Mycustomer.com has an interesting article “Gamification: Why are marketers getting it so wrong?“. Written from a marketing perspective, the article highlights some problems with jumping on the gamification bandwagon, and suggests possible solutions.
Just as with any other over-hyped topic, gamification needs care and understanding to work effectively. If you are not a gamification expert yourself, find and partner with people who really know how to make it work.
Baasalt may be looked at as a platform for encouraging, building, managing and guiding engagement between a community of participants and an app, site, product or brand. It may not fit neatly into traditional marketing activities such as publicity and search engine optimisation (SEO) which concentrate on getting visitors in the first place.
However, community engagement is a vital part of marketing. At a recent meeting I found myself describing the techniques we use as “the marketing that happens once somebody has chosen to visit”. I was surprised how many marketing approaches stop at that point. Assuming that everything beyond that point is sales, or worse, that the product, service or brand will somehow “sell itself”.
It’s vitally important to understand that in the connected and social world of the web, there are always other options, other distractions, and other sources of information and advice. Helping your visitors to find a useful, satisfying and even fun experience is a key way of getting them to come back again, and also of getting them to help you by encouraging their connections to visit too. And, of course, one of the most powerful ways of giving visitors such an experience is to use the psychological and social factors learned from games.
This was brought home to me even more strongly when I read a recent article about the move from the personal touch of marketing consultancy to an expectation that brands can just buy in to automated systems to do much of their marketing. When you consider that post-visit engagement is also a key part of long-term marketing, it’s natural that an on-line service which helps drive engagement is the next step. Which is where Baasalt comes in.
Read more at Tech Crunch: Act-On’s $16M D Round From Norwest Venture Is Evidence That Online Marketing Will Be Automated.
Credit card point schemes are a familiar form of gamification. They obviously have some effect on puchase habits, as pointed out by Jennifer at “For The Win” (In Real Life: Credit Cards.)
The interesting aspect for me is that they are lacking in some key areas that we associate with a more modern gamified approach. Credit cards may have originally had a very rough analogue of levels in the form of “gold” and “platinum” cards, but these seem devalued when any card issuer can go for a gold or platinum appearance for a common card, with no need for the bearer to achieve any particular levels of wealth or spending.
Also missing is the social aspect that we usually associate with gamification. Purchase, payment and debt history is held up as a big personal secret, so there are no leaderboards, no challenges or achievement badges, no competing with friends, or anything to engage social networks with the card as a brand in itself, rather than just a proxy for affording other brands.
It seems entirely likely that the first credit card company to find a way to tap in to a broader and fuller range of gamification techniques could make a very large amount of money.
Gamification keeps spreading, as more and more businesses realize the benefits. Finnish gamified health and exercise startup HeiaHeia, which targets both individuals and company workforces, has expanded into the UK market.
Read more at Tech Crunch More Push Ups, Less Sick Days: HeiaHeia’s Social Exercise Platform Sees UK Launch.
TechCrunch points out that gamification is also useful “for your own good”, in this case by encouraging people to use better web security and stronger passwords.
There are some bold claims being made about gamification.
Feel free to keep up to date with developments at http://blog.baasalt.net/