You've likely heard the term 'gamification' thrown around the office among colleagues. Or, maybe you’ve read about it as a marketing strategy in your favorite publication. It may be a relatively new buzzword in marketing vernacular but it's actually an old concept that can produce strong engagement results for brands that want to interact with consumers.
Gamification can be defined as the "process of using game concepts and mechanics to engage users and change behaviors." It's a simple concept with a surprising number of use cases.
M2 Research projects that companies will spend upwards of $2 billion on gamification services by 2015 and Gartner projects 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application by 2014.
With those numbers and the hype, it's tempting to slap badges and tiers on to a marketing program and call it gamified. Before you do that, it's important to note that Brian Burke from Gartner predicts 80% of gamification projects will fail unless they're designed thoughtfully with business objectives defined at the outset.
Here are three mistakes brands make when planning and executing gamification:
Mistake #1: Not Having A Point
It's a mistake to look for cookie cutter solutions to "gamify" your website. Badges, points and levels are commonly used gamification tactics, but they don't have inherent value. Gamification strategies must be backed by meaningful and interesting incentives to be effective; without them you have a bunch of pointless badges and points and your consumers will rapidly lose interest.
Mistake #2: Assuming Gamification Works For All People and All Objectives
Turning everything on your website into a game is a quick way to annoy your consumers. Not every part of your business and not every consumer is the right fit for gamification. Clearly define your objectives and employ the gamification strategies that will help you accomplish them. Now, that’s easier said than done, but there are plenty of tools available to help you identify the right strategies.
Mistake #3: Not Asking Why?
Applying gamification to enhance your marketing efforts can be a great success, but there are stumbling blocks along the way. If you don't ask "why?" you'll stumble. Why are we doing this? Why will our customers care? Why will this tactic solve my problem? Why haven't other approaches worked? If you can answer why you're probably ready to put some gaming into your strategy; if not, keep thinking.
In the final installment in our gamification webinar series on April 23, we'll help you begin crafting your gamification strategy for maximum engagement. We'll look at best practices, important KPIs to track and measure, engaging business cases, and easy ways to test your strategy along the way.