Update – Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Coinland: 60,000 Users (Registered) in 6 Months, New Fun Activites, More Focus on Saving, but Still no Social Media Presence

Last April, after registering myself, I produced a comprehensive blog poston CBA’s virtual money management world for kids

This is an excellent initiative which could really make an impact on a whole generation of kids in Australia. I am keen to help CBA fully leverage social media to help drive awareness, registration, usage, and reach their business goals.

This morning, I received the first email from the service in six month. The email was sent by “Mr Save-A-Lot”. 😉 I thought it would be a good opportunity to publish a short update on this initiative from Australia.

Email Update
CBA-Coinland-Update-60000members-29September2010On the left handside you will find the content of the email.

Basically, the Coinland Team made three main announcements:

* the number of registered members (59,000)
* the opening on a brand new Fun Park, with more games for your kids, a new section dedicated to Platy, “one of Coinland’s most popular characters”
* the opening of more shops to redeem your virtual money (and urge kids to earn more money too), and the introduction of more games and jobs to earn money

My Take
After registering six months ago, I was glad to receive some kind of communication from the service, at last. Please find below a few comments.

* Users: 59,000 vs 60,840? Registered vs “active”? Did over 1,000 users registered in the last 24h? 😉 As usual, it is one thing to communicate on the total number of registered users, but I am curious to find out how many people are using the site on regular basis and how active they are during their session, how the proportion parent vs kid profiles does look like…
In all fairness, virtually no online community would be prepared to share usage stats, except Facebook which is proud to claim that over 50% of its 500 million user base is active on daily basis.
* Introduce new features & content more frequently?
 I haven’t had the opportunity to check any of the new features. To keep the kids interested, it is important to add new features on regular basis; a higher frequency, monthly basis for instance, would  probably work even better. In the press release, Mark Murray, General Manager Consumer Marketing of CBA said“we’ll also be regularly refreshing content to ensure that children have a reason to return”
* I am still not sure the experience is rewarding enough: in my previous post, I said that “Providing fresh, appealing, and fun content is one way to capture the kids attention, but I doubt it is enough to sustain a decent level of engagement in the long-term. Make it more fun, organize competitions, give kids the opportunity to earn points and more importantly redeem those points to get hold of attractive prices such as wii games or clothes.” I am not sure CBA is there yet, but I may be wrong: after all, I am not a young kid any more and I grew up at a different time where technology and games weren’t as available as today, and kid’s expectations weren’t as high…
* Nothing for the parents? I was expecting a bit more on the parent side. I wonder if the CBA Team sent another email focusing on them? At the end of the day, parents are CBA’s best champions: they convince the parents, the parents will (do their best to) urge their kids to use the service.
* Still no social media presence & not much buzz / WOM: I ended my previous post mentioning that “Also, CBA’s success lies in its ability to promote Coinland on their own assets and fully leverage popular social media channels such as twitter, youtube or facebook, to spread the word and attract kids. It is  never too late, but I wish CBA had made sure to do so from the get go…”
After six months, there is still not much to write home about on the social media front: I couldn’t find any page or group on facebook, and no twitter account. I was also looking for conversations and blog coverage about this innovative initiative, only to find old blog posts from April and one recent tweet from CBA’s digital agency.
* Homepage: nowadays, in our world of real-time information and user-generated-content, it is important to demonstrate the level of activity on your social media initiative (virtual game, online community, blog, facebook page, twitter account…) and interactions between members, and show the volume of new content. I may have missed it, but I couldn’t find the content of the email online: CBA, could you please make a blogger’s life easier, as well as maximize the visibility of your initiative and drive more traffic to your site, by launching a news section on your site or even better a basic blog?
How much different would you say the homepage is now (right) compared to April (left)?

Interview with Mark Murray & his Team
I very much look forward to interviewing Mark and/or the Coinland Team at CBA soon to find out more about:
* their goals and expectations,
* their achivements so far,
* the stats around member activity,
* their long-term commitment to this initiative,
* the reasons behind the lack of engagement on social media channels.

Please contact me to discuss into more details and schedule a video interview on Skype: christophe.langlois@visible-banking.comtwitter,linkedinfacebook. We would be delighted to help you to successfully leverage social media, in a pragmatic way.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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