Has business become all fun and games? If you’re a digital marketer, I bet you can attest to the growth of gaming. Once a leisure activity, now it’s intertwined with many companies’ marketing strategies. It’s no big revelation that today’s marketers are always looking for ways to cut through the clutter to capture their audiences’ attention, and traditional tactics like direct mail and advertising are increasingly wearing thin.
Thanks to social media channels and a rise in marketing through viral video content, consumers expect, and even welcome, interactive engagement with their favourite brands. So it’s not surprising that marketers are starting to see gaming as the next big thing for connecting with their audiences. After all, who doesn’t love a good competition? If it’s engagement you’re after, gaming does the trick – by definition, it entails entertainment, focus, thought and achievement. We’re at a point where your local retailer might have a tough time reaching consumers with e-store discount codes, but offer the opportunity to be the mayor on FourSquare, and watch consumers scramble for status.
Another reason gamification is such a powerful tool for marketers is because games result in rewards, and rewards have the potential to exponentially increase customer loyalty. It’s human nature to seek out recognition, and many brands are tapping into this desire to offer digital badges and acknowledgement which consumers can promote on their personal social media profiles.
If you’re looking to weave gamification into your marketing strategy, here’s a resource for you. Bunchball, a leading provider of online gamification solutions and an Adobe Digital Marketing Suite customer, recently published a whitepaper, Winning with Gamification: Tips from the Expert’s Playbook. Some especially helpful pointers include:
- Map your business goals with your user’s interests
- Know exactly what you want your users to do
- ‘Make your point’ – decide how you’ll distribute points to users for their actions
- Devise levels to keep users coming back for more
- Create badges and trophies that pique users’ interest
- Get rewards right
- Enable a real-time feedback system for users’ input
- Set up an option for a team structure to get your audience working together
- Clearly post scores and results to motivate competition and engagement
- Leverage social channels to drive awareness
- Facilitate mobility and geo-location functionality to help people engage on the go
Roll the dice, play your cards or whatever gaming metaphor you want to go with – gamification is definitely making its way into the savvy digital marketer’s toolkit.