Monday, June 18, 2012

Smart Marketers Are Already Mastering Gamification. Should You Be Playing?

According to, 50% of Facebook log-ins are specifically to play games like Farmville, Zynga Poker, and Words with Friends.

Yes, we love ourselves some games -- and smart marketers are using the gaming passion two ways:

1. To increase efficiency, customer loyalty, and engagement
2. To improve results in marketing campaigns.

Gamification is the term being used to describe this use of traditional game mechanics in non-game businesses.

According to Gartner Group, gamification is the newest type of loyalty marketing. The analyst firm predicts that by 2015, a gamified service for consumer goods, marketing, and customer retention will become as important to companies’ marketing engagement efforts as Facebook and Twitter. Gartner further predicts that in less than three years, more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application. 

Among respondents to the Acxiom/Loyalty 360 survey, only 14% of respondents already use gamification in their customer retention efforts, but nearly one-third (29%) plan to add gamification. At the time of the survey, more than half (56%) said they have no plan to try ramification and will be putting their resources elsewhere. Ha! We'll see about that ...

The Gamification Summit, which is meeting in San Francisco tomorrow through Wednesday, notes that "Gamification is radically changing the way companies do business, driving unprecedented engagement with customers, employees and stakeholders."

The gamification blog notes that enterprise gamification designers and marketers face a unique set of challenges. "We must advocate for the concept and win budget," says Tyler Altrup -- who also says that gamification is a marketers' business, not the stuff of platform managers.

Altrup describes four familiar marketing steps for good design/marketing gamification : set goals, define behaviors, establish rewards/incentives, and -- listen up: here's the key point -- framing the result according to status. "Every gamification program must be framed as a component of a meaningful status for the user," he says.

For more about gamification in the marketing context, check in with this video from Bunchball's founder and chief product officer, Rajat Paharia.

Game on!

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

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