Utilizing interactive games as a way to influence behavior is nothing new, especially in the digital signage arena. But there are a few reasons “why” doing so could be even remotely justified (especially given the substantial cost of implementing an interactive game campaign vs. a standard digital sign deployment). Many companies are effectively utilizing gaming online to engage, keep and influence the decisions of customers. In etailing, it’s been especially helpful, especially for the likes of companies like Toys R Us, where the audience nearly expects it. The same assumptions can be applied to some retail digital signage installations.
Many of the games played in an online setting allowed not only for interaction, but provided a medium wherewith the user could earn points for discounts on items within the store. Pushing such promotions on consumers to drive demand for particular products within the store could be the goal of any in-store augmented reality campaign. But without further adieu, here are four reasons adding games and gamification to a digital signage strategy could be helpful.
1. Build a Community
Building a strong community can more easily be done online, but allowing for individual and group-gaming within the store can help build greater brand awareness and brand loyalty, especially among younger crowds. By giving coupons, points and rewards to game participants, the brand is better recognized in the minds of the consumer.
2. It’s Easier (and Less Expensive) Than You Think.
Installing a full-blown augmented reality campaign is certainly not cheap, especially if done across multiple locations, including data gather etc. However, most interactive/gaming digital signage can be as simple as interactive QR codes or mobile interactivity with the display–an integration which is not only already available, but inexpensive and easy to deploy. In many cases, existing content can be easily re-purposed to meet the needs of a campaign that involves more interactivity.
3. Brand Education.
Learning is always more fun in a game scenario. In fact, a recent study I read some time ago indicated that humans in general are much more likely to remember if we tie the desired memory item to a game or song. Nothing could be more effective for brand recognition than tying an interactive game to association with the brand. But branding is not the only education which could and will take place with such deployments. From pharmacies to electronics retailers, store clerks can often be replaced by interactive digital versions which offer the same information and FAQs as the actual, live human. While some of us go to the store to actually talk to a human being, there are many others who seek to avoid them and educate themselves with a virtual web-MD right in the store.
4. Social Responsibility
For larger brands, gaming can be used to further impact the user by providing a way for the company to contribute to social responsibility goals. For instance, dozens of brands have teamed up with GamesThatGive to provide thousands of dollars in assistance and support to the charity of yours or your customers’ choice. It’s a small price to pay to increase awareness and goodwill of a brand.
There are perhaps many other reasons to add interactivity to digital signage, but these should few help to showcase some of the beneficial ways interactivity and gaming can play a role in the digital signage market.