Musikia: Did the Game Worth the Candle?

In Paris, we have Total Music which is a music shop that I liked a lot because of their customer policy that was great for those who like to wander in music instruments shop. Total Music has recently merged with another company called Playback which is a big company in the music instruments distribution circuit in France.  This fusion gave rise to Musikia that aims to be a big selling spot on the French internet with a window in the center of Paris. Though this post is about Musikia, I think it could apply to a lot of shops around the world.

Musikia website

Once Musikia was born both websites (Total Music & Playback) merged together, and became one. Instead of the classical e-commerce websites that used to be, Musikia offers a rich interface (too rich maybe) emphasizing the community aspects (which is not surprising at all).  The new website lost one of its most interesting features that used to be found on Total Music website: gear videos. These were interesting because they were covering a wide range of gear through reports, interviews and pure demos.

I don’t think that it was a clever move to drop them out because it was interesting to have this material available. Not so long ago the owner of a little e-commerce website that sells its own brand of guitars asked me: “how can it be intersting for an e-commerce to produce videos of  gear that you can find anywhere else?”. Here was the gist of my answer:

  • It is excellent to be visible on the web
  • It is cool for consumers to find all the information they need with one click
  • It brings a human face to a digital interface
  • If I find this feature on an e-commerce website why would I buy somewhere else? Even if it costs me a couple more bucks, I’ll buy here anyway!

Musikia & the Social Media

Musikia can be found on most popular social media platforms out there i.e. facebook, twitter, and myspace (not sure that myspace is still popular). Apparently there strategy was carefully planned as they bring out a lot of content most of which is not directly related to the Musikia products, and events. They also interact a lot with their facebook fans.

Everything looks OK except some technical bugs on the status synchronization from facebook to twitter  that left some unreadable tweets, and some urls copy-paste to facebook that left some code visible on the facebook page. Sometimes it doesn’t work that well anyway, so let’s jump to the next step of the overview.

Games are Good…

If you follow the blog you know that I am quite interested in giveaways lately. When I saw a message from Musikia about a game they were holding, I got there to read furthermore. That would have been a good entry for my new site G.A.S. a Gogo.

But it left me a bit confused, not that much but enough to watch the progress of the game. To sum up my point of view, I’ll start with a reminder of 4 simple rules for those who want to hold a giveway. These are based on my experience of giveaways on the blog  (lessons from my mistakes should I say), and are mostly logic rules.

  • Rule #1: The rule has to be simple
  • Rule #2: The action has to be clearly described
  • Rule #3: The game should involve the largest part of the audience, and beyond…
  • Rule #4: The prize should always worth the action asked

What about this particular game from Musikia?

I have not much to say about the rule, and the action aspects! It is clear enough, and well explained… Musikia had a street advertisement campaign with 5 different posters. The aim of the game was to track down, and take  a picture of the 5 posters. Then the players have to send the  pictures to Musikia! Cristal Clear but…

I think they have missed a point. Musikia is a parisian shop but also is an internet shop that aims to sell on the web at a national level so the game should involve the fans community at the national level. I think this is the most logic move because the website, and the social media presence are supposed to increase online sales. And this is the first point that left me confused in so far as the advertisment campaign is localised in the Paris subway. Not cool for the people who don’t live in Paris or those who don’t like the subway!

A lot of Musikia potential customers couldn’t play the game because it was limited to a restricted area. I know that the next sentence will sound like the sentence of a greedy man but I’ll write anyway… I think that most potential players would have been discouraged anyway because the prize was just  a 10% discount on the next purchase.

I think the game did not worth the candle because it was restrictive, and time consuming (there are 5 posters to track down) with regard to the prize. To date they only had 2 winners though the game is running for a month now which leads me to say that it is not a success.

I do understand that the aim of the game is to:

  • Lead the fans to track down the posters, and maybe lead them toward the store if the posters placement is clever
  • Make 10 more sales which could be interesting because with 10% discount it is likely that the winner will buy something else than a set of strings, or a pick
  • Obviously make standard advertisment independent of the game…

Nevertheless I am not sure (but I could be wrong) that the return on investment of this game is interesting. After all they had to pay for this subway campaign: posters conception, and printing, renting the advertisement spaces for an undetermined period if they don’t want to stop the campaign before reaching 10 winners.  Needless to say that it has a cost but I am sure that they didn’t invest without any assessement! I know that the advertisement campaign still remains, and I am just pointing out that they could have done much better…

Let’s go back to the fans community that didn’t seem much interested by the game. I think it was totally predictable because the game didn’t worth the candle. To be clear, people were expected to spend some precious time in the stinky Paris subway to track down posters that our eyes are now used to filter. And the prize was aiming to make them spend a part of their salary at the shop. I definitely think that it was obvious that the game was going to have a modest success. Especially when you can reasonably hypohesize that part of the 600 something fans of the page are not living in Paris.

That game would have been much better with a different set of prizes. Say the first (or the top 3) winner could win an instrument or an accessory that he/she could choose within a range of prices determined by the shop. Then  decreasing rates discounts could be offered to the next winners. That would be much more interesting though the game would still be geolocalised in the Paris area. Is it the goal of Musikia?

If I were Musikia… Or any shop!

I think that such an e-commerce website aiming the national (or international) level should aim a little bit higher, and slightly change its strategy. As they are developing their social media presence, they are targeting a specific audience made of internauts… So why not organizing a similar operation except it would take place on the internet instead of the subway in Paris? People would have to track down pictures, posts, ads… It doesn’t matter what they would have to find. The point is that they would have to track it within the network of websites, and blogs that is now rather big. The game could be liven up within the community with a series of hints, and clues, and questions, etc… The internaut who finds the “treasure” would just have to provide screen captures on the facebook page of the shop to prove he is the winner.

The advantage is to involve all the community, and beyond… The best part is that I don’t think  it would dramatically increase the cost of an advertisement campaign (either digital or traditional), and au contraire it is totally compatible. Obviously this is just a rough draft of an idea that has to be thought through. Indeed it requires to dive into the network of  music, and music instruments websites, and blogs but this is exactly what it takes to implement a real, and efficient social media presence strategy.

I know that this post won’t be interesting to most readers, and I am aware of the fact that I am kinda speaking for my kind (though if had to organize such an operation I would definitely exclude my own blogs)… But I damn I am sure that this would be a great, fun and interesting operation!!

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