A Guide to Gamification Marketing

Aug 11, 2022
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For many people, games and other interactive activities are the best way to learn. Games make learning fun and easy, and for many people, games are the source of some of the most memorable lessons they will learn.

If you run a business, then gamification strategies in marketing could provide a valuable solution to boosting customer engagement and interaction. It can also be a way to help users learn more about products and services and become advanced users.

What is Gamification in Marketing?

As a concept, gamification is nothing new. Marketers have been using gamification strategies to market brands and products for longer than you might think – for example, offering incentives such as loyalty schemes to encourage more purchases or to promote more word-of-mouth marketing through referral schemes could be classed as a type of game with a prize to be won. It can be simply for fun, or a competition element can be added to it.

Gamification Strategies for Marketing

By applying fun or competitive gaming elements to your marketing strategies, you’re showing customers that your brand is engaging, different, and worth spending more time getting to know. Gamification marketing is growing in popularity among brands and customers, with surveys suggesting that just under ninety percent of retailers will start using more gamification marketing in the upcoming years. Gamification provides a lot of fun and can be a great way to build better customer relationships and get the desired results for your brand.

What Do the Best Gamification Campaigns Offer?

When done well, gamification in marketing can have incredible results for any business. Some of the aspects that a good gamification marketing campaign might include are:

Competition

Competitions are fun to involve more gamification in marketing and get customers working towards winning a prize. They generate sales, help collect data and create buzz around your brand. Competitions are a simple yet effective way to show that your brand cares about its customers and is prepared to reward them for interacting with your business. Competitions can be a great way to encourage more user engagement as they excite people. And the best part is this can be one of the simplest gamification options for marketing. All you need to do is offer something for free and get competition entrants to give you their contact details to enter. You can also encourage them to share the competition on social media to attract more people to join.

Points or Completeness Scales

Completeness meters or earning points towards something are a trendy gamification idea for marketing. Several sites, including LinkedIn, use this to encourage users to fill in every part of their profile. If you have a website that requires members to log in and fill out a profile, then a completeness meter can be a simple yet effective way to collect more data and get to know your customers better using gamification. Another popular gamification strategy in retail stores is a points-based system. For example, the customer collects a point each time they make a purchase, and after they have accumulated a certain number of points, this entitles them to a prize, whether a free item or money off their next purchase.

Social Badges

Whether it’s something that the customer can add to their profile pictures on social media or a badge that appears next to their name on your forum, a badge can be a fun thing to work towards. Badges signify how far somebody has come in a competition or show off a ‘special’ status, such as a VIP user.

Gamification Marketing Examples – How to Run a Successful Campaign

Games are something that humans have been entertained by for as far back as we can remember. It is unsurprising, then, that gamification is a popular way to make marketing campaigns more fun and engaging for users. Competitions and games make it easier for companies to put their services or products out there, and users get to have some fun with it or the chance to work towards winning a prize. Some factors to consider when it comes to running a successful gamification marketing campaign include:

Understand Your Target Audience

When running a gamification marketing campaign, it’s essential to keep your target audience in mind. Along with all the usual questions, it’s essential to know what kind of games they might be interested in, based on the other things they like. Not only does carrying out market research on your target audience give you the chance to get to know them better and, therefore, market to them more successfully, but it also gives you the option to utilise gamification strategies better and develop games that users are going to enjoy.

Define Your Goals

Along with defining and understanding your target audience, you should also have clearly defined goals for your gamification marketing campaign. Consider the problems that you want your campaign to solve. For example, you might try to gain more social media visibility or increase customer retention and loyalty. Gamification marketing can come with various goals and objectives, including driving conversions, building brand awareness, improving brand advocacy and customer loyalty, or increasing customer engagement.

Drive Interaction Through Competition

Gamification uses interaction as a powerful strategy to build more brand loyalty. Offering prizes or simply giving users the sense of achievement that comes with badges or finished completeness scales can create a sense of competition in your users and keep them engaged and returning for more.

Make the Game Appealing

Games and competitions you use for marketing should look and feel suitable for users. Using game types, your target audience already knows or has some idea how to play is usually better than inventing an entirely new game. While you could come up with something new, this might backfire if your users aren’t interested in spending time figuring out how to play. Instead, find a game that is already quite popular and determine how it can be applied to your marketing efforts. Spend your time and effort improving the game’s visual aspect, making sure that it looks and feels appealing to play and that users will want to share it with others.

Make Things Easy

Gamification marketing should make the game easy and fun for users rather than frustrating. Because of this, the best gamification marketing strategies are usually the most straightforward options, such as collecting points each time the customer makes a purchase that can be used in the future to collect free prizes, gifts, or money off a purchase. Make sure that the program is easy for the customer to use, rather than something they have to spend their time trying to figure out.

Make Sure It Benefits the Audience

The fact is that people will be more likely to engage with gamification strategies in marketing if there is a clear outcome or benefit for them. Whether they are participating in a game or a competition, people need to know that there’s something in it for them to want to take part in the first place.

Gamification in Business Examples

Gamification is a strategy that has been used successfully by businesses of all sizes to market their products and improve customer loyalty and retention over the years. Some examples of gamification marketing that you might recognise include:

Nike+ Run Club

Nike is a brand that puts a lot of effort into ensuring that the customer experience goes beyond just the products. The Nike+ Run Club App increases interactivity and engagement through gamification, allowing users to set training objectives, connect with a community, and measure personalised activities. Users can take part in challenges with badges and trophies.

eBay

While it might seem like just an online auction site, eBay incorporates gamification into its business model in a subtle way. With bidding for items, feedback scores, and user badges, eBay is one of the earlier adopters of gamification in marketing and the customer experience.

Starbucks

The famous coffee shop is another brand that uses gamification to improve the customer experience and allow customers to collect free items. Through the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, the brand gains more customer engagement and loyalty by giving customers the chance to collect points that they can swap for rewards like free food and drinks.

McDonald’s

The famous fast food chain has used gamification for years with its monopoly game. Each year, buyers can collect Monopoly tickets to win prizes that range from free burgers to wads of cash. With the bigger prizes only available after a certain number of specific tickets, it’s no surprise that this game piques interest in McDonald’s and keeps customers coming back.

Turning marketing efforts into a game or competition is excellent for improving customer engagement, boosting customer loyalty, and having fun with it.

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Line and dots