ETIP #97

The Gamification of Marketing

The Gamification of Marketing

The term “gamification” is becoming increasingly popular especially with a little help from Mafia Wars and Farm/Cityville. But these games are just that—games. You log in, play and are rewarded for your participation and achievements. But how do such fundamental game mechanics apply to a marketer, client or consumer?

More and more companies are “gamifying” content that is not normally perceived as gaming material to engage and challenge their audiences. Proximity-based mobile applications like Foursquare excel at this and even corporations are joining in the game to create wellness programs for employees.

Where do we begin? Whether it’s a website, social channel or online game, the priority should be to establish a baseline profile from which you base rewards for loyalty, achievement, status, etc. Then, integrate your game with Facebook or Twitter to import profile information and encourage game sharing with all of the user’s friends and followers.

Some of the key gamification elements include:

  • Storyline and rules
  • Goals and tasks
  • Awards (badges, currency, etc.)
  • Scoring, ranking and “leader boards”
  • Comment sharing
  • Progress bar to show advancement
  • Challenges for and in between users
  • Embedding activities within activities

With all websites, marketers often ask “Why would I want to return?” When you gamify your website, you already have an edge. People enjoy challenges, winning and they revel in recognition of their achievements. Your participation is just as critical so you can observe and make improvements along the way.

Of course, you’ll need to test and adjust as needed but for now, it’s time to get in the “game”!