- Grow traffic, your customer base and/or sales.
- Provide an engaging format for interdepartmental collaboration.
- Give incentives back to your team for directly impacting sales/growth.
- Re-educate all departments on what is happening with your online marketing strategies.
- Create engagement and promotional habits that will hopefully continue after the games end.
The Growth Games are a competitive event to get your entire company involved in the lift of your brand and content online. This may happen naturally in your org through positive culture and a strong sense of ownership amongst the team. But, see how the team reacts to one growth games. I believe one form of this event or another should be created every single year, if not every quarter, to accomplish each of those 5 goals above.
It can be specific to one event or KPI. For example, if the company is hosting a large conference that requires attendees, the entire company should be promoting this event registration page. The employees who are not directly accountable for the attendance numbers should be offered extra incentives for helping make it a success.
But in general, The Growth Games are best used to spur company-wide branding on all levels. Digital is the easiest to track, so this article will explain how to setup the digital version of Growth Games. But this does not mean you cannot use a similar format to do physical brand promotion incentives as well. In the end, what you should have is a more engaged team and a ton of brand exposure.
- Give 100% – An effortless answer on Quora, or invaluable posts do not do you brand any good. If participating in Growth Games, give it a solid effort.
- Teams of Two Must Be Interdepartmental – This ensures an even playing field and gives people a chance to work with someone they may not interact much with at the office.
- Do Not Leave Reviews – Do not give out points for the app store or yelp reviews. If/when too many of these come from the same IP address, they will create a flag on your account.
- Do Not Direct Message Prospects or Customers – You do not want any/all employees messaging your potential customers on Twitter or otherwise. This can cause confusion and disrupt the sales funnel.
- Do Not Be Fake – Make sure your staff understands they are to be transparent and not to pretend they are not employees or affiliated with the company. This is especially important with Quora and Reddit answers.
- No Points During Work Hours – You may have to run this by HR, but
- Team members – You will need a company with at least 3 departments, and ideally more than 10 employees in one office.
- A prize – To ensure the games are successful, you need a healthy prize. I strongly suggest cash. Considering this is a direct impact on marketing, you can take it out of the marketing budget for the month. If you do not have the budget, you can award work from home days, reserved parking spots, a membership, or other awards…
- Excitement – If you simply tell your team they will be competing in Growth Games, they will see it as an obligation and distraction from their work. To avoid this reaction, begin with an opt-in process to allow whoever would like to join, join. This can be a landing page, Google doc/sheet, or simply emailing.
- A format – Here is a simple Google sheet scorecard you can use, but you may have your own way of dramatizing the scoring – possibly a large whiteboard in the main office? In any case, you will need a strict format and rules to ensure no cheating or use of work hours to compete.
- A referee – The games needs an administrator to keep score and make sure no one is cheating or taking work hours to rack up points. Someone in the marketing department should keep score as they know best how to track the progress.
- A central forum – Ideally, you would set up a company-wide Slack channel and use Zapier to post additions to the score card (google sheet) to this channel which would alert everyone involved about the score and leaders. Further, this sort of central forum would spur competitiveness and increase participation.
Point system implies a winner, a winner implies a prize… Holding a carrot out there is highly recommended, especially for the flagship games. This carrot doesn’t have to be made of money, but that’s always a surefire way to speed things up. You know your team, so give them something on par with the extra effort. Keep in mind they are not allowed to gain points during work hours. Here is a list of non-pay incentives you can choose from.
The first step is to have a quick meeting with department heads about the games and get their input. Ideally, the games would coincide with a product release as an extension of PR and give your team something timely to post about. You need and want full participation from all departments to make this a huge success. Make sure the department heads are ok with the proposed date range of the games.
When you have a date picked out, it’s time to send out the emails and/or post the registration forms. Here is an example description of the Growth Games:
“This is an exciting month for us. We have ___, ___ and ___ to get ready for. We appreciate everyone’s ongoing support of our great company and brand, especially online. As you all know, every mention, quote, link or like/comment/share helps get our products to new potential customers.
So on that note, and for the next 4 weeks, we are going to give extra incentive to for these efforts that directly impact our online traffic and conversions. The games is on! We have a few rules to abide by, but the prizes for those who give our brand the most exposure are as follows:
First Place: $1000
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $250
And, we have rented out a bar for the awards ceremony (and yes, it will be an open bar).