Electronic Arts Inc. is a leading global interactive entertainment software company that develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, wireless devices, and the Internet. EA approached Hot Tomali to develop their first-ever online B2B platform to cement their relationship with retail sales associates as the leading video game retailer in the US market. After all, the video game industry is a highly competitive market, and both offline and online channels are saturated with video game advertising.
Hot Tomali’s primary objective was to find a way to effectively engage retail salespeople so that they’re more likely to recommend EA games to customers. The solution was to develop a proprietary interactive retail training platform: the EA Retail Professionals Program. The EA Retail Professionals Program, which was conceived, designed and developed by Hot Tomali, is an online community aimed at encouraging video game resellers to promote EA games to customers. The basic concept of the site is as follows: salespeople engage in a comprehensive training program for each game, including reviewing a variety of marketing assets for each game (tutorials, walkthroughs, videos, PDFs, images, feature sheets, etc.) and taking proprietary quizzes that test their knowledge of that game. Upon completing tests salespeople receive points, which they can then redeem for EA games, limited edition merchandise, clothing, and other prizes.
Part and parcel to the program is a customized online dashboard that provides a wealth of information for measuring program success. This information has been invaluable for finding innovative ways to increase program participation and further engage sales associates. For instance, the program’s Refer-A-Colleague program, which offers sales associates 2,500 points for signing up one of their colleagues, has experienced a 15% conversion rate.
Currently the site is open only to Best Buy employees in the United States, but will be rolling out to other retailers in the near future. Program participation is entirely voluntary, and to date only one formal communication (an email) was needed to engage Best Buy employees. All subsequent growth has been achieved through word of mouth, colleague referrals, and communications shared by employees on Best Buy’s internal online community, Blue Shirt Nation.