The Games People Play

Gamification can increase engagement metrics and drive brand awareness.

With the abundance of content on the Internet, it is not easy for a brand to stand out from the crowd. It seems every company these days has discovered the power of content in empowering social media, generating leads, setting SEO initiatives and building brand awareness. Companies that want to brand their product or service need to be more creative and innovative to get noticed. Gamification is one method that can be used to make the ordinary extraordinary.

Gamification can differentiate you from your competition by engaging your potential customers with interactive experiences that captivate and create lasting impressions. In print magazines, quizzes like customer service evaluations have been around for decades and online for years. This is one simple type of game, which provides a company with valuable feedback and doubles as a branding mechanism. Engaging activities have always drawn the eye of audiences and today’s technology has upped the ante with a higher level of interactivity.

Of course, designing and implementing a game is a complex and expensive process that carries a high risk. But the rewards can be fantastic. From conceptualization of an original idea to gamifying the concept to implementing it in a user-friendly design is time consuming and costly. Research firm Gartner found that 80% of gamification initiatives do not meet business objectives. This is mostly due to poor design, so if you are going to take the plunge spend the money and get the design right.

When done right, it can increase engagement metrics such as time spent on site, page views and other community activities by 100% to 150%. According to Gabe Zichermann, author of two books on the subject, organizer of the Gamification Summit and editor of the Gamification Blog, successful gamification is 75% psychology and 25% technology. Therefore, it is mostly in the concept and not necessarily a long-term expense. “Gamification can inspire a sudden spike in user interest and drive immediate results with even the most rudimentary game elements, such as points, badges and leaderboards. However, if the audience does not realize value in the long term, the engagement begins to break down,” points out Cognizant in a recent study on gamification.

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