Gamification in Marketing

Brands on social media are constantly looking for unique ideas to engage their target audience. Gone are the days when mere presence on social media was sufficient to attract the customers. In this era of digitization, everyone has existence on social media so brands need to come up with a strategy which stands out and compel their audience to interact with them.  Promotional messages and emails have become ineffective when it comes to grabbing the attention of the users.  Have you ever wondered online games could be utilized as a medium for advertising? Gaming industry has come a long way.  Once looked upon as a source of entertainment, online gaming has certainly evolved into a full-fledged industry with ample opportunities for full-time professionals.

Gamification is the new buzz word in the digital world which aims to change the face of digital marketing by enhancing user engagement and audience interaction. It involves collaborating the gaming essence and mechanics with the existing marketing campaign which promotes products in such a way that generates more audience interest. The primary reason we get lured towards games is the reward, recognition, challenge and sense of competitiveness which we attain out of it. Gamification uses this gaming essence and aligns it with the business objective which brings better outcomes.

Gamification enables the users to gain deeper insight into the brand and their products. The thrill and enjoyment which the user experiences with these gaming apps motivates them to stay connected with the brand for longer duration. This certainly results in increased consumer engagement and loyalty.

Pre-requisites for using Gamification:

  • Brands must identify the goals which can be related and achieved via gamification. Analytics tools needs to be used to examine if the expected outcome is achieved. Brands must choose the metrics they want to measure.
  • Users from different age group would probably like different sort of games. So, the gaming apps must be selected as per the interest of the audience. Brand must analyse which game is most likely to be played by their audience.
  • Brands must choose to offer appropriate reward or incentive which promotes the brands as well. Redeemable reward points, discount coupons, free gifts, titles and early access to products are to name a few.

How Gamification can change the dynamics of modern digital advertising?

1. Creates brand awareness: Marketing campaigns collaborated with gaming console has the potential of reaching a wider and larger group of audience thereby creating awareness about the brand.  The gaming app must be meaningful to which the audience can relate to and should also be a fun to engage with.  The users are most likely to recommend a game to others only if they find it worth playing. Word of mouth does play a key role in promoting the brand. With more people engaging with the game, they are able to educate themselves about the brand.  As per a survey, more than 50% users who play the game end up making the purchase from the brand. 
Nike launched its Nike Fuel band which is a wrist band and the tracks user’s activity throughout the day.  Nike encouraged the users to participate in the game and compete with others.  The winners were offered discounts on the same product.  This gaming app emerged as a huge success and lot of participants ended up buying the product.

2. Attracts the Millennial: Today’s generation expects a lot more from the digital world.  It’s not easy to grab their attention simple because of the fact that they already have access to large amount of information. You need to stand out from the rest by offering
With Gamification, marketers offers rewards in the form of discount coupons or cash benefits to their customers which motivate them to engage with the brand via competing in the game.  Audience get the medium to share instant feedback and more importantly they are heard instantly.  With gaming console integrated with promotional campaign, users get to know a lot more about the product that too in a fun way. 
Audi launched an Audi A4 driving game playing which users got the experience and thrill of driving Audi 4 and use the features equipped in the car.

3. Enhances the user interaction: The success of any marketing campaign largely depends on the reach of the campaign. Through Gamification, users now get the opportunity to participate in the campaign and can directly interact with the brand.  Gaming apps are utilized not only for entertainment but also to advertise the products. These apps are usually designed in the form of a simple game which is addictive which entice the users to engage with it. As the users play the game, they get to know the product better.  Users compete with other participants which make it competitive and encourage the audience to play it repeatedly.

4. Effective product promotion: Gamification brought to the table numerous options for promoting a product which was never used in the past. By offering rewards and recognition to the users, the marketers were able to successfully promote the product along with fun elements added to it.  Users are not forced to view the promotional messages just like it happened in email marketing. They willingly participate in the campaign and share their details. Gamification appealed to our basic human desire for recognition, reward and winning. Spin-to-Win or Scratch-to –Win campaigns are perfect examples of how customers are attracted and offered gifts so they stay connected with the brand.

Five factors for successful Gamification:

  1. Intuitive design: Consider a simple, intuitive, usable, seamless experience design. Gamification design should not be confusing, complicated or weird. In the phone with particular attention to the smaller user equipment and impatient means that eyes cannot tolerate sand.
  2. Behavioral sensitivity: Gamification should not disrupt the daily path of employees or users, but rather a natural extension of existing behavior. Commercial gamification design should keep users oriented to the store, and retailers should also be careful not to annoy users who are occasionally swaying. Similarly, a gamification design that focuses on improving employee productivity should not include unwise designs such as letting employees report their habits.
  3. Balanced design: Early gamification experiments quickly exhausted users, because the speed was not up to speed. The user is tired of competing with the stranger and friends for the mayor, the medal. Gamification should highlight collaboration, meaningful rewards, and keep some random elements that make users scream.
  4. Consistency: Gamification must support business objectives . Gamification can only support smart strategies, not new ones.
  5. Valuable data: The valuable data generated by gamification can be used to make better decisions and solve problems.

Brands that are Gamifying:

  • Microsoft
  • Nike
  • AMEX
  • MasterCard
  • Samsung
  • Dell
  • Verizon
  • SAP
  • Deloitte
  • Cisco
  • Universal Music
  • Stack Overflow, etc.

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