Lately, gamification has been the way forward for businesses to drive greater user engagement. It has emerged as one of the effective methodologies to create a brand identity in an age where competition has raised the bar for a brand to stand out and gain recognition. It has led companies to go the extra mile for ensuring they offer experiences that leave a long-lasting impression on consumers and introduce gamification.
Gamification, a term coined way back in 2002, is the process of using games and related designs in the marketing context. It adds fun elements that make their remarkable presence felt when a consumer is interacting with the brand. It is, thus, extensively used as a marketing method to drive deeper engagement from customers.
Additionally, it also helps in creating brand advocates; customers who, inspired by the innovatively projected messages or interactions, take an effort to spread the word about the brand.
Many factors come into play when introducing gamification to your marketing techniques. They have different attractive formats that capture customer’s attention and motivate them to act.
Point scoring mechanics
Although known for their extensive use on gaming interfaces, point scoring mechanisms have brought significant growth in engagement when introduced in the marketing environment. These mechanics are typically made up of scoring pointers like bonuses, countdowns, escalating levels, etc. These mechanics are affected by game-like dynamics including but not limited to urgency, rewards, competition, status-building and pride.
The rule of thumb followed when introducing these point scoring mechanisms is that the visual reward is given for particular behaviour. These rewards offer inclusion of privileges or prizes. These introductions have been known to generate extensive engagement like –
- A boost in the value of every purchase
- Increased purchasing frequency
- Encouragement in the usage of newer selling channels
- Drive engagement for newer products or services
- Obtaining feedback
- New customer acquisition
- A boost in upselling or cross-selling
Gamification – more effective on a mobile phone
The tool has been perceived to be more effective on the mobile platform as the interaction channel helps in easy participation. It provides the convenience of acting quickly and effortlessly in the given instance. While it is easier to type a given code for the product to win points or sweepstakes, it will not provide the same level of effectiveness with mailing requirements.
Also, the customer may forget, or the enthusiasm may die down by the time they reach for their emails. It, thus, creates greater and more effective engagement through mobile.
Time spices up gamification
The tool integrates time-factor as an essential element of the gamified interface. It may be in the form of countdowns, time-limitation challenges, appointments, etc. It brings in the sense of urgency for the customer to act on, leaving them less time to weigh in the result of their action.
Thus, most of the gamification tools involve time factor, leading to greater and deeper engagement. It also helps a marketer plan and implement a communication that is time-sensitive, for example, a communication before or after a purchase or a period that is known for high activity.
All in all, gamification, a comparatively recent entrant among marketing tools, has so far been the number one driver of deeper engagement for brands. Newer engagement criteria under this mechanism are surfacing to create involvement at a greater level.