Companies are struggling more than ever to get customers excited about their products and services. The problem is that, while the possibilities have multiplied with rapid digitization, the attention span of users has decreased dramatically. According to a study by Microsoft, the average attention span has already fallen by a whopping 67%. The most likely cause for this is the intensive use of smartphones, where all sorts of content is expected to be readily and quickly available. So, how can you attract the attention of users under these conditions?
Fortunately, there is a good answer to this question: gamification.
What is gamification?
Gamification marketing is a form of marketing that relies on playful elements and interactions. Gamification draws the customer’s attention to the offer, significantly increasing the click-through rate and engagement. It doesn’t just stop at giving the customer a chance to view the ad or an email – it ensures that the CTA is actually clicked on. The nature of the interaction makes the user feel happy to spend more time with the offer. In addition, gamification can help you collect valuable customer data, which can be later used in your remarketing efforts. Be it e-mails, newsletters or discount campaigns – data collected via gamification campaigns can prove vital for your company’s marketing efforts.
Furthermore, brands can create unique experiences that leave a positive impression on the user in the long term. What’s more, by sharing experiences, scores, best times, etc. via social media channels, the user becomes a valuable brand ambassador. So it’s no wonder that gamification is currently one of the most effective marketing methods. And this will not change anytime soon, because we are only at the beginning of the development in this field.
Why does gamification work so well?
The act of playing awakens the child in all of us. We learn through play from our very birth. The play principle continues to drive us from developing our first motor skills, making connections with our peers in kindergarten, learning in school, even while acquiring new skills in our professional lives. Reward is one of the central elements in this cycle. If you have done something well, you will expect to get something in return. A smile, a piece of candy, a good grade – or a raise!
Gamification is a principle we enjoy – and it becomes deeply ingrained in us over the course of our lives.
Another fact that makes gamification irresistible: playing triggers the release of dopamine in our brains. The longer the game lasts and the trickier the challenge, the more dopamine is released. As dopamine is a happiness hormone, few things can match the feeling it brings – which is why we often go out of our way to do activities that cause its release.
How to develop a gamification campaign?
At the beginning of every campaign – whether it should include gamification or not – there should be an objective. What do I want to achieve? And who do I want to reach? These two questions are directly linked. Possible objectives can be:
- Increasing sales
- Increasing engagement
- Optimizing the conversion rate
- Strengthening customer loyalty
- Building / expanding brand understanding
- Revitalization of recruiting
- Motivating employees
Only when you are completely clear about the goals, the question arises how to achieve them. The options are now so extensive that a suitable gamification strategy can be developed for almost any goal set. For a bank, for example, a serious, informative game, such as a quiz about a topic or product, is more appropriate. If I, as a retailer, want to promote my sales in the short term, a wheel of fortune with discounts as prizes can be a target-oriented measure. If, on the other hand, my goal is to create a brand experience, I might go for an action-packed runner game. The right mechanic can be found for each targeted marketing goal.
The important thing is that gamification is seamlessly embedded into the marketing strategy and customer journey. The reason and the approach should be logically comprehensible. And the promised reward should be easy to recognize: redeeming discounts, points, or other rewards should be easy and fun. This is how gamification supports a positive customer journey.
Why is gamification needed?
Not all marketing efforts can have great, immediate benefit from including gamification. However, it this day and age, where it has become incredibly difficult to stand out, it would be almost negligent not to consider using it. In addition to all the primary goals that are to be achieved, gamification has an added value that is worth its weight in gold: the generation of high-quality user data. The mechanics behind data generation are usually quite simple: in order to secure the prize at the end, the user must leave their information, such as name, age, e-mail address etc. In most cases, the user then receives a confirmation e-mail, often with a personal code. If the user confirms this, the double opt-in is complete. In this way, valuable zero-party data can be collected, which can be used for further marketing activities within the framework of the data usage declaration agreed to by the user. Gamification could therefore also be the answer to the great “cookie death“.
People who play want to be rewarded.
As mentioned in the beginning, rewards play an essential role in gamification. This way, the incentive to participate in the game is significantly increased and different reward systems can be applied. Here are some examples:
- Points: Every time the user wins a game, they receive points. These can be collected and later redeemed for a discount or gift. The points system is also popular when buying products (Payback at PENNY Stores is a prime example).
- Level: The further the user gets in a game, the higher the level. Each level is a real sense of achievement. The higher the level reached, the greater the reward.
- Time limit: A limited time frame increases the challenge.
- Leaderboard: To push the competition, names and results are published on the website or social media.
- Progress bar and evaluation: Particularly useful in quizzes and knowledge games to get the player excited for a next round. The message they communicate is enticing: “You can do better than that!”
How can I measure the success of my campaign?
One important criteria for the use of a marketing tool is measurability. Today, no marketer can afford to fish in the dark or act on gut instinct. Budgets are tight and need to be used carefully. Gamification can also convince in this area.
Us at Brame are gamification specialists, and we offer a highly professional analysis tool that can be used to measure the success of the campaign in real time. The dashboard includes general statistics, game-specific analyses and a list of all personal data collected. This not only gives me the perfect overview at any time, but also allows me to analyze parameters and optimize them if necessary. A/B tests for campaigns are also possible to maximize success. Important learnings can be generated from the data obtained, which can be implemented in the next campaign in a target-oriented manner.
With Brame’s gamification, your marketing plans and budget will not be left to guesswork and chance.
Increase attention span, increase sales, increase customer loyalty, increase engagement, generate leads, turn leads into customers, and more. With the possibilities that gamification offers, it is certainly more than just a trend in marketing. Gamification can change the (marketing) world. In times where the application of cookies is shrinking by the day, gamified marketing offers unique opportunities to collect valuable customer data.
The urge to play is deeply rooted in every human being, so the willingness to start the game is correspondingly high. Gamification comes into question for practically every company and every objective. The prerequisites are a well thought-out strategy and smart integration into the customer journey. With gamification, nothing stands in the way of success.