Four Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Using Gamification

Charlotte Bunker
By Charlotte BunkerCreative Copywriter
8 minutes to read

Gamification is a technique that takes elements of game playing and applies it to non-game scenarios; and when you encounter it, you may not even realise.

It can be used to improve fitness, employee recruitment and retention, productivity and it helps with learning and retention.

Gamification can also be applied to marketing. It is key to driving customer engagement and brings many other benefits. We regularly use gamification for our clients’ projects, and there’s a good reason why – it’s incredibly effective. Here’s a rundown of some of the advantages of gamification and how you can use it for your business.

1. It enhances user experience

Leading neuroscientists, Herd, Mingus and O’Reilly state that “children play not to learn but because it is fun. They play with things and in ways they find interesting, and cease once they become boring”.1 This is something which is intrinsically within us as human beings and when we complete a task, dopamine is released in our brains – the chemical responsible for happiness. Incorporating gamification elements into your marketing can transforms the most mundane of tasks into fun, making people more likely to engage.

2. It makes data gathering easy

Gamification can also help a brand collect useful data about its users. Cundari, an agency based in Canada, applied this principle to help doctors beat cancer. The agency developed a role-playing mobile game which encouraged children with cancer to log their pain twice a day. The game motivated users to complete missions, in the form of pain surveys, with the reward of moving higher up the policing ranks. Not only did this help to distract children, it provided doctors the data they needed for the fight against cancer.

Progress bars are another useful tool for data gathering. Research companies, Lightspeed Research and Kantar studied the importance of progress indicators in surveys.2 The research revealed that 75 per cent of respondents in a group with no progress bar said they would have preferred an indicator of their progress. This is because progress bars exploit our need to complete goals and remove stress. As we’re psychologically driven to fulfil it, including a progress bar on a user profile or survey will often result in a higher completion rate.

In order to keep its maps up-to-date, Google incentivises users through its ‘Local Guides’ programme. The programme invites users to leave reviews, ratings, photos, add new places, verify facts and generally ensure that Google Maps is accurate. For each bit of information users contribute, they are given points which equate to rankings. The higher a user’s ranking, the better the perks and benefits they receive from exclusive partners, including Google Play.

The more motivations a user has to contribute data, the more useful data you will receive. This helps to provide insight into your user base and could form the foundation of your next marketing campaign.

3. It encourages loyalty

Gamification is a useful way to test your product or service. Introducing a try before you buy or a limited demo allows users to get to grips with it without committing themselves. Gamification is popular in learning environments as we retain more information when we try something hands on. So, if you give users the chance to try something, they’re more likely to remember it and come back for more.

That’s exactly what software provider Autodesk did. To help users explore its 3Ds Max design program, Autodesk launched interactive game ‘Undiscovered Territory’. Users had to complete tasks to move on to the next mission and fill their ‘passport’. The gamified trial was so successful that buy clicks increased by 15 per cent and trials by 54 per cent.3

Loyalty can also be built through unlocking achievements. Personal fitness apps and wearable technology have achievement unlocking at their very core. Tracker bands like Fitbit and Nike+, as well as apps like Strava, all encourage users to smash personal bests. Much of this data can be shared with friends and so encourages users to compete and keep unlocking achievements. 

4. It solves problems

Sometimes we can be too close to a problem to be able to solve it. Gamification can help to provide solutions to business problems that you’ve spent too long scratching your head about.

For example, scientists spent 15 years trying to decipher a crystal structure of an AIDS-causing virus. After years of trying to crack the code, the University of Washington’s Centre for Game Science teamed up with the biochemistry department to create a game called ‘FoldIt’.4 This was a puzzle game about protein folding and invited players to figure out how protein structures fit together to meet a researcher’s criteria. 240,000 players took part and, astonishingly, the puzzle was solved in just 10 days.

What are you waiting for?

It’s clear that gamification has multiple benefits to your business and is worth taking the time to incorporate into your website or app. Not only does it make the user experience more enjoyable, it can inform key business decisions, developments and help your business to expand.

So, review your website to see how you can include elements of gamification and experience the benefits for yourself. Let us know what you find works best in the comments below.


References

  1. Dopamine and Self Directed learning - https://grey.colorado.edu/mediawiki/sites/mingus/images/c/c0/HerdMingusOReilly10.pdf
  2. The Power of The Progress Bar - https://blog.kissmetrics.com/the-progress-bar/
  3. Autodesk: What Makes a Successful or a Failed Gamification Campaign? - http://yukaichou.com/gamification-study/converting-free-users-paid-gamification-autodesk-gsummit-sf-2013/
  4. Top 10 Social Gamification Examples that will Literally Save the World - http://yukaichou.com/gamification-examples/top-10-gamification-examples-human-race/ 
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Articles by Charlotte Bunker

Hi I'm Charlotte and I'm the resident Creative Copywriter.