Want to increase your customers’ loyalty and your employees’ engagement? Try gamification. Here’s how you can implement it now.
Nowadays, the gamification trend is spreading to businesses, affecting marketing strategies and employee management. It’s a powerful tool for marketers to showcase their brands and for companies to increase employees’ performance and engagement.
Let’s define gamification first. It refers to applying gaming techniques to non-gaming processes for many reasons: to add fun and interest, to engage, to allow people to experience adrenaline and a sense of competition, and to gain victory.
Including gaming elements to the companies’ strategies results in a mix of fun and business, which makes routine activities more attractive and has significant impact on the company’s marketing and employee performance. According to Gartner, by 2015, almost a half of global organizations will use gamification in their business operations.
But as any new trend, poor implementation puts gamification at risk of falling short of expectations and failing its business goals. Gamification isn’t just about badges, points and leaderboards.
To carry out a successful gamification strategy for stimulating employee engagement, pay attention to the following ideas. (Click here to tweet this list.)
1. Integrate gamification with personal development
When you put gaming elements like scores and points into practice, make them meaningful and valuable to employees’ ambitions and careers. People like self-development, and that’s why gamification must go along with employees’ real achievements, to become a way to encourage and motivate.
Don’t forget to provide people with the ability to share their progress with others.
2. Include rewards and recognition
Employees who achieve good working results through gaming activities need a word of encouragement and recognition to stay motivated. Design your gamification strategy so workers have bonuses and rewards, such as earning “badges,” that visibly recognize their contribution to the business. It’ll positively affect company performance and motivate other employees.
3. Socialize gaming results
Use social network platforms to display completions and leaderboards. This is a way for employees to get to know each other, see others’ achievements and “Like” them while showing their own progress.
4. Combine teamwork and competition consciously
Although these two components of work are equally essential and engaging, they tend to have disastrous effects when taken to extremes. The best way is to balance them so the competitive spirit doesn’t become a race to the top, but rather, serves as motivation for effective teamwork as a platform for realizing personal potential.
Gamification isn’t just a good way to increase employee engagement within the company: it’s an effective way to attract customers to your brand too. Including gaming elements in your marketing strategy will spark customers’ interest.
With the rise of mobile devices, this trend has become extremely popular. By bringing some fun and entertainment to your brand’s interface, you give people a pleasant experience while interacting with your brand, and this experience will enhance their loyalty.
The main goal of creating gaming applications to promote your brand isn’t only entertainment — it’s to lead them to your business offers and motivate them to buy your product. Here are the essential components of a marketing gamification strategy.
5. Use gaming to interact
Games provide interaction and entertainment. Common ways of promotion in traditional media don’t require the customer’s participation, while playing games does.
6. Share socially
Most game developers today include social elements as social media becomes an integral part of our lives. Your gamification campaign should be designed to encourage consumers to share their achievements. Installing and playing your app alone won’t be as effective. Social sharing also extends your audience.
7. Encourage the competitive spirit
Competition raises engagement, so integrate contests into your games.
8. Give rewards and prizes
The results your customers achieve through competition should be supported by awards. Usually they have a digital form like unlocking badges, points and trophies for participation, learning about the brand and reaching certain results. Such digital bonuses may correspond to real bonuses like discounts, privileges and gifts.
9. Provide a unique experience
Any reward or bonus will be useless if the game is boring. Make the user experience enjoyable and friendly, and don’t forget to add some fun. You need to have something special about your game to catch your customers’ attention — and represent your company’s idea.
10. Target audience orientation
Because the goal is to use gamification as a marketing technique, your priority is to define the demographics and psychographics of your target audience and plan the relevant scenario and design.
Gamifying employee management and customer interfaces should both be based on similar principles: learning, exploring, socializing, achieving, obtaining rewards and, of course, having fun.
Andrew Smith is a social media marketer, a web developer in the past, a writer working in QArea, which specializes in providing web, mobile, desktop app development and testing services. Andrew enjoys writing about social media, business and IT technologies.