Friday, April 13, 2012

Simbound: New Serious Game For Digital Marketing Practice

Serious Games to experience online marketing campaigns in a risk‑free environment

Via: Simbound The Digital Marketing Serious Game

Simbound, a Serious Game for digital marketing practice, is nearing the final pre‑beta testing stages. 

Simbound is structured as a bidirectional web marketing learning system, with 2 account types: one for professors and one for students. Learners will experience a real online marketing campaign in a risk‑free environment whilst teachers will be able to monitor progress and evaluate marketing decisions in real time.

Here is an Interview with Louis Havriliuc, Simbound Founder:

SGM: What is Simbound? 

Louis Havriliuc: Simbound is a Serious Game that allows the practice of digital marketing skills. By using a complex model and real-world search data, learners can practice and better understand Search Engine Marketing. 

The storyline is built around a regional insurance office that has started to promote its services using Baigoo – a fictitious search engine.  The novelty lies in the fact that it takes place in a no-risk, zero cost environment whereas with existing commercial solutions you cannot try out different strategies without spending real funds or risking brand reputation. 

The learning outcome includes understanding of online marketing dynamics and industry metrics. Students get in the habit of applying processes essential to launching and optimizing a full online marketing campaign. This, I believe is the future of relevant marketing education.

SGM: Who can benefit from the game? 

Louis Havriliuc: Anybody interested in learning more about how to promote their venture online. University students, Digital Marketing Agencies, Recruitment Agencies and other business simulation providers will be part of this growing framework. As online marketing becomes more competitive, managers and other decision makers will have to know which performance metrics to track while understanding the main drivers for efficient online marketing campaigns. We hope to open up new avenues for relevant e-marketing education for students and professors alike.

SGM: What are some future plans for Simbound? 

Louis Havriliuc: Simbound will come close to world-class marketing solutions in terms of User Interface Elements as well as options and results. This will ensure a smooth transition from playing/learning to working on real marketing projects. We consider including other internet marketing areas such as Social Media or E-mail Marketing in the game. 

Maybe down the road the game could turn into the real deal. Campaigns created by students could be exported to the ad marketplaces.  We are looking to expand the customization options of the platform in terms of game content so as to appeal to more business domains and situations and thus provide a most relevant learning experience. 

Digital Marketing (Search Engine Marketing in particular) can be quite complicated if you have no or little experience. What we want to do is create a smart system that can adapt to the learner, in other words to hone in on user progress and be able to provide tailored challenges and performance assessments. Already we have developed a model similar to search engine algorithms that are used to determine advertiser’s performance and costs paid for ads so this would probably be the next step. 

About Louis Havriliuc 

Originally from Romania, Louis Havriliuc graduated with a MSc degree in International Business at Leeds University Business School (UK), in 2009.

Louis has become a Serious Games advocate ever since he experienced his first business simulation course while at Leeds, thanks to his program director Nicolas Forsans who introduced the game-based learning approach.

Having been convinced by the experience of learning by doing, he has embarked on a journey to disseminate the use of business games for university courses worldwide.

His latest venture is Simbound – the first Serious Game to tackle digital marketing subjects such as Search Engine Marketing.