Gamification, the application of game elements, thinking and mechanics to drive non-game engagement, has been all the rage lately. But few do it quite as well as SessionM, a venture-backed startup founded by veterans from Apple and Google, that is leveraging game mechanics and rewards to create big brand moments on the small screen. Recently in the Digital Lab, we had the privilege of hearing SessionM’s Chief Revenue Officer Bill Clifford share how the company’s achievement-based gamification platform is igniting audience engagement and helping brands make lasting impressions with the mobile consumer.
Mobile advertising is typically hindered by two challenges, one more problematic to advertisers, the other more problematic to developers. The challenge for developers is that every new app that is developed is one in over a million, and 60% of apps are only used once. The challenge for advertisers is that consumers usually ignore or are irritated by mobile banner ads. SessionM addresses these issues by creating new context for delivering creative advertising in a way that is fun, engaging and rewarding.
The key insight that SessionM builds upon is the fact that consumers expect to be recognized and rewarded for their actions, and with that, they have created a platform which harnesses game mechanics to drive consumer engagement with branded mobile content.
SessionM’s technology allows users to unlock achievements to reach certain virtual milestones and collect mPoints (which serve as a unified currency across apps) to increase their status level within apps. The user’s status allows them to collect real world rewards like gift cards through SessionM itself. Since this type of brand engagement is integrated in the experience of the app and thus native to the content experience, it is not perceived as an intrusion by consumers. The seamless transition between content, branded advertising and back to content amplifies the experience for users by allowing them to further engage with the app’s content while engaging with the brand’s advertising as well.
This type of win-win-win scenario for the app developer, brand and consumer may signal better things to come in the world of mobile advertising.