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Gamification in business – are you ready to win?


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Learn how to use gamification techniques for your business and create an exciting environment for you and your clients! You won’t want to miss this incredible challenge!

It’s time to level up your game. And I’m not talking about a board game, but a type of game that’s helping many businesses to grow every day.

Consumer engagement rules have changed, and as we know, people are no longer satisfied with being told what to do, what to buy, and how to behave.

Today, customers want more than just excellent service; they demand an experience that makes them feel like someone out there cares about their needs.

And if you don’t provide it for them…well, then somebody else will! 

So imagine if you could get ahead of the competition by using gamification in your business? 

Sounds like a win-win situation, right? 

With this article, I’m going to show you how to use gamification principles and techniques in order to step up your game and boost your employees’ and customer’s motivation.

Are you ready for this new exciting challenge?

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Have you ever earned points for every transaction made with your credit card, accumulated frequent flyer points, collected online badges after completing a task, or completed a LinkedIn profile? Then congratulations – you’ve been gamified!

So, if you’re looking for a new way to engage your employees and customers, this is a marketing technique you could also apply to your business.

Gamification is a strategy in which game elements are used to engage people and elicit desired behaviour. The key purpose of the process is to encourage positive attitudes, values, emotions and actions through the use of rewards, recognition and competition.

This is a trend implemented in marketing, sales and customer service because gamification uses design elements to increase user engagement and change their perception of certain products, systems or tasks.

For example, gamified systems often use points, badges, and leaderboards for recognition and feedback purposes where gamers are rewarded for their desired behaviours with virtual items, which offer access to exclusive privileges and rewards like levels or prizes.

The addition of game mechanics (e.g. goals), such as quests or achievements, can make these tasks more interesting by adding challenges that motivate your clients and employees.

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Game mechanics are the components of a game that make it fun and exciting. As applied to gamification, they can be used in different combinations to help motivate or engage users as you’ve never seen before!

Think of the concept as basic “lego” blocks that can be combined in interesting ways to drive an often complex sequence of actions in order to achieve desired results. 

These come from game-like dynamics such as rewards or urgency which act on players’ minds by creating value for their time spent playing games.

Factors such as pride towards achievements, competition against other players with a similar skillset leave them feeling motivated about levelling themselves up over others who have already done this before them.

Here is a list of the 10 most used game mechanics: 

  • Onboarding
  • Goals
  • Transparency
  • Badges
  • Competition
  • Levelling Up
  • Community
  • Fast Feedback
  • Collaboration
  • Points

Gamification, or the use of game-like mechanics in marketing programs to engage customers with a product, is a phenomenon that’s been sweeping the world.

It’s not just gamification to entertain, but rather it’s being used as an incentive for businesses and customers alike.

According to Bunchball, gamification “is about amplifying an existing experience by applying motivational techniques from game design.”

A fitness program that gives you starting points or badges when you go up a level, or happy hour at your local restaurant are two examples that have helped companies get their marketing message out and make you want more of their products, services, and experiences!

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The earliest use of “gamification” in a technical article was by Nick Pelling in 2002

The term Gamification appeared later in online discussions on Usenet and then became widely popularised when it spread across the blogosphere.

Gamification took off as a trend during 2009-2010 following academic research studies that showed gamified systems were better at getting desired user reactions than non-game or unused versions of those same systems.

Gamification is most often used to describe an interactive strategy for promoting customer engagement and loyalty by adding game elements to things like customer promotions and marketing campaigns.

So, over time, gamification has evolved from being a simple system to an efficient strategy for those looking for a new way to engage, teach, reward, retain customers, partners, employees and it has become a rapidly growing field, helping to improve performance in sales, customer service and training.

The goal of game dynamics is to drive a user-desired behaviour predictably, and it’s not only about technology, “gamification is 75% Psychology and 25% Technology” as Gabe Zichermann states. 

After all, humans are unpredictable creatures that need the motivation to keep them interested in anything for long periods of time; so they require an element of the game involved with their tasks or else boredom quickly sets in. 

As a result, you have to create specific types of challenges that will motivate people, as well as interesting rewards for when they do succeed at these goals.

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Gamification is an innovative tool that any company can use to achieve greater success. But many small businesses hesitate to use it because of the misconception that only large corporations with big budgets could afford and implement such technology. 

However, this isn’t true! Small business owners shouldn’t shy away from gamification for fear of being left in the dust when competing against larger companies who are using its powerful benefits; they too have a chance at harnessing this strategy creatively when they know how to!

What’s a Gamification Strategy?

Basically, Gamification strategies use traditional ideas from games such as points or badges that help motivate consistent participation and long-term engagement while giving users immediate feedback about what actions will be rewarded next – something more motivational than just empty praise!

It’s a process of taking something that already exists – like software applications or online communities – and using gaming techniques to motivate continued participation. 

Applying it to your business makes employees and clients motivated by seeing their progress, which builds engagement – and high engagement means success for everyone in the business.

With that, gamification is a great way to motivate and inspire people, but there are some key things that you need to watch out for. 

Let’s take a look at what works when using gamification vs. what doesn’t.

  • Understand everyone is different:

Engaging people through gaming can be a great way to keep them engaged, but you need to be patient and think long-term.

It might be easy for some people at first – those who enjoy competition – but others may not have any interest in getting involved.

One key thing when creating gamification strategies within your environment is knowing what type of person will be attracted to the concept as well as being mindful from time to time that certain aspects of gamification are more appropriate than other types.

Remember, too that some people will not take part in any or all of this process.

The first step here is to understand those who’ll want to participate, then create what they’ll be motivated by and build your long term strategy.

  • Be careful when offering big rewards:

In the world of gamification, it is not about how big or flashy your rewards are. Rather, focus on providing a sense of competition to keep people engaged and motivated over time. 

While this may sound counterintuitive at first (the idea that you could make those who give up easily more likely to stay), research has shown that playing against others often creates an entirely different level of engagement than what would otherwise exist when playing in isolation.

And the problem with big rewards are twofold: It often creates false incentives (people end up cutting corners and doing things you really don’t want them to do, just for a win), as people forget it is all part of one long game; and funding these big rewards over the time can be quite hard for your sustainability.

  • What’s your score?

When a company has a gamified strategy, they often ask the players to share the scoring framework with all of their users. 

This helps everyone understand how the game works and they’ll learn how to succeed as well. Because if we’re going to have an equal playing field then shouldn’t we also understand what exactly our opponents are trying so hard (and sneakily) for?

Of course, it’s important that any corporate-level games are about a larger goal (e.g. driving new leads or increasing brand reach). Having clear rules will ensure no one feels left out when an objective has been met!

  • Celebrate the players, not only the top performer.

Gamification in business is about the team. You have a winning strategy if 90% of your participants are fully engaged, regardless of whether 10% drive most of the results since your goal should be to get everyone as engaged with your company’s goals as possible.

So, yes, reward your very top performer, but be careful to reward other participants as well. If you don’t, you’ll likely see a big drop off in engagement, and after so much effort, you don’t want to see this happening.

  • Rewards matter.

Rewards that are connected to personal recognition and advancement seem more effective than others. 

Prizes and other material rewards that aren’t really connected to your business (e.g., a gift card, a new smartphone, etc.) aren’t all that effective. You can always offer them, of course, but don’t focus only on material prizes.

In other words, research suggests that prizes that aren’t related to your business will likely be ignored while achievements connected with personal reward will motivate people better. 

So, rewards like shout-outs during live meetings can make people feel acknowledged by their peers and this sense of belonging might drive their productivity and motivation even higher!

  • Track & Trace

Everyone knows that if it doesn’t get tracked, then it doesn’t exist – and this certainly goes for gamification programs as well. 

Tracking is important because it allows participants to know their progress and how they can improve; while also helping program leaders track whether or not a gamified reward system is actually meeting an organisation’s business goals.

The data from your gamification campaign can be tracked through a variety of tools, or you can even build your own app to make your customers feel directly connected to your business, but whatever you do, analyze the data and make changes accordingly to keep your campaign consistently improving.

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Gamification is a great way to increase engagement, loyalty, motivate people, and get them involved in your company. This is definitely a powerful tool that companies can use to encourage employees, customers, or creative inspiration.

Companies have seen increased social media engagement, conversions from free trial to purchase, website traffic, improved onboarding time and many more measurable benefits with the use of gamification.

It is also important to note that expectations are high when it comes to the use of this technology, which can lead to a false set of incentives. Furthermore, gamification should complement and not replace existing systems.

Lastly, consider your gamification strategy in light of generational marketing. Millennials, for example, have different motivations than previous generations, so the game has to be more creative or customized.

You can learn more about Generational Marketing here.

Let me know if you want to gamify your business to increase loyalty and engagement. I have some resources that can assist you with the implementation of this, and we can work together to create an environment that is both exciting for you and your clients!