We all love a good game.
We only have to look at the sheer success of Candy Crush and other simple yet addictive mobile games to see that we have an innate and in-built competitiveness.
While that might not be great news for your family when they dust off the old Monopoly board at Christmas, it can mean great things for your business.
Because if you know that people like to try their luck, you should be incorporating it into your marketing strategy. This is where gamification comes into play (pun fully intended).
What is Gamification?
Gamification is essentially using gaming concepts to engage users and get them to carry out certain actions.
The idea behind it is to create a fun experience for consumers that they can’t get enough of (and that taps into the competitive nature of humans) while giving them a series of incentives that influence their behavior.
It’s no longer just a buzzword.
In fact, gamification techniques – like levels, badges, digital prizes, and leaderboards – are being used in education, business, eCommerce, and most other places in our daily lives, so it’s safe to say it’s sticking around.
It’s no longer a case of asking whether gamification is worth implementing in your business, and more of a case of looking for ways to leverage it in the best way.
If you haven’t considered gamification before, here’s why you should:
Why Use Gamification in Your Business?
In the past, the majority of B2B brands using gamification used it solely to generate more sales. The end goal was to sell, sell, sell, rather than to engage and create a better user experience.
That’s changing, though.
Now, businesses are starting to see the benefits of gamification in the form of higher engagement levels and more loyal followings – and there’s a reason it’s the perfect technique to nurture these metrics.
Collect and Measure Data
In a Harvard Business Review study on what motivated people at their jobs, an overwhelming number of respondents claimed it was a sense of progress that pushed them to do better and work harder.
This can be applied to the business world, too: if there is an incentive and actual proof that someone is progressing and doing better, they are more likely to be motivated to do it.
At their core, game mechanics are simply tools that help you measure and report data.
For example, you might encourage prospects to answer five more questions before they can level up, in which case you have insights into five things about them that you didn’t have before.
Drive Online Community Engagement
B2B brands are starting to see the benefits of creating a community around their business. Communities are loyal followings that buy from the same place over and over again, and who shout about your business from the rooftops.
Basically, they’re invaluable.
Enterprises like SAP are tapping into the power of community and gamification by creating interactive spaces where their customers, employees, and partners can network and take action.
In these communities, people can get points for sharing important threads on social, solving customer problems, and leaving reviews. This has essentially created a self-sufficient ecosystem filled with rich user-generated content that brings SAP more exposure and helps them improve their business.
Generate More Leads
Let’s face it:
It’s hard convincing people that you’ve got what they need.
Nobody clicks onto a website and mindlessly enters their name into the opt-in form. In fact, most people actively don’t do that, which is why lead generation is one of the biggest struggles B2B businesses face.
But what if you make your lead generation fun and entertaining? You’ll see so much more success.
Adding elements of gamification to your customer-facing content will attract more eyeballs in the first place, and then if you continue to make the sign-up or opt-in process an engaging experience, people will continue to funnel themselves towards the sale.
IBM’s Innov8 is an example of a brand that encourages users to solve real-world problems through a free game which can only be accessed after they sign up.
Improve Customer Experience
Positive customer experiences are becoming more and more important these days because customers are your biggest advocates. Prospects read reviews before they make a purchase and they listen to what their peers are saying about a product before they commit.
When it comes to implementing a successful gamification strategy, it takes more than just integrating levels, badges, and points; instead, you need to design an experience using an analysis of your current customer journey and the holes that need to be filled.
For example, you might decide to just gamify individual segments of your sales funnel, like the sign-up process, or you might decide to gamify entire parts of the customer journey.
Increase Engagement and Improve Customer Experience with Gamification
Gamification is a great way to create deeper connections with your prospects.
For B2B brands, in particular, the sales funnel is long and sensitive. Usually, customers need to make a large investment, so purchasing something spur-of-the-moment isn’t an option.
This is where gamification comes in.
At each step of the customer journey, you can create a unique and memorable experience for prospects that pushes them through the funnel, increases engagement, and provides a great customer experience.