What is gamification? How can you apply it to your marketing and communication strategies more efficiently to achieve business goals? Loyalty is one of the most challenging goals to achieve during the customer journey. Concluding a sale and converting is very challenging but not as much as being able to make a customer feel so unique and special as to convince them to stay connected to your brand forever. In the last few years, a new marketing tool has made this process much more manageable. Linked to the needs of millennials, this technique allows you to convert and pamper customers by letting them play. Yes, you got it right. We are talking about gamification.
What Is Gamification, And Where Does It Come From?
Gamification was born to meet the needs of millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 1995, which today represents a fringe of the population with purchasing power increasingly involved in sales processes. This specific target is not part of the so-called digital natives. Still, it has undoubtedly acquired more familiarity with technology, entertainment, the web, and above all, video games. These habits have changed learning systems, transforming them from linear into interactive, fast, and practical. Marketing has responded to this more excellent search for interactivity and participation with gamification: a tendency to attribute playful particularities to every business process. Everything, from internal communication to sales, can turn into a game.
Why Is Gamification Helpful?
The game is a universal engine. It is considered one of the primal instincts that move even animals. Creating a strategy based on the use of gamification can therefore be helpful for:
- Satisfy the customer’s instinct to play
- Entertain and entertain
- Stimulate more sensory spheres.
And finally, here it is, a huge bonus: gamification is involved in satisfying the human needs defined by Maslow. In addition to having physical and biological needs or primary needs, man, according to the psychologist, aspires to constant improvement. Gamification, through the use of games created based on the achievement of progressive objectives, relies precisely on this human need. Integrating your communication with a gaming experience guarantees the achievement of company objectives more fluidly, quickly, and with greater public participation in company values. Gamification applied to communication can help to:
- Improve customer Management
- Consolidated brand loyalty
- Expand employee performance.
How Does A Gamification Strategy Work?
To understand how a gamification strategy works, let’s take a step back: do you remember the points collection of the markets near your home? Esselunga, for example, although it has digitized the process, continues to use a similar mechanism: supermarket customers are encouraged to buy within the chain because they can collect stickers and get a reward.
From the simple collection of points, the marketing and communication mechanisms have evolved, seeking ever more attentive customer participation. Making the customer the protagonist in communication and sales processes becomes one of the most important objectives of any business and can be achieved precisely with gamification.
Making content is possible through the use of mechanisms such as:
- Points collection
- Levels to overcome
- Badge to be obtained
- Rankings to climb
- Missions to complete
- Virtual goods to be accepted.
How To Choose The Type Of Game Based On The Target
When thinking about using gamification mechanisms, remember that not all games are suitable for all types of players. Several studies in the social and communication fields have highlighted the existence of four different types of players :
Through careful profiling of your audience, you will understand which category your customers belong to. These are the four different strategies you can develop based on your audience type:
- Explorer: Build a gamification strategy based on discovery.
- Determined: Design a game that stimulates constant improvement and the completion of various progressive levels of play.
- Socializer: Develop a plan based on building a community.
- Killer: Create an individualist game based on rankings.
How To Gamify On Social Media?
Contrary to what one might think, you don’t have to go big to build a gamification strategy. To start taking the first steps, a good starting point is social media. Born as a platform to share images, social networks are now practical communication tools for the most contemporary strategies, including gamification ones. Yes, followers, as well as customers, no longer want to be simply spectators. They want to participate and feel part of your communication in the first person.
Gamification With Instagram Stories: Filters, Polls, And Q&A
Mark Zuckerberg has thought of everything and has already integrated filters, polls, and questionnaires into his app to be included in Instagram stories. Answering a survey or a questionnaire using the Instagram filters developed by the company account allows users to have fun and at the same time feel part of the company. An example of a gamification strategy on Instagram? Mulino Bianco.
Through the Pan di Stelle account, the company created stories that prompted its followers to build a narrative with the responses to the polls. In this case, Mulino Bianco has exploited the same technique developed by the game book. These books transform the reading experience into a gaming experience thanks to the possibility of choice. The exact mechanism is used in video games such as Monkey Island and introduced in TV series such as the Bandersnatch episode of the Black Mirror series produced by Netflix.
Various techniques have been developed in the most recent social communication strategies to make posts more interactive and generate engagement. How to create an interactive post? You have at least two avenues available. The first option is to post an iconic image and ask your followers to describe it. In this way, the users themselves participate in writing the copy and become part of the post. A second option is linked to UGC (User Generated Content), which, in this case, are the famous memes: pushing followers to create memes starting from an image is an interactive and fun process.
Why Is Gamification Also Crucial For Your Internal Communication?
A myth that needs to be dispelled is that gamification processes only affect communication with the public. Gamification is, in fact, a method that is catching on quickly, even in some business areas such as training or HR. Using gamification to improve employee engagement by making them become ambassadors of corporate values is an excellent advantage for any business.
Interactive practices and games can also make the training process much more manageable.
Have you ever heard of Duolingo? Duolingo is an app dedicated to studying languages and built through gamification: students enrolled in the app can learn languages by playing and are stimulated to learn thanks to the opportunity to obtain different badges. You can also use this approach in your company, with several benefits:
- Increase employee engagement
- Make employees active in the training process
- Improve the results of the learning process.
With gamification, employees have fun, are committed to achieving set training goals, and can absorb more information more effectively. In short, gamification is an ever-expanding trend.
There are still few who use it as a marketing tool. This can be an advantage for you. Take inspiration from the entertainment industry, try to introduce gaming into your strategies, and become a pioneer of gamification.