7 mistakes to avoid when creating your marketing games

6 min readNov 5, 2021

Competitions are extremely popular online and on social media. There are no fewer than 20,000 new games launched each year. Scratch card games, “instant-winner” games and prize draws are very powerful marketing tools if they are used correctly.

Are you a communications or marketing professional planning to launch an online promotional game? No matter what your strategic objectives are, planning your project is essential if you decide to venture into the world of marketing games. To help you create an engaging game for your audience, here are 7 mistakes to avoid at all costs.

Mistake n°1: worrying more about your ROI than about the user

The organisation of marketing games requires a significant investment of time and money. When you create a game, you are obviously aiming to generate an enticing return on the investment for your company. This may be the collection of postal details, email addresses, leads… The goals are, above all, commercial.

But an approach that is too heavily “business”-centred can have adverse consequences for your campaign. If someone is taking the time to participate in your marketing game (despite all of the daily promotional invitations they receive!), they expect, in return, that you care about them and their experience. Your internal data collection goals don’t interest them in the slightest.

If they are giving you their time, offer them an interactive and enjoyable experience in return that will make a lasting impression. Your competition must be accessible in a few clicks and it must also be aesthetic and easy to use. From the very beginning, place the user at the centre of your plan to maximise the return you are hoping for.

Mistake n°2: offering a low-quality gaming experience

As we mentioned previously, it is essential to place user experience at the heart of your marketing game. Completing the project internally is possible but risky. It is a large-scale project which will require an array of skills in conceptualisation, integration, ergonomics and responsive interface to name just a few. The design of your marketing game will also play a key role in capturing the attention of your audience.

Using a gamification platform like Drimify offers numerous advantages:

  • You no longer need technical expertise to create a high-quality competition
  • You can create your game in a few minutes, like a penalty shootout game or an instant-winner game
  • You can minimise the time and money your team dedicates to the project without compromising on quality

Mistake n°3: offering disappointing rewards

Players are looking to enjoy themselves, but the prize on offer is a powerful motivator for competitions. A low-value gift voucher doesn’t attract visitors’ attention on the advertising scene. Your venture is then lost in the masses. Worse still, it can create an imbalance between your brand’s image and your audience’s perception of it.

The highest conversion rates are, unsurprisingly, linked to travel or getaway-style prizes. High-tech devices (3D TVs, smartphones, etc.) come next on the list. However, it is not strictly necessary that the prizes have a high market value.

It is more important to offer sample products and prizes related to your image in your first competition. The user will therefore have an extended experience discovering your brand. A win-win situation for both your company and the participant. There are dozens of ways to effectively reward the winner of a competition and transform them into a genuine ambassador for your company in the process.

Consider what is relevant to your target audience: the latter may have certain societal expectations in regards to prizes (material, usefulness of the object).

Mistake n°4: not mentioning the rules of the game

For your marketing game to be successful, it is essential to clearly present the rules of the game and also the official terms and conditions of the competition.

Rules of the competition

If the terms and conditions of participation in a marketing game are not presented from the outset, you take the risk that your visitors may not respect the mechanics of the game. We recommend testing it on a few people before launching your campaign. That way you will know that the rules and registration for your competition are properly presented to participants.

Marketing games regulation

Following a decision made by the Court of Justice of the European Community in 2014, national laws have been simplified: the submission of regulations in front of a court bailiff is no longer obligatory but still strongly advised.

By using a game editor like Drimify, you have access to models of legal notices that you can personalise. Another great reason to use a gaming platform.

Mistake n°5: Using a type of game that isn’t adapted to your marketing objective

Before you dive straight into a competition campaign, be sure to have established a clearly defined objective. If the goal is to increase engagement, not all game formats will necessarily be suitable.

To engage your target audience, don’t give them a basic questionnaire. Instead, ask them to create their own content through artistic productions, photo contests, etc. Adobe’s gamble paid off with their creative contests such as the Art and Soul competition in collaboration with Pixar and also the skateboard deck challenge with Tony Hawk.

The choice of game is very important: it must be accessible, popular and fun. Each format is best suited to particular marketing codes. Here at Drimify, we have perfectly mastered these concepts, from simple scratch tickets to the wheel of fortune, not forgetting interactive quizzes and memory games.

Mistake n°6: underestimating the exposure of a game

How do you envision the success of your campaign without an adapted marketing plan? Publishing the game will not, in itself, be enough. You must provide the means to make your event visible online and draw in the crowds.

The more you put into promoting the game, the more chance you have of getting an incredible response to your campaign. Use all forms of distribution available to you: website, social media, publicity, competition platforms, newsletters, QR code… Why not work with influencers? They are one of the best assets for interacting with your community and making your campaign go viral.

Mistake n°7: putting your marketing game online at a bad time

An important factor: carefully consider the date you choose to launch your marketing game. If the date coincides with a national event or school holidays this could considerably impact the launch of your campaign (except if you are launching a campaign dedicated to that event, of course).

Think about your target audience and their schedule. If you launch a game dedicated to your colleagues, you can kick it off during office hours but if your game targets travellers, it may be better to launch your game at lunchtime or in the evening.

Don’t make any mistakes thanks to Drimify

As you have seen, creating a marketing game requires a fair bit of planning. To be guaranteed an effective marketing game campaign, we recommend using a dedicated platform such as Drimify to accompany you on your project. Tell us what you need and we will answer your questions.

Photo credit Brooke Cagle, Afif Kusuma, Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This article was published first on Drimify.com




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