Marketing is a Data Game: How to Create Game-changing Possibilities for Your Brand

by Leadfamly

Leadfamly commissioned a research study with YouGov to give further insights on why gamification works better than many other marketing tactics. 

About the study

At Leadfamly, we’ve always known that the use of game mechanics in marketing to create valuable experiences works better than many other tactics. We’ve seen our customers exceed their KPIs, whether it’s gaining and acquiring customers, targeting and growing their audience, or retaining and creating loyal customers. That’s also why we commissioned this study from analysis institute YouGov. A total of 5,563 people aged 18-74 were surveyed from Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They were interviewed using the CAWI methodology during the period of 19-26 November 2021. We hope that the results of this study and our insights are helpful and meaningful.


Martin Bjørn Madsen CEO, Leadfamly: “We understand how much pressure you are under as a marketer. Consumers are fatigued; they’re faced with a barrage of marketing “messaging” that has only increased as brands have become even more digitally focused over the last few years.

“Couple that with a consumer who is taking back control over the data they share and being more discerning about the messages they listen to, and you’re left desperately searching for the route that allows you to re-engage the customer; encourage them to open up and reveal more about themselves and ultimately win their trust and, ideally, spend.

“But what if we told you there was a simpler way in; at Leadfamly we believe that the value mechanic, gamification, is that route in – an effective way to break down the barriers that consumers may have put up, and to help build relationships that develop into strong customer loyalty and revenue growth.

“And, because the desire to play is so deeply rooted in human nature, we believe it’s a concept that both outshines and outlasts other more transient marketing fads. We believe gamification can play a role for everyone – whatever their demographic or age.

“For this report, we undertook an international survey of more than 5,000 consumers to find out what they feel about game mechanics and the meaningful experiences that it can provide. We find out exactly how consumers are reacting – and what you can be doing to best engage them.”

Key findings

  1. Forty times more engagement time with gamification; from an average of 1.5 seconds to 67 seconds — that’s the difference with gamification.
  2. Gamified ads work harder. Consumers are 56 per cent more likely to click a gamified ad than a static ad.
  3. Consumers value winning prizes. Fifty-one per cent of respondents agree that winning a voucher is more valuable than being given a voucher.
  4. Winning is most important. The size or value of a prize is less so.
  5. Age is just a number. Game mechanics work whether your audience is six or 60.
  6. Three times more respondents agree that winning a prize means more than a voucher given to everyone, compared to those who disagree.
  7. Want to increase brand value? Only 23 per cent disagree that branded games would positively influence how they see a brand.
  8. Know your audience. Millennials are 50 per cent more likely to share data than Baby Boomers.
  9. Forty-one per cent of consumers will share first-party data in return for personalised experiences and better brand experience.


As a marketer, you may feel that you’ve been chasing your tail in recent years. In fact, venture capitalist Mary Meeker found that the average digital engagement was just 1.5 seconds. As consumer interest in engaging with marketing messages has waned, so the intensity of marketing has ramped up in an increasingly desperate bid to grab attention in a nosier market.

But this can turn consumers off more. They can become less likely to engage and more likely to ignore such messaging. Overwhelmed by the volume, and with a greater understanding of the power that they now hold with regards to the data that they choose to share, consumers are increasingly aware they have the upper hand and the power to turn off.

And yet, as a marketer, your very job is reliant on being where the audience is: engaging that customer, gaining their trust, and ensuring you become the consumer’s favoured brand. You’re left wondering what you can do to stand out and turn the customer back on.

The challenge of the value exchange

One of the biggest challenges is creating the right value exchange that ensures the potential customer wants to engage and share the data that allows you to build relationships. The reward, whether intrinsic or extrinsic, needs to overcome consumer reluctance to engage.

But what can you offer?

One of the best ways of bringing your brand personality to life is through meaningful, personalised interactions. It’s imaginative, engaging, and fun. And it taps into the very roots of human behaviour.

“We play because it is in our nature to do so” – Johan Huizinga, Dutch Historian

Put simply, few can resist the chance to play – whatever their age or gender. The brain becomes alert and perceptive – the ideal state to receive a marketing message. And the release of the feel-good endorphins that follows means the experience lingers, building loyalty and engagement longer-term.

Download the full report here.