A recent survey conducted at digital marketing conference ad:tech reveals that while three-quarters of marketers believe consumers are more likely to respond to gamebased marketing mechanics, only a quarter have used such tactics.

But increasingly, grocery brands are harnessing game design techniques and mechanics. Kellogg’s, with its Krave Krusader game, is one. No surprise, really – Facebook games like Farmville are huge business and gaming can appeal to a range of demographics. But it’s a big commitment, and companies should make sure they understand what’s involved.

First, don’t just make a game because it’s fashionable. It needs to fit the brand, the target audience and get the right messages across.

Second, do it properly. You can’t just dip your toe in and hope for the best. A Facebook game, for example, has to be entertaining and engaging for people to spend time with it. You don’t need Hollywood production values but you do need compelling gameplay. For that reason, get a specialist to build it.

Third, understand how people may want to interact on different levels. Often the ideal is to build a game that’s easy to dip into and play, as that’s where the majority of people are most likely to interact. But a smaller number of people are going to download stuff or submit their own content. Think about who you want to do what.

Taking the game out to the physical world (ie mobile) is important. It’s here that play will most likely translate into purchase. Sales opportunities can be driven by building in-store experiences into the game via, for example, custom-built stands with embedded technology, using augmented reality to bring PoS into the gameplay or using QR codes on pack. Of course, often this means getting retailers on board as well.

Finally, know what success means and how you plan to measure it. Do you want people to spend more time on your Facebook page or to engage with your brand more broadly? If you know what you’re trying to achieve, you’ll know whether or not a game is the right move for your business.