Assisting Adact to develop a marketing gamification platform

Learn how we helped the leading MarTech company construct the high-loaded solution

Industry
Martech
Location
Estonia
Clients since
2021
Status
Ongoing

The cost of customer acquisition is core for digital business. The less expensive it is, the higher its growth potential. Companies use plenty of instruments for lead generation, but conversion remains challenging. Low user engagement makes campaigns expensive and forces marketers to look for more appropriate solutions.

What is Gamification in Marketing?

An intersection of two realms, online games and lead marketing, allowed the development of an entirely new approach. Opposite to the traditional way, when digital advertisers collect new contacts over static landing pages facing high bounce rates, gamification makes conversion real.

"Case studies show that games have a 16-22% bounce rate, 96% of potential customers finish the game, and 10-30% click the links that follow the game and are ready to become a customer."

Andreas Unt
CMO & Сo-founder at Adact

The low bounce rate proves online users' high appreciation of game content. They stay longer on the page, and after finishing the play, they are more loyal to sharing their contact information and are into receiving future offerings.

How do customers behave when they arrive at the gaming page?

  • Start

    Start the game

  • Complete

    Complete the game

  • ready to convert

    Click on the next link and ready to convert

During a webinar session on creating gamified campaigns Kalev Kärpuk, CEO and Founder of Adact, demonstrated the case for Christmas Campaigns, when 98,97% of players finished the game.

In his interview to the Brandification website, he explained why gamification works better than traditional promotions offering discounts and other benefits to their users:

"You provide someone with rewards before they even start doing it. So they feel that they’ve already accomplished something. Place the moment of achievement in the correct place. Users should perform first to feel they deserve some reward."

Kalev Kärpuk
CEO and Founder of Adact

Kalev's statement has scientific ground. Researchers who study emotional intellect claim that people do not usually esteem what they haven't endeavored to achieve. So, games prompt Internet users to do some actions to gain rewards.

Challenges of the Marketing Gamification

“Gamification” has been a hot word in marketing for a few years, but it used to be a luxury method that only global companies could afford. The games had to be programmed manually, so they cost $15,000+ and required 2-5 months of work. Additionally, there are a lot of game design decisions that have to be made regarding the game’s length, rules, mechanics, etc.”

Kalev Kärpuk
CEO and Founder of Adact

Meanwhile, the implementation of marketing gamification requires much effort and expertise. A team should take care of writing the scenarios for the games, come up with the design, develop the code and prepare the server infrastructure. Besides the mentioned, the scope should involve the analytics showing the efficacy of the active campaigns.

The described workflow evidence that customer acquisition could remain an expensive tool for marketing industry professionals. As Kalev said, the cost of one campaign could reach over $15,000.

Adact Makes the Marketing Gamification Feasible

Knowing the critical challenges of gamification in marketing, Adact is envisioned to make it affordable. It spans the feature set needed to develop bespoke gamification content. This is an outbox solution that fully automates the work for digital agencies and brands.

The project we are showcasing to you was done by Kalev Kärpuk, an entrepreneur from Estonia. Kalev has been working in the area of marketing gamification since 2016. Before developing the side project, he had worked in a New York company. This is where he learned much about game design and user behavior. He is grateful for this experience as far as it helped him to find his job industry:

"It fascinated me and was a cool way to combine my hobby with some expertise. I also teach game design, and it is a really interesting thing for me. I know that it works. And if it works in games, why shouldn’t it work everywhere else?"

Kalev Kärpuk
CEO and Founder of Adact

Kalev decided to unite marketing gamification with technology and check if it works in the mentioned field. He started up his venture and provided consultancy for his clients. While delivering the service, he had discovered a few main goals that gamification helps to reach:

  • Generate new leads;
  • Leverage drive traffic;
  • Increase brand awareness;
  • Reduce bounce rate.

Kalev utilized a technical prototype that ensured the campaign's run at the initial stage. The MVP was accessible for internal users only and was restricted to external customers. His team set the campaigns manually for their clients and delivered their service as a contractor. This helped Adact to receive first revenue and confirm their product proposition.

adact admin's UI

While working on the MVP, Kalev applied to the Startup Wise Guys accelerator (Estonia). They were accepted there and successfully finished it by winning their pitch competition. This event made Adact attractive to other angel investors so that they have received a few significant grants.

Adact, which developed the marketing gamification platform, won one of the top prizes at sTARTUp Day. Referenced source: turundajateliit.ee

From Startup to Scale Up

The main priority of the Adact team was to implement a user-friendly interface design. Since the platform was envisioned as a SAAS, the UI was a key for business. The specifics of their model implied the provision of their clients with automated features that must facilitate them in creating the gamification campaigns. Based on that, the front-end side should streamline the desktop browsers and be straightforward for end-users. Besides the advanced UI features, Kalev's expectations were the following:

Besides the advanced UI features, Kalev's expectations were the following:

  • Smooth onboarding. Adact users could create the landing pages as fast as users of WIX, Canvas, and similar low-code design platforms.
  • Multi-user support.The platform should consider a few types of users such as account owners and team members. Agencies could handle campaigns for the brand companies.
  • Game templates. Users should be enriched with a wide range of predefined games which they could select from the beginning.
  • Customization. Campaign creators should be able to customize their games by adding various assets related to their brand visibility.
  • Dashboard analytics. Every manager of the campaign could track the statistics of each campaign by viewing the analytics dashboard.
  • Advanced performance. Technically, the system should handle the load counting over 2M requests per moment.

The described scope demanded high expertise in the front-end and back-end, whereas performance and usability were the key points. Based on the contemporary web-development practice, the mentioned work required such team structure:

  • Project manager

  • UI/UX designer

  • Frontend developer

  • Backend developer

  • DevOps engineer

  • Q&A specialists

As said before, Kalev's team participated in the accelerator program of Estonian incubator Startup Wise Guys. Like Adact, Brocoder's team was a resident of that project (in the framework of the 16th batch). Our company was presented by Rodion Salnik, who was in charge of our side product Casers.

Having learned from Rodion about Brocoder's expertise in developing the high-loaded systems, Kalev trusted our team to accomplish the work. Despite our development division being located in Ukraine, the production process was organized smoothly. We assigned a team for Adact and took on its design after signing an agreement.

The Discovery Phase

Our first step was to figure out the requirements of the project. We learned them during the call interviews with Kalev and his team. Luckily, they managed to create the designs in Figma that gave us a complete vision regarding future priorities and work milestones.

User Features Requirements

  • Users are distinguished by categories, and they could be agencies and individual creators;
  • Creators could specify the type of campaign according to their marketing goals;
  • Users may pick the game either from a template collection or create it by themselves with Adact;
  • Creators could pick the lead form and adjust its design. IT should be shown at the end of the game;
  • The UI design of the landing page, as well as the game interface, should be fully customized;
  • Creators could view the analytics information to monitor the efficacy of campaigns;
  • The landing page should operate as a standalone website or be embedded into the corporate website of the brand site.

The Revision of the Existing Code

Our next step was to review the existing code and decide on its quality. We wanted to figure out whether it would bother the further scale-up or not. In a short while, we found out that the project's architecture looked a bit outdated, and was written with PHP and jQuery. We suggested Kalev focus on best practice solutions and move forward with React.js and Node.js. We chose them as they are suitable for constructing extendable web-based products.

At the end of the discovery phase, we outlined the project features and finalized them in the specification. It included explanations of the user stories, requirements on the technical solutions, back-end integrations, and the project delivery timeline.

Building the High-Loaded System

Handling the Server-Side Rendering (SSR)

The primary requirement of the Adact team was to speed up the content rendering on the player's side. Once a user opens the landing page and initiates the game, the data should be refreshed in real-time. Any events should be executed smoothly, without delays. Apart from our previous approach, when we used the back-end API and talked to many endpoints, we decided to arrange the data in single cloud storage. To implement that, we utilized Amazon's CloudFront:

"Amazon's CloudFront solution matched well with our preferences. Once a user starts playing, the static data is converted to HTML due to our server-side rendering engine and loaded on the user browser. This way, we significantly accelerated the content delivery by avoiding multiple requests to the API. Instead of sending multiple queries, we managed to work through only one."

Sergiy Lomako
Lead Software Engineer

Besides the mentioned, we utilized the Cloud Delivery Network (CDN) at Amazon. Due to this technology, we adjusted the time needed to deliver the content. The network consists of the servers which store the cached information. When a user wants to open the home page, the CDN refers this query to the nearest web server, minimizing the time for delivery.

Accomplishing the Real-Time Analytics

User analytics is one of the key features of Adact. Showing it in real-time helps customers to understand the progress of their campaigns. It includes the following information:

  • How many users visited the landing page;
  • How many users started the play;
  • How many users finished playing;
  • How long it took for them to play;
  • What score did they play?
  • What gifts did they deserve?

Before building the analytics, we faced a challenging task. We found out that if we record the information on the games, including the score and time of sessions, we will increase the database and slow down its work. This went far from our expectations regarding the performance. It encouraged us to split the data structure into a few databases. The features corresponding to the campaign creation and configuration were accomplished withPostgreSQL. The analytics dashboard was designed with MongoDB. In the meanwhile, both databases should communicate with a single back-end API. Hence, we prevented the slow-down on both sides of the web application.

Making the Cost-Efficient Infrastructure

We suggested that the founder of Adact use AWS Lambda. This solution is capable of ensuring the scalability of MongoDB. The database could be extended or minimized depending on the number of active users. With that help, customers pay only for those resources they used.

adact infrastructure

Lambda AWS + MongoDB became a pain killer for the early-stage startup. At this point, they saved their spending and demonstrated the value of their product to the end customers. Due to the proposed architecture, Adact operated in conditions of massive traffic, obtaining over 3M visitors in half of a year.

We also would love to share the case study that became possible with Adact. Lately, the client agency has launched a campaign. The outcomes were the following:

In just ten days, the campaign gathered over 18K leads. Which is over 1,800 perspectives in a day!

Lately, Adact has updated its price policy. You could view it to make sure about the benefits.

The List of Technologies

Front-end

    reactnextJscloudFront

Back-end

    nodejsnestlambda

Databases

    postgreSQLmongo

Integration with Zapier

To end our case study, we want to express our happiness to be a partner of Adact. Being a co-partner of their team, we gained unparalleled experience building an infrastructure for MarTech products.

5.0

“Demonstrating unparalleled development expertise, Brocoders has built a bug-free and seamless platform, conquering initial product testing with more than two million interactions. The team delivers quality and timeline-oriented solutions, fostering an agreeable and productive collaboration.”

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Kalev Kärpuk
CEO and Founder of Adact

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