Gamification Made Simple
Gamification is a growing trend in the marketing realm. Alluring as the term is and what it embodies may be, marketers must consider if gamification is worth their time and effort. Integration of game dynamics into a marketing strategy requires clarity of vision. Gamification requires a time investment and specialized development resources, and this effort must translate into a competitive advantage to be worth the effort. The truth is this approach can create surprisingly powerful results. Gamification shouldn't be seen as simply another marketing fad.
Beyond all the hyperbole and polished phrases, gamification is traditional marketing goals aligned with reward and achievement through social interaction in a branded contest. The goal is the same: to engage the consumer and inform them of the value and benefit of your product. Gamification heightens consumer engagement with game mechanics. When done well, consumers are exposed to scaffolded challenges that capture and keep the attention of your target audience.
Product-centric game mechanics enhance the gamification experience to create a successful marketing campaign. Through play, users are actively involved, instructed in a product's benefits and converted. Consumer engagement is maintained through achievements and progression, and competition game dynamics provide consumers with clear objectives and challenges that lend themselves to most marketing campaigns. Game mechanics cannot be an afterthought; these strategies must be woven into the fabric of the campaign.
A fundamental principle for gamification is quick and attainable goals that heighten consumer engagement. Whether this is an immediate reward in the form of a badge or long term such as free product, it must be desirable and attainable. By allowing a consumer to share their achievements either on their social networks, leaderboards or through email, marketers not only gain further visibility but also facilitate a competitive environment. Consumers’ competitive nature and desire to deepen interactions with friends will encourage them to continue their engagement with the product on a regular basis.