Although "gamification" was defined less than twenty years ago and began picking up steam only in the past five, it has seen massive adoption among the business community.
Now, the gamification market is expected to grow 48 per cent by 2019. By applying game-like elements such as challenges and scoring to everyday activities, as well as rewarding valuable actions with badges, points and more, brands can better engage, understand and retain participants.
Increasing desired behaviours
With gamification, the main objective isn't for a business to turn its entire digital property into a game; rather, it's about incentivising the behaviours that are most closely aligned with the organisation's goals.
If a business wants to generate brand awareness, it can offer special badges to users who share the most content or products with their social networks. On the other hand, if a brand is trying to increase time-on-site in order to boost CPM rates, it can give users points simply for viewing more pages.
Turning these types of behaviours into competitions or cause for reward with gamification gives consumers an incentive for taking the desired actions. As a general rule of thumb, brands should reward "actions of value" across their websites or mobile applications, but other ideas for scoring include: purchases, check-ins, joining live events, posting comments, writing reviews, participating in polls and fostering brand loyalty.
These can come in many forms, such as points, badges, leader board rankings, discounts and free merchandise. However, one thing is certain: recognising and rewarding customers means greater retention and revenue.
Statistics show that companies offering rewards card programmes see 46 per cent higher customer spending. Gamified rewards like giving a customer free merchandise for reaching a certain level on a mobile app, or offering a 25 per cent discount for writing an honest product review not only increases engagement, but also makes customers feel valued. Stimulating such feelings of exclusivity and membership results in increased conversion rates and lifetime brand loyalty.
Generating user data
With every click, point gathered or achievement earned, participants are actively sharing information about themselves with a brand. Not only is there an opportunity to collect more data, but the data collected through gamification is also more accurate: 51 per cent of consumers agree that if a layer of competition were added to everyday activities, they would pay more attention to their behaviours
When consumers participate in gamified environments, their actions are particularly meaningful, supplying businesses with high quality insight. These detailed data points can help guide future marketing campaigns across channels like email, advertising and more. Brands can use the information they collect via loyalty programmes to see which gamified activities motivate customers to convert, and further incentivise those actions.
Improving lead scoring
With gamification, B2C companies can also implement a lead scoring strategy to track the engagement levels of their customers. By assigning values to particular interactions, just like in B2B lead scoring, B2C brands can better gauge how likely an individual consumer is to convert.
For example, imagine a publisher assigns ten points for every article shared and five points for every comment left. It is then easy to determine that a user with a score of 100 points is more engaged (and more likely to subscribe to premium content) than someone with a score of 50 points.
On the same note, if 80 per cent of shoppers who share products from an e-commerce company's website go on to make a purchase, then a high score/value can be assigned to that action to help better measure consumers' likelihood to convert.
As consumer attention continues to become increasingly difficult to command and engagement becomes the new standard for conversion, understanding how gamification works can make all the difference when it comes to building lasting, engaged customer relationships.
By Richard Lack, Director of Sales EMEA, Gigya
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