Lots of interesting speakers and cutting-edge technologies were introduced at last week's Gamification Summit in San Francisco. Summit attendees ran the gamut, with representatives from Google, SAP, eBay, OMGPOP, AT&T, Salesforce.com, and United Airlines all participating. The conference theme was resoundingly universal; big players rallying around the importance of loyalty in the digital marketing ecosystem, and sharing their gamification success stories.
One Summit speaker swaggered to a distinctly different beat. Hip hop artist Chamillionaire took stage on day two of the Summit, delivering a compelling and largely unexpected lesson on the importance of direct fan engagement. His Chamillitary social network is a bustling community with fans actively promoting the Chamillionaire brand, and competing for prizes.
Unlike most brands, Chamillionaire personally manages his own social network channels and his community. This level of attention and commitment has helped him build an incredibly strong social following that includes close to 900K Twitter followers and 100's of thousands of Facebook page likes. He rewards his fans for completing the actions he finds valuable including content sharing, watching and commenting on videos, return site visits, and new material reviews.
BigDoor is the software that powers the Chamillitary social network. The company is a leading gamification solution with over 300 partners, including big names like Nickelodeon, Dell, and Major League Baseball, as well as small bloggers and web publishers. BigDoor's gamified loyalty platform enables Chamillionaire to manage his fan engagement, increase social sharing, and explore new monetization opportunities. Most brands don't connect with their loyal followers this tightly, and certainly, no other Grammy Award winning artists do. But Chamillionaire "gets" technology and the opportunity it gives to engage at levels never before possible.
So, for Chamillionaire, BigDoor was a natural technology fit. The artist has always put his fans first, and is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to interact with them. The use of sponsored quests and customizable reward centers makes BigDoor's solution unique other loyalty platforms on the market. And the solution's RAMP (Real-time Audience Management Process) technology gives publishers the ability to iteratively roll out their rewards program by controlling user exposure.
With this, Chamillionaire controls everything. He can see his gamified loyalty implementation results in real time and make timely and appropriate adjustments around it before exposing their programs to a larger group. Worn concert shirts, signed albums, and other promotional swag that might otherwise sit idle in his garage, become valuable incentives for fans to contribute to Chamillionaire's popularity and exposure. All this loyalty has translated into over 50K social network shares to Facebook and Twitter since the beginning of the program.
Indeed, Chamillionaire is no ordinary musician. In addition to recording, he's a social media savvy CEO who invests in startups and advises for other tech companies. Something that might be expected, I suppose, from someone whose blog hosts articles on things like how Harvard researchers studied the brain regions associated with reward (the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA).
On stage at the Summit, Chamillionarie explained, "When fans know they are being rewarded, they are more engaged." And he has the metrics to back his claim. With the BigDoor platform, the Chamillitary Rewards program has seen a 25X lift in fan engagement. More and more fans are coming back every day driving a 380% lift in fan loyalty.
Results like that come from two things:
- A brand's commitment to listen to its consumers and give them what they want, and
- A robust loyalty software solution to enable it all.
Chamillionaire's final bidding advice to loyalty-starved brand marketers? "Be authentic," he professed, "fans can tell the difference."