Startup City Magazine

Contesting with the Youth App

By Hetin Sakhuja, Founder, Lucky Stars

Hetin Sakhuja, Founder, Lucky Stars

Headquartered in Mumbai, Lucky Stars is a consumer-brand interaction platform that provides brands with direct audience connect, higher brand recall factor along with campaign metrics and its registered users with an opportunity to win exciting branded gifts for free through a simple contest.

Mobile gaming apps and Contest driven mobile apps have many similarities, starting with the high user engagement quotient and ‘youth’ as the quintessential target audience. Mobile gaming apps have a high rate of uninstalls, as most games have a defined and definite offering, and over time, impact user interest levels. A strong contradiction in comparison to Contest driven mobile apps, which offerinteresting and value based user gratifications on every use.

The concept of Contest driven mobile apps is relatively new to Indian users. Our limited past experience of Contest driven websites offering free mobile recharge and other gifts based on surveys, polls and other brand studies, has not been very encouraging and failed to gain acceptance amongst the masses. The primary reasons being that most of these sites, aimed at poll driven exercises,which were not engaging or audience related and neither of them offered gratification that would compel users to re-engage with the sites. India is a youth driven country, with nearly 65 percent of the growing population below the age of 35 years. There are over 204 million active smart phone users and by 2020, this number is estimated to grow to over 700 million active users. At present, nearly, 78 percent of the of total internet users in India have access to the internet on their mobile phones.

Mobile contest and games should have a youth centric approach. As per gaming data for India, youth between25- 34 years lead the brigade with nearly 35 percent, amongst other age bands. For nearly 85 percent  of all gamers, the average age is of 44 years. The same data holds true for Contest driven apps as there is almost no category or user sentiment differentiation, in comparison to Mobile gaming apps. There is a very thin line differentiating a Mobile gaming app from a Contest driven mobile app.Mobile gaming apps work on the basic tenets of user engagement, advertisement and an incentive based model, to prolong user engagement.Contest driven mobile apps also work on the same principles, butwith additional features like instant user gratification and value driven loyalty programmes to enhance user experience and engagement on the app.

The smart phone has changed the way we live. The youth of today, is well aware and informedabout events across the globe. Traditional practices are falling short of audiences and marketers are continuously looking for newer options that are informative, interesting, measurableand engaging with the youth.Mobile driven campaigns have been far more effective than traditional practices. Mobile advertising in India is also on an exponential growth path with an estimated expenditure of close to $242.6 million in 2016, marking a 100 percent growth compared to previous year and is expected to reach $1.2 billion by 2020 and this rise can be attributed to many parameters like increased mobile penetration across the nation, low data prices, affordable phones, 4G services and availability of all services in the form of apps. The growth of m-Commerce in India has led many marketers to adopt a ‘mobile-only- strategy’ for brand promotions.

Contest driven mobile apps are proving to be effective advertising and brand recall platforms. Such app driven mobile platforms have the capacity to run multiple brand related contests that are informative and connect across all age bands and across geographies, with youth as its prime audience. Though there has been active participation from brands with in-app advertising for mobile games in the form of advertisements or incentive based promotions, the new Contest based mobile platform provides a smarter, effective, higher engagement platform with measurable impact.

But like any medium, print, electronic or mobile, there are important factors that influence and impact a higher app loyalty amongyoungusers.Contest driven mobile apps are associating with leading brands and distributing high value branded gifts that range from smart phones, smart televisions, two wheelers, gold coins, lifestyle watches, and digital cameras amongst other equally interesting takeaways, for the users. These high value brand driven app platforms, in turn, deliver a ready user base for brands and marketers for an effective campaign.

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