Demystifying gamification in marketing

For many marketers, adding game mechanics to their marketing mix means entering new territory. Here’s an FAQ with the questions we get a lot.

Why gamification benefits business

Everybody loves a good game. When designed wisely, a branded game can open the door to the deeper levels of the human mind that traditional advertising rarely reaches. Gamification engages people for long time spans and motivates them to connect deeper with your brand.

Engagement is the key word and what gamification does so well. Today’s consumers have become more or less immune to advertising messages and reserve their precious time for those few marketers who understand how to truly connect and engage. Gamification in marketing has proved itself to be immensely effective at getting, keeping, and growing customers.

Almost certainly. We have helped companies in as diverse sectors as retail, fashion, energy, banking, and charity (and many more) to get, keep, and grow customers with gamification in marketing. Gamification works for businesses in any industry and of any size. The key is to be open-minded, ambitious, and willing to integrate game mechanics into your strategy to see the full impact. Remember, gamification is not just spinning wheels and tetris – it can also be quizzes, self-assessments, and other valuable activities that fit with your brand and fuel the customer journey in a clever way

Let’s rephrase the question: Will customer engagement undermine your brand? At its core, gamification is about tapping into the motivational drivers of individuals, to engage at a deep level, and this can be done in countless ways, depending on what your brand stands for. Brands that need to be experienced as serious can design clever interactions that both support the brand and help reach ambitious marketing objectives.

Here’s a look at how brands from various industries and sizes use gamification to accomplish their objectives

We recommend you take a look at how you engage customers and prospects today. Ask yourself, “what results does our current approach produce?”. Then consider what it would mean to add gamification in marketing to the mix. Ask yourself, “What result(s) do I expect from using game mechanics and what will it take for us to integrate this approach?”. What we need to identify is the positive change that gamification will bring to your business or brand.

As we get to know each other, we will have a series of discussions to talk about your current business, the challenges you face, and your ambitions and priorities. Then we’ll create a recommendation plan tailored to your business’s unique needs, and part of that will include both tangible and intangible impacts on your business.

It’s not only for lead generation, but it is a powerful lead gen tool. Most of our customers use game mechanics to increase the engagement wherever they meet their audience, whether it’s a well-in-advance planned campaign; on their website, in their app, or to support their ad strategy; or a spontaneous opportunity.

Basically our customers use gamification in their marketing to amplify the experience that their audience has when they interact with the brand.

How it works

Game mechanics are the driving forces in gamification, what makes it work. There are many game mechanics, but among the most salient are competition (‘can I beat the others?’), challenge (‘can I complete the task?’) and mirroring (‘how do I measure up with others?’), reward (‘what do I get in return?’), and have fun (this one speaks for itself).

Skillfully crafted game campaigns using these mechanics creates an opportunity for the players to experience flow and a dose of brain chemicals that make the experience more memorable.

When playing, and afterwards (especially when we’re successful at the game), hormones like serotonin and dopamine are released to make us feel good. So, there you are; your brand has given the customer an experience and a feeling that he or she finds joyful and worth to remember.

‘Gamification’ is the act of adding a playful element to an interaction. For instance, you can add gamification to your customer journey by designing a personality test – a test that builds on gamification principles.

As humans, one of our basic instincts is to seek out play and pleasure. So when a brand or business offers a well-crafted experience using game mechanics, it is inherently more memorable because it taps into a human need to connect, to compete and be challenged, to be rewarded, and to have fun. We see that the more often or the more integrated game mechanics are in our customers’ marketing, the more impactful the experiences are that they create for their audience(s).

Game mechanics’ are the mechanisms in our minds that are activated when we are involved with a game. That is, our desire to win, to overcome a challenge, to be rewarded etc.

This is the backbone of gamification in marketing, a technique that is new to many marketers.

Gamification engages people for long time spans and motivates them to connect deeper with your brand.

Today’s consumers have become more or less immune to marketing messages and reserve their precious time for the few who understand how to truly connect and engage. Gamification in marketing has proven to be incredibly effective at getting, keeping, and growing customers.

Gamification in marketing creates the most impressive results when it becomes an integral part of the marketing strategy and is executed on an on-going basis. ‘Always-on’ gamification can be a motor that constantly and reliably guides new prospects through the customer journey and maintains the connections with existing customers and encourages them to buy more.

One of the great benefits of the Leadfamly platform is that you can design and execute campaigns in minutes, on brand and without the need of outside resources. This leaves you agile and free to make your move when you see fit.

Exactly how gamification fits into your marketing strategy depends on your objectives, your existing media mix, and the structure of your team. Get in touch with us for a talk about your best setup.

We’d love to, and we also need to. We know that gamification in marketing is a new category for most, so we are also very aware that our customers’ success depends on us teeing them up with education and support.

Our promise is that we will help you get value from game mechanics from the get-go; there’s a straight line from the mindset our customers need and seeing the results from successfully integrating gamification in your marketing.

When we first meet, we will help you design a plan for implementing gamification in your marketing. Together, we will define the objectives and how to achieve them. Then we will introduce your team to the Leadfamly platform so that they can begin to execute on day 1. We will supply all the training, online and in person, you need to get a proper start.

Moving forward, you will have unlimited access to our guides, webinars, and articles that will help you go further with gamification than you had thought possible.

Learn more about how we work together with our customers and the collaboration process, in How We Help You Succeed.

For us to work together, we need to determine the economics of your business using gamification. Working with Leadfamly means you get access to industry-leading marketing technology and gaining a strategic marketing partner that will help your company achieve its commercial goals. We know that gamification provides strong business results fast.

But first we need to talk value. That means that we need to understand your ambitions and priorities, the challenges you face today, and then share a recommendation plan.

Working with the platform

It depends on your objective, brand positioning, and the demographics of your target audience.

If you want to source a high number of visitors to a campaign using easily recognizable games like the Luck-based games, that would be a great idea. If you want your audience to learn about a topic, use a knowledge game like a Quiz or Priority Puzzle. If you want to test skill level, then choose a game concept like a Memory Game or Hit The Target.

At the end of the day, a shiny Wheel Of Fortune might not be the best fit if you are a luxury, niche brand, simply because it will probably create a disconnect with your brand positioning and thereby create the wrong kind of engagement.

Here is a full list of game concepts that you can check out.

When building in the Leadfamly platform, you’re basically building a landing page. This means that the landing page can be iframed onto your website, integrated into your mobile app, or as a link sent directly to your audience.

We have over 70 integrations, including for major ESPs (email service providers) and sales tools are available for you to connect to right away, including ones like Hubspot, Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Marketo, and Salesforce. If an integration to your provider isn’t available today, you can request that the integration be built.

Gamification can be used in any place in the customer journey, whether you are looking to get new customers, keep existing customers, or grow customer lifetime value.

That might look like using game mechanics to build brand and product awareness more efficiently or learning about your customers directly from them.

Gamification is a tried and tested way to activate sleepy members of your database and to minimize churn by continuously engaging your audience.

Lastly, it enables you to develop a deeper, more loyal relationship with your customers and to give customers a reason to buy more.

It all depends on your objective(s) and KPIs, but gamification can and will drive deeper engagement.

We collect player data and process it (in accordance to GDPR and ISO27001:2013). Any data that is collected in the game, you have access to and it’s up to you to add an integration so that the data flows into your CRM or provider.

What we don’t do is track players nor do we create player profiles so that you can see if a person engages with multiple game campaigns.

Not at all. But like any other tool, you need to invest time to learn it. There is a learning curve for the platform, but it’s similar to learning how to use any CMS (content management system).

The platform enables you to build engaging campaigns based on 25+ pre-built game concepts. No coding skills are required so you create it, build it, and launch it.

But to be successful, you’ll need to be open-minded and curious, and to be willing to put the work in to create campaigns that will produce strong business results fast.

Of course. You can do that by controlling who in your audience gets the link to the game.