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PepsiCo’s gamified mobile coupons garner 8x ROI for participating retailers

PepsiCo recently served mobile coupons to millennials within close proximity to participating retailers, such as quick-service restaurant chains, that invited them to spin a digital prize wheel to win a discount, resulting in a $3 cost per coupon conversion.

PepsiCo joined forces with digital marketing platform FunMobility for a Super Bowl-themed sweepstakes and mobile coupon activation, which saw the beverage marketer reach out to digitally-savvy millennials via gamification. Results from the overall campaign included a 94 percent post-click engagement rate and a $3 cost per coupon conversion, resulting in an eight times increase in return on investment.

“The campaign was created for PepsiCo’s retail partners, specifically in a close radius to participating Round Table Pizza franchises,” said Kevin Almeida, mobile marketing strategy at FunMobility. “The display advertising portion of the program was targeted at families with child in household and younger adults with an interest in pizza.”

Monetizing millennials on mobile
PepsiCo employed a heavy gamification angle for its latest mobile coupon activation, which also included incentivized email opt-ins in a bid to acquire new customers for its retail partners.

Millennial consumers within the vicinity of these participating retailers and restaurants were served with ads that invited them to spin to win a mobile coupon. Therefore, instead of simply opening up a discount on their smartphones, users were forced to interact with the ad unit and enjoy an element of surprise.

The display ads advertised the ability for players to win a slew of coupons that would enable them to throw an epic Super Bowl pizza party.

Once users tapped on the digital prize wheel, they were able to discover their prize. In order to save the coupon onto their smartphones, individuals were asked to enter their email addresses.

Consumers who did not opt-in to the email list were eventually retargeted with another incentive – to enter a contest to win a $100 gift card.

“It’s not just the short-term redemptions that increase with a gamification element, it’s also the user’s willingness to engage with future marketing content,” Mr. Almeida said. “With a gamified promotion, we see newsletter opt-in rates increase to an average of 10 to 20 percent of traffic, and click-to-engagement rates for email average 91 percent when the email is serving fun, creative, and personalized experiences — not just blasting out static offers.”

Best couponing practices
PepsiCo’s coupon campaign garnered favorable results, with a click-through rate of 1.01 percent and a 94 percent post-click engagement rate.

The cost per coupon conversion rested at $3, resulting in eight times the ROI.

Pepsi leveraged FunMobility’s HTML5 nanosites to host the digital coupons, which could be saved via email, text or mobile wallet.

Additionally, earned media garnered a significant number of conversions throughout the campaign. Each coupon was accompanied by an in-feed button that encouraged recipients to share the promotion via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or WhatsApp.

Facebook, in particular, collected one thousand new page likes in several weeks.

Other food and beverage marketers seeking to drive mobile conversions may also want to employ gamified coupons in their outreach strategies. However, they must contend with several potential challenges.

“The most important factor to look at in the digital space is security — making sure you have safeguards in place to control the distribution of high-value offers, and making sure your coupons have the security features necessary to eliminate the risk of someone taking a screenshot, sharing it onto the Web, and distributing the coupon millions of times over,” Mr. Almeida said. “When it comes to increasing engagement, the three main considerations are: experience, context, and personalization.

“By experience, I mean ‘what is the consumer supposed to do?’ he said. “Do they need to spin a wheel, scratch off a digital lottery card, complete a coloring book? What actions do you want them to take, and is it engaging?

“Ideally, you want the experience to be fun, visual, and quick/low-friction.”

Meanwhile, context dictates the conditions under which users receive the mobile coupon. Potential channels include in-store, banner ads and emails.

“The point of discovery has a big impact on the consumer’s mindset and their willingness to engage with content,” Mr. Almeida said. “More disruptive channels mean the consumer will be less willing to put effort into engaging with a gamified promotion.

“Personalization means using the consumer’s behavior and profile data to automatically send different offers and experiences that will be more relevant for them (i.e. does the person prefer veggie pizzas or meat pizzas?). We see personalized offers perform about 4.5 times better than un-personalized offers.”