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Volkswagen China generates 300 sales leads with mobile game

Volkswagen China has collected more than 300 qualified sales leads in just 10 weeks through branded mobile games. 

The gaming series Sports Car Challenge contains an in-game link that connects potential customers directly to Volkswagen CRM agency. Through an interactive experience, Volkswagen use mobile to turn fun into direct conversion.

?Our objective with branded mobile games was to connect consumers directly to the VW brands through exciting virtual driving experiences,? said Markus Nels, head of sports cars, motorsport and car culture at Volkswagen Group China. ?Now, the new CRM link enables us to fully engage with potential customers via our CRM team. 

?We?re looking at the beginning of a data-led ROI capability for Volkswagen Group China where we can follow the entire sales journey from initial app download to final purchase, and that is very exciting,? he said.

Games to gold
Mobile brand gaming agency Proelios and its development partner Deep Silver Fishlabs are helping to power the initiative.

The Sports Car Challenge series of racing simulation games on iOS and Android were initially launched in 2011 and 2013, which have collectively delivered more than 22 million downloads and 66 million virtual test-drives worldwide.

Through the CRM in-game link, users can contact Volkswagen about the car they are virtually driving by providing their email address and basic information. Volkswagen?s CRM team is then notified via the app?s data analytics, which instructs them to contact the prospect and qualify them. 

Within the first six weeks of the link going live, the games generated five sales leads for premium cars of the Volkswagen Group.

To date, more than 9,000 potential customers have been connected to the brand, qualifying 339 leads in China.

?The in-game CRM link and support is an innovative progression from the game?s existing brand and dealership links,? said Andreas Stecher, director of business development and sales at Deep Silver Fishlabs. ?With the Sports Car Challenge series, we have created a virtual showroom on mobile which is so realistic and exciting that it fully immerses the player and motivates them to connect to Volkswagen. 

?The CRM link means that VGC can now proactively respond to genuine interest from consumers for their premium brand cars,? he said.

Auto channeling mobile 
Auto brands are able to leverage mobile in different ways to promote their new models.

For example, Hyundai is leveraging a 3D character as part of its #NewSonata campaign on Vine and Twitter, designed to showcase new features of the 2015 Sonata.

The Vine series, titled #HyundaiHank, features a 3D action figure based on Hyundai Motor America?s director of marketing communications, David Matathia. In the short clips, ?Hank? explores the new Sonata?s features, including Rear Backup Assist and a Panoramic Sunroof (see story).

Also, Honda took advantage of Twitter to surprise and delight consumers on Halloween via a one-day promotion built around an offer for free candy and spooky Vine videos. 

Consumers that tweeted a photo of themselves in a costume with the hashtag #TreatPromo to @Honda received a link to a coupon for a free box of Mike and Ike candy. Participating consumers also received a link to one of five eerie Vine videos featuring the redesigned CR-V opening up for trick-or-treaters (see story).

Mobile has changed the way the automotive industry approaches marketing.

?Years ago, generations of consumers aspired to auto-brands with car posters on their bedroom walls,? said Kristien Wendt, partner and head of client services at Proelios. ?We?re now bringing this brand connection closer through branded mobile games. 

?Across every demographic in China, mobile gaming is massively popular, and the CRM support solution is working perfectly,? he said. ?What we found most encouraging was if more than 300 confirmed sales leads can be generated in one market in just 10 weeks, imagine the leads and subsequent sales which can be generated by these branded gaming apps worldwide over months or even years.?

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York