“Life is more fun if you play games” – Roald Dahl
Not only is life more fun when we play games, game playing is an increasingly attractive activity for businesses looking to launch new products. It’s one reason why in 2014, 70 percent of Forbes Global 200 companies said that they had plans to develop at least one gamified application.
Gamification involves imbuing traditionally non-game related activities, like marketing, with game-like characteristics. It’s a fantastic way of increasing customer engagement and motivation while transforming your audience into advocates. Gamification isn’t just for the kids either. According to eMarketer, the average female social gamer is 43-years-old. But where gamification can really help push up sales is by incorporating the practice into promotions.
Transforming Customers Into Brand Advocates
Marketing-saturated consumers are increasingly wary of promotional messaging. At the same time, they have a high degree of trust in recommendations from friends, family and co-workers. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have the potential for turning your customers into brand advocates. Motivating them to do so can be challenging, though. Gamification is a platform to provide that motivation. An excellent example of this is the NikeFuel campaign, in which Nike customers use an app to record their physical activity that rewards them with badges. At the same time, users of NikeFuel were encouraged to share their achievements — branded with Nike marketing branding — via social media.
Increasing Engagement With Your Brand
Not only does gamification turn users into advocates for your brand, it also leads to increased engagement with your brand. Gamification allows brands to set new objectives and create game elements around these. For example, if you want customers to familiarize themselves with new products as part of promo campaign, you could make using that product part of the online gaming experience. Or, if you want to inform your customers about a product’s features and benefits, you could make watching a product video a step to earning rewards.
Turning Your Promo Into A Competition
Most people are naturally competitive. The desire to beat both our own previous score, or those of others, is one of the primary game-playing motivations. By leveraging customers’ natural competitive nature, brands can significantly increase engagement. Tabasco used competition cleverly with their Tabasco Nation Facebook app. The app challenged customers to compete against one another by adding Tabasco sauce to a range of foods, including cakes. The app was so popular that it attracted over a million new followers for the brand.
While the majority of large businesses understand and embrace gamification, the industry is still in its infancy. There’s still plenty of room for innovation and improvement. The brands that will enjoy true success are those that are able to segment their user base, delivering an experience which is as engaging and intrinsically motivating as the traditional video gaming experience.
At MRI, we are experts in applying the concepts of gamification to your marketing promotions. Let us help you make life more fun for your customers while driving up your sales.