Acquisition marketing is one of the most important components of any company's strategies for success. It is essential for a business to be constantly thinking of more effective ways to appeal to members of its target audience, as keeping up a healthy flow of new customers supports results at all levels. As new marketing tools emerge and consumers' needs change, it's critical that companies clue into the options that are most likely to drive desired behavior in the modern customer.
Can virtual currency help?
David Michaelangelo Silva, marketing manager at Blue Link Associates, wrote on his blog that virtual currency is one of the most influential marketing trends coming down the pipeline. Virtual currency refers to the digital resources individuals can use to make purchases within online communities, from games to social networking websites and more.
"Virtual currency may be the way of the future – allowing marketers the ability to incentivize activity such as watching a video advertisement or perform some other desired action in exchange for virtual currency," Silva explained. "Depending on the platform, this currency may be of negligible cost. Of course, the benefits to the advertiser are huge; namely, the ability to motivate specific actions and measure this activity while maintaining a high ROI."
Silva noted that in many cases, companies can combine initiatives to distribute virtual currency with gamification efforts, as these two marketing tactics can be extremely powerful when paired. He asserted that offering digital dollars in online games is a win-win, offering consumers the greatest levels of engagement they may have experienced since the early days of the Internet's popularity. This both benefits current customers by improving their experience, and it also provides a very attractive proposition for prospective ones.
One recent example of an influential business that has leveraged virtual currency to its advantage is online marketplace Amazon. In celebration of Amazon's decision to expand the uses of its Amazon Coins, American Kindle Fire owners were each given 500 free Amazon Coins – the equivalent of $5. The virtual currency was automatically deposited in their accounts, and it wasn't just established customers who got the benefit: Amazon noted that new users would also receive 500 coins to use on in-app items, games and more. Additionally, Amazon offered a 10 percent discount to anyone who purchased Amazon Coins in bulk.
A marketing campaign like Amazon's has a variety of benefits, but most importantly, it appeals to all types of consumers. Current customers are delighted to receive a token of Amazon's appreciation, and individuals who may have just been thinking about using Amazon Coins or even buying a Kindle Fire would be more likely to try out the services.