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Gamification is changing the game (pun partially intended) when it comes to marketing. Typically, gamification applies to non-game applications and processes designed to get users engaged in desired behaviors. These behaviors drive involvement in a company’s marketing efforts, creating rewards programs for a user’s social action. This can aid and support the growth of an organization and leads engagement that can provide valuable intel on the audience’s understanding of the value proposition.

While marketing itself is obviously not a game, the angles from which marketers capture a certain group may involve gamification. In order for it  to work, the incentives must mean something and in order for them to drive an action, there must be an end goal for the user.. This is where marketing strategy trumps marketing tactics and the strategy is the overall picture, from start to finish, of how the user will engage and behave. Marketing tactics within gamification are the incentives that drive the audience to move towards your strategic goal, which can be to create awareness, make sales or identify new leads. The point is not to make a game but to incorporate game mechanics into a marketing effort.

The word “gamification” has been thrown around the blogosphere lately and has mostly been directed towards the consumer web. This is not its only place in marketing and we should soon see an upward trend toward these tactics in nearly all facets of life. According to a Gartner report, by 2015, more than 50% of organizations managing innovation will gamify their processes.

Have you ever been to a sandwich place that rewards you with a free meal for eating there a certain number of times? This is a form of gamification and this strategy has been catering to the “what’s in it for me” generation for a while now. This generational difference has altered many factors that motivate, attract and retain consumers. While this concept has been around us for quite some time, it is only recently that the word has gained traction and experts have emerged.

Gabe Zichermann is an entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and gamification expert. He paved the way by co-authoring the book Game-based Marketing which makes the case to gamify everyday life, the web and business. Gabe states that, “Gamification is what makes the boring tasks like doing taxes and the like easier by making them more like a game than a task.” Check out Gabe’s deep dive video on gamification in marketing.

Companies like Bunchball is a pioneer in the emerging industry for many large consumer and entertainment companies. A representative states that “By implementing game mechanics across websites, social networks and mobile applications, businesses can engage their users in a more meaningful way and reap tangible business benefits.” This trend is steadily gaining traction and could soon be #1 on the leaderboard of marketing trends. Think you need gamification in your marketing strategy? These 4 reasons will tell you all you need to know.

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