By Dylan O'Shea Gamification seems to be one of the most popular buzzwords you will hear marketers use when discussing ways to reach consumers in 2014, but is this tactic just another fad or can gamification really prove to be the winning ingredient for a brands marketing strategy?
The Oxford dictionary defines gamification as: the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
Let’s take a look at three reasons why I believe the application of game elements into a brands marketing strategy can be a great success.
- Extended Engagement – Creating a competitive environment or an environment that provides a set of goals and/or challenges gives people reason to engage. This engagement will only increase if reaching these goals/challenges results in a reward. Also, the beauty of creating a game is that it can constantly be updated with new levels, objectives, brand info etc. "Vendors claim that gamification can lead to a 100% to 150% pickup in engagement metrics including unique views, page views, community activities, and time on site." (M2 Research).
- It doesn't feel like you’re being marketed to - By providing your consumers with a gamified experience you don’t get the same response as you would from a traditional marketing tactic. If the experience is compelling enough brands will see that their audience doesn't seem to notice or care that they are being delivered information about their product/service. In many cases users are taking direct actions in response to this info and are not only learning more about the product/service but enjoying it as well.
- Business Building Results – We know people love playing fun games but can these branded gaming experiences actually increase the profitability of your company? As a matter of fact yes, and there is lots of evidence to back it up as well. Companies Getting Results With Gamification.
Those are just three reasons why your company should consider gamification as the primary strategy in your next big marketing campaign but there are many others. I implore you to do some research on your own and think of some cool ideas your audience would enjoy. Whether you are a global corporation like Nike that made an entire product based on gaming principles (Nike Fuel Band) or you are a brand new company looking to make a splash in your industry, the possibilities are endless.
Do you think gamification will become a major focus for companies in 2014? Share what you think in the comments below.