Gamification is the simple idea of introducing game-like elements into marketing, training or other important business activities.

It may be trending as a marketing concept, but in hindsight, several successful campaigns of the past have leveraged the idea and humans have designed and enjoyed games for as long as we can remember.

It seems to be part of our DNA to interact with each other in this way and so it just makes sense that we would enjoy interacting with brands and products this way as well.

In a time when our marketing reports are more important than ever, and our agency clients are looking for ways to attract and retain their customers more than ever, gamification could be an interesting and creative way of achieving the goals we set.

Here are four ways that we use gamification for our clients:

  1. 'Stickiness': One of the most important concepts for any digital platform is the idea of repeat visits and ongoing interaction. Because games are repeat affairs, and humans love playing the same game over and over, we can use this idea to create 'stickiness' on our platforms.
  2. Rewards, retention and loyalty: There are some great apps that highlight how this works. The Nike fitness app, GetMore247 and the Discovery platform are making great use of games to increase engagement, as well as to reward and retain customers.
  3. Training: Humans learn very quickly in gamified environments. There is a vast amount of psychology that shows how fun, interactive activities provide enhanced learning and training outcomes.
  4. Personalisation: Games are inherently personal affairs. Customised gamified environments will look and feel different to others and this creates a personalised environment, enhancing its effectiveness in customer communications.

Gamification in practice

How do you attract new customers in a pandemic-stricken world? How do you retain existing customers who are looking to cut costs, beginning with their membership?

For GetMore 247, for exmaple, it was through the GetMore Games. The approach was an aesthetically pleasing creative concept, mixed with complex development, to produce a single, fun and engaging platform that would drive consistent interaction and ongoing stickiness.

Anyone can join the GetMore Games and have the opportunity to win prizes, including vouchers from some of South Africa's top retailers, a monthly lucky draw for a trending technology product and the monthly grand cash prize. For a chance to win, gamers must answer easy weekly quizzes that are based on the GetMore 247 programme.

Each gamer must complete a quiz received via email and SMS (learning component). This entitles them to play a game (playing component), which either results in an instant prize or points that move them up a leader board (winning component). The allocation of points ensures longevity and interest in the games.

At the end of the day, all that matters is the bottom line, right? Well, fun and games didn't detract from this objective. With points being awarded for every gamer who joined a free GetMore 247 trial, double points for those who joined the standard GetMore membership and triple points for those who joined the GetMore Plus membership, it ensured that new members constantly joining the programme.

Lastly, relevance is key when seeking new customers. By aligning the platform to current trends, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as well as giving away double and triple points and games, it allows for maximum engagement over a single weekend.

The longevity of gamification

One of the real drawcards of these ideas, and one way you could convince clients to consider them, is that campaigns and marketing investments tend to be limited to a certain time frame.

However, a gamified environment is a genuine investment that, if done well, can be used to achieve your goals over far longer time periods.

A well-implemented, interactive platform can be enjoyed for years, whereas a campaign message could potentially last a few months.

From an agency perspective, it also stimulates creativity in design departments, poses difficult and exciting problems to development teams. It also enhances reports in all the right ways, providing account managers with the ammunition they need to provide real ROI to clients.

Done right, it's also quite simply fun for everyone involved, players, clients and agencies alike.

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