Gamification in Your Business

Let’s talk gamification. If a picture is worth 1000 words, what’s a video worth? Gamification

I’d venture to say it’s worth a trillion. A trillion words, a trillion dollars, a trillion visions of fun.

The Fun Theory is an initiative of the Volkswagen company, and they’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head. An interesting concept that proves gamification in marketing is the way to get customers/clients to do what you want them to do, even when it’s good for them.

This particular video really appeals to me because it’s such a great example. The concept is: can we get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do?

Watch the video and I’ll tell you why you need gamification in your marketing.

Fun right?

Did you catch the stats…66% more people took the stairs when it was fun…a game. Even though that was one honkin’ big set of stairs.

Gamification in your small business marketing is a way to create engagement with your audience.

The use of polls and surveys, QR codes, text messaging and video can bring the online world offline and vice versa. In fact, in many cases adding the fun to your marketing builds a bridge between traditional offline direct marketing and the inter-webs.

Like, OMG, clever direct marketing experts have been doing it like forever. [implied valley girl accent]

Brainstorm ways to gamify your engagement. Create a kooky direct mail piece that people aren’t used to seeing.

Like what you say? Okay, okay, let me be more specific. Now you’re really challenging my creativity and ability to think outside the box late at night when I’m actually a morning person, but who’s complaining.

GamificationOffline, let’s say we own a party store. So we mail an envelope to a culled list with a printed balloon that reads, 20% OFF a Graduation balloon bouquet during the month of June. The card inside the envelope tells the customer to blow up the balloon to receive a special surprise for their graduate. We make sure there is enough print on the balloon that the customer wants to blow it up to read the offer. That’s making your direct mail solicitation fun and memorable.

Online, that same party store delivers the same discount coupon if the customer pops the online balloon. The only way to pop the balloon is to enter their name and email to the campaign on the website. They do a Facebook ad with the picture of a balloon and ask the customer to pop the balloon by hitting the LIKE button for a special surprise, use an animated gif image of a popping balloon and deliver the 20% coupon again.

Making a game out of your interaction with customers drives engagement. Look to MTV and Nickelodeon for confirmation of the fact. They’ve mastered bringing together the offline and online world during events like Kid’s Choice Awards by introducing gaming techniques to live events where the viewers engagement online creates real time consequences offline.

Shoot, just look at the video. Climbing a huge double flight of stairs is FUN…if you get to make music while you do it.

Gamification can create a bridge between the offline and online worlds which is where current marketing methods fall apart.

The Fun Theory project has several great examples of fun that makes a difference. Fun drives us to do things that we might otherwise not take time for. Maybe we’re all kids at heart. Take advantage of that fact in your small business marketing methods and watch customer engagement rise online and off.

Games are FUN. Gamification is SMART, Chutes and Ladders anyone?