The Psychology Behind Gamification
Everybody loves playing games. The experience naturally motivates us to do well, score points, and earn rewards.
Gaming has crossed over into conventional non-game environments to tap into the sense of fun and freedom we get and is an innovative tool for marketers to draw in visitors and boost engagement.
A report published by LXA looks at the stats and why gamification works so well:
- We recall around 10% of the information we read or hear, compared to up to 90% of the data we absorb through a game – things that are fun make us pay more attention!
- 89% of people are compelled to complete a gamified task and progress faster if the environment is competitive.
- Engagement increases by 48% by switching from a non-gaming process to a gamified system.
For B2B marketers, game mechanics could work in the form of quizzes, competitions, interactive games, and loyalty programmes, ensuring the messages conveyed are more memorable and the user is more likely to keep playing till the end.
That increased attention, and time, provides a platform for marketers to double down on exposure, cement awareness of their brand and convert an interested buyer into a qualified sales prospect.
However, the right strategy will depend on the relevant sector and audience, with the greatest success normally achieved with younger adult demographics.
How to Introduce Gamification Into B2B Marketing
The concept of gamification is straightforward, but the implementation could look very different between two B2B businesses, depending on their budget, the nature of the company, and the outcomes they wish to achieve.
Determining the objective is the first step, which will help identify the right gaming medium, how you publicise it to your intended user, and the information you include.
For example, you might want to boost overall engagement metrics, improve conversions, increase time on site, enhance loyalty, capture new leads, or use gamification to amplify a new product launch to generate better interest and sales.
The next phase is to think about the reward your intended buyer gets for using the game; this should be something useful that your audience will genuinely want to have. A digital token is less desirable in this context in the same way as in a B2C space because the payoff needs to be worth the time a buyer is willing to spend.
You might create a game with reward options such as:
- Accumulative loyalty points that provide a price discount, exclusive service, or access to physical rewards.
- VIP entry to trade fairs, conferences, or exclusive product launch events that buyers will want to attend.
- Entry into a prize draw for a desirable gift, a business-specific incentive such as a personalised product, or a free training session for staff.
The linked reward needs to be relevant to the action you'd like your buyer to take, such as discounts to incentivise a purchase or free content for existing customers to encourage them to learn more about your brand, product, or upcoming launch.
Gamification in Training
Another excellent way to use gamification within B2B marketing is to enhance the use or knowledge of your product rather than sell it.
This approach works best with technical businesses where the service or product requires training, such as software, machinery, or tooling. Training and education work particularly well with gamification because a game naturally lends itself to modules, scoring, competitions and working through interactive sessions.
B2B businesses can offer a gamified learning package for buyers or provide live training webinars for clients, or to share with colleagues that complete the educational game.
B2B Gamification Techniques
As we’ve seen, there are all sorts of ways to make gamification a selling point, use it to spearhead a promotion, or engage with prospective or existing buyers in a way that feels fresh.
Below we’ve run through a few ideas to demonstrate how you could develop an element of gamification into your marketing strategy – in some cases, with very little time or cost required.
Quizzes and Opinion Polls
Social media channels have multiple built-in tools that allow you to create quizzes or polls, share them with your audience and invite them to participate.
People like to be asked for an opinion, and in a professional context, this can be serious or playful – such as predicting market trends for the next year, asking about the product your buyers would like to see, or seeking opinions on things like colourways.
You can also use quizzes for lead generation, interact with respondents, or publish the outcomes as a form of social proof – such as having evidence that 97% of respondents asked for the product you’re about to launch.
Webinars commonly include the polls and quizzes we've looked at, but they can also be an effective marketing exercise, providing access to valuable information, expert advice, or business support.
Businesses use webinars to educate and can capture new leads through sign-up forms, offer rewards for participation, or incorporate gamification within the session by asking viewers to answer questions, take part in a quiz, or place a vote.
Releasing gamification elements in stages is a way to build on engagement, with the suspense of waiting for the next instalment, dropping hints about what comes next, or leaving one module on a cliffhanger to generate excitement.
Games can also tie into your business space – think locked room mysteries, app-based games, or problem-solving games where buyers need to use their professional know-how or logic-based thinking to find the solution.
Finally, gamification works best when there is a finish line, and the game isn't so long that it would command a significant time investment to participate.
Breaking games into bite-sized chunks makes it more inviting to buyers who may not have lots of spare time but will willingly spend five minutes engaging in a gameplay scenario, provided the reward on offer is enticing enough!
This post was written by:
Steve is co-owner of Tiga Creative Marketing
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