Gamification: A technology-based strategic marketing trend for brands

Gamification can capture and, more importantly, hold people’s attention

By Apurv Modi

The industry has evolved drastically since the covid-19 pandemic hit the world. The impact of pandemic can be seen in every sector and business. Marketers started scrambling for innovative ideas to reach out to targeted customers and grow their brand and customer base. The number of different marketing methods, strategies, and platforms usage increased, so has the public’s knowledge. People are aware when they are being sold anything, and they might become disinterested in any sales communication. This is an unsurprising source of concern for marketers searching for new methods to reach their target customers.

This is where gamification comes in. Gamification appeals to people’s natural need to “play” and has proved to be an effective method for brands to give actual value to customers and a good digital experience while increasing brand exposure, customer loyalty, and profitability. What gamification does is:

  • Increases website session time;
  • Engages audience;
  • Social sharing;

Email gamification, unlike other marketing techniques, does not need complicated designs or algorithms. A basic email template may be used to design a simple quiz or a challenge to discover a hidden link. It helps in the collection of customer information. Gamification employs various techniques to make consumers insert personal information (contact information, product preferences) in return for rewards (points, prizes, starts, achievements, badges, percent off, etc.). People are more inclined to contribute data if they receive something in return, and more importantly, they receive it quickly.

Gamification has emerged as an efficient technique that has offered a new dimension to approaching a customer and win them over with creativity. Whatever task (quiz, puzzle) you offer to solve should not be complicated; otherwise, it will make customers end it right away. Keep the tasks short and have simple rules to play; no one likes to waste their precious time on complicated stuff. The element of gamification can be anything, but make sure to have a clear design that appeals to the customers. For example, supporting a quiz question with a corresponding image/GIF. Brands incentivize their games with attractive price drops, coupons, discounts on offer for customers to grab and use them. Brands are integrating gamification into their website, and social media handles to drive customer engagement. Tie-ups with top online gaming platforms like GoGames are a masterstroke. It enables a feeling of competitiveness and achievement for the customers who play the games and reap amazing rewards.

In today’s life, we can easily observe gamification as a marketing tool used by brands for better customer engagement; one of the biggest sectors that use gamification techniques in India is e-commerce. The daily online quiz and daily Bollywood trivia are popular among the audience. These brands offer virtual coins as rewards where the customers can use them as actual money while purchasing certain products. Online food delivery platforms for IPL 2020 introduced matchday mania with a cricket quiz and, in return, offering discounts on food orders on their platform. Some online apps offered some cash prizes in festivals using an innovative marketing gamification technique.

Finally, whatever marketing strategy is used, the goal is to promote action: registration, subscription, purchase, sharing, feedback, and so on. Gamification achieves this goal by making the user’s engagement with the brand more enjoyable and dynamic. It can capture and, more importantly, hold people’s attention, stimulate personal data sharing, inspire a deeper discussion with the brand, and contribute to community loyalty. Gamification may be used on various platforms, including websites, apps, social media, physical stores, events, and email, thanks to its versatility and variety of formats.

(The author is managing director and co-founder, ATechnos. Views expressed are personal.)

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