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Gamified Education for Companies

What Companies Should Know about Gamification in Marketing?

A popup message appeared on his MacBook screen, “design this avatar with clothes in our clothing line to win a jacket from us.” “Oh, this is beauty,” he said and clicked the message to design the avatar using the clothes and accessories of the brand. After that, he recommended his friends play the same game. He was thrilled as he played with fashion, creating captions for it on his social media pages. He won a shirt and his friend a cap. They were happy; the brand, too. Sharing the challenge, many tried it, and some engaged beyond the challenge with the brand, while a few bought clothes. The gamification strategy resulted in engagement, awareness, brand loyalty, and sales.  

People’s behavior keeps changing, affecting customer behaviors. We are now more empowered but impatient, with reducing lifespan. We crave a stress-free life in every activity, expecting everything instantly, like getting deliveries on an E-commerce store on the day of order, prioritizing instant food without stepping out, or expecting to get down with someone we just met. This short attention span has affected business, including marketing strategies. Creative engagement with customers and prospects needs to be prioritized; this is needed because business growth is rapidly accelerated when human behaviors are the center of marketing strategies. Hence, gamification factors in human psychology, making it coveted in marketing. Customer loyalty is also priceless for business growth, especially in saturated markets. Hence, gamification helps incentivize customers to engage with their brands to bring huge returns.  

What is gamification?

Applying game elements to non-gaming activities, such as education, websites, online communities, and marketing to encourage user engagement and social interaction or enhance quality and productivity is gamification. Brands and businesses use game mechanics to improve their marketing performances, including customer engagement. Such mechanics include points, bonuses, and countdowns.

Gaming works with human behavior; positive reinforcement experienced, such as praise and rewards, will make us repeat behaviors. For instance, a discounted offer causes dopamine release, creating sensations of pleasure, motivation, craving, and addiction. However, if we experience discomfort, our brain is wired to avoid it. For instance, an inflated price will frustrate buyers, causing them to avoid the product and the merchant forever. 

What are game mechanics?

Game mechanics in marketing are gaming actions within a gamification strategy that persuade or elicit a response from the users that make them understand a thing better or achieve a particular goal. Common game mechanics include:

  • Goals: the goal is a game mechanic where individuals have their aim toward a specific objective

  • Status: here, participants work to elevate their level to a higher status

  • Competition: we are naturally competitive, and leveraging this in gamified education increases engagement, participation, and peer competition. 

  • Education: games allow participants to role-play and gain insight and information, such as tips and tricks to navigate processes and engage them. 

  • Rewards: leaderboards, badges, points, and other incentives reward and motivate participants to make them feel accomplished toward a goal. 

How does gamification work?

Gamification works with human psychology, especially motivation. The three core gamification elements that drive motivation are

  • Autonomy: We focus on goals when we drive such activities.

  • Competence: We strive to continue and complete a task when we get better at doing them.  

  • Value: We are likely to complete a task when it is crucial to achieving it. 

However, motivation is of two types, intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation includes external factors, such as money or status, while intrinsic factors are internal factors, such as enjoyment and personal interest. Both types are important in gamification. Encouraging your audience to participate in certain activities often comes through intrinsic motivation to achieve a particular goal driven by external motivation.

For instance, Nike uses gamification techniques in the Nike+Fuel app to connect with their audiences and gather insightful data. The app incentivized customers to track their activities, compete with others, and record activities and performances. Customers completing certain levels receive badges and trophies as rewards. However, this intrinsic motivation comes from healthy competition among customers, while extrinsic motivation is from incentives.  

Nike uses this positive reinforcement to engage customers on their app and encourage them to keep using it. Nike+Fuel also links to social media to allow users to share and compare their achievements and rewards with friends. Lastly, Nike then got customer data from these activities to enhance its content marketing strategies, campaigns, and customer loyalty. 

How to use gamification in marketing

Marketing strategies that help people experience pleasure and alleviate their pain through game mechanics will build your brand equity as people have positive experiences and associations with you. Therefore, gamification helps people engage your brand and patronize you for a long. 

The human attention span is nine seconds – too short to capture attention and communicate with your product and service. gamifying messages work for brands. Such instances are brands using “spin to win, multiple-choice Instagram stories, and more. When you capture attention, the chances of increasing the following metrics skyrocket.

  • Average time spent reading your message.

  • Average time spent on your website

  • Average open and click are

  • Hours of engagement

  • Number of shares

However, you must keep some principles in check to make gamification effective and yield positive results.

Keep the gamification simple.

Gamification should be straightforward for every reader at the first point – you are not creating games but gamifying non-gaming activities. Therefore, you should not complicate the activities with numerous game elements. Overloading your content with numerous elements overburdens your customers and makes it harder to participate and engage. Additionally, participants should believe in seeing the activity's end goal through an achievable but challenging goal.