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.
Gamification should reward actions, not completion.
More than rewarding users for achieving a goal is required; you should reward and encourage them to participate in your activities, including purchasing certain products or sharing content about your brands. Therefore, incentivizing their actions will contribute to your campaign's overall outcome and may motivate them to bring people or complete the task.
Is gamification effective in marketing strategy?
After explaining gamification and why it may be ideal for motivating and increasing engagement and loyalty, you may need conviction of its effectiveness. The major pro of gamification is driving motivation. Motivating customers in many areas of your marketing strategies, such as driving specific behaviors or engagement, will improve the outcome of your campaign. When you use gamification in marketing, your following metrics will improve.
Gain insight into customers
Gain repeated customers
Verizon, America’s second-largest telecommunications company and wireless carrier, recorded a 30% increase in browsing time when the brand implemented gamification on its websites. This pointed to the effectiveness of gamification in marketing strategies to attract customers and keep them loyal.
How you can use gamification in your marketing
Numerous ways are there for you to use gamification successfully in your business; some of the strategies include
Contests and competition
As we said earlier, humans are competitive and better satisfied when we win. Therefore, you can use quizzes and competitions to engage customers, who may likely recommend your content to others. Additionally, when there is something to do and win, humans feel challenged for such, such as spin to win. So these aspirational elements can boost your marketing.
For instance, a beverage company can include an airtime offer on the inner side of the cover, making many people buy the drink. Video and picture challenges on social media are other ways to gamify your content, often sparking a sense of community belonging in customers. However, the reward can be something other than monetary, while a complicated challenge may frustrate participants.
Loyalty and Incentives program for repeat customers
Rewarding existing customers through gamification and referral programs can make your marketing more successful. Customers may rack up points by engaging with the brands to level up after reaching a milestone. This idea motivates them to keep coming to buy, increasing their rewards in the process. Additionally, you can embed unlock features when customers perform certain tasks, like creating avatars or skin characters to stick with your brand.
Exciting customer service for your team
Gamification can improve your customer service representative program (CSR), especially when a customer service agent is goal-oriented; the inspired staff will pursue better results. The goals keep them focused on creating a better experience for existing and prospective customers. For instance, a survey shows 89% of employees become more productive, while 88% are happier when their works are gamified. Therefore gamification is not just for customers; it could improve customer service when your staff works towards a goal.
Customize and personalize
People loathe the idea of brands collecting their data, but most businesses must collect data to create personalized and customized products. However, gamification harmlessly allows data collection, as people get rewards for sharing data. For instance, diagnostic quizzes on your website at the beginning of a customer journey can help curate personalized product recommendations for your prospects. Also, a beauty and cosmetics brand may profile skin type, skin tone, lifestyle habits, and others to suggest better products and bundles.
Gamification for companies can boost loyalty, engagement, and sales for brands by including game elements in non-game activities. However, brands should keep it simple and rewarding to motivate customers.