Samsung Rewards is an innovative loyalty advertising campaign brought by Hardwarezone. Leveraging the Gimmie loyalty platform, Hardwarezone launched the first-of-its-kind campaign in Singapore recently to connect brands and customers better through loyalty advertising.
During the month-long campaign, HardwareZone.com users who participate in the discussions about Samsung’s new EVO and PRO microSDHC card will get rewarded with points, which in turn can unlock exclusive rewards from Samsung.
Here are some screen shots from the campaign.
Also a promotional video entitled “Is it tough enough to withstand the heavyweight championship?” on the Samsung MicroSDHC piqued users’ interest and get them talking.
Now here for comparison is a normal advertising campaign within a forum to give some context. Traditional campaigns involve creating microsites or as here static banner ads and advertiser generated content.
Now let’s discuss some of the objectives for the Samsung Rewards Campaign:
- Samsung newly launched memory cards have unique selling points which they wanted help from HardwareZone to distribute. Namely that these memory cards unlike others can withstand extreme wear and tear, x-ray proof, magnetic proof, water proof etc.
- Track the response from the campaign, number of coupons redeemed
- Get many discussions started from campaign videos and the above talking points.
In creating this campaign some of the challenges were
- How to balance the way users earn points, that would not be too easy but at the same time drive enough engagement for Samsung and redemption.
- How to avoid having a lot of spam posters or bad behavior getting rewarded.
- How to get users excited to want to talk about the products in the campaign.
In the initial approach, the editorial and forum team used Gimmie to create the guidelines of how users could earn points. We came up with several different methods with some being very easy, such as posting, while other harder ones such as using special keywords or mystery words.
An announcement was created at the start of the campaign briefing users what they could expect, but was left vague so that users would not just game the system and not come back to the forum.
The rest was entirely left up to the users, and which led to the following…
Initial users were spam happy with copying each other without providing meaningful content or insights about the products, with people just posting nonsensical list of words. This led to a shut down of the campaign, and then a rethink about how to reward the desired behavior. One way was to recognize good posts with additional points, such that the editorial content was valued, and once one user was rewarded with such then others followed suit. The other was the threat of having your account docked points for trying to game the system. With these measures made clear, the amount and quality of posts greatly increased as a result, as users who put up good content could earn more.
Another observation, was that the users themselves started filling in the missing details. For instance, how many points were rewarded for each event, how many total points possible each day etc. These created another game-like mechanic where the community started working together so more members could earn points and rewards.
Finally, users started motivating one another to keep trying to earn points, and those at the top of the leaderboard gave back by providing updates on the redemption process.
Some solutions presented in greater detail:
For background highly recommend Gamesbrief post discussing the reason to have a leaderboard, the benefits and the types. The interesting thing with the leaderboard adopted in the campaign is that the achievers (in this case the deal hunters) and the killers (drive to be the best, get most number of rewards) became mixed with socializers talking about the new ways they just earned points, as well trying to help others earn as well. In fact more than one user copied the entire leaderboard verbatim to update others, so everyone could root for the top point earners. There wasn’t any magic to this leaderboard, other than the fact that it was quite easy to find, and that those at the top of it also happened to be very active in the community.
For loyalty and rewards programs with leaderboards, it would be good to find ways to let the top members express themselves so that other members can either try to emulate them, or become jealous and want to compete to beat them.
Here there was some luck involved in that the most active members just nicely linked with those at the top of the leaderboard so these were names that a lot of people outside of the leaderboard knew. This brings another key insight, in that familiarity whenever possible is good, even among strangers. At one point, a user was able to calculate just how many points were earned in a single day by the top user on the leaderboard because they were able to look at the number of posts that user had made. This meant that even if they didn’t personally know the leaderboard user, they could still get value by analyzing how that user was able to get to the top. This detective work can further add to the whole game and mystery element also to keep users guessing.
This was mainly used so users could track their progress of earning points, as well as for the place to later claim rewards after they have already been redeemed. This interface is through a widget and intended to not be fixed since this is a campaign, however it could easily have been shown inside of the users existing profile if the intent was for a longer term loyalty program.
A classic program should have three tiers of rewards, those that are easy to win but low in value, those that are hard to win and high in value, and then something in the middle. Samsung in this program provided just the right weighting of rewards to make sure there is hope for everyone while a huge payoff for the top fans.
To date, almost 3000 user posts have been made about the campaign across multiple threads, with many users discussing the key selling points for Samsung. Samsung hasn’t had to invest in having anyone from their marketing team describe the virtues of their product, while also being provided insight into who are their top advocates for this product and rewarding them fairly based off their engagement with the campaign and commitment.
In closing, loyalty advertising may not be for everyone, but some lessons could be applied to all.
- The rewards here were highly relevant to the community, and weighted accordingly to different types of users and obtainable.
- The community was able to interact with one another which made the rewards and leaderboard interactive
- The mystery element of not always knowing all the ways to earn points, provided more reason for users to interact with one another, and extended the element of mystery and suspense to the campaign
- Top users being given special credit for good behavior and deductions for bad behavior is a good way to help find competitive balance