How are companies utilising gamification in 2013?
What does it mean?
Basically, gamification is the application of game-design thinking in non-gaming contexts. This can be used with many different types of business processes, and can be aimed at getting both employees and customers to participate in typically mundane procedures, such as filling in surveys or reading the content on websites, that they may have wanted to avoid before.
It’s all about modifying users’ behaviours, and not only encouraging them to participate in tasks, but making them want to participate in the tasks. Creating addictive games that can link into a business process and give users the ability to experience personal achievement and progression can be effective in targeting individual consumers as well as other businesses.
How does it work?
The idea is to attract and engage customers by using interaction and participation in their online marketing strategies. Loyalty programs can be improved by introducing gamification principles, such as providing rewards to customers who interact more with the brand.
It can also be used to gain new customers, when they might have been reluctant to part with their cash before. Adobe Photoshop is a particularly successful case that exemplifies the advantages of using gamification:
Adobe asked for help from Bunchball (a gamification platform provider) when they were trying to increase sales of Photoshop, and as a result, ‘LevelUp’ was created. The idea is to teach users how to use CS5 and CS6, but in a fun and competitive way.
The more skills the user perfects, the more missions they complete and the more badges they win, giving them a sense of achievement that online tutorials or reading a manual wouldn’t have provided.
What will the customer get out of it?
Each business that wants to use the idea of gamification has to decide on what will most encourage their customers. This, of course, depends on the type of business, but generally, it will be one of the following:
Money – such as special offers or cashback
Points – which they can add up as they go along
Non-monetary rewards – such as early access to products
Status – give them voting power or a badge for each ‘level’ they pass
Sociability – give users the chance to share their achievements on social networking sites such as Facebook
This last point is important, as many people on Facebook already take part in the variety of games available and use them as interactive tools with their online friends. A point system for social action is one of the biggest motivators in the area of gamification, and as Facebook users are already used to liking and sharing, it isn’t a big leap to interacting meaningfully with your business using similar methods.
If you take the time to plan how both your business and your customers will best benefit from gamification, it can turn into a successful marketing strategy which will keep your clients engaged and happy to learn more about your products or services.