Nic Vods­gaard, Enter­prise Account Man­ager, Adobe APAC – @nicVodsgaardLinkedIn

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.