By Jessica Duncan
In today’s society gamification is all around us, from earning stars as we buy coffee to capturing badges and climbing the leaderboard while working out from home. Gaming techniques to create interest and excitement have existed in marketing for quite some time but have been amplified as game-play behaviors have become a common component of everyday life. In this article, we share recent examples of gamified marketing and break down the fundamental techniques of this marketing strategy. Creating Excitement and Entertainment Consumers enjoy playing games for simple psychological reasons, they are a fun and exciting way to escape reality or experience a sense of triumph or victory. For marketers, connecting these same sensations to their products or brand is the intended outcome when incorporating game-like tactics. Challenges, sweepstakes, and competitions are common techniques used to engage customers and drive certain actions or desired behaviors.
Achieving a Milestone
Consumers are often driven by accomplishment and the satisfaction of reaching a goal. This is another core concept as to why game-play has emerged across a variety of industries and is a method used to build stronger engagement with customers. Early examples of how companies integrated this technique into their loyalty strategies included the ability to reach a level of status, obtain a higher credit score, achieve a financial or retirement goal, or earn enough rewards to ‘win’ a prize or gift. The strategy is not only about creating the game or opportunity to achieve the milestone but also encouraging and reminding the customer as they go, creating positive associations to the company and the experience.
The Thrill of Competition
For some, the appeal may simply be about winning or the lure of the competition. Messaging best practices for this approach use language that ignites the consumer’s desire to win; “Now is your chance” or “don’t miss this opportunity” or “this prize could be yours” are phrases commonly used to persuade consumers to invest their time and attention to the presented offer. Robo-investing firm, Acorns, doubled down with a recent campaign by presenting two different opportunities to win by taking the desired action of upgrading their existing relationship.
Sharing Our Successes
For a variety of reasons social media is a popular place where gamified marketing advertisements are promoted. This channel is conducive for consumers looking for entertainment or an escape, and it’s also a space where consumers can share their interests, challenges, and successes. Because of this dynamic, social media has greatly assisted a company’s ability to spread brand awareness and capture lead generation through fun and engaging social campaigns. This channel also fulfills several needs for the consumer which include the feeling of being a part of a community and the human desire to be recognized. Mint understood these human-nature tendencies and in a recent email campaign encouraged their customers to share their goals with friends online, allowing them to challenge and celebrate their ‘big wins’ together.
Contributing to a Greater Good
Competiscan views this last theme as a growing area of opportunity with game-play marketing. Consumers are interested in being a part of positive change and contributing to the greater good around them. Therefore, more products and programs are being developed with sustainability in mind. A new entrant in the card industry, the Aspiration Zero Card, recognized the appeal of gamification and included a game-like component to make the product stimulating for their customers. For every
purchase made Aspiration will plant a tree, and with 60 trees planted in a month the cardholder will reach Aspiration’s definition of carbon zero by offsetting their carbon footprint. They provide their customers with an interactive tool to track their monthly status and to keep the engagement, and also the spend, consistent.
The possibilities with gamification are abundant and it can be a fun and engaging way to grab attention and connect to an audience. The diversity of use and concepts will also continue to evolve with advancements in technology and societal interests, making this marketing practice a staple strategy to acquire and deepen customer relationships for years to come.
For more information on marketing trends, Competiscan clients can view our archive of reports and insights at www.competiscan.com
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