Don’t Guess, Ask: How Quiz Commerce Answers the Challenges of a Cookie-Free World

May 11, 2021

By Tom Coburn

Saxarinka/Shutterstock.com

Google’s recent Chrome and email ID announcements have put the industry on notice: consumers want greater control over their data, and going forward, brands will need to build their customer journeys around fully privacy-compliant first-party data.

At the same time, new opportunities in ecommerce are emerging. Headless commerce, for instance, has freed the shopping experience from the online store, essentially ushering in a world of e-commerce everywhere. And e-commerce itself is on the rise, as lockdown orders permanently shifted the consumer’s shopping behaviors.

While the industry is experiencing quite a bit of flux, one constant remains: the consumer may not know what a cookie is, or why they have to accept them, but they do understand the tradeoff between advertising and free and low cost access to content. But they’ve made it clear from the beginning that they expect to see real value in the bargain.

The marketing and advertising tactics that will succeed are those that sit in at the intersection of consumer control, e-commerce everywhere, and value velocity. Quiz marketing, meaning the gamification of consumer conversations and interactions, meets all three of these criteria, while enabling the brand to collect first-party data. It’s no surprise that quiz commerce is one of the hottest trends in 2021. Many brands have already leveraged it to drive tangible business outcomes.

 

The NFL and Consumer Control

To the NFL, brand avidity is everything. The more passionate the fan, the higher the lifetime value. But people are rarely fans of just the NFL, it’s individual teams that drive loyalty, and knowing a fan’s favorite teams is key to driving higher lifetime value.

Fan avidity is marked in specific steps along the NFL development journey: watching game highlights, watching the entire game, participating in fantasy football, buying team merch, and attending a live game or springing for season tickets.

Traditional NFL ads are transactional, e.g. “buy gear now.” But the NFL wanted to see if a more conversational strategy could help them achieve their long term goals by moving fans along the journey. To test the concept, the NFL launched a quiz-based ad that asked, “What Type of Fan are You?” Fans were invited to disclose information about themselves, including the all-important team preference.

The strategy worked. The quizzes delivered a 200 percent click rate, and 8 percent increase in revenue per fan, and a 25 percent boost in fan avidity. Building on that success, the NFL deployed additional quizzes that allowed it to expand its database of fans. For instance, a “Fan of the Year” quiz invited consumers to pitch why they deserve to hold the title, yielding 52K submissions and 32K new fans.

 

Burt's Bees and Ecommerce Everywhere

Burt’s Bees product launches always include a strong influencer marketing component to them. Last year the brand opted to take that strategy to a new level by appending a quiz to its influencer content. The quiz helped to guide the individual consumer to the products within a new skincare launch that’s right for her needs, thereby combining awareness and consideration into the initial engagement.

Brands that offer quizzes can use consumer responses to create relevant audience segments for marketing and advertising initiatives going forward. If a consumer discloses that she has dry skin, future ads target her with ads for other products designed for her skin type. And quizzes that invite users to provide their email address allow the brand to engage with consumers in a more personal manner, much like the NFL did with its database.

 

P&G and Value Velocity

P&G wanted to understand the needs of its consumers better so that its marketers could enhance customer communications. The company is wholly transparent about the data it collects, why it’s collected and how it will be used, but it was still a challenge to get customers to provide their opinions. Surveys can be boring, so P&G opted to experiment with quizzes that are entertaining.

The Charmin team tapped into quiz commerce to create a “TP Calculator” that helped customers pick the right Charmin product for them. The quiz also provided the brand team with insights into how consumers make decisions, as well as a list of consumers who opted-in to receive more from the brand.

Meanwhile, the Gillette brand leveraged a trivia quiz to test a consumer’s “green living” knowledge, which in turn, provided the Gillette team with an understanding of how their consumers relate to this topic.

What’s interesting about quiz commerce in all three of these examples is that it provides a mechanism for a brand to establish one-to-one relationship with consumers, often for the first time ever. What’s more, because the data comes directly from individual consumers it's far more accurate and trustworthy. The quizzes themselves can request consumer consent for future marketing activities, ensuring that all privacy requirements are met. It’s these kinds of creative approaches that will help marketers not just survive the death of the cookie, but thrive in the rapidly expanding opportunities of ecommerce today.

Tom Coburn is the founder and CEO of Jebbit.


The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.


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