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. In fact, the gamification market is expected to grow to $10.02 billion by 2020.
So, what exactly is gamification, and what are some of the key ways today’s leading businesses are using it to drive results?
Gamification: Applying game-like elements such as challenges and scoring to everyday activities, and rewarding valuable actions with badges, points and more to better engage, understand and retain participants.
Increasing Desired Behaviors
With gamification, the main objective isn’t to turn your entire site into a game; rather, it’s about incentivizing the behaviors that are most closely aligned with your business goals. Are you looking to generate brand awareness? Offer special badges to users that share the most content or products with their social networks. Trying to increase time-on-site? Give users points simply for viewing more pages.
Turning these types of behaviors into competitions or cause for reward with gamification gives your customers incentive for taking these desired actions. As a general rule of thumb, you should be rewarding members for any action of value across your website or app, but here are a few ideas of items you can start scoring:
Fostering Brand Loyalty
Gamification rewards come in many forms, including points, badges, leaderboard rankings, discounts and free merchandise. But one thing is for certain: recognizing and rewarding customers means greater retention and revenue. In fact, statistics show that companies that offer rewards card programs see 46% higher customer spending.
Gamified rewards like giving a consumer free merchandise for reaching a certain level on your mobile app, or offering her a 25% discount for writing an honest review not only increase engagement, but also make 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 your brand. Not only is there an opportunity to collect more data, but the data collected through gamification is also more accurate: 51% of consumers agree that if a layer of competition were added to everyday activities, they would pay more attention to their behaviors.
This means that when customers 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 even use the information they collect via loyalty programs to see which gamified activities motivate customers to convert, and further incentivize these 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 customer interactions, just like in B2B lead scoring, B2C brands can better gauge how likely an individual customer 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% of shoppers who share products on 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 customers’ likelihood to convert.
As consumer attention continues to grow increasingly difficult to command and engagement becomes the new standard for conversion, understanding how gamification works and can help your business will make all the difference when it comes to building customer relationships.
By Rachel Serpa