Gamification continues to balloon in popularity as a concept, but there is a disconnect between the idea of using gamification and actually implementing it. This guide is meant to help you get started with a simple beginning that's not overwhelming.
I Googled "Gamification" to get a definition so I could start off this article, and what came up perfectly illustrates why I wanted to do this piece. Gamification is defined as:
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.
And then below there's an interest chart showing gamification catching fire in the mid-2000's and just skyrocketing continually from there. So there's an interest in gamification, but it's a largely misunderstood concept based on 100's of conversations with marketers who have all sorts of ideas of what gamification might be or should be, but I have yet to speak with anyone who has actually implemented a gamification system into their marketing.
With all that in mind, I created this guide to give you practical examples of how you can actually begin using gamification as a marketing tool, let us begin.
Starting off with B2B because everyone asks about it
I feel for B2B marketers because in actuality B2B marketing doesn't really exist. Most stories I hear from the B2B world are companies that try marketing for a while before defaulting to a "marketing is just here to support sales" model.
That sucks because mareketing is a slow-developing thing and if you don't get the time and support you need to build up marketing then it won't work.
Luckily, in some cases, quizzes can accelerate your metrics that management cares about (I.E. new leads/sales). Let's walk through how this works for Gemalto, an IT Security company.
Their game is called "If Your IT Security Strategy Was A Fort, what would it look like?" but it began life as something like "How Secure is Your IT Infrastructure?" which brings us to our first super important point - gamification only works if it is fun. Now in our definition of "fun" from the dictionary definition of gamification above it called out three things. point scoring, competition with others, and rules of play. This example has both point scoring (how it figures out what kind of fort you would have) and rules of play (there are definitions to how you get each result).
If we compare the fort title to the regular "How Secure is Your IT Infrastructure" title we can see that the latter doesn't have any elements of fun in it, because you're taking out the gamification pieces.
In B2B I see a lot of this, where the tendency is to go directly into subjects with the mentality of "How do we get the information we need from the clients?" which is great and all, because you DO need to learn about your customers, but there is a different way to do it that doesn't involve just setting everything up as a survey. That's what we're talking about here with gamification, taking a survey-style questionnaire and turning it into a gamified piece that people want to engage with.
Here's where the gamified part starts to play out.
As you being answering questions within the interactive piece, it's not immediately clear how your responses connect with what type of fort you are (that's the points part of the gamification model). A well put together gamified piece will have a number of questions leading to an outcome and as someone goes through the questions they'll gather up points or corellations to different outcomes that will determine what they are shown at the end, all within them knowing what's going on in the background.
The biggest benefit of using gamification is that you can still gather customer informaton like a survey and you'll end up with actionable insights you can use to improve your marketing communications, but you don't have to entice people to answer the questions because the element of fun has been introduced.
If you notice, all the questions are addressed to "You" a personal pronoun indicating that this game is made for one person to play at a time. If you delve into the psychology of this, it makes a huge difference if you address people individually because it will feel like the game was made just for them and not for everyone else. This will lead to more honest answers, and thus better market research for you, as well as a more engaged game player who will more likely continue on with your brand after the game.
After the questions you can add a lead capture form
In a B2B marketing everything is focued on leads, and often it's a focus on MQL's that meet certain criteria. The thing is, you can use a game to actually qualify a lead by asking questions that filter people into different outcomes (in this case the different types of forts), and then since you know that two of the outcomes are MQL's and two are not you would simply filter into different lists or tag the leads in your CRM differently so you know which leads to follow up with.
(More on how those integrations work here)
I agree with the focus on lead generation in B2B, but I would add that you should make the opt-in form optional on your game, if for no other reason than to filter out bad leads on not make sales mad at you.
Then you show the fort type!
In this game you are showing the type of fort someone is based on their IT security, which is only as good as you make it.
What I mean is, if you leave the results ambiguous and not fun or quirky, then the game is a bust because people expected it to be engaging and fun but you ended up making it about you and about selling products rather than the enjoyment of the game.
The absolute easiest way to avoid the pitfall of falling back into being overly serious is to use good graphics that represent each of the outcomes. Images are one way to really set the stage.
The other way is to make the text of your outcome not just about selling, but add some of the game elements back into what you tell people at the end.
You walk into a barber shop to talk about beard products...
Let's play a game - you tell me about your beard and I'll tell you how you can make it better. (same thing works for any product, here's another example about Facemasks from Birchbox)
There's a very special reason this game is so effective for selling products (2.3x more products on average).
The reason is that we love to talk about ourselves. Start asking anyone about their habits or preferences and they'll immediately begin telling you everything, usually over-sharing.
There is a scientific reason for this, and it involves self-expression as a way of connection, which is something we are all wired for.
Therefore, the game of "Tell me about you and I'll recommend things" is a really strong one that is always fun for the person doing the talking (your potential customer).
Once you begin your line of questioning, it's best to default back to what you already know about the industry you serve. What I mean is, ask the same questions you would if you owned a physical shop, or when you are talking with someone who is interested in buying from the variety of products you have to offer.
For this quiz where we're talking about beard products, an obvious choice is to ask about the size of the beard.
"When done right, a quiz can welcome new website visitors with open arms and indulge their self-centered tendencies to create instant interest in what you’re selling. A quiz bridges the gap between you and potential customers in such a relatable way they don’t feel marketed to. Which, let’s be honest, is the whole point!" - 10 Carat Creations
This quote perfectly examplifies the draw of these types of questions. If you ask people about themselves, they'll tell you because the want to, and then you have a much better marketing funnel after that because you know people's preferences, it's a true win-win.
One more just to show the kind of interaction you can create with a quiz game. Asking people about what kind of scent they like in order to recommend products is so spot-on because you can imagine that same person in a physical store smelling each of the products before making a purchase, it's an important part of anything you buy that has to do with hygiene, so it's a perfectly fitting and very answerable question to ask in a quiz.
Once you show the product, it's like a friendly recommendation rather than a pitch.
Think about your likelihood to purchase a product that a friend tells you about which satisfies a particular need you have versus something that is advertised to you generically with no specific purpose or direction.
A recommendation from a friend is 2.3x more likely to lead to a purchase than a generic (or even targeted) one. When you've gone through all the profiling questions of a product recommendation tool and established a connection with the quiz taker.
So the situation is "Now that you've told me about your preferences let me use my expertise to help you find just the right product for what you need" rather than "Let me pitch you on why you need my products"
Those are super different scenarios, and the tone is night and day where one situation is you being helpful and the other is you trying to get what you want (a sale). Which one do you think people will respond better to?
This exact example has worked every time for the last 6 years...
"What Is Your Selling Personality?" is the exact quiz that was requested by a client 6 years ago that kicked off the idea for interact and prompted us building the platform now used by 55,000 companies.
It is first and foremost a personality test, but it is also a gamified way of helping potential customers find the best products or services for their unique selling style so you can offer to help in a personalized manner.
The "game" part of a test like this is the way in which you answer questions, not knowing exactly what it means about your personality, and then you are shown your outcome at the end as a surprise.
Often, the questions in a personalty test are very similar to what you'd as a new client in an intial onboarding questionnaire. You want to find out what type of person they are so you can offer up an accurate and compelling result, as well as show them the right options for how they can work with you and your company.
It's also an amazing way to learn about your customers and discover who they are as well as what they most struggle with or are best at in their businesses. If you have a handle on the biggest pain points, for example, then you can craft your marketing messages to address those pain points or run email marketing campaigns specifically about how you can help with those issues.
A single question on a personality test can do the market research of an entire survey.
To complete the game, show the outcome
After someone answers all the questions, you show the outcome that they got on the test.
This is like the part of a card game where everyone flips over their cards to reveal their hand, it's where you show your hand and let the people know what was going on behind the scenes as they answered seemingly disconnected questions to get to this result.