Gamification. Playing the marketing game
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As marketers we are always trying to make our campaigns engaging and successful. One of the best ways to do this is to draw customers in with something that creates participation, fun and a challenge – an interesting process called gamification.
Gamification means creating goals, targets and rewards
The purpose of gamification is building brand awareness and sales, essentially though the backdoor. In effect you’re encouraging your customers to interact with your product or service without them feeling ‘sold to’ or under pressure. Gamification encourages participation by being enjoyable. It motivates customers to engage with and, ultimately, purchase what you are selling. Gamification can be done in many ways, for instance, introducing goals, targets and rewards.
Are there good examples of this? Many. The sites that have voucher codes are based around gamification; sites that allow you to earn points or likes or shares do the same. Most exercise apps now include a goals and targets feature, rewarding users for completing certain targets. Runkeeper, Strava and Zwift are just a few that include gamification – an easy way to encourage users to continue using the app.
Zwift is especially interesting, as it has gone one step further and turned its app into what is essentially a VR game. You can even talk to other people on the app while you complete your workout – which is motivating as well as engaging.
Drawing people in
A good example of gamification used successfully is the McDonald’s ‘Monopoly’ promotion. It’s a much-anticipated event each year, which sees the chain use gamification to engage customers with ‘peelable’ game pieces included on its food and drinks boxes and cups.
There are a ‘limited’ number of prizes to be won, but most people are just out to get their free apple pies or 6-piece box of chicken nuggets. Participating is simple for the customer – they simply peel a sticker off a box – but if they feel part of the game they are more likely to repeat custom. So what is it about gamification that draws people in?
Positive user experience
The psychology around gamification is quite simple. It creates a positive user experience.
Excitement, achievement and satisfaction are just some of the positive emotions felt when playing a game and reaping the rewards. It’s also highly addictive, and that’s how brands can keep their customers coming back for more.
If executed correctly, applying gamification to your marketing campaign could increase brand engagement and loyalty, as well as boosting your sales. Why not give it a roll of the dice?