The gamification strategy has been used by experts in the field of marketing over the recent years to help create awareness of a brand as well as to drive user engagement. In one recent study, it was shown that 70% of companies will be using at least one gamification strategy by the year 2015. But what is it exactly? Gamification strategy is defined as the application of game design thinking to non-game applications to make problem solving more fun and more engaging.
Why does gamification strategy work?
This strategy strives to make use of people’s natural desire to be competitive, to achieve higher goals, to improve his status in life and to express himself. Gamification strategy taps directly into these desires. The main premise of this strategy is that it rewards people who accomplish certain tasks. Just like in games, the rewards come in the form of points, badges, advancing to higher levels, filling of a progress bar or even by rewarding the user with virtual currency. Because of these rewards, people are encouraged to perform chores that they would otherwise consider boring. Some of these tasks include completing surveys, employee performance or even something as simple as remembering to take one’s medicines.
How is the gamification strategy used in terms of business and marketing?
1.) Giving badges as rewards
Even if it seems new, businesses have actually been using the gamification strategy for a long time now. Some older examples of this includes frequent flyer miles and frequent shopper cards. With the rise of social media throughout the recent years, rewards became badges for “check-ins” and filling up of progress bars in different social networking sites. Companies, whether they are big or small, have realized a long time ago that giving badges as a reward to customers is a fantastic way to connect to them and to give something back to them for their loyalty. Customers love feeling special and they naturally enjoy it when they are praised for their actions. They love collecting simple rewards as proof of the time and energy that they spent and best of all, they love showing it off to their friends via their social networking sites.
2.) Exciting your customers with challenges.
If you are thinking of innovative ways to create brand awareness for your company through the gamification strategy, you need to always keep things fresh with your customers. How exactly do you do that? You need to keep game challenges exciting by customizing them to your target market. Understanding your customers and the way they behave will be the key to creating games that will sustain user engagement. The challenge set-up must be custom-made depending on the context as well as your target market.
4.) Think about your customer’s demographics.
Any successful marketing campaign for your business should be geared towards making the brand experience exciting and pleasurable for the customer. The best gamification strategy involves understanding the demographics of your customers. You need to integrate games into the brand experience that suit their demographic. Find out the age and the gender of your most loyal customers and create gaming challenges that will excite that particular demographic.
5.) Give incentives for online activities.
The Internet is the world’s fastest growing marketplace and it is high time for you to take advantage of different social networking sites and gamification strategy to create brand awareness for your business. Create contests and give incentives to people who post pictures with your product or who write stories about their experiences with your company. Award them by giving them credits, gifts and special discounts or give them badges on your website. Again, it is crucial for you to understand your customers so that you will know which incentives work best for them.
Engage your customers, keep them excited, make them feel special and you will have loyal customers that will not only give you repeat business but will also help spread the word about your company. With the use of gamification strategy, you will be able to give your customers the best brand experience and you will ultimately gain higher revenue for your business.