Turkcell's rewards-based advergames service
The popularity of advergames at Turkcell, one of Turkey's largest mobile operators with more than 34 million subscribers, has made the operator re-look their marketing strategy for retention within specific demographics of customers.
Working with Branded Mini-Games, Turkcell rolled out a user-friendly, rewards-based mini-games subscription service called Hediyeli Oyun. This service enables Turkcell subscribers to play mini-games on their mobile phones, to score game points, and to exchange these game points for weekly prizes such as voice minutes or SMS and mobile data. Reward points can be increased based on the number of times users play and the high scores accumulated from playing the games. Subscribers to the mini-games service pay a weekly subscription fee of 4 Turkish lira.
One of the major obstacles for MNOs in this highly advanced digital era is that over the top (OTT) communications services such as instant messaging and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are challenging traditional MNO-controlled services such as voice calls and short messaging services (SMSs), plummeting the usage levels of these core services.
Such rewards-based mini-games subscriptions utilise these services by reminding users about them, hence promoting its consumption. The user is also psychologically challenged to earn their rewards via their skills, arousing in users a need to treasure their hard-earned rewards and to encourage its usage.
The Hediyeli Oyun Advergame Service experienced an average of 20 percent week-on-week increase in subscribers, amassing 27,668 weekly paid subscribers by Week 8 of the service's launch. The mini-games had also been played in an excess of 66,000 times, with more than 71 percent of users engaging with a mini advergame for at least five seconds.
The Advergames are currently customised to Turkcell's brand and it is possible for advertisers to promote their own advergames within this mini-games service instead of leveraging on Turkcell's branded games, enabling further monetisation from advertisers and sponsors.
Singapore and Southeast Asia
The advergaming trend is likely to further develop in Singapore and Southeast Asia due to increased smartphone penetration and connectivity, along with accessibility to communications bandwidth, leading to four out of five smartphone users having played a game on their device. As technological advances continue to make rapid developments and setting trends in the mobile phone market, advergames will be among the stable of initiatives riding on the wave of the ever changing and fluid LTE services industry.
In Asia especially, the in-game advertising spend (or Advergames) market size was a staggering US$84 million in 2014. This is expected to grow between 17 percent and 19 percent per annum in Asia.
MNO's and other brand owners need to re-think how to engage customers through play, increasing interaction and building a relationship. Increasing loyalty, customer spending (ARPU) and learning more about the customer has become a game — marketers need to recognise the value and learn to play.
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