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Tania Cheema
Tania Cheema 19 October 2015
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Gamification: A Powerful Digital Marketing Tool?

Brands make use of gamification in their marketing messages as a way of engaging consumers in unforgettable interactive experiences.

If you constantly find yourself playing Candy Crush or some other digital game on your smartphone, you are not alone. There are probably thousands of people out there addicted to digital games as much as you are. But did you know that brands also make use of gaming elements in their digital marketing to engage customers?



Being bombarded with a million marketing messages daily means that brands now have to fight to grab our attention. So in an attempt to break through the clutter, brands make use of gamification in their marketing messages as a way of engaging consumers in unforgettable interactive experiences. In fact, brands across various industries and sectors integrate gamification elements in their online marketing activities.


If you are still not sure what gamification really is, Bunchball simplifies the concept. Gamification can be defined as the application of game mechanics to non-game processes and activities and Postano suggests that it can be seen as a process of merging the fun elements of gaming with the benefits of social media.


So the question remains: How can gamification help brands improve their digital marketing?


Niklas Schrape
believes that in a marketing context, gamification can be seen as a set of game rules that regulate behaviour for strategic purposes. However, Daan Pepijin @DaanPepijn; Cloud Computing, Web Security Expert and Blogger, claims that gamification has become a necessity to not just market a product effectively, but also to enhance other areas of business such as customer service and sales.


Badgeville
adds to this and points out that gamification not only drives the adoption, engagement, sharing and sales of a company, but it also helps bridge an emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. This emotional connection leads to consumers showing greater loyalty towards one brand over another and ultimately becomes a vital force behind building brand equity.


Following this chain of thought, Bunchball states that gamification has become a powerful marketing tool that can help brands turn their customers into fans and fans into evangelists. By using principles such as achievement, status and rewards, gamification motivates people to complete high-value actions for companies.  


Debra Donston-Miller
also advocates four basic principles of gamification (in this article) which help derive engagement. These principles include amplified feedback, persuasive narrative, clear rules and achievable goals. These gamification principles are being employed by all kinds of brands across multiple sectors to increase customer loyalty and brand equity. In fact, popular brands such as Starbucks, Nike and Coca Cola are some of the many that have successfully integrated gamification techniques in their marketing campaigns.


For several brands, making use of a variety of game mechanics such as progress bars, leader boards & rewards (such as badges, titles, points, virtual currency etc) has helped in successfully increasing consumer engagement and brand loyalty.


Do you have any thoughts on gamification as a marketing tool? If yes, please do drop me a line on [email protected]. I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.

 

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