Sunday, May 20, 2012

Brands and the Gamification thing...


Gamification is the new black!


Gamification is about challenge, achievement, success, pleasure, but most importantly it’s about engagement. it is about connecting a brand with people through the thing moves the world; competition!


According to the ’2011 Gartner Research Report’, it is estimated that by 2015 more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes. Wanda Meloni at M2 Research, calculates that gamification industry revenue amounted to about $100 million in 2011, but she expects it to balloon to $1.6 billion in 2015.  


At the most fundamental level, gamification is the use of game mechanics to drive game-like engagement and everyday life, we are often presented with activities we hate, whether it is boring chores or stressful works.

Gamification is the process of introducing game mechanics into these abhorred activities to make them more game-like (i.e. fun, rewarding, desirable, etc.), so that people would want to proactively take part in these tasks."

For the last 40 years, consumer expectations have been fundamentally altered by exposure to games. Specifically, this means that our beliefs are about; meaning and value of fun, frequency and context of rewards, and omnipresence of sociability. The simple shorthand is; feedback, friends and fun.


The consumer has changed, and smart businesses must adapt to survive and thrive. The use of gamification to drive social change is a big movement in culture. It’s worth remembering that in early 2010 there were no hits on the term, gamification, on Google; today there are millions.


Gamification is a new discipline with deep roots and extraordinary potential…

Today’s youth mandates a more engaging experience.

Gamification makes things more engaging so people will pay more attention and stay focused for a longer period of time. Seth Priebatsch agrees. “It feels like the next natural evolution of human-technological interaction… as we complete the social layer; we’ll begin construction, in earnest, on the game layer”. The five most commonly used game-mechanics are;points, badges, levels, leaderboards, challenges.  


According to Zickerman, “It’s easier than you think to bring the power of games to your business by adding game-mechanics to your marketing mix with these steps”:

        Ask: What consumer behavior are you trying to drive?

        Assign points to those behaviors.

        Create a leaderboard to display points.

        Develop challenges and message them.

        Make ‘fun’ your goal!

For anyone unfamiliar with gamification, it’s the application of game-like elements, such as; challenges, points, badges and levels to business and other non-game websites.


An estimated 70% of the top 2,000 public companies in the world will have at least one gamified application by 2014, predicts Gartner.


Patrick Salyer believes there are two keys to success with gamification:

One is making sure that all gamified elements are inherently social.

That is, don’t restrict engagement to the internal site community. 

 Award points for activities that reach users’ social [networks] to bring in referral traffic.

The other is to focus on rewarding activities that create value for your businesses.


Companies should weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to get into the gamification game.  

Dustin DiTommaso, suggests that companies think seriously about why they’re interested in gamification and how it could help them meet their business goals.


Before gamifying, he says, a business should be able to answer these questions:

         What is the reason for gamifying your product or service?

         How does it benefit users? Will they enjoy it?

         What are your business goals?

         How do you get users to fulfill those business goals?

         What actions do you want users to take?

Gamification, it’s really not about gaming; it’s about good old behavioral economics using game-mechanics.


According to John Bell; the world of ‘gamification’ is certainly buzzy if not frothy.

Many marketers are talking about it and startups are employing it, as if it were the magic sauce that could overcome anything even a bad business plan. We can easily identify these techniques throughout the history of business and marketing as tools for getting users engaged.


There is wisdom underneath it all and gamification, as a sometime appropriate feature to stimulate behavior change, is here to stay.  


This surge of game-mechanics is all over the Web and is being applied to many things including; brand advocacy, environmental, health behavior, fundraising…


But, how did you sell the company management on the idea of games in a very non-gaming business?


According to Le-Te;  “This is not about games… it’s about strategy and tools for engaging customers and reaching business goals”.

The benefit to successful gamification is that you see an uptick in:

        Repeat visitors/

        Unique visitors

        membership acquisition

        Page views per visitor

        Time spent on site

        Time spent per user

        Depth of visit (which is different than just page views as this implicates an exploration further into the site’s architecture)

        Social sharing (Likes, +1, etc.)


5 brands using gamification well

In the article below there are 5 amazing gamification projects listed. 

and of course 4 successful facebook gaming contests 

Therefore A brand can increase efficiency in the three areas below.

         Innovation: website modernization can increase brand awareness, loyalty and customer engagement. Much more than your traditional loyalty program Microsoft, Google, Playboy, Ford and others have realized these benefits by adopting game dynamics.
         Monetization: DevHub increased engagement rate of 300% and increased revenue for virtual goods grew to 30% of overall revenue within 3 months.
         Productivity: Microsoft gamified software development testing to drive significant improvements and user participation. Microsoft’s Beta1 Game from the Vista release increased beta testers by 400% and their Language Quality Game for Windows 7 had users provide feedback and commentary on 500,000 screenshots.


The primary goal will be not only to increase customer base but also to interact more with existent email receivers, engage them more with places we share and last but not least to increase the value of each email receiver as participant in something which combines social, mobile and location.


Last but not least it can be the marketing and engagement tool in brands and agencies hands aiming to achieve having more loyal customers and returning audience


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