Quick Guide to Gamification

Guide to Gamification 

“Some of us are coming to the realization that everything can be viewed as a game, or more properly, as a simulation. A journey of algorithms, if you will, Big Data is your friend.”

Hey guys, why is Gamification important in 2015? Gamification is becoming more main-stream as a way to highlight, promote, enrich and profit from the customer journey. For the consumer’s journey is our journey. Gamification was a term that was first coined in 2003 by Nick Pelling, but did not gain popularity until 2010. With the rise of Big Data, gamification is a very practical technique to take advantage of that big data. It is a powerful tool for motivating better performance, driving business results, and generating a competitive advantage. By capturing and analyzing the big data on behaviors, businesses can create a more engaging experience that motivates employees and users.

Defining It: 

Gamification is about amplifying the effect of an existing, core experience by applying proven motivational techniques, ones that increase high-value interactions with customers, employees and partners, and help you drive more sales, stronger collaboration, better ROI, deeper loyalty, higher customer satisfaction and more.

Gamification techniques strive to leverage people’s natural desires for

  • Compeition
  • Achievement
  • Status
  • Altruism
  • Community Collaboration

Example: Frequent Flyer programs are one of the early examples of part of a customer loyalty program that is an example of Gamification in action.

Next time you see any of the following, think Gamification:

  • Leaderboards
  • Badges
  • Points
  • Status

Applications, websites, online communities, social media sites that utilize these are actively harnessing the motivational rewards from a desired for increased achievement and status. 

The research company Gartner predicted that by 2015, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, and more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.

How to Gamify your Marketing Plan

* Any enagement and incentive program, can boost sales. That’s why free givewaways, contests, free advice of expertise (blogs) are so common in sales and marketing at large.

* Add points to tasks that involve engaging with content.

* Define badges/rewards to be given out after a criteria is met.

* Create Leaderboards over a broad spectrum of categories to show top performs and reward them.

* Completion of challengs can be tied to unlocking higher levels. [Gold, Silver, Bronze level of customers, VIP status, etc…]

What Marketers are starting to realize is Brand amplification in real-time is a question of influencers, not necessarly campaigns. Due to the changing nature of the internet and social media influencing brand identities,  studies indicate that 84% of consumers make a purchase decision based on a recommendation from someone they know. This doesn’t mean someone whose blog they visited once or saw one tweet from. “Someone they know” is a someone that consumers interact with on a regular basis.

So your best customers that like you the most, who are positive about your brand, are the champions of your brand.


“Basically game mechanics are a way to get consumers addicted to things.” Tim Chang, principal at Norwest Venture Partners, which has backed many social mobile game companies.

“Gaming has become ingrained in culture. The consumer has become more and more engaged, and [gaming] allows them to spend more and more time with your brand, and gives them incentive to do so.” Ann Mack, director of trend spotting for worldwide ad agency, JWT.

“It’s the system that’s engaging, not the reward. That’s what game designers know really well, and this is what gamification is unveiling to the marketing world.” Gabe Zichermann, author of Game-Based Marketing.

The possiblity of having feedback systems in real-time with mechanics familiar to Millenials means improving your:

Employee productivity (Industrial psychology)



Customer journey

Marketing strategy

Brand awareness

Enagement, and maximizing your ROI.

 Gamification attempts to tap into or modify intrinstic motivations for:

  • Autonomy and creativity
  • Control of the environment
  • Mastery and self-enhancement
  • Purporse, the idea that you are making a difference
  • Progress, sense of achievement
  • Social interaction, sense of connecting with others

Because they are:

* Data-driven

* Sustainble across sectors and departments

* Has a proven track record among the biggest companies in the world

It is garnering more and more attention.

Let’s check out some industry examples of gamification at work to see what the big deal is about!

Because the basic logic of gamification is based on reward and recognition it appeals to Millenials, Gartner predicts that by 2016, gamification will become a standard practice designed to drive marketing and consumer loyalty.

Gamification also helps to maintain a consumer’s motivation in completing activities instead of abandoning them half-done and affirms an interactive relationship with the brand. Even me, who has zero memory for company slogans knows that roll-up-the-rim-to-win stands for Tim Hortons prizes. Thus I illustrate how gamification is intimatley tied to brand recognition.

There is something unwittingly profound at work here:

Gamification reminds us how important it is to create a compelling narrative on the Customer Journey of the person. This journey is fundamentally more reward if it includes:

  • Self-rewards (seeing oneself move up a leaderboard)
  • Rank in a challenge (as indicated by the attainment of “badges”)
  • Point system (indicative of use of expertise)
  • Sense of discovery, progress and growth in the interaction
  • Achievement vs. Countodwn (sense of urgency heightens “addictive” elements of engagement).
  • Social pressure, incentive of social competition

Ted  Talks Relating to Gamification:

1. Gaming can make a better world


2. The Game layer on top of the world


3. How games make kids smarter


Psychology of the Consumer: 

It may be argued that simply by being aware of what Gamification is, allows us to recognize it in the real world, and how we are constantly being bombarded (advertisement) and even manipulated (competition for your attention) by its strategies. Being resistent to these or at least self-conscous about them could be considered a form of Emotional Intelligence in how we self-manage our dopamine reward system in our own brains.

Are you addicted to anything? Do you see how these trigggers could be used to better market your product, services, brand or help you become more engaged in something you want to do?

Ask yourself this, what sort of rewards tend to stimulate you?

Here is a Slideshare on gamification that you might find useful.

This concludes our quick look at Gamification, I hope you enjoyed the topic and can make connections with it to your life.