Gamification trends

2 minutes estimated reading time

I am doing some part-time study at the moment and teamed up with some of my fellow students to look at gamification trends. We had a grand total of just over 2 1/2 hours to score sources for information about gamification and its use in marketing.

From the research we had some key takeouts.

Gamification is only new in respect to the way one looks at the problem rather than a new, new idea. When one thinks back to the early days of the web and the way AOL chat room moderators where incentivised this employed gamification before the concept was discussed. In it’s present form however there hasn’t been that much research done about it.

Gamification the way we now understand it from a digital marketing perspective probably goes back to the work done at Carnegie Mellon University about Games With A Purpose.

The incentives that seem to work best are in order of priority:

  • Status
  • Access
  • Power
  • Stuff

Interested surged in the concept of gamification from the second half of 2010, but the body of literature about it is only a small fraction of that about digital marketing AND the bulk of the literature about gamification is focused at how it can be applied from a technological or business process point of view. From a mainstream media perspective the level of interest has surged since the beginning of the year.

In terms of research, Gartner seems to have led the way in terms of predictions about the growth of gamifying activities within enterprises, this is probably why it is getting so much attention around business processes rather than marketing.

Measurement of engagement according to M2 research revolves around four aspects:

  • Engagement: unique visits, time spent on site / page views
  • Loyalty: repeat visits, invite a friend
  • Virality: sharing, appearance on social channel communications
  • Monetisation: conversion rates, purchase of virtual goods, registration

Of these four categories the few successful case studies that we found focused on engagement and loyalty. Social networks were used as a conduit and a platform for gamification layers. For instance, used Badgeville to drive increased engagement and sharing of their site content.

Since this is a relatively young area of digital marketing we found some serious gaps in available information about gamifying campaigns including:

  • Project failure rates
  • B2B case studies
  • Examples of commerce / conversion

The critical factor in planning a programme based on gamifying an action seemed to be in the selection and fine tuning of the game mechanic and how it was applied.

The presentation is on Slideshare so may not be available to all readers. More related content here.

More information