wait a little bit longer before sliding down the rainbow roads to fill Tedzy’s pillow.
The game launched on April 23rd with a video from Fallon explaining the ideas behind the colorful, fast paced game:
“I always wanted to make a game for phones, something fun, something you can take anywhere,” he said.
At Midphase, of course, we downloaded it immediately and used up most of our tokens by being saved by the flying unicorn. It is fun and addictive on a Flappy Birds level, not to mention a brilliant marketing strategy.
What does Tedzy have to do with marketing, you may ask?
Fallon and The Tonight Show used a clever tactic called ‘gamification’. The presenter isn’t the first celebrity to jump on the game train. Kim Kardashian and Ellen DeGeneres have both made it to the top of apps lists with their game creations. Kardashian’s Hollywood is reportedly worth $200 million dollars, while DeGeneres’ Heads Up is a party must-have. According to Steve Olenski, a contributor to Forbes, “Gamification is in many ways the next step in the evolution as it is the application of basic game theory and mechanics in contexts outside of games.”
Gamification is being used across the business spectrum to solve problems ranging from employee solutions to customer engagement. The idea behind this phenomenon is that Millennials are now joining the workforce, meaning there is Millennial money to earn and spend. Since the Millennial generation is largely a gaming generation (video games are now a $91.5 billion industry!) it makes sense that these ideas would bleed into the workforce.
McDonalds, Target, Nike, Toyota, Coca-Cola and many others have developed tactics using gamification principles both inside and outside of their workforce. Brand awareness, team building, customer loyalty, employee motivation and engagement: these are all topics being addressed through the creative competition which gaming facilitates.
So how can you make your own game?
If you are interested in joining the gamification trend, it’s not as difficult as you might think. You don’t need to start learning code or recruiting a development team, you simply need an idea. Read on for a basic guideline of steps you should take to gamify your marketing strategy:
This is the fun part! Play lots of games, see what works and what doesn’t, then when you’re ready think about what might work for you. It is crucial to understand the gaming marketplace and audience. The more time you spend playing, the better you can understand and create realistic goals and expectations.
- Develop your idea
Don’t reinvent the wheel. The most popular games are usually twists or slight changes in older designs. Start with a basic idea and add simple ideas until a solid idea is formed and ready to move forward.
- Make it real
Map out your idea to create a tangible format. Draw it on a piece of paper or digitalize your idea. Compare your idea against other similar ones that you like or contrast against those that you don’t like. Be specific with visual and conceptual details to prevent problems later on in development.
- Register as a developer
This doesn’t mean that you are programming your game, only that you are setting out to be someone who publishes apps. It’s good to have an account established ahead of time.
- Find a programmer
You can hire an individual in-house or outsource a team; either way be sure that you ask a lot of questions and understand the investment you are making with your decision. In-house can be inexpensive, but won’t be if your plans take twice as long! Outsourcing can be expensive, but will hopefully provide better returns. Whichever you choose, just be sure that you have covered all the details and expectations involved.
- Test your app
Once your app is finished you will need lots of people to play it over and over again to look for bugs, mistakes or unfortunate outcomes. Choose a wide demographic of players for different opinions and honestly invest yourself in comments and complaints. Now is the time to go through and fix any mistakes. Think about joining some forums and making it available to a select group.
- Enter the market and tell the world about your project
Cross your fingers and send your baby out into the wild! You’ve done it. Market effectively across devices with icons, descriptions and screenshots. Make sure you do whatever you can to ensure that your app is a success – there are hundreds of tools and knowledge bases to help you along the way. Good luck!