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How Gamification Marketing Can Reach Beyond the Tech Industry

Jamie Danielle Munro
August 2nd, 2012
Once thought of as a tactic solely reserved for the tech industry, gamification marketing has now permeated into a variety of business spheres. Taking elements of video games and applying them to real-life scenarios or non-gaming products is a new form of marketing -- and one that consumers are responsive to. By luring in customers with rewards and the thrill of competition, a marketing campaign can turn from a one-way conversation into a two-way interaction. This interaction is key in today's overcrowded marketing landscape, as the public is constantly bombarded with stimulis. Giving individuals an opportunity to engage with a product that includes a rewards-based system is the first step in winning over the distracted customer.

Gartner research VP Brian Burke argues that "successful gamification can convert customers into fans, turn work into fun, or make learning a joy. The potential is enormous." Foursquare is a great example of how gamification marketing was used to grow its user base to 10 million. The popular social media site uses badges, special offers and rewards to motivate people to "check-in" and inform others of their whereabouts. Friends can even track each other's progress on a leaderboard, instilling elements of competition into the site. Even the more professional social media platform LinkedIn has incorporate gaming elements into its design, with a progress bar to show the completeness of one's profile.

Gamification marketing therefore helps boost users and fans by giving them motivation and incentive. Depending on how rewards-based the consumer is, these methods have the potential to turn a mundane task (filling out one's professional profile), into a strategic game to outsmart and outplay others. Dr. Stuart Brown discusses the power of gamification marketing, saying how "play is not the opposite of work. Instead, think of play as being at the root of gamification and when done well, people can engage in playful activities and still do business at the same time." Incorporating these elements of play makes a sales pitch or work task seem enjoyable instead of irritating.

Trend Hunter has seen these gamification marketing elements incorporated into numerous products as of late, as seen in PRO trends Live Gaming and Reality Gaming. These developments signal an interest by consumers for the integration of video game features into everyday life. Fitness centers inspired by the world of Super Mario is just one example of this desire.

To learn more about gamification marketing and rewards-based promotions, please see Trend Hunter's Marketing Trend Report.
References: technabob, trendreports