By: Neil Bromehead, Digital Director at Stratitude

As marketers, we often need to find new and innovative ways of connecting and engaging with our audiences. Sometimes our ideas can feel quite gimmicky or trendy, but one recent innovation seems to be here to stay.

Gamification is the simple idea of introducing game-like elements into marketing, training or other important business activities. It may be trending as a marketing concept, but in hindsight, several successful campaigns of the past have leveraged the idea, and humans have designed and enjoyed games for as long as we can remember. It seems to be part of our DNA to interact with each other in this way, so it just makes sense that we would enjoy interacting with brands and products this way as well.

In a time when our marketing reports are more important than ever, and our agency clients are looking for ways to attract and retain their customers more than ever, gamification could be an interesting and creative way of achieving the goals we set.

Here are four ways we use gamification for our clients:

  1. Stickiness – One of the most important concepts for any digital platform is the idea of repeat visits and ongoing interaction. In the past, this was achieved by changing banners, making sure content was new and fresh, and providing valuable functionality that required repeat visitation. Because games by their very nature are repeat affairs, and humans love playing the same game over and over, we can use this idea to create stickiness on our platforms.
  2. Rewards, Retention and Loyalty – There are some great apps that highlight how this works. The Nike fitness app and locally, the GetMore247 and Discovery platforms, are making great use of games to increase engagement, and reward and retain customers.
  3. Training – Humans learn very quickly in gamified environments. There is a vast amount of psychology that shows how fun, interactive activities provide enhanced learning and training outcomes.
  4. Personalisation – Games are inherently personal affairs. My interaction with a gamified environment will look and feel different to yours, and this creates a personalised environment in which to communicate with customers.

 

Gamification in practice

How do you attract new customers in a pandemic-stricken world? How do you retain existing customers who are looking to cut costs – beginning with their membership? For GetMore 247 it was through the GetMore Games: an aesthetically pleasing creative concept, mixed with complex development, to produce a single, fun and engaging platform that would drive consistent interaction and ongoing stickiness.

Anyone can join the GetMore Games and have the opportunity to win prizes, including vouchers from some of South Africa’s top retailers, a monthly lucky draw for a trending technology product and the monthly grand cash prize. For a chance to win, gamers must answer easy weekly quizzies that are based on the GetMore 247 programme.

Each gamer must complete a quizzie received via email and SMS (learning component), this entitles them to play a game (playing component), which either results in an instant prize or points that move them up a leader board (winning component). The allocation of points ensures longevity and interest in the games.

At the end of the day, all that matters is the bottom line. Right? Well, fun and games didn’t detract from this objective. With points being awarded for every gamer who joined a free GetMore 247 trial, double points for those who joined the standard GetMore membership and triple points for those who joined the GetMore Plus membership, it ensured that new members constantly joining the programme. Lastly, relevance is key when seeking new customers. By aligning the platform to current trends, like ‘’Black Friday’’ and ‘’Cyber Monday’’, and giving away double and triple points and games, it allows for maximum engagement over a single weekend.

 

The longevity of gamification

One of the real draw cards of these ideas, and one way you could convince clients to consider them, is that campaigns and marketing investments tend to be limited to a certain time frame. However, a gamified environment is a genuine investment that, done well, can be used to achieve your goals over far longer time periods. A well implemented, interactive platform can be enjoyed for years, rather than campaign messaging that could last a few months.

From an agency perspective, it also stimulates creativity in design departments, poses difficult and exciting problems to development teams and enhances reports in all the right ways, providing account managers with the ammunition they need to provide real ROI to clients. Done right, it’s also quite simply fun for everyone involved, players, clients and agencies alike.