Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Marketers Bet on Games to Win Consumers

CM Comment: This one is a must read. The article touts the casino industry as proof of how powerful games can be as a mechanism for engaging and therefore influencing consumers.

June 1, 2009: summarized from AdAge -- "The future of all marketing is games," said Gabe Zichermann, who coined the term "funware" to define the application of game-like qualities to non-games and is author of the upcoming book "WebPlay." "It's a big statement, but I stand behind it.

Marketers who have played around with the concept are finding that it can create loyal consumers, increase sales or user adoption and garner plenty of free media. For marketers, the intrigue in the concept is its measurability. Unlike advergaming, which Jay Krihak, senior partner-gaming innovation at Mediaedge:cia described as a "brand-stickiness play," funware should draw a clear line to sales or user adoption.

A casino operator, for example, knows the yield of a slot machine to a high degree of certainty, said Mr. Zichermann. A marketer placing a static billboard can't be as certain about what that ad will inspire consumers to do. "Where possible, I would, as a marketer, prefer to put a game in front of my users, because I'll get more predictability, more engagement, more time spent," he said. "Games are a powerful mechanism for manipulating user behavior."

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/m47rk4

White Paper: The Online Poker Sector - An Overview of Regulation and Markets

CM Comment: This white paper examines a number of market and regulatory developments, with particular emphasis on jurisdictions in the United States and Europe. Significantly, the online poker market is expected to grow 10.8 percent in the 2009 calendar year.

The Online Poker Sector - An Overview of Regulation and Markets

Research Report: The Mobile Difference

CM Comment: Considering the addition of mobile marketing into your mix? Here's some new research on the state of mobile adoption among US consumers.

Some 39% of Americans have positive and improving attitudes about their mobile communication devices, which in turn draws them further into engagement with digital resources - on both wireless and wireline platforms.

Mobile connectivity is now a powerful differentiator among technology users. Those who plug into the information and communications world while on-the-go are notably more active in many facets of digital life than those who use wires to jack into the internet and the 14% of Americans who are off the grid entirely.

- 8% of adults use mobile devices and broadband platforms for continual information exchange to collaborate with their social networks.

- 7% of adults actively use mobile devices and social networking tool, yet are ambivalent about all the connectivity.

- 8% of Americans find mobility lighting their information pathways, but have comparatively few tech assets at home.

- 16% of adults are active conduits of content and information for either fun or for personal productivity.

- 61% are anchored to stationary media; though many have broadband and cell phones, coping with access is often too much for them.

The Mobile Difference

New Twitter Research: Men Follow Men and Nobody Tweets

CM Comment: Some more research on Twitter and how its being used.

June 1, 2009: Summarized from Harvard Business Publishing -- Twitter has attracted tremendous attention from the media and celebrities, but there is much uncertainty about Twitter's purpose. Is Twitter a communications service for friends and groups, a means of expressing yourself freely, or simply a marketing tool?

We examined the activity of a random sample of 300,000 Twitter users in May 2009 to find out how people are using the service. We then compared our findings to activity on other social networks and online content production venues. Our findings are very surprising.

Although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers than women. Men also have more reciprocated relationships, in which two users follow each other. This "follower split" suggests that women are driven less by followers than men, or have more stringent thresholds for reciprocating relationships. This is intriguing, especially given that females hold a slight majority on Twitter: we found that men comprise 45% of Twitter users, while women represent 55%.

Even more interesting is who follows whom. We found that an average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman. Similarly, an average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. Finally, an average man is 40% more likely to be followed by another man than by a woman.

Twitter's usage patterns are also very different from a typical on-line social network. A typical Twitter user contributes very rarely. Among Twitter users, the median number of lifetime tweets per user is one. This translates into over half of Twitter users tweeting less than once every 74 days. At the same time there is a small contingent of users who are very active. Specifically, the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets.

Read more at: http://tinyurl.com/kouaf9