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Virtual goods increase purchase intent by 32pc: study

July 23, 2010

powermatConsumer purchase intent increased by almost 32 percent due to exposure of branded virtual goods, according to appssavvy.

A recent study conducted by the company found that mobile ad awareness increased from 60.1 percent to 74.2 percent. In addition, aided brand awareness increased from 44.5 percent to 69.8 percent.

“The surprising finding was the impact virtual goods can play in a brand’s marketing mix and that’s demonstrated by the fact this effort outperformed all InsightExpress Mobile and Online Norms and that the results were better than any mobile campaign InsightExpress has studied over the past two years,” said Chris Cunningham, founder/CEO of appssavvy, New York.

“Branded virtual goods deliver a creative and innovative ad format,” he said. “However, before leveraging them, marketers should, first and foremost, understand the social activity taking place and then add value to the experience, and virtual goods are a great vehicle to just that.”

Appssavvy connects hundreds of social media applications on Facebook, MySpace, Google and iPhone with brands and agencies.

Mobile research
The research centered around an iPhone campaign that appssavvy worked on with Powermat, which rewarded consumers of Booyah’s MyTown location-based application game with branded virtual goods when checking in at a Powermat retailer, including Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Target.

The research was conducted in partnership with InsightExpress, who recruited 2,894 players from the MyTown environment using a survey link within a virtual item during the campaign.

The Powermat campaign included a sweepstakes promotion on MyTown that let consumers enter to win Powermat’s wireless charging system for the iPhone by interacting with Powermat products in-store.

Appssavvy found that receipt recall of virtual goods related to check-in and the sweepstakes saw significant increased.

Receipt recall of wireless recharge unit increased from 38.2 percent to 43.3 percent and the receipt recall of the fully charged game system increased 43.1 percent from 35.1 percent.

“There’s a tremendous amount of buzz in the advertising community around virtual goods,” Mr. Cunningham said. “They are an opportunity, but again, only if well-thought through.

“This format is not mass advertising, but an opportunity to engage social activity in a relevant way that adds value to the experience,” he said.

Additionally, the study found that the receipt recall of scratch off increased from 13.6 percent to 74 percent and the receipt recall of a fully charged mobile phone increased from 9 percent to 19.6 percent.

“We are seeing more and more brands and agencies first think of the people and the social activity taking place, and then how to fit into that experience,” Mr. Cunningham said. “This is tremendously exciting and we believe virtual goods can play a vital role.”

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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