Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

SCVNGR: A New App That Hunts for Consumer Engagement Treasure

There is a cycle to all popular trends, regardless of industry. There are the first to market, either classics with staying power or fleeting successes, and then followers are guaranteed. Sometimes, these are cheap knock-offs, but other times, even better versions than the original. For instance, for all you basketball fans out there, the “Big 3” in the NBA originally consisted of Boston Celtics Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, and the league is now led by LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade who have teamed up in South Beach for the Miami Heat. In the social media space, Friendster led to MySpace which was eventually followed and overpowered by Facebook.


The curve for social media trends seems to be shorter than in other industries, new apps are popping up daily. SCVNGR is a great example of this; the increasing popularity of FourSquare and other location based social apps led to its creation. According to its website, “SCVNGR is a game about doing challenges as places.” Much like FourSquare, you are able to check in at various locations using the app on your smart phone. However, with SCVNGR checking in is not enough, the experience is more interactive.  With this new app, you can go to your favorite local spots to check-in and once you’re there, you will be prompted to complete different tasks or challenges to gain points. You may have to take a photo at a park, solve a riddle at a museum, scan a QR code at a theater, or do some other kind of adventurous activity. The points you earn for completed challenges are redeemable for bragging rights as well as unlocking badges and other features. Companies can create their own challenges or hunts  as a cheeky way to involve adventurous consumers with their brand.

patriots scvngr

Recently, the New England Patriots tapped SCVNGR for a promotion to get fans excited about the upcoming football season. They have created their own “Trek” and compiled a list of themed challenges for fans to complete at various locations throughout New England, in order to help Patriot player Vince Wilfork find his “stolen” Super Bowl ring. The campaign has received much press for both the NFL organization and the application itself. Other SCVNGR adopters include major universities (such as Duke University and Princeton), city tourism councils (the City of Rochester and Boston are both users), and several museums throughout the country.

Marketers are just starting to jump on board the location-based social media app train, with good reason. The interactive nature of these applications lend themselves to promotions – put an incentive behind these behaviors and the usage rate will surely soar. FourSquare, Loopt, Gowalla and now SVCNGR are great new platforms to attract, engage and reward consumers and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

The New Group Dynamic

We are learning so much about the group dynamic these days. I mean the REALLY BIG group dynamic…What does it say when a record amount of money is donated in a record period of time during a time of economic uncertainty?

This seems NOT to be about party politics or religion, but about humankind displaying a reflexive reaction to the tragedy in Haiti. Thanks to all modes of digital communications, people can direct their giving immediately, by texting, tweeting, posting, through e-donating and e-buying. And these channels, being what they are, provide an immediate accounting of this flood of goodwill. As of this writing, The Red Cross alone has raised $147 million in the US, including $25 million from text messages. That needs to sink in… $25 million (and counting) in two weeks, raised by individuals, reacting on impulse and TEXTING their donations, $10 at time. And that does not take into consideration other channels and organizations, such as this past weekend’s “Hope for Haiti Now” fundraising concert which donated funds to Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation,  Oxfam America, UNICEF, the United Nations World Food Program, the recently formed Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation, as well as the Red Cross.

Cell Phone - Haiti copy

The channels to communicate and contribute are as unfettered as they could possibly be for our time. If 9/11 was the opening chapter of technology-driven news, and the Tsunami (2004) and Hurricane Katrina (2005) relief efforts demonstrated how the internet could serve as a viable donation response channel, then perhaps the earthquake in Haiti is the event that will mark the coming of age of social media. During the past two weeks, “Haiti” has been a consistently trending topic on twitter and ever-present on facebook statuses worldwide. People all over the globe are using social media and mobile channels to come together and help others in desperate need. Never have so many offered so much, so quickly. Over the next weeks and months, we will learn whether or not governments and corporations can mobilize as quickly as the masses that have surged to support the relief effort.

The stories of death and destruction continue to mount in what surfacing as one of the singularly most horrifying natural disasters in history. That our society is attempting to respond in equal magnitude, through untested channels is a testament to the human spirit, and a reason to have unbounding hope.

Poll: What type of mobile phone do you have?

It seems the focus of the mobile marketing discussion has changed from SMS campaigns to apps in the blink of an eye. We want to know if you, as readers and marketers, are keeping up with new technology. Tell us what you’ve got!