OUR TAKE ON THINGS
Gamification - June 16th, 2012
Gamification typically involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging. Users are given incentives such as points, badges and special offers for performing positive actions. The concept is catching up fast among technology circles and is proving to be effective in various spheres of activity. Gamification works well for brand building and marketing because it thoroughly involves the user.
Following are the ways in which gamification boosts brand building and marketing efforts of a company.
1. Better Engagement: A monotonous task such as filling out an online form/survey turns interesting when gamified. Given the right motivation, chances of better participation are higher. Filling a form is just an example. The gamified engagement can be applied to any marketing activity - an on-ground promotion, getting your customers to Like your page, spreading awareness and so on. Unlike the conventional ways of marketing, gamification fully involves the prospect so that he/she is a participant and not a mere spectator.
2. Spreading brand awareness: Because gamification helps break down huge chunks of information into digestible bits, prospects tend to understand it better. Interactive tutorials or sales literature when gamified, prompt users to go through the entire video or text. This ensures that your prospects get all the information you wanted to impart. Further, people tend to remember things they ‘did’ rather than what they ‘saw’ or ‘heard’. That’s brand recall for you.
3. Changing behaviour through innovation: The interaction level in standard marketing efforts directed at increasing sales and awareness is quite limited. Thus customers have been seasoned to take a passive approach. Gamification, on the other hand, with its simple yet effective means of engaging customers is paving way for a new kind of behaviour – one of interest and even excitement. A game requires you to spend time on it. A gamified marketing approach means your prospects spend more time with your brand. If channeled well, this can enhance brand loyalty.
4. Rewarding the prospects: Sites like LinkedIn, Zynga and FourSquare have proved that rewards are a great way of retaining users. Points, badges, levels, leaderboards and challenges prompt users to go further. People’s desire to compete and keep score can be utilized effectively by brands.
5. Encouraging sales: Clear and simple objectives that are well-suited for gamification invoke instant response. Game mechanics used to educate customers about the brand can be taken a step further to encourage purchase. Rewards, as mentioned above, can help in this direction. The right triggers for targeted behavior can direct the user to take action.
The Chinese proverb, “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand” is closely on the lines of the concept of gamification. We’d like to add a couple more to it, ‘I play and I enjoy; I enjoy and I return’. Go, gamify!