By Nicola Finn – OggaDoon

As the Covid-19 pandemic hit, many businesses had to move online overnight and work out solutions to engage with customers and internal teams. The Covid-19 pandemic also drove mobile gaming apps and solutions to a whole different level.

This is not anticipated to slow down any time soon, according to a study carried out by Newzoo, gamification is predicted to reach 180 billion Euros during 2021, with a 100% growth. The pandemic may well have created the perfect storm for gamification especially as it created an opportunity to drive engagement whilst face to face interaction has been limited.

The Ultimate Definition of Gamification

So the definition of gamification is “the application of gaming mechanics to non-gaming environments”, and we often add the qualification: “to make difficult tasks more palatable” Growth Engineering.

Gaming mechanics can include points systems, badges, levels and rewards that motivate your target audience to jump and get on with a simple task, making them more fun. Many gamification initiatives reward the user for completing a desired task.

It doesn’t have to be purely digital, think coffee shop loyalty card points, to a reward chart on a classroom wall; as the concept goes digital it can move over to a digital leader board, on mobile apps, websites or the full-on creation of virtual or augmented reality environments. All vehicles aimed at encouraging the gamer to get more points, advance to an end game and strive for further improvements.

The process of gamification feeds our innate desire for status, competition and achievement whilst at the same time creates a sense of being part of something bigger, perhaps part of a wider social community. This is a great vehicle to create brand awareness, increase sales or drive behavioural change with both internal and external stakeholders.

Large Enterprise Gamification

There is already a whole host of companies reaping the benefits that gamification brings not just in marketing but also across different functions. Gartner report shows that gamification has now been adopted by more than 70% of businesses belonging to the Global 2000 list of companies.

This trend will continue to grow as more organisations gamify their business operations either through the creation of mobile applications or connected via a learning management system  (LMS) or an e-learning platform. Companies such as Oracle, Hewlett Packard. IBM and Google will help drive this trend, communicating with both internal and external stakeholders, encouraging them to achieve tasks and milestones. Gamification can be used to build communities, create entertainment and more of a team environment.   

Smaller Businesses Going Social

Smaller businesses also have the opportunity to gamify recruitment or marketing outreach to create competitive advantage by ramping up gamification strategies using social media.

Gamification that could be easy to implement for smaller businesses include live polls, video games, rewarding users for liking or commenting on content, creating a user generated content competition or by creating trivia questions on social media.     

Examples of Gamification in Marketing

Furthermore, here are some case studies to give you further food for thought on how gamification can be applied to marketing at different points in the customer journey.

  1. Sustainability

MGM, Sony and McDonalds have all signed up to the WeSpire platform which gives employee users points for completing sustainable actions such as using more environmentally friendly products or recycling. Points are shared on a leaderboard and achievements can be posted on Facebook increasing the reach of social impact across employee social networks to inspire others.  WeSpire.

2. Brand Building

Eye-spy pretzel by M&M’s utilised gamification as part of its Pretzel marketing campaign, a simple gaming using ‘Eye Spy’. Facebook users had to search for a small pretzel shape within a larger M&M frame. 

This easy to design, low cost game quickly went viral and brought great brand awareness for the company and generated great results in terms of engagement, shares and increased sales. 

Result: Over 26,000 likes, 6200 shares and 11,000 comments.  Simple game, great results.

3. Virtual Events and Hybrid Events

In the absence of live networking at events, it is possible to gamify virtual or hybrid events by introducing aspects of interaction or gamification. This can be done by adding live polls, adding interactive prize draw elements.  This event gained record amounts of sponsorship, sales leads and engaged clients and press globally.

4. Gamification of Coffee

Moving from the crumpled coffee reward card Starbucks set up its very successful gamified reward and loyalty program where points mean prizes and they also get to send customers special promotions too.   As of October 2020, the Starbucks Rewards program has over 19.3 million members and generates nearly 50% of its revenue.

5. Gamification in Fashion

Masai, an international clothing company based on clothing fit, preferred shapes, styles and patterns. This personality test now enables them to deliver tailored clothing ranges to its customers in over 100 countries.

These are just a few ways gamification has been applied to grow businesses and enhance engagement with both internal and external target audiences. If you would like to find out how Oggadoon can help your business then please get in touch.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.