Who would have thought that marketing and games would be a match-made-in-heaven? Consumers have fun while engaging with their favourite brands, while companies gain valuable data and increase engagement with their customers – it’s a win-win situation! In 2012, the worldwide gamification industry was valued at $242 million. In 2020, that number is expected to reach a whopping $11.1 billion globally. Are you ready to play?
What is gamification?
If you haven’t heard of gamification, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced it already. Perhaps you’ve taken a personality quiz on Facebook or do you remember when McDonalds joined forces with Monopoly to offer prizes with every purchase? Gamification is simply applying the same techniques of a game to your marketing strategy.
What are the benefits?
It drives engagement – an online quiz or puzzle is much more engaging than your average piece of content. Visitors are less likely to scroll past – in an age of banner blindness this is so important! Games are interactive and this appeals to people. Once they’ve completed the game or challenge, they are more likely to share their score/experience and invite their friends to do the same. If your game rewards participants (and it should!), then they are even more motivated to take part and find out more. Without knowing it, customers are engaging with your brand as you provide them with a unique experience that other types of content just cannot do.
Helps to grow your following – as above, when people have fun, they like to let others know – by sharing their experience they are helping you to reach more people and gain new followers. By presenting your product or service in a fun way it is easier for people to discover you, especially Millennials and Gen Z-ers who are more cynical when it comes to traditional marketing approaches.
Data capture – games are an effective way to collect email addresses or other types of useful data from your target audience – they’re more willing to give this information to you in return for a unique experience.
Creates loyalty – many gamification tactics involve rewarding loyal customers. By doing this you are building a brand community around your company and strengthening your relationship with them by recognising your top customers.
Anyone can play – businesses of all sizes can take advantage of gamification – no matter what your budget, there is an effective way to bring games into your marketing strategy and plenty of free platforms to try.
Types of games:
The content engagers: Quizzes, personality tests, weekly calendars (i.e. open a new door each day for a chance to win over a certain time period), guess the picture, hide and seek, priority puzzle, guess the word and prediction
The database growers: wheel of fortune, polls, slot machines, lucky number, scratch cards and spin the bottle
Brand awareness: Puzzles, spot the difference, memory games, sliding puzzle, cups (hide a ball under the cups challenges participants to find the ball), swipe (swipe images left or right to win a prize), drop game and roll the dice
Do’s and Don’ts of Gamification
DO make it original – generic games with no brand significance will not deliver
DON’T gamify for the sake it of it – it’s not right for every brand!
DO give them control – the power of gamification is to empower your customers to be part of the process. Instead of forcing them to play – make them feel like they’ve made the choice.
DON’T make it complicated – a bit of a challenge is expected but don’t make the experience long-winded and tedious!
DO reward your participants. It doesn’t always have to be a physical prize, collecting points or a virtual gold medal – that can be shared with pride – works just as well.
DON’T make it obvious! Part of the fun and addictive element of games is the unpredictability and wondering what will happen next…
DO make it shareable – by using positive/complimentary language your entrants are more likely to share their results with their friends and relatives
If you want to reap the rewards of gamification, give the team at Cunning Plan a call to find out how we can manage the creative and technical process for you.