The oxford dictionary lists gamification as follows:
gam·i·fi·ca·tion: The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.
It then puts it in super context (which I just love):
“Gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun”
Indeed it does make the hard stuff fun. It takes the mundane out of traditional computer based learning (CBL) modules and makes training and education seem more like a pastime than actual work. It’s not gaming—so don’t worry you CEO’s thinking your people will be playing online slots all day. There’s a big difference between gaming and gamification—enough so that we’ll blog a new post about that entire topic later.
But over the past year as we have become so much more so digitally social, today gamification is as common of a buzz word as was once web 2.0. Seems like everyone is doing it, from large corporations to even the US government. The bigger question now that gamification has gone mainstream and marketers, HR folks and the C-suite have adopted it as a legit channel, what do you do with the massive amounts of data generated from all those fun, intrinsic actions?
Hopefully, if you’re a good marketer, you took that data and plugged it into an analytics dashboard so you can keep your finger on the pulse of your customer, employee or whomever is the consumer of your gamification tactic. But is that enough? Are you taking those insights and creating actionable tactics to correct what’s not working or augment what is working? Are you celebrating the achievements and success of the brand advocates? How can you do that with so much massive data load coming in?
Taking that data and applying advanced marketing science to it via big data algorithms can yield some powerful next steps. For example, if someone reacts a certain way, or says something in particular, or takes a specific action, are you automatically re-targeting them with content and instruction that is relevant to their wants and needs? Continuous integrated loop automated systems such as hubEngage do this, and they do it by adapting naturally in a controlled way to your end user.
Just having a successful gamification program is not enough—you found an engagement tactic that works, now take it to the next level and serve up relevant content.