Gamification: a term coined in 2010 which describes marketing techniques that utilize elements of video gaming as incentives for clients to support your brand. Clients can collect points (like frequent flier miles), compete with other and have fun when making purchases. Gamification also uses loss aversion by setting time limits to collect and use points before they are lost. Gamification has proven so effective as a strategy that it is one of the fastest growing marketing trends.
The Growth of Gamification
According to Gartner: “By 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations.” It’s not just the public’s desire for rewards that gaming focuses on, it also harnesses their desire to compete, for status and for a sense of achievement.
How it works
Gamification uses a number of techniques to get people to participate in marketing programs:
Rewards: Anyone who has ever completed their Subway punch card knows the joy and immense satisfaction of getting that free sandwich when the card is full. They may even take a couple of friends out for sandwiches near the end just to get the reward of a free meal. If you’ve ever spent the extra couple of dollars to get the free shipping, then you know what I’m talking about!
Competition: The essence of gamification is competition and making the rewards and points public encourages people to buy more.
Status: VIP was invented to give people a feeling of elevated status. When you need to buy a little more to get VIP status or a gold membership, people are usually willing to pony for the comfort of feeling special.
Progress status: Knowing where they are in a process encourages people to complete it. A UK study found that patients were far more likely to complete a course of antibiotics if they made the pills three different colours. This meant that the course had a middle, beginning and an end and people garnered a sense of satisfaction at having completed each stage.
Gaming elements: Making marketing fun and getting people to participate in the process gets more results than just showing them adverts. Participating in the marketing process helps people to connect to your brand and encourages active participation for longer periods.
Introducing gamification into your marketing methodology
The name of the game is participation. Need to gather data from your clients through a survey? Offer a reward like a coupon, a discount or a chance of winning a great prize. Include a progress bar so that they know where they are in the process and are more likely to finish the survey.
When boosting your social media, hold a competition with a stellar prize. Get users to generate content for you by sending in pictures, videos etc. Get social media buzz and a sense of competition by giving the prize to the entrant who gets the most likes or comments.
Gamification is a great way to get your audience engages, make a connection with them and keep them interested. Make your marketing interesting, fun and interactive to get the most out of your audience.