Games have long been integral to human life. Since the early days, games are means for us to to socialize, learn or compete.
In recent decades, games are being used by brands to win over customers and keep them engaged. Gamification in marketing is not exactly new: consider McDonald’s 31-year-old Monopoly contest. Interestingly, the persistent development of technology-driven experiences caused synergy between marketing and video gaming. As a result, gamification became a significant part of modern marketing. Gamification became important in any business activity that depends on motivation and engagement.
With gamified marketing strategies, CMOs can now drive certain behaviors. CMOs can also prompt users to do tasks that need effort and time.
what is gamification?
According to Gabe Zichermann, gamification is “the art and science of turning your customer’s everyday interactions into games that serve your business purposes”. Gamification takes the core of what makes games so addicting and translates the mechanics that make them work to achieve business objectives.
These “funware” are not cheap, but their potential returns push brands to invest. As per MarketsandMarkets, the gamification technology market will explode from 1.65 billion USD in 2015 to 11.10 billion USD by 2020.
Let’s consider the following use cases to illustrate successful gamified marketing strategies:
1. product marketing and gamification
In 2013, Mars tapped on gamification and social media when it launched a new product, M&M’s Pretzel.
The straightforward and easy-on-the-pocket strategy featured an eye-spy game published on the brand’s official Facebook page. Mars posted a graphic consisting of several, multi-colored M&M candies and lured their followers to find a little “pretzel guy” hidden among the candies. The Eye-Spy Pretzel game went viral fast. It received over 25,000 likes, 6,000 shares, and 10,000 comments.
Nike+ FuelBand is an activity tracker compatible with almost all smart devices. This pioneering wearable allowed Nike to connect with their customers while collecting valuable information about them. The personal data they gather boosted Nike’s targeted marketing campaigns.
Nike+ Fuelband also rewards their users for using the tracking device. Its partner app (the NikeFuel app), links to social media and lets users to share and compare accomplishments. Those who achieve milestones get badges and trophies, which further entices users to support the app.
2. content marketing and gamification
In 2011, Nestlé came up with an exciting campaign for the launch of its ice cream bar, Magnum Temptation. The campaign’s highlight was a smart online skill game called the “Pleasure Hunt”, which was reminiscent of the game “Super Mario”. The striking difference though is that the actual playing field is found in different web pages.
The adventure of its lead character, “Magnum Woman”, happens across unique scenarios. Users gain scores and build their rankings as they collected bonbons while driving and paragliding. The game is complete when the players revert to Magnum’s main page. The players’ bonbons turn into a Magnum Temptation bar.
It was an instant hit on social media. On one particular day, Magnum Pleasure Hunt accomplished an impressive milestone as the most tweeted URL in the world.
Pleasure Hunt is definitely a stroke of genius. Not only does it promote its product, but it also gives a window of exposure to Nestlé’s partner brands through (partial) advertising.
how to start gamifying your marketing strategy
Found below are five crucial points from the use cases, which you can reflect on before incorporating gamification techniques into your marketing strategy:
1. Incentive: Specify how you plan to motivate your customers.
· Ask: Will there be a valid reason for introducing gamification?
· And if so, will there be a strong incentive to make sure that it is a success?
2. Process: If you want to make your users switch to new behavior, then make the gamification process simple.
· Ask: Will there be compelling and logical reasons for introducing gamification?
· Are there current processes in place that can adopt gamification?
· If not, how will the gamification of your content, products or services be managed?
3. Context: The technology must be available across all platforms.
· Ask: Have you identified your right audiences and the right platforms?
4. Objective: The strategy must entice repeat visitors.
· Ask: What do you hope to achieve from the gamification process?
· Is my objective for the short-term or for the long-term?
· Which incentive has the potential to sustain my objectives?
5. Scope: A project scope establishes a clear understanding of your expectations.
· Ask: How long will this strategy take to build and install, and how much will this cost?
Gamification is a brilliant strategy to help marketers increase user engagement and cultivate consumer loyalty. Yet the execution of a gamified marketing campaign can be tricky, as it involves a lot of elements necessary in delivering a unique and addicting experience. Design Prodigy can do that for you.
If you’d like to have a chat about how we make this happen at Design Prodigy, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our growth marketers look forward to hearing from you.