Gamification is the set of strategies that were imported from the games (games) to improve user experience and engagement across a variety of other business applications.
The term gamification is precisely because these interface and usability approaches have been applied only to games and only in a second moment perceived as useful, for example, for language teaching (Duolingo).
The strategies that can be applied within the universe of gamification are many and every day new mechanics appear to engage more and more players / users. The company Gamified created a real periodic table in English mapping 52 types of strategies!
Main Elements of Gamification
Now for those who are new to the subject and also not fluent in English, I will explain below the most traditional elements and used in gamification:
a) System of Points: Typically, the point gain system is the basis of gamification. Basically, you earn points whenever you perform the desired activity. For example, attend a class or earn miles when you buy on your credit card!
b) Structure of Levels: By accumulating a certain amount of points, you pass level, meaning you start having new features as well as benefits. For example, being able to ask questions in a forum or board a flight first.
c) Emblems: These are symbols, usually visual, that you achieve by repeatedly performing some desired behavior or engaging for a long period of time. For example, play a game for 7 days in a row or eat 10 times in one restaurant.
d) Unlocks: An important part of gamification is curiosity. So usually parts of the content are closed and only the most dedicated and brave will be able to access it! Sometimes the unlocking happens by level, but can also be by time or specific test. In Duolingo, for example, you can unlock advanced content by taking a leveling test.
The Benefits of Gamification for Your Business
By applying at least some principles and elements of gamification in your business, you may already have some benefits. As we have seen in the examples above, the more general elements exist in all types of businesses from restaurants to area companies. Below, I'll explain the key benefits you can expect from this type of marketing strategy:
the structure: In any element of gamification it is necessary to have a structure of progression. Whether it's to make a loyalty card at a restaurant or a mile system. This is interesting both for internal organization of your business and for generating greater trust from the client side.
b) Feedback: Like the structure, every system of gamification creates a new channel of communication and feedback with the user. This creates a greater emotional bond and also more confidence in the entire delivery process.
c) Conquest: By definition, gamification elements create a need for the user to act to receive a benefit in return. One of the most interesting psychological effects is that he begins to manage a sense of achievement and greater participation in building the benefit received. Of course, this also amplifies the emotional bond with the business.
d) Addiction / Habit: This is a most controversial point that hundreds of researchers around the world have researched and written about, but it appears that several of the elements of gamification strengthen repetitive behaviors and engagement at high levels.
Gamification Risks for Your Business
Logically, like any management tool, when misused it can be a shot in the foot. Here are some of the risks you need to consider when implementing gamification features in your business:
a) Too much Complication: If gamification on the one hand makes the offer more interactive and attractive, on the other it adds new information and more complexity for the customer to have to understand and digest. If you become complex to the point of disrupting the direct use of your business value offer, this can negatively impact your bottom line.
Therefore, it is always appropriate for companies that are starting with this type of strategy, introduce elements gradually, also as a way of teaching the client that things will work that way now. On the plus side, it's always important to remember that you can only use a few points points and not the entire list!
b) Forcing Too Much: It's no use putting together a game that gets people to do something they definitely do not want. Gamification serves to amplify behavior, but does not change people's lives completely.
For example, giving points to someone paying an account that they do not want to pay, will not change much the scenario. That is, play in favor of the current behavior of your customers, do not try to change them drastically which will be wasted energy.
Did you like the post? Are you thinking of adding this type of strategy to your marketing plan? See our marketing plan worksheet which can help you structure this!