Richard Robinson, General Manager at LeadFamly UK, explains why you should be using gamification in your digital marketing strategy.
As consumers we can’t get through a single day without being overwhelmed by a tsunami of marketing messages.
According to Forbes, we are exposed to up to 10,000 ads each day. But how many of these messages actually register with us, never mind become meaningful interactions? Very few.
The shouting match with no end
How as marketers did we get here? For many of us scale is an important goal. Extended reach and higher frequency leads to more exposure, a greater level of website visits and, therefore, increased sales.
However, the basic premise of this is wrong. Today, it is not about quantity, it is about quality. Just because your ads receive lots of views doesn’t mean that they have any material impact on business objectives.
To help overcome this we have, in most part, turned to data and automation to make sure we are reaching the right people at the right time. But again, we have unleashed a beast that bombards our target audiences, leading to decreasing response rates, our answer to which is to simply ramp up the activity. This achieves little for our business and only adds to the noise for consumers. A vicious circle.
A better way
The good news is that people still want good and relevant products, and that marketing can still work if it is designed in a respectful and engaging manner.
A marketing discipline that works really well and helps cut through the noise is gamification. Why? Well, because gamification taps into the deeper levels of human nature, into our motivational drivers. These emotional triggers are called “game mechanics” and include elements such as competition, challenge, mirroring, reward, and fun.
Using these mechanics significantly improves consumer experience, driving greater engagement and ultimately, for us in marketing, better return on investment.
People love games
Game mechanics work on a deep physiological level in our brains. The act of playing a game releases feel-good hormones that simply make us feel good! Just think, how did you feel the last time you played a game? Did you feel a shot of adrenaline? Did you feel energised? And what did you feel like when you won the game or completed the task? Did you enjoy it?
These feelings are driven by chemical reactions in our brain from the injection of hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, and they make us feel good. No other marketing technique works in this way nor can it elicit these deeply human responses.
This phenomena goes some way to explain why as teenagers we spend over twice the amount of time playing computer games than reading books. It is a basic human need to be active and to participate in two-way interactions. The chemicals in our brain make us feel alive.
You should love gamification as well
Gamification is the hack to better marketing because it is so great at creating “micro-engagements” – meaningful encounters between companies and consumers that go beyond simple “buy me” messages. Once involved, customers are open and likely to respond positively to your prompts for further action.
Action can be many things. Some companies focus on engagement, that is, how long a consumer will interact with their brand, or creating memorable moments raising brand awareness and affinity. Others want to educate, ensuring that their audience fully understands the benefits and the value of its propositions.
For many, it is about driving a directly attributed commercial outcome, that is sales to you and me. What they all have in common is that they are leveraging game mechanics to elicit a particular outcome.