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Gamification: interaction on the cheap

Gamification can get consumers and staff engaged with a brand without spending big on advertising, the boss at a web design firm has said.

Speaking at the Mumbrella360 conference, Colin Cardwell, CEO of 3rd Sense Design told delegates that using gaming elements can motivate people to interact with brands for free.

“What [gamification] really means for brands is using the same tools a game designer uses in a non-game environment to motivate people to do things without paying them real money or tangible rewards,” he said.

Chris Stephenson, strategy director at the Australian arm of PHD, a media agency that launched a global gamification initiative in November last year, said his company is using gaming to make the most of real-world situations.

“Everything you do in our agency you now get points for,” Stephenson said.

“Every single action you take, every plan you make, every definition, every idea developed, you get what are called ‘pings’ for. And we’ve now got a global leaderboard for that.”

“Behaviours that we want to disproportionately encourage will get disproportionate pings. So if you’re wanting to optimise your media spend you can beat an econometric model in a server in New York, if you can get a better one-plus reach than that server can, you’re getting a thousand pings for doing so, a disproportionate award for being able to do that. And we’ve got a global leaderboard.”

Cardwell said gamification had the potential to create brand loyalty without needing to make a sale.

“The huge advantage about gamification-based loyalty programs is that you can apply it in situations where a sale doesn’t have to take place. Because you are not rewarding with tangible rewards and that motivation is something that doesn’t cost money and you can apply it in all kinds of areas,” said Cardwell.

Stephenson said PHD was showing how gamification could have a huge impact on staff loyalty.

“We have one framework which works across seventy countries,” he said.

“Over fifteen-hundred people currently playing at strategy and planning and optimisation of investment. And those people are intrinsically motivated to help each other. There’ll be an epic win for the person who’s committed and leaned into this the most and who has engaged the most in the system.”

“You’re creating something that’s a physical and emotional experience,” said Marigo Raftopoulos, doctoral researcher at GEElab.

“It adds to that playful element. How we connect with the product and the brand is very different to what it has been before. It’s not just cognitive, it’s experiential as well.”

Damon Meredith

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