Elastic Revenue is our secret sauce. Oops, we weren’t supposed to jump right into the juicy part were we? Oh well, the secret’s out.
Elastic Revenue (a fancy term we’ve coined) is about giving people something they know they desire but aren’t willing to ask for explicitly – it’s making the sale by connecting the perfect offer with the perfect customer, at the perfect time. It’s the sale that wouldn’t have happened organically without those perfect circumstances.
When you’re talking about social media, online shopping, or even the music industry, it’s always been about engagement, engagement, engagement. Look at how successful the US broadcast television model was at bringing viewers back week after week, year over year, with serial content. For the gaming world, engagement is just as crucial. Games are successful when they engage with users and keep them coming back for more. And a big reason why free-to-play games are so popular right now is the enticing pull of that beautiful word; “free”. People always want to feel like they’re getting a deal and they are instantly getting that with no-obligation free-to-play games.
But there is so much opportunity beyond providing a free game. There is an audience of people now who are allocating their entire entertainment budget on digital content. They’ve decided to forgo the latest Hollywood blockbuster in theaters or box set of DVDs and instead put their money into the world of games and apps. When you have a market that is willing to commit fully to one portal and dedicate money to spend; the possibilities are endless for finding those users, positively engaging them, and putting something in front of them that they will love.
At a basic level, free-to-play games are successful because they can bring people in for free but have something so seductive to offer, that users are compelled to stay and spend. They spend because the game has given them something more; a value they believe is worthy. For so long, though, the free-to-play model has been derided as an unscrupulous way of squeezing nickels out of stingy players with artificial roadblocks. It is becoming harder and harder for players to trust that the deal they’re buying is one that’s worthwhile. And a bad sale at a bad time will turn players off and make them hate the process.
However, free-to-play games can immediately build trust by exceeding expectations and anticipating needs. Understanding your audience, their habits, and their desires by noticing the patterns and trends in their behaviour will give you the insight necessary to minimize the noise and put people in front of what they want. If you can know what they want – but are hesitant to buy – and provide them the value in justifying the purchase, that will increase conversion and engagement astronomically while eliminating buyer’s remorse. Done successfully over the long-term, you will gain and retain users that are faithful, happy, and eager to spend.
Think of this example: you are to checking into a hotel for a special honeymoon and were expecting the reasonably-priced room you had chosen online. What if the hotel staff put an upgrade in front of you that wouldn’t cost a thing? You’re thinking, “this is great, I wasn’t even expecting an upgrade!” Then they show you an even better upgrade – ocean view – that will cost a little more. You had been flagged a few years ago as someone who may be interested in a room with a view of the sea. The hotel knew this and were banking on the right opportunity. This offer connects with your immediate desire you wouldn’t have asked for, and gives you more than you expected. You simply can’t pass it up and as long as the price is reasonable, you’re 100% converted.
That’s the idea of Elastic Revenue – identifying a very specific target audience that is willing to spend a little more for a much better experience they didn’t know was available, and give them more of what they want, effortlessly.
*This is the first instalment of articles that will contribute to our first Ebook! Stay tuned for details!
About the author: Liz is RevIQ’s Manager of Strategic Marketing. She is an intensely positive social engagement and client strategy ninja. She loves being outside, singing, writing, and enjoys puns a little too much.