Games, Games, Games

People love games. Video games, card games, mobile games, drinking games, the list is endless. Games combine fun entertainment and friendly competition to create an addicting and mind-capturing formula. As we know, wherever consumers’ attention falls, marketing is surely to follow.

Join the Party

Gamification is not a new trend in marketing, but it’s continued to gain popularity among brands.  Gamification in marketing is essentially combining fun competition and brand awareness. This can look like rewards, points, contests, badges and more. It can range from being as complex as McDonald’s Monopoly contest to easy as Google using a completion meter while setting up a new email account. Gamification is all around us and it’s encouraging us to interact with companies and brands every day.

Think it Through

Like anything, gamification has upsides and downsides to its marketing technique. On the upside, it increases customer engagement and conversion, creates an emotional bond between customer and company, brings additional brand awareness and can help cure “banner blindness”. Downsides can include challenges in keeping up with innovative content, cultivating fun and possible customer confusion if the gamification is not well thought out. As with any marketing strategy, do your research and planning before implementing gamification into your marketing.

The Results are In

When gamification is done well, the results are outstanding! In 2012, Ford Motors increased their sales by $8 million and boosted their Facebook likes by 600 percent through gamified social interaction content. Domino’s Pizza sales revenue increased by 30 percent after they launched an app that allowed customers to create their own pizza. The gamification market is estimated to be worth $2.8 billion in 2019. 70 percent of the top 2,000 companies are already using gamification in their marketing. It is easy to say that gamification works and impacts the present and future of how we market to consumers.

How To

I’m sure this is all a little overwhelming, so here are some things to consider when thinking about adding gamification to your marketing strategy.

  • Put your marketing goals first. Apply gamification to your goals, don’t base your goals around gamification.
  • Focus on your target audience. While everyone loves games, you still need to focus on that key group of people most likely to convert to your brand.
  • Start small and test out gamification before throwing the budget at it. This could be a social media contest, as apposed to designing and creating a whole new app.
  • Carefully consider your freebies and giveaways. They should feel special to your winners but not break the bank.
  • Make it challenging but not hard. Games are meant to put our minds to the test, but making a game too difficult will cause potential customers to give up.
  • Most importantly, HAVE FUN! If you’re not having fun gamifying, then your customers won’t either!

Now is the Time

Our brands are seeing positive results with incorporating gamification into their marketing and yours could too. While it may seem overwhelming to use gamification, it is well worth the amazing results that it has been proven to produce. The possibilities are endless when fun and competition meets marketing.

Katie Howland

Author Katie Howland

Katie is a Social Media & Public Relations Coordinator at InQuest Marketing. She creates and manages content for social media accounts, assists in public relations and writes email copy. Her favorite part of the job is helping clients get their social media accounts updated and watching how they grow over time. Outside of work, Katie enjoys trying new Kansas City restaurants, although her favorite meal is still Chipotle followed by a hot fudge shake from Sonic.

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