Gamification: How Games are Transforming Marketing

Gamificiation: introducing the new buzz word for a marketing direction that takes cues from games.  Gamification in its basic form is introducing the mechanics of games and combining them with technology to deliver a unique brand experience for the consumer.

These ideas are starting to be used by savvy marketers as some of the traditional marketing strategies are failing to deliver any return on investment. Consumers are looking for and in many cases expecting a level of reward and more engagement with a brand then they ever have before.

These are the five most commonly used game mechanics, as identified by Gabe Zichermann the author of Game-Based Marketing.

  • Points: Points are everywhere, and they’re often used as a way to denote achievement. Points also measure the user’s achievements in relation to others and work to keep the user motivated for the next reward or level. They can even double as action-related currency.
  • Badges: While badges have their origins in the physical world, Foursquare popularized the digital variety with its oh-so-clever set of real-life merit badges that range from easy (Newbie badges are awarded to users on their first checkin) to nearly-impossible to unlock (it takes 10 movie theater checkins to earn the Zoetrope badge).
  • Levels: Businesses are encouraging mobile users for example to level up and get better discounts for becoming more loyal patrons.
  • Leaderboards: Leaderboards rank users and work to motivate and encourage them to become players. Foursquare started with city-centric leaderboards, but now places the emphasis on ranking users against their friends. Earn a few points for a checkin, and Foursquare will show you which of your friends you’ve flown by on the leaderboard. A great strategy for anyone who is remotely competitive.
  • Challenges: These range from the simple to complex and often involve communal activity or group play.  We have utlised this techniques for our client SpareTicket, where a seller can swap a ticket to say a concert for a challenge.

Isn’t it exciting to be entering an age where communication is only going to be limited by our imagination!

Check out Jesse Schell in this video recored at DICE  last year. It will really give you an idea of where Gamification can take marketing. (skip through to half way for the best bits if you are pushed for time).

Remember Social Media was once a buzz word… today it is a marketing phenomenon that is rapidly expanding and taking a larger slice of even the most conservative businesses marketing budget.

Yours in Gamification.

Belinda