How a Mobile Phone Game Found 50,000 High-Quality Client Leads

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Climate change has been a growing challenge in Madagascar, with smallholder farmers being particularly affected by increasingly frequent climate shocks. Climate risk microinsurance can improve farmer resilience – if they only knew to take advantage of this new service.
Viamo and our gamification partner, Peripheral Vision International, developed together with GIZ an interactive mobile audio game in Malagasy to educate farmers on the concepts of microinsurance and climate change, and to boost uptake of the microinsurance product.
The game was officially launched nationwide in September 2018 on our existing IVR-powered 3-2-1 Service with Airtel Madagascar. Already we are seeing impressive results that clearly show how effective games can maintain listener interest:

  • More than 100,000 3-2-1 callers have played the game until the end
  • Game players listened to twice as many key messages on average
  • 50,000 callers asked to be contacted when the new insurance product launches.

Creating Audio Games on Mobile Phones
The content for the audio game was developed through field research and human-centered design, to ensure that it is actionable, culturally relevant and entertaining. The human-centered design included:

  • A content development workshop with end users
  • Pre-testing the content for user experience and knowledge retention with end users in the field
  • Iterative improvement of the game-flow following the launch, including live A/B testing

Given the complexity of climate risk insurances, the game focuses first on climate change and how smallholders can react, with the concept of microinsurance only very gradually introduced.
In the gameplay, players walk through seven cropping seasons in a series of listen-then-make a choice steps. In each season, the virtual farmers attend an annual agriculture fair, where the learning and decision-making are framed within conversational dialogue between peers and friends.
Good choices are rewarded with a growing number of Zebus (Malagasy cows) rather than points or money, as it is a more culturally relevant form of game currency. At the end of the game, players indicate if they want to be contacted to sign up for the climate risk microinsurance.
Audio Games Drive Microinsurance Adoption
Once the insurance product is developed and launched, we will already have a list of quality leads (who have consented for us to collect their data and contact them) with demographic information like age, gender, and location. We could also use patterns on the 3-2-1 Service as proxy for interest in specific topics.
This information will then serve to segment the farmers and help the insurance company to prioritize their outreach.
Moving forward, we are continuing to A/B test different ways to develop the game further. We will re-design it once the microinsurance becomes available for farmers, to incorporate information about how the specific insurance product works. We look forward to sharing conversion rates in the coming months, once the microinsurance product launches.
Written By Sarah Favrichon, Lukas Borkowski, and Jennifer Henderson.
Project PrAda: Project Adaptation of agricultural value chains to climate change is co-funded by the Ministry for Economic cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU). The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the project.
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