Turning Gaming into Serious Dollars

Gartner research projects that by the end of 2014, more than 70 percent of Forbes Global 2000 organizations will have at least one games-based application, and that by 2015, half of all companies that manage innovation processes will have “gamified” them.

Game Play in a Nutshell
Gamification is a shared sense of purpose, challenge and reward mixed with personalisation, rankings and leaderboards applied in a multitude of imaginative initiatives. General aims of gamification include driving customer loyalty, motivating shoppers to buy and provision of compelling mechanisms for retaining and encouraging talent.

Key strategies of gamification:
1. Goal setting
2. Capacity to overcome challenges
3. Performance feedback – prompt self-monitoring
4. Reinforcement via rewards
5. Compare progress via rankings
6. Social connectivity
7. Fun and playfulness

Fun is Good for Business
Fun and playfulness generally plays a large part in any gamification strategy. A good example is the Samsung Monopoly B2B campaign that sought to motivate retailers to sell more Samsung phones. Each time an associate made a sale, the receipt printed a unique code to enter through the ‘Samsung Monopoly’ website.

When the retail employee entered the code they would receive one “Bank Dollar,” allowing them to advance one space on the digital Monopoly board collecting prizes at each space along the way. This fun contest with meaningful incentives and opportunities to succeed at each step ensured Samsung kept their brand top of mind for employees and retail partners.

Sport is an obvious beneficiary of marketing driven game play giving fans the ultimate voice when it comes time to selecting the best team or players. A great example is the NRL Provan Summons voting application we recently built giving Rugby League fans the chance to pick their favourite players from 2014 season and then socially share with their mates.

Mobile Gaming
Mobile is a key enabler of game play (marketing related or other) with recent report by the research firm Digi-Capital, suggesting roughly one third of time spent on smart devices is spent playing games. Mobile game play allows a brand to engage its target audience at scale through a preferred activity that fosters social and viral growth.

Final Thought
Don’t over engineer your game mechanic – keep it fun and intuitive. This ensures user engagement and helps drive social sharing and the competitive banter / tit for tat conversations. Earned media that will ultimately help drive sales and awareness.

Importantly gamification should always incorporate some sort of marketing message or call to action to bring it back your marketing objectives.