A whopping 25,000 likes, 10,000 shares, and 6,000 comments — these figures are evidence of the power of gamification as proven by M&M in their online eye-spy campaign. Right now, gamification is a marketer’s best friend to produce engagement that leads to outstanding results. The added benefits of interactivity and reward make gamified marketing more attention-grabbing and increases customer loyalty vs. static, traditional digital marketing.
What is gamification?
To gamify something is to use gaming principles to increase the engagement and effectiveness of tasks that range from education to voting to marketing. Gamification enriches the user experience because it adds an extra layer of value to any process, that of reward. Even simple concepts such as “percent complete”, like you might see when creating a LinkedIn profile, is an aspect of gamification.
Some examples of gamification you might be familiar with are popular language learning apps like Duolingo or fitness apps like MyFitnessApps, where you can advance to higher levels in your training as you continue to meet your goals.
Basically, gamification provides motivation and engagement by adding a layer of fun to otherwise mundane tasks, may incorporate a social element, and present data in new ways to spark creativity and interest. Because of this, many companies are also integrating gamification into their employee training programs.
How to utilize the power of gamification in marketing
One key way you can use gamification to boost your marketing efforts is to utilize it for data collection. It is common for marketers to spend inordinate amounts of time on data collection, so much so that by the time the data can be analysed, it is already irrelevant.
By incorporating gamification into their strategy, marketers can provide user points, levels, and even badges for engagement, creation, and feedback in order to increase customer attention and loyalty. This might be used in conjunction with informational sources because gamification is often used to educate, but also in services and software to help users make decisions or reach points of completion (such as with setup).
Speaking of loyalty, aspects of gamification can also be used in customer loyalty programs and reward systems as well and can include metrics such as number of purchases. Starbucks, along with these nine other companies, utilizes gamification in their own loyalty programs.
With gamification, there are also many ways to bring a community aspect to otherwise lone tasks. By sparking your community to engage with one another, you will gain loyalty and a tribalism that leads to lasting customers who feel as if they are truly involved in your business. Gamification has seen proven success in social media contexts. A customer in hand is always worth more than two on the street.
It is common knowledge among marketers that finding a way to stand out in crowded industries is vital to the health of any sales funnel. Gamification is a way to gain immediate attention from customers, in part because it is not consistently used in many industries yet, but also because it allows for deeper branding, more interactivity with your customer base, and often has a graphical element that draws and subsequently holds attention.
In a recent survey, 81% of marketers agreed that interactive content held attention better than static content and almost half (42%) of marketers last year stated that the most challenging goal in content marketing was to create truly engaging content. Gamification helps on both of these fronts.
The most essential aspect of gamification in marketing is the reward. Make the exchange rewarding for your customers whenever you request action on their part.
This includes asking for email addresses, content, feedback, subsequent buys, social media shares, and any other time you want your customer to do something for you. By making their efforts rewarding, you create value for both the customer and the company, and everyone comes away happier.
Plus, if your customers view you, consciously or subconsciously, as a source of pleasure and reward, then they will be far more inclined to do business with you again.
The ways to use the power of gamification in marketing are limited only by your imagination. Literally almost anything can be gamified, and many unexpected industries have begun to use this concept to great effect including the health industry.
If there is somewhere you would like to engage your customers better, start thinking about games and what makes them fun and motivating. Is it completing a goal? Is it cooperation with others? Is it striving to compete against others? Bring this motivation, goal completion, and fun to any aspect of your marketing through the power of gamification, and you are sure to see your numbers rise to the top of the scoreboard.
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