The New Marketing Game
In a society of information overload, it is becoming more and more difficult to grab attention and engage an audience in order to communicate a message. However, a new type of marketing is putting a spin on consumer interactions, and this time it actually is all fun and games.
What is gamification?
Gamification is utilizing games in marketing to create a sense of reward upon completing the game or achieving a milestone in the game. Many times, it takes different aspects of life and seems to make a game out of it and can facilitate certain desired behaviors. Gamification consistently enhances engagement between the content provided and the consumers, and also engagement between consumers. It has been proven that after interacting with gamification content, individuals retain information and the rewarding feeling long after the game is completed. As a result, the individuals experience a high level of engagement with the content in the game and the gamification decreases the likelihood of the audience ignoring the content of the message. For many marketers, this could be the solution to information overload that we have been waiting for. Consumers have a huge amount of content thrown at them every day. This causes the development of selective attention. Consumers can now easily ignore content. By driving a deeper and more engaged experience with the content, marketers can better communicate their message to their target consumers in a way that the individuals want to experience. It is clear that gamification can be an important tool for acquisition, retention, and communication within consumer relationships.
Why does it work?
Gamification works for two main reasons: it fosters competition and enhances status. By utilizing strategies of rankings and achievements, it grants users the ability to compare themselves against their peers. Leaderboards can create a sense of competition or community within the game. They can see others’ progress and goals, which significantly adds to engagement. Status also plays a large role in driving the engagement in gamification marketing. Within the gaming community, recognition is very important. Gamers like to show their status and achievements among their peers. This is evident in Fitbit products, where you earn badges for your fitness achievements and you’re also able to challenge your friends and the winner is awarded with a virtual trophy. Another example is in the video game League of Legends, where you can play ranked games to get placed in a rank relative to others. These examples show that gamers are driven by competition and display of status. They work to achieve the goals that are set, and as a result, have the privilege to display their achievements for their peers to see. Gamification taps into the social drives of the consumer to engage with them.
What can we expect in the future?
Gamification is not a fad that we can expect to fade into the past. Although costly and time consuming, marketers have found a new way to engage their consumers in a meaningful way. Not only will gamification be a prominent force in the future, but it is also evolving. New technologies are now making it possible for augmented and virtual reality games to be in the hands of any consumer for a low price. For example, the recent hit smartphone app, Pokemon Go, has allowed for over 30 million individuals to live their childhood dream of catching Pokemon through the screen of their smartphone. This game has done marketing wonders for Nintendo. Augmented and virtual reality is in the early adoption stage, but is already spreading like wildfire. There is no doubt that virtual reality is the next big thing for marketing. Gamification is growing and growing and fostering more competition and drive within consumers. Marketers now found a way to emotionally involve consumers with their content and message, which for many is a dream come true and there is no going back.