by Ashley Haugen
Gamification, the act of integrating game mechanics into products or services, has rapidly taken over marketing campaigns. Now, we can check-in for badges on Foursquare, try to beat our various social media scores, and earn rewards for shopping at our favorite stores. It seems like everyone has jumped on this “playful” bandwagon to reap the rewards of engaged customers.
It’s an important trend to be a part of. According to Gartner, Inc., "by 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes.” Even more eye-opening is their prediction that by 2014, gamified services will become “as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon, and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.”
Business leaders must keep their eye on gamification and the benefits it can bring to their brands. Below I have outlined a few of the greatest rewards game mechanics can reap:
1. Response Time
- Immediate engagement by users allows for a faster and clearer feedback loop. Instead of waiting for research results and other time-consuming, expensive reports, gamification often lets marketers immediately see what is effective and what is not. Because respondents are playing in “real-time,” marketers will often see the results of their efforts in “real-time.” Lending itself to the coveted opportunity to make tweaks and changes for a higher success rate.
- Games usually have a clearly articulated structure, quite opposite of our chaotic and undefined lives. Clear calls to action are easy for users to follow and complete. This simplicity drives interaction.
3. Brand Exposure
- The viral nature of gamification increases brand exposure. Most games are meant to be shared and even played in competition with other customers, giving it an exponetial reach. Not only that, but it helps foster brand advocacy, as it rewards customers for using their business. Who wouldn't want to be recognized for brand loyalty?
- Staying on top of trends not only shows that you "get it," but also shows that you have the volition to actually put it into action. Using gamification for your product or service can help encourage a youthful, cutting-edge image.
Whether or not gamification is just a fad or here to stay, it has found the inner-child in all of us. Either way, it's a trend that will only be growing. So what's the next era of gamification? Look for it to manifest in the workplace, as it motivates employees to achieve business goals, participate in health programs and drive productivity.