What is Gamification?
When it comes to marketing, many companies succumb to a one-sided marketing approach with promotional elements and materials that never truly allow the customer to get involved with a company. However, a rise in the use of gamification in companies’ marketing processes has allowed for a deeper and more involved personal relationship between customers and companies. So… what exactly is gamification then? We all love a little fun and competition now and then, don’t we? Companies have taken that observation into account – gamification is a marketing process that takes the elements of games that make games addictive and captivating and incorporates them into company experience and business plans. This could take the form of rewards and loyalty programs, but many companies have opted to create extremely creative and fascinating gamification experiences for customers.
Let’s take a look at some of the creative gamification experiences!
In order to get customers acquainted with their pretzel-flavored candy offering, M&M released an eye-spy game where consumers observed a graphic and were tasked with locating a small pretzel character among an abundance of M&M candies. With this unique yet simple marketing tactic, M&M successfully exposed their new product to multitudes of people and received thousands of likes, shares, and comments on Facebook.
With negative publicity surrounding health issues at Chipotle, the Mexican Grill restaurant chain needed a new way to connect with customers and get them hooked back on Chipotle. This resulted in the development of an online memory game, in which players matched up “real” ingredients that were used at Chipotle and dodged “fake” unnatural ingredients. If players participated in the game, they won free food, with a BOGO coupon reward. This game gave Chipotle an opportunity to reinforce their real ingredient motto to consumers while luring customers back to its restaurants even with health scares breathing down its neck.
Tips for Effective Use of Gamification:
- Understand your target audience! Know what they would want to participate in.
- Stay SIMPLE! You do not need to create an incredibly difficult, complex game. Just entice customers with simple tactics like quizzes and incentives.
- Keep updating your gamification strategy! As the times change, make sure your apps and programs change with it. Don’t be afraid to take risks in trying to make programs and apps that you think will cater to your audience’s’ interests!
Gamification is a marketing process that has slowly become more and more widely used by companies over the years. It’s an effective marketing tactic that develops customer-company relationships and promotes companies in more effective way. As new technologies and new companies continue popping up in the future, you’ll be sure to see that gamification is here to stay. If you build your own company one day, be sure to consider using gamification!
By: Vanessa Sun