Gaming isn’t just for gamers anymore. Gamification—the application of game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging— is the latest tool in the marketer’s toolbox.
These days, savvy marketers are using gamification to re-engage consumers who are bored with the traditional, tried and true loyalty reward programs. Indeed, “compared to 2008, 40% more consumers feel that loyalty programs offer them no value at all,” according to the recent Forrester Research Inc report, Building A World-Class Loyalty Program. Companies like Badgeville and Bunchball are gamifiying loyalty marketing programs to enhance the consumer-facing experience and increase loyalty and engagement for well-known consumer brands.
To get your finger on the pulse of what to expect in the gamification arena for the coming year, take a look at the 7 Gamification Predictions for 2013 from a recent blog post by Keith Smith, CEO/Co-Founder of BigDoor, which offers a gamified loyalty platform that powers social engagement through the use of game mechanics. He predicts that:
- Gamification will define the next generation of loyalty programs.
- The e-commerce/retail sector will deploy gamification faster than any other industry.
- Gamification implementations will become more brand specific and allow more personalization of the user experience.
- Many gamification implementations will fail due to an absence of ongoing program management.
- Successful gamification implementations will be cross-device, cross-platform and even available offline.
- Advertisers will embrace gamification as a new growth area.
- Gamification platforms that provide actionable analytics and reporting will succeed; those that don’t will fail.
If you think these predictions sound a bit far fetched, take a look a little closer to home. I did. Personally, I’ve never been much into gaming but I recently found myself highly engaged in a new APP called FitnessPal. I am competing against a friend in Geneva, Switzerland to burn the most calories and walk the most steps in a day. My friend’s high daily totals have fueled my competitive spirit to burn more calories and walk more steps, and of course, win more badges. There is something about making the activity into a game that has increased my motivation to engage—and that is exactly what marketers are hoping to achieve.
Photo courtesy of Ian D on Flickr
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