The importance of a marketing gamification strategy
What is marketing gamification? What is a marketing gamification strategy? How can you implement a successful strategy?
Marketing is constantly evolving in today’s age whether it is due to technological advancements or new and improved marketing techniques. This is no different with gamification marketing. At first this method was seen as a type of enigma with many marketers but it now provides a number of benefits that are too good for marketers to ignore. So, what is gamification in marketing? How can you implement this strategy?
What does gamification mean in marketing?
Marketing gamification involves combining gaming elements into a non-gaming environment in a bid to improve engagement levels and push consumers to take on specific actions. Marketers should look at utilising entertaining elements in their next email campaign, website or even app to trigger more engagement from their users.
By implementing gamification in marketing, marketers will be able to take advantage of the emotional high that customers will achieve due to the feeling of experiencing a “win”. This will give the brand the opportunity to close the sale on their products or services.
Statistics show that average millennials spend an estimated 96 minutes a day playing games on mobile devices. These same millennials are also very active on social media which means that they can easily spread the word of their engagement with many other potential users.
How to incorporate gamification in your marketing strategy?
Implementing marketing gamification can be quite a fun thing to do, after all, gaming is fun. There are a number of ways in how marketers could implement gamification in marketing, and we’ll take at the top 5 gamification marketing examples here:
Implement real games
This is the most straight forward method. Place your brand in the middle of a game setting. A clear example on how to do this can be found on the US army campaign. There is an official game of the US army that looks to entice youngsters to consider a career in the military. If the players enjoy the game and are drawn into the virtual world of combat then they are able to visit the website to learn more about enlisting.
Loyalty reward program
Reward your customers through a loyalty program but gamify it! Set up your design to make it look like a game – the more money customers spend on your products, the more points they can earn. Once a customer accumulates a certain amount of points then they should be able to cash them in for discounts or prizes.
The best company to follow for their loyalty program is Starbucks through their “My Starbucks Rewards”. Their loyalty program, through gamification, encourages their customer base to keep coming back for more.
Gamification encourages customers interaction. Through marketing gamification, brands will be able to rewards its users that engage on their website/platform.
For example, Samsung gives their users the chance to discuss any issues and also watch video clips through a gamified function. Those who are the most active are then rewarded with prizes such as a badge.
Contests provide fun and excitement for your customer base. Through contests, companies will be able to increase their brand awareness since it will drive up the amount of customer interaction.
One of the best contests to date is the McDonald’s multi-million dollar Monopoly campaign. People will need to purchase McDonald’s meals to take part and collect the pieces. This fun and easy game involves everyone and someone already won a massive $65million in 2017. More importantly, McDonald’s has profited incredibly through this contest and it’s brand awareness, although already high, has increased since this contest was made available, even though they were targeted by many scammers.
Utilise your audience’s competitiveness
What better way to target your audience than tapping into their competitiveness. These campaigns usually work much better when its the sporting industry like Nike. Nike incorporated gamification through their Run Club app which brought the Nike community together. This app allowed users to personalise their training program around their fitness level. Nike also gives you the chance to complete certain challenges and workouts for a chance to win trophies and badges.
What is a gamification strategy?
A gamification strategy involves taking something that already exists, such as an online community or an app and applying gaming techniques to increase customer interaction, brand loyalty and long term engagement. This does not mean that you actually make a game out of your product or service but you apply gaming features. Therefore, how would you implement a successful marketing gamification strategy?
Long term project
Make sure that your strategy is not a one and done type project but make sure that it’s a long-term marketing gamification strategy. Do not put all your efforts in one single event but lengthen it out into multiple games for a longer time to see real results.
Don’t go all in on your rewards
Don’t just advertise your rewards but advertise the competition. It is difficult to continuously fund big rewards, especially since you must take a long-term approach to your gamification strategy. Secondly, if there are huge rewards up for grabs, then people will look at ways to cut corners just for the reward rather than enjoying the whole competition process.
Try and share the scoring framework with your users. This is help the users identify the following:
- How the competition works
- The end goal
- How to succeed
The main goal is not to have a favourite to win the whole competition but to drive new leads, increase brand awareness and create new opportunities for the users.
Everyone deserves to win
When someone wins, don’t just celebrate the top performer. Celebrate those who actually took the time to participate in your competition to maintain high customer engagement.
Make sure your rewards are connected to your brand. If you are a sports company, providing the winner with an iPhone is pointless. Creative rewards that could make a difference, especially on the corporate side of things are – LinkedIn recommendations, invitation to a show, guest post on the company’s blog.
Track and measure
Tracking is an important feature as it’ll let participants know where they currently stand and how they can improve. On the business side it will also help the marketer leading the campaign know whether it is actually driving valuable traffic and leads.
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