Gamification is the new online buzzword along with mobile marketing and conversion optimisation. Many of us have already experienced some form of gamification online without even realising it. A number of brands have already taken the mechanics of gaming and implemented it alongside their marketing strategy in an attempt to increase user engagement.
As W. Jeffrey Rice, the Senior Research Analyst at MECLabs put it: “Gamification is referred to as applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more engaging.”
The Millennial generation or Generation Y are those who were born between the mid 1970’s and the late 1980’s. This generation experienced the birth of Nintendo, Sega and PlayStation. This led to Gen Y being exposed to games that included real-time strategy, competition, goal setting and more. Including techniques similar to this in your marketing strategy can help you engage with this generation in a more effective manner.
There are a number of international top brands already using gamification in to order engage more with their end users. Brands such as LinkedIn are using techniques such as progress bars to incentivise completing user profiles. Foursquare offers rewards and badges to the users that check-in the most. The entire Foursquare platform was built around typical game mechanics. Nike has taken gamification one step further with their NIKEiD shoes allowing for full personalisation of your next pair of shoes.
If you think your company is not exciting enough to include some sort of gamification, think again. SAP has an online community network of over 2.5 million users. They used gamification in such a way that allowed users to become an “expert” by answering and helping other users online, similar to how you can become an “expert” in a specific field on LinkedIn Answers by answering other users’ questions. This promoted engagement and solved the problem having to answer every question.
Depending on your company, there are a number of techniques you can use to incorporate gamification into your marketing efforts. If your goal is to increase website engagement, try offering incentives to push users to complete certain tasks such as downloading a whitepaper, or watching a video of your product.
No matter the size of your company, gamification can help bridge the gap between your users and your product or service.
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