Gartner’s Andrew Frank says incentivized ads in games such as Farmville, Mafia Warsand Angry Birds tap into a huge audience of social gamers who play every day. “It’s the idea of giving people game credits or virtual goods or other things that they can use in a game in exchange for watching ads or interacting with them or otherwise engaging with the sponsor’s content,” he says.
“Virtual currency,” is what Chicago-based Lab42 calls it.
The year-old start-up not only creates some of the great infographics showing up lately on media outlets such as Mashable or HuffPost Tech, but it also offers an online market research tool that uses social networks to do market research.
You can either create your own survey using the Lab42 dashboard or they’ll do it for you. After selecting your target market, they launch the survey across various social networks and social media partner sites that offer virtual currency in exchange for the respondents’ time and opinion. By reaching out to the desired audience of their client’s target market, the Lab42 research team is able to return results in just a few days, with packages that start at just $500.
Another example: Peer-to-peer promotion.
Calyp is a network that rewards consumers with cash, gifts and discounts for promoting products they like with their friends and networks.
Using either the Calyp mobile app or Calyp.com, an endorser can broadcast a Calyp link—through a text message, blog post or social status update—that features her favorite line of clothing, for example, and let people know there’s a big sale going on. When her friends or followers click on the link, she gets the credit.
Getting your business into the Calyp network will run anywhere from $950 to $25,000 a month, so it’s not cheap. Blue Calypso, the company behind Calyp, says the investment pays off.
“We’re not a good fit for a new business,” says Sabrina Dee, Blue Calypso’s CMO. “It’s about using your loyal customers that love you and can speak with an education about your brand because they use your brand—sharing with people that are like-minded about why they would also like it.”