Gamification – new trend or part of full service approach to loyalty marketing?

12 April 2011

Promotions and sweepstakes have been around forever, presumably since the dawn of marketing. There have been much iteration of these but the basic principal has remained the same; they were designed to push people (consumers, members, etc.) to perform a duty for the offering company that will essentially engage and affect the consumer’s behavior e.g. sign up and do X and we will collect your info and re-market to you. Today it seems sweepstakes and promotions by themselves are not enough to reach the masses and/or affect behavioral change e.g. click through rates. A new spin on the old concept is now called Gamification and it has spawned a new industry and breed of business consultant.

Bloomberg’s article “Gamification: A Growing Business to Invigorate Stale Websites” states, “for a monthly fee, Rajat Paharia of San Jose-based startup Bunchball, promises to invigorate stale websites by turning them into video games. Visitors become players. If they perform certain tasks, such as commenting on articles or e-mailing links to friends, they earn points or badges.”

In a sense the game is becoming a loyalty vehicle for visitors to websites. This has great affect on the website in terms of clicks, ad rates, etc. Well, gamification has also caught on in with the more traditional loyalty programs such as; Priority Club Rewards which launched the “Win it in a Minute” trivia game in early 2011, United’s “Optathlon” games both online and mobile were a huge hit in the last half of 2010. And currently American Airlines is running a “Penalty Challenge” game because “2011 is a year full of soccer. Each of which have used motivational tactics (see competitive nature) such as leader boards to encourage users to compete against one another for points, badges, status, etc.

Not to be outdone, mainstream news and media websites have also gotten into the mix with CNN “Trivia Challenge”,’s show branded games such as Fear Factor Challenge, and CBS’ games that cater to fans of shows such as NCIS and Survivor. However, according to the Gamification Summit, held in San Francisco in January 2011, USA Networks may be leading the pack with the gamification of its properties with arcade games and more.

How are you engaging your customers? Have you thought of using gamification to help engage your audience and attract new? ICLP provides its own version of gamification products via our sister company Collinson Latitude. We have off the shelf games such as: Reveal and Win, Scratch and Win, among other customized games. However, we know there is more to gamification than just putting something on a website. There needs to be a strategy or the game will fall flat and not produce the intended results. ICLP can help you determine the appropriate strategy and provide the full service approach needed to market your game in a way that will be successful.


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