Jenny Stanley. MD at Appetite Creative, explains how Merck used connected experiences to engage with its scientist audience.
Science and technology company, Merck, believes in science as a force for good. Looking to make a positive difference in millions of people’s lives, it had three major business challenges. These included adapting to changes in predictive technology, taking new approaches to data collection and managing the future of healthcare and pharmaceuticals within a COVID-19 context.
Merck wanted to bring its brands to life and encourage networking between health care professionals across the globe to share innovations, expertise and knowledge. Merck tasked creative technology studio Appetite Creative to deliver a connected experience valuable to healthcare professionals which imparted information in an engaging and interactive way. By adopting innovative ways to interact with customers, Merck would be able to better target, collect data and share solutions for all. But first, they needed to reach and engage with them.
By creating a series of virtual conference events, Merck was able to encourage interaction via virtual networking lounger and seminars to take place, share polls and questionnaires from attendees, and encourage health businesses to showcase their wares at exhibition. stands.
Offering a cost-efficient timesaving solution to attendees, the events could be attended live or on demand, increasing the flexibility, value and attendance rate.
In addition to the virtual events, Appetite Creative developed an interactive mobile app accessible via a QR code found on social media, emails and flyers, which took users to a connected experience tailored to scientists offering games and prizes in exchange for personal information and a position ranked on the global leaderboard. Once logged in, one of 18 avatars could be chosen to navigate the games broken down into three levels.
The Research running game, like Temple Run or Mario Run, encouraged users to guide the scientist character through a lab, collecting items to aid the research process and gain points, while jumping over spilled chemicals on the floor. Brand messaging was woven into the game, for example collecting the company logo gives players a speed boost, demonstrating that Merck’s solutions can speed up the research process.
The Memory game encouraged players to match the product benefit with the actual product. Putting their memory to the test, the matching pairs game pits players against the click.
The Pipette game gave players the opportunity to shoot a pipette into moving waste bins. More hits means the more points and higher leaderboard scores which turn into prizes for the users.
Merck uses science to drive human progress, and by tapping into communication education and data collection opportunities delivered by connected experiences, both virtual events and gaming apps, it was able to gather detailed information about the scientists they can help drive this progress.
Scientists who make use of Merck’s technology, products and services are located all over the world, so interacting with them in an engaging way delivered mutual value to both Merck and the connected experience users. More targeted communications is now possible ensuring the right people received the most relevant information.
The mobile app used for both events and games tracks real-time interaction, such as customers buying habits, product preferences, average engagement time, location, scan rate, number of visitors, return visitors and social media shares, including GDPR-compliant personal data to enable the brand to optimise its marketing and better understand customers.
The events tracked details on delegates including interaction and attendance levels, the best performing sessions, perceived content value, general feedback and key questions. With a completion rate of 85 per cent, the app achieved 103 per cent email collection and website traffic increased by over 20 per cent. As an effective B2B campaign, it demonstrates the value of connected experiences and gamification across a variety of industries and target audiences both for B2C and B2B marketing activity.
At Appetite Creative, we’ve seen a significant increase in the adoption of connected experiences. The activity delivered for Merck demonstrates it has values for a variety of industries and audiences. QR codes and virtual experiences are now an accepted way to access branded content, games, and experiences – and users are happy to share their personal data in exchange for this value add.
Connected experiences offer an efficient and cost-effective way to collect data, develop products and improve targeted customer communications. The data and tools this activity has given Merck will be used for years to come helping them continue to use science as a force for good.