Gamification is the perfect way to engage without being intrusive

Content in marketing has always been vital in order to engage customers. Gaming is a perfect way to engage without being intrusive.

Many companies create games to try to increase awareness, but the real engagement with customers comes from providing them with value, either through social elements or fun and relevant activities. ‘Gamification’ has been helping increase customer engagement by adding gaming mechanics to non-game applications like marketing communications.

Gamification works by making technology more engaging for the people using it and encouraging desired behaviours, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.

The technique works on providing intrinsic rewards (normal parts of the gaming process) and extrinsic rewards (incentivising people to do things that they perhaps might like doing) which such as encouraging people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, like completing surveys.

We already know how powerful and personal the mobile phone is, but if we combine game mechanics with some of the capabilities of mobile, it becomes incredibly influential.

FourSquare, for example, has people repeatedly reaching for their mobile to check in at different places to not only gain actual rewards like a free drink or discounts, but just vying to be Mayor – it almost becomes a status level-up and a boasting point to friends, peers and rivals. But how does that result in extra revenue?

I’ve been running a number of campaigns with operators, implementing basic gaming mechanics in order to drive engagement and increase revenue. For a large Russian operator with over 70m subscribers I’ve been running a campaign for eight months and it’s had over 3m of billed interactions with customers playing the game on average of almost seven times each.

Through gamification I’ve been able to help provide the operator with an interactive channel to engage with their customers and reward loyalty and additional spending.

These types of campaigns have seen huge take up across Europe with over 11 million consumers participating in SMS gameplay in the last six months alone and have resulted in almost 103 million interactions with operators, with around 18% of an operator’s customer base participation up to 20 times each.

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Kelaine Olvera has over 18 years of product management and marketing experience in the mobile and technology industries. Having worked with both operators and vendors in the UK and US, Kelaine has a deep understanding of how mobile technology has evolved and its potential application. At Novarra, she launched the first server-only content adaptation solution in Europe for Vodafone UK on 150+ handsets which grew to 20% uptake over the total customer base within six months. More latterly, at AeroMobile, Kelaine was instrumental in the successful one million user trial of the service that provides safe use of mobile phones onboard aircraft. Currently, she is Director of Product Marketing for Velti, focused on supporting a highly active, global sales team with industry campaigns and driving thought leadership within the Operator and Media Company channels.