marketing gamification picture of different vintage video games in purple light

Marketing Gamification: Is it for You?

Prospects just wanna have fun. (Thank you, Cyndi Lauper.)

Yes, it’s true. Gamification as a marketing strategy is really taking off in a big way. Let us explain.

What is Marketing Gamification?

Marketing gamification entails adding game mechanics into an app or website, integrating what makes games fun and irresistible into your marketing. Gamification in marketing usually entails elements such as rewards, challenges, etc.,  giving users a sense of achievement or competition, encouraging them to use your app or visit your website more often.

Can you say “long-term visitor engagement and loyalty”?!

That is probably one of the biggest benefits of this marketing strategy: making people excited about the game creates an emotional connection with you, which increases the chance that they’ll become incredibly loyal to your products/services.

This could be especially powerful if your service or product can somehow tie to your prospects’ sense of nostalgia.

Using Marketing Gamification

How could you use gamification in your brand strategy?

Let’s take a look at how three companies have successfully used gamification marketing.

  • Retail is a great way to use gamification. Starbucks, for example, has its My Starbucks Rewards app, which provides those who join the rewards program incentives in the form of stars, which they can then redeem for free drinks and food. The app incentivizes people to continue using it by encouraging them to reach Gold status, which provides them with even better rewards.
  • Corporate recruiters as well as recruiting firms can use gamification in a fun way.  Marriott, for example, used gamification in the app My Marriott Hotel to recruit and screen millennial new-hires. The game allowed candidates to manage their own virtual hotel restaurant, designing it, purchase inventory on a budget, hire/train employees, and more. Candidates/players were given points for satisfied customers and lost points for bad customer service decisions.
  • A gamification marketing strategy also can be used in higher education marketing. Kaplan University’s internal CareerNetwork used a quest and badge system to reward students for building resumes, practicing interviews, reading career related articles, and applying for jobs.

Gamification also pairs exceptionally well with influencer marketing. Delta Airlines used  “average New Yorkers” and its own employees as influencers in a terrific social media/influencer/gamification strategy.

Will Gamification work for your Marketing Personas?

An important note regarding which demographic is best attuned to the power of this brand strategy: everyone is!

Video games are popular with all age groups. Still, younger members of GenX, millennials, and Generation Z (of course!) have embraced smartphone apps in a huge way. While all generations enjoy gamification marketing, you’ll probably find younger people use them the most.

If you’d like to explore using gamification in your marketing strategy, reach out to Jeff Hays, our director of client services and schedule a one-on-one chat regarding your brand strategy goals.

We always, of course, encourage you to contact us at any time.

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