Apply Game Mechanics To Your Marketing Efforts And Boost Engagement

Use of game dynamics is nothing new.  In fact, gamification elements have been used in marketing strategies for a long time.  In my new report, Gamification Of Marketing Strategies Boosts Consumer Engagement, we take a close look at gamificiation through the lens of the Interactive Marketer and answer why it's one of the buzzwords of late. 

Forrester defines gamification as the insertion of game dynamics and mechanics into non-game activities to drive a desired behavior.  We found that there are four factors contributing an increase of gamification’s impact:

  • Consumers want it.  60% of Gen Yers are looking for new ways to entertain themselves.
  • Social media can enhance it.  Gamification motivators- such as status- are enhanced when shared across one’s social graph.  (Elizabeth just unlocked the Foodie Badge!)
  • Vendors can enable it.  Bunchball, Badgeville and BigDoor Media all offer SaaS platforms with game mechanics.
  • Early users have proven it.  HP, Sephora and Bravo TV to name a few.

It’s this rare combination of circumstances that’s made gamification a more common marketing term.  While gamification has widespread applications- from marketing, to loyalty programs to education- it’s brand engagement that is most important to the interactive marketer.  Forrester has previously defined engagement as degrees of the four I’s: Involvement, Interaction, Intimacy, and Influence and we pair up some great examples against each of these in the report.  By using gaming mechanics, such as challenges, group play and badges, marketers can complement current strategies that can be maintained long term.  However, this requires an investment in time, content, commitment and education. 

This report includes a robust glossary of game mechanics and some terrific examples of brands using gamification to boost their marketing strategies.  In addition, I'll be presenting a webinar on September 21st, Gamification 101: Using The Levers Of Engagement, to expand even more on the topic. 

Comments

Similar to something that popped on Marketing Sherpa today

Don't know if you saw this, but Mike Perry from House Party by-lined a piece today called "Life After 'Like': How to Mobilize Your Loyal Audience Into an Army of Active Influencers." Covers a lot of similar ground.

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2011/5907/life-after-like-how-to-...

Fun is good for everyone

Nice work analyzing the contributing factors to the rising success of gamification, Elizabeth. To expand on your examination of Gen Yers looking for new ways to entertain themselves, I would honestly say that most people are typically open to new methods of having fun. From a marketing standpoint, the efficacy of gamification is pretty obvious: by providing consumers with a fun method of learning and retaining brand information, and encouraging them to keep their social graph updated with rewards process, you can drive word of mouth advertising with relatively cheap incentives. Ultimately, a company can lower marketing costs and increase overall conversions with the proper integration of game mechanics in otherwise mundane activities. The key, however, is ensuring that this integration maintains consistency with brand image, complementing it in a way that builds consumer loyalty and aids in creating an aura of ubiquity within that company's industry.

Is that not a primary goal of Interactive Marketing?