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Zizzi has upset the rather boring restaurant email voucher model by introducing simple gamification.

We'll take a look at the games and why they make perfect sense in terms of engagement and refining contact strategy.

The aim of the game

As part of Zizzi’s three-year campaign, to raise £1m for Cancer Research UK, the restaurant chain chose to invest in gamification.

Like most casual dining brands, Zizzi wants to improve engagement for a number of reasons: 

  • to increase redemption of existing offers.
  • to enable data capture to broaden its audience.
  • to encourage restaurant visits.

The typical email or printed voucher is often indicative of a one-off engagement, and Zizzi wanted to change this dynamic.

So, the chain used 3radical’s gamification platform to promote a number of competitions and voucher deals using the buzz around the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  

The aim was to combine mobile and in-restaurant experiences across Zizzi's 140 outlets that were fun and rewarding for the customer.

zizzi scratchcard

Game dynamics

Customers were able to access an online scratch card via their smartphones – made available through Zizzi’s Facebook page and its mobile-optimized website, as well as heavily promoted in-restaurant.

Rewards included instant vouchers and entry into a draw for the opportunity to train with England Rugby teammates Jonny May and Alex Corbisiero, or to win a trip to New York.

Crucially, consumers who donated to the charitable cause (Stand Up to Cancer) could boost their competition entries from one to five, a great way of encouraging donations by offering something in return.

There was a similar incentive to share on social media and get friends involved with the game.

Messaging to each individual post-play was based on their behaviour and preferences.

Instant vouchers were delivered, and their redemption monitored and built into future communications and rewards, through a real-time integration with Eagle Eye's SaaS promotion platform.

zizzi scratchcard

zizzi scratchcard

Increasing CTR, engagements, donations and new diners

The email campaign to promote the mobile game and competition has seen a three times increase in click through rate (over regular voucher emails).

Average plays were around 4.75 throughout the campaign, a strong figure that demonstrates the value of gamification as a marketing tool in ensuring more than just one-off engagements.

There were nearly half a million plays by 84,000 players. This led to 37,500 extra diners, 8,500 Facebook Likes and over 1,000 donations to Stand Up to Cancer.

zizzi game in restaurant

Building out new games as a USP for Zizzi 

Zizzi has since launched an online board game, with similar aims (competition entries, data capture and voucher uptake) but with even greater in-game engagement.

The chain is also expanding its use of 3radical's platform to create a gamified app which will allow customers to take advantage of location-based technologies and drive footfall by offering deals to consumers when they are in close proximity to a restaurant.

zizzi game 

Making a vice a virtue

Games aren't right for everyone but those who like them will engage again and again. It makes complete sense for restaurant chains to encourage the trade-off of discounts for data by using a more fun and engaging platform.

The voucher system used to feel like a bit of a vice for restaurants. Yes it's good for business, but does feel a little like it devalues the brand (with the implication that paying full price is somehow not good value).

Gamification is one step towards turning this vice into a virtue.

As one employee says in the video below, "it's different", it sets the brand apart, is great for families and helps Zizzi build out that all important contact strategy.

Ben Davis

Published 18 January, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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