We live in a time where our lives move at a fast pace, governed by ever-changing technologies and the constant need to innovate.
‘Gamification’ is not just a new word that made it to the English dictionary; it has become a catalyst, a disruptive agent to our daily life experiences. Gamification is now embedded in everything we use; we’re all users, promoting it — and at times addicted to it, without even realising.
Forrester, market advisers in technology and business, defines gamification as ‘the insertion of game dynamics into non-game activities to drive a desired behaviour’. Put in simpler terms, it is basically the application of typical elements of game playing to other areas of activity.
Now how does this translate to our day-to-day lingo? Let’s see.
As kids, we were always curious to know more about how things worked, so we used to experiment. Sometime, we’d succeed and other times fail. If we take a closer look, gamification has always been part of our childhood.
In a classroom, we were rewarded for picking the right colours, alphabets, animals and shapes. This process of infotainment (sharing information through entertainment) and getting rewarded is gamification.
Gaming elements actually increase natural desire to socialise, learn, compete, succeed and interact. Although an event should not become a game, leveraging the psychology on game mechanics is an important element to keep audiences fully immersed.
In recent years, gamification became another key component of online marketing and digital innovation, to engage target audiences, consumers, potential partners, as well as organisations which use various platforms. These gamifications focus on several attraction methods such as competition with peers, scoring points, setting rules, role-playing and more.
Not only that, even social media platforms have incorporated some elements of gamification. Think of Facebook’s “likes”, or even your Instagram’s “number of followers and the number of “likes” on your photos. The same goes for Twitter and other emerging social platforms.
They all have one thing in common: each one of them gives you a score for the content you share, your performance, or tweets. Rewarding has a satisfactory impact on our emotions and thinking, and that’s what motivates us to keep using our social media platforms day after day.
Gamification is also taking other forms and is now a “playful” component that is sought after by many brands when planning their marketing touch points and activities. An example is Domino’s pizza’s ordering app which has been released in many countries.
The marketing purpose of this app was to reiterate a fresh and innovative side to the Domino’s brand and generate more sales through gamification. The app gave consumers a chance to take on the role as “pizza maker” and make their own pizza from scratch, from adding the toppings and ingredients to placing it in the oven for baking.
This app was connected to the nearest Domino’s Pizza branch and it was then delivered to the customer. The app was easy to use, fun, and rewarding and as a result, Domino’s increased its sales significantly and engaged its target audience in an innovative, fun experience.
‘The Game Report’, a direct marketing exercise executed by Serviceplan, is another example of how gamification was utilised to help visualise technical and financial data for BytroLabs — a ‘game developing start-up’ looking for investors and business partners.
Serviceplan designed a technical business report based on an actual game, allowing receivers of this direct marketing exercise to understand the business aspects of the start-up by playing a fun game that takes the user into obstacles and scoring steps to explore the business data.
To put it simply, gamification is the stimulus that brings out the child in us with an end goal that ranges from sales generation, data gathering, crowd sourcing, brand message delivery, all the way through to keeping our minds engaged at all times.
Let the fun begin.
– The writer is Chief Operating Officer at Prisme International.
– The article was written for Gulf News and published at http://gulfnews.com/business/sectors/media/gamification-more-than-fun-and-games-1.1550036
– Image credits: Shutterstock.com