People fascinate me. Give them a fantastic marketing message with a discount and they’ll walk away… but allow them the opportunity to win a badge on their profile page and they’ll fight for it. I amuse myself as I find myself distraught after losing a mayorship on Foursquare – it’s ridiculous. That’s just what gamification depends on.
Why Does Gamification Work?
Gamification works to satisfy some of the most fundamental human desires: recognition and reward, status, achievement, competition and collaboration, self-expression, and altruism. People are hungry for these things both in their everyday world and online. Gamification taps directly into this.
Bunchball is one of the players out on the market that helps marketers implement gamification tactics with their sites and applications. They’ve distributed a whitepaper, Winning with Gamification: Tips from the Expert’s Playbook. It’s quite a good read. Here are some highlights on developing your own gamification strategy:
- Identify the Community – Gamification usually requires a supporting Community. The fundamental human desires are bolstered when others bear witness to it. It is also important to have other people with whom to compete and compare accomplishments.
- Map your goals – When creating your gamification solution, make sure you design something that fits in the middle between the user experience and your business goals.
- Prioritize the actions you want your users to take – The best way to approach this is with a standard ranking system. Once you have identified the Actions for your program, you will want to rank them in order of value. Start with the least valuable action and give it a factor of 1. Working from there, assign relative values to everything else.
- Develop a point scale system – Points are a great way of rewarding a user for doing something that is of value to you (i.e., purchase, download, share). Of course, points can also be a way for users to reward each other. Ultimately, they should work as a way to give users some form of spending power.
- Use levels – Try to select labels that distinguish the prestige between each level. While using numbers is the easiest, clever, intuitive names tied into the theme of your program can be very effective.
- Make visually appealing badges and trophies – When designing a badge or trophy, make sure it is visually appealing and eye-catching. The badge should also be relevant to the audience and the theme of
- Add rewards – A reward can be anything that motivates your users: Points, Badges, Trophies, Virtual Items, Unlockable Content, Digital Goods, Physical Goods, Coupons, etc.
- Use real-time feedback – Real-time feedback is a great way to instantly recognize and respond to your users’ accomplishments.
- Use Virtual Goods – Virtual goods are great for point “burn” – something for users to put their points towards.
- Mobile, Social, and Geo – Mobile, Social Media, and Geographic targeting are great additions to your program when you can tie together the entire experience cross-platform, get it shared, and target it by location.
Bunchball is a leading provider of enterprise gamification, used to drive high-value participation, engagement, loyalty, and revenue. Bunchball’s gamification platform is a highly scalable and reliable cloud-based service for gamifying websites, social communities, and mobile applications. Bunchball has tracked over 20 billion actions that lead to customer loyalty and employee engagement for its clients.