Everyone knows that there are some tasks in life that are simply unbearable without a proper organization or trick. In other words, sometimes you need to turn a chore into a game in order to be more effective at it. With this in mind, it would be safe to assume that gamification indeed works. Like anything else, once something proves to work, all sides become interested in it and world of marketing was no exception here. Because of this, one of the most important questions here is the following – can gamification marketing help your brand? Here are some ideas that might shed a bit of light on this question.
A lot of people mix these two notions, which is why it is vital that you mention that gamification is not the same thing as gaming. In other words, you are not just trying to create something fun and meaningful. What you are trying to do is compel your visitors to take a certain course of action. Because of this, it is vital that you know a way in which you can make this happen. In other words, even the most fun gaming experience is completely and utterly useless as a marketing method if it doesn’t fulfill this simple condition. In the end, this experience must benefit users in some way as well.
The best thing about gamification marketing is that it allows your users to discover a purpose behind what they do. Every game has its own reward system and hoarding these feats and achievements may be what this is all about. Furthermore, they may look for some sort of social gratification from this, which is why every good game has some sort of ranking table. Finally, some are concerned only with their own performance and mastery of the game, which is where games with the highest skill cap benefit the most. All in all, gamification offers something for everyone which makes it into a powerful marketing tool.
Another thing that can be really big here is that it is in human nature to love gifts. In fact, most of the times it doesn’t even matter how valuable the gift is, and all that matters is that they got it. Because of this, a universal gift card is just a perfect reward. The best thing about this is that a word of reward spreads like wildfire and soon, every single lucky winner is going to lure in more and more of his or her friends. By the end of such reward program, there is usually a significant increase in new customers, which is what marketing is all about.
Another form of gamification that is known to work is turning it all into a massive real life game. The perfect example of this is Heineken’s game during 2013 US Open, where they posted Instagram photos with clues and users had to follow them to win free tickets for the finals. Needless to say, all Heineken’s social media pages (especially Instagram) went through a significant boost, which did wonders for their overall marketing efforts. However, it we needed to pinpoint one single most efficient aspect of this game, it would have to be the fact that in order to win, one had to compete with other players as well. A competitive spirit is one of the best motivators there are.
Last, but in no way least important, is the fact that gamification simply encourages the sense of belonging. In other words, by playing “the game” a player begins to identify with its community and even the brand itself. Adversely, they develop some sort of antagonism towards your competition, which although not deliberately made, definitely makes your position a bit safer. All in all, by exploiting the innate traits of human nature, gamification helps your brand to significantly improve its standings in the business world.
As you can see, in the right hands gamification can turn into a powerful marketing tool, but gamification is no game. What you need is a thorough plan, a course of action and clearly defined goals above all else. By making your marketing strategy more fun, you bring your business closer to an average consumer which is one of the main postulates of modern marketing.
Raul is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com