Why Gamification Is The Most Underrated Tool In Business | by Gil Mahesh | May, 2022

Contemporaries do not believe that active actions with pressure and a powerful supply of creativity are worse than consistency in the process.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Many entrepreneurs are accustomed to acting strictly according to the classic promotion strategies, attracting the target audience and marketing tactics. There are those who are closer to modern options. The current generation of people terribly does not like boredom and, moreover, does not want to wait for some result.

Contemporaries do not believe that active actions with pressure and a powerful supply of creativity are worse than consistency in the process. Moreover, if this is tedious, routine work, there is no desire to do it at all, no matter what the final result is. It is much better when the process takes place in the game mode — interesting, with a fascinating effect, and with elements of rivalry. Accordingly, the work on the project will become a kind of level, and the “Boss” will be the achievement of success in the tasks set. Many large companies have launched gamification and were satisfied with the results.

Any company that wants to draw attention to the brand in general and products in particular in a non-standard way should implement gamification — a set of different gaming techniques that are transferred to the business. In simple words, the company launches a game for real buyers with a specific mission: to get personal data, find out an opinion about themselves, buy promotional goods, leave comments for a fee, and the like. This is a kind of challenge but on a more significant scale. And it’s not enough just to come up with and launch contests, hoping to immediately get an effect. Business is not TikTok, and in order to have fun, you need to initially work hard.

To launch gamification, everything will need to be carefully calculated and considered. You need to set a goal, analyze the mechanics and plot of the game, rewards for completing levels, and other features. You don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate all these moments and set the rules.

Gamification works at the highest level for the organization of corporate culture, as well as in various educational programs. In general, the principle of the game can be implemented in absolutely any project. The main thing is to connect your imagination, evaluate the possibilities and give free rein to your thoughts. For example, a customer gets 5 points for buying a bun at a bakery. For the bread of different varieties, from 10 to 30 points are given. For 100 accumulated points you can get delicious coffee for free, for 200 you can get a croissant, and so on. The mission is: to accumulate points. The strategy is simple — you just need to buy more. This is gamification. The main boss/level is obtained by achieving the best gift that is possible.

This approach is being used more and more in business. Gamification has already been implemented by Apple and Google, and these are the largest companies with huge annual incomes. It cannot be said that it is the game mechanics that bring the greatest profit, but the effectiveness of this strategy is definitely there. There is also a sense from the special section of our site “Where to earn”. Good options, interesting articles, professional recommendations — everything is presented in simple language and tested in practice.

For obvious reasons, gamification has one clear goal — to make something better by drawing attention to something. Such a task looks blurry, but it is like a formula: you need to substitute the required data. As a result, the desired goal for development will be obtained. Next, you just need to properly arrange everything and run it.

If gamification is applied specifically to business, then the following main goals can be distinguished:

  1. The attraction of new clients. The presence of game elements allows not only us to improve relations with the current target audience but also establishes a relationship with new customers. In addition, there is an opportunity to bring back old customers who have lost interest in the brand. In the latter case, everything can be done very simply and without problems, because the buyer has come across a brand and knows at least minimal information about it. The main thing is not just to present a unique selling proposition, but to make it creative, bright, and unforgettable. This will accordingly increase the interest of the target audience, and the brand will increase its performance. Originality is now valued in any niche market.
  2. Loyalty work. In the mode of constant competition, you need to try to surprise your customers before competitors in the market do it. To cause the desired reaction, you just need to fuel interest in the project by providing new content. If you update the materials more often, the result will be appropriate. Holding attention will help mini-games on different topics. Even if there is a powerful development that is not entirely on the topic, it is worth implementing it into the project. Sometimes differences in themes only fuel demand, because it becomes interesting why the brand decided to implement this and did not follow the established path.
  3. Guerrilla Marketing. With the help of gamification, you can conduct a good advertising campaign covertly and without publicity. A similar method is used by many top betting companies that introduce potential customers to new promotions and entice them to register along the way. The option is universal and easily suitable for any company, regardless of the type of activity.
  4. Launch of word of mouth. The principle is similar to the previous paragraph — to interest, attract attention, and create a “wave” of rumors and discussions. In general, in every possible way to raise the hype and increase the demand. But without busting, honesty and truthfulness cannot be relegated to the background. If a person notices a catch, the opinion immediately changes and word of mouth will switch to an unnecessary wave. All with the mind and without exaggeration.
  5. Monetization. And of course, one of the most important processes is to take action to improve the financial condition. You can increase profits without any problems, but if the game interests the client and gives positive emotions. Since the buyer is “hungry” over the company’s offer, you can show him more advertising, and accordingly, entice him to make a purchase. Profit increases due to the growth of the target audience and, accordingly, gaming techniques contribute to improving results. If you want to modernize at least some of the above, you should trust gamification. Sometimes it’s more important not just to attract as many clients as possible, but to get an effective resource passionate about the project. They can also be current customers.

In general, there are plenty of goals for the rational use of gamification, and only the main ones, as well as the most popular ones, are listed above. There are no restrictions on implementation and it is worth recognizing the universality, flexibility, and practicality of the approach in any sphere of life. It is worth recognizing that the effectiveness will be different, but if you try hard, then everything is quite possible.

Many people naively believe that the gameplay or the completion of various tasks in the story is gamification. However, this is not at all the case, because one game with subtext and hints will not be enough. Gameplay, story, or tasks are all components of the overall project, such as bricks used to build a house. The main principles of gamification:

  1. Game mechanism. An important element consists of ratings, points, and various reward systems. For the game mechanism, levels are determined for the participants in the system, various interesting moments, and obstacles that appear during the passage. The main thing is to choose profitable rewards, create a loyalty program, or something else. Not always free gifts will be a priority. At Mcdonald’s or Starbucks, one of the best prizes is the right to buy without a queue. The ideal solution for popular places with high traffic. True, if many people win such a gift, chaos will begin. Therefore, it is worth considering the game mechanism at 100%.
  2. Relatively simple rules. It is important to interest the target audience by demonstrating the absence of complex conditions. They really don’t have to be difficult, but they don’t have to be completely simple either. Sometimes the complete absence of requirements in the game mode is welcome — registration, replenishment of the account, checkout or marketing campaign. But in order to receive certain bonuses, it is already worth setting the conditions to medium in terms of complexity.
  3. The basic rules must be supplemented by new conditions. This is not an attempt to complicate the path to achieving the goal, but another option to increase the interest of the target audience. If you immediately dump a bunch of rules and requirements on the client, he can simply get scared or lose interest in such a game.
  4. The loyalty program or referral system. If one client invites friends and acquaintances, and even receives gifts for it, an effective chain reaction will come out, thanks to which you can save a lot on a marketing campaign.
  5. Competition. Without it, nowhere, and if you hold several draws with a large prize fund, then the number of participants will exceed all expectations. Accordingly, millions will learn about the brand, popularity, demand, and demand will be appropriate.

And of course, you need to circle it in a frame or somehow brightly, creatively, and with a twist to indicate excellent chances of winning good prize money. Even if it seems clear that nothing will be won, and the game is tricky, too tricky, then such a labyrinth will only repel. When you want to pamper your customers with generous rewards, you should set priorities and gradually complicate the gameplay. In any case, this will cause excitement and the client will fight to the last to take what is supposed to be.

As for the paid or free basis, here it is worth understanding that everyone and always is drawn to a freebie. If we already set a certain payment, then the final encouragement should be appropriate. The action “Buy 3 products and buy the fourth one too” is completely inappropriate.

And of course, you need to constantly analyze all the results. Whatever the purpose or principle, it is important to evaluate statistics. What the test should be is a purely individual matter. You can conduct a general analysis of indicators by comparing profits with the target audience. The more new customers arrived and the higher the income, the more gamification works at a high level.

Generally speaking, the psychological state of a person in one way or another affects the results of many business projects. In simple words, the decision to buy certain goods depends on the mood. With a positive attitude, you want to topple mountains and please yourself with something. When there is absolutely no mood, then there is no desire to do anything, let alone watch ads, play games, and so on.

It is worth highlighting 4 main groups of people and their impact on the effectiveness of gamification in business:

  1. Aggressors. Such people want to win and do it always. They try to dominate, do not hesitate to remind others of their superiority, and in 95% of cases they are led to the offer “Play this game and get …”. There are not so many aggressors, but if there are any, you can be sure of their generosity. Such people like to influence the fate of others, and competition only turns on and involves even more.
  2. Bonus hunters. These clients are simply profit-hunting and always trying to snatch as many bonuses as possible. That’s all because they have no goal to buy or do something. Received encouragement — went to look for such proposals.
  3. Egoists. Aimed at improvement, personal satisfaction on various issues, and try to brag about absolutely everything. They are greedy and pompous, but if you catch them with competition, they will become aggressors.
  4. Researchers. Gamification for such people is considered a kind of quest. They like something new and interesting, and all offers are “grabbed” on the fly. However, it is not so easy to convince researchers, because they are used to analyzing the situation, looking for pros and cons, and also noticing the smallest details in proposals. Therefore, if the product turns out to be the “best”, and not the “best”, the researchers will have a similar opinion.

In a separate order, it is worth highlighting social workers. These are sociable people who are able to launch word of mouth, talk about offers better than top marketers, and are as friendly as possible, therefore they inspire confidence. They like loyalty programs, referral systems, and other bonuses for active communication with others.

All of the above psycho types are for example only. You can not assign a particular person to a certain type on an ongoing basis. They change depending on the situation, mood, and desires. Of course, there is an established type of personality that meets all the criteria for a certain psycho type, but there are not so many such people.

You will have to spend money on business gamification. The amounts are not the most impressive, but you will need to invest. These investments pay off, and in 80–90% of cases in full and with interest. It is only important to analyze which mechanics are suitable, study the mood of the target audience and plan your future steps to achieve success. If you draw up an implementation instruction, then it will not be so big:

  1. Study the target audience. First of all, you need to understand what kind of game can really interest customers. For this, an old proven technique will come in handy: drawing up a portrait of an ideal buyer. Well, or imperfect, conflicting, and always dissatisfied. When the goals are maximum, it is worth considering both options. What to consider when drawing up a portrait: how attached a person is to the brand’s products, how many purchases have been made before, and what is the total amount of purchases. If you want to introduce an interesting game, you should analyze how much customers are willing to give in order to learn new information or receive good gifts. The willingness to compete is immediately noticeable and this should not be missed — the aggressors are generous and always pay more.
  2. The choice of clear, correct, accurate goals. Gamification is created and implemented not just like another challenge or competition for hype. It is important to define a specific goal and move towards its implementation. If the task is set incorrectly, it is possible to fail even with a successfully integrated game.
  3. Define a strategy. For many, there are no other tasks than those responsible for improving financial results. Making a profit is an important indicator for absolutely all business projects. However, based on the portrait of the ideal buyer, it is worth deciding on the game mechanics and types of attraction. Alternatively, you can use the standard scheme for achieving success, games with elements of fantasy, research, recreation. Also, some people like to break the rules, play out of the script and use everything for other purposes. Therefore, we can distinguish two different types of games and after analyzing all the advantages and disadvantages, decide on the main one. When there is free money, developments can be presented in several variations to choose from.
  4. Implementation, testing. In order for everything to go at the highest level, you will need to make an announcement, demonstration, and present the game on all social networks. Along the way, you can start doing analysis and testing. This will allow you to immediately see the effectiveness of the process in practice.

There is nothing complicated or impossible. You just need to set the right goals and competently approach the task. In order for the game to attract attention and please with the results, it is important to provide simple rules, good bonuses, and, in general, interest in development. Goals should be set as achievable and realistically feasible, supporting the competition. Don’t forget about the marketing campaign either. It can be simple, but effective advertising, without fanaticism and unnecessary costs.

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