Business Marketing: Greater Engagement Through Gamification Theory


Traditional marketing has always been focused on outbound efforts, with marketing companies constantly strategizing about how to find their customers, when, and where. 

But there has been a shift in the tides … 

Now, companies are focused on inbound marketing – the practice of enticing potential companies to find you, engage with you, and eventually, buy from you. And this strategy uses one key tactic to make it all happen – and it’s called gamification

The gamification of everyday experiences, marketing, advertising, and engagement from brands to customers is helping to drive long-term loyalty, brand value, and increased ROI. With the average customer being bombarded with 6k-10k brand messages daily, gamification is helping to get off the bigger track and onto bigger and better things. 

So what the heck is gamification, and how can you capitalize on this marketing home run?

Find out below.

What is Gamification Marketing 

Gamification activates the integration of gaming principles with traditional marketing to give audiences an engaged, unique and rewarding experience with the brand. Using tools like mobile apps, website space, ad campaigns, etc., companies can propel gamification techniques across multiple platforms simultaneously. 

Using gamification, current and potential consumers are enticed into engagement and action through the promise of competition, reward, and a sense of belonging. 

It changes the way consumers interact, engage, and experience your brand overall with elements like pop-up quizzes, video games, or spin-to-win ads. 

What Are the Benefits of Gamification?

It shouldn’t be surprising that consumers want to be engaged and totally excited by brands. In fact, 60% of consumers said they’re more likely to buy from brands that produce fun, gamified marketing. 

According to projections, there are over 1 billion global gamers, which is projected to grow to 1.3 billion by 2025. Studies by Deloitte show that 52.9% of the digital media market is occupied by video games alone. 

So what are some of the hard-hitting, stand-out benefits of gamification marketing?

1. Data, data, data: The most important on our list …

Gamification is taking the quest for consumer data to an equal playing ground, offering consumers a trade: a game in exchange for their info. Once brands have the name and contact details of potential or current consumers, brands can add them to critical mailing lists offering discounts, newsletters, and badges. 

2. Multi-Generational Reach 

Statistics stand for themselves, and they show that 80% of smartphone users are playing games on their phones, and a whopping 50% of those users are playing on them daily. Of all those gamers, nearly half are male and half female, striking a near-perfect balance on the playing field.  

Users of all ages and demographics are gaming every day, making the overall market reach of games multidimensional and multi-generational. 

3. Increased ROI:

With a wider demographic, community connections, and enhanced brand value, it’s inevitable that brands experience a relative increase in ROI. According to statistics, compared to standard ads, gamification can increase purchase intent by an incredible 169%

4. Measurable Engagement:

Gamers have to create accounts, log in and log hours in order to stay on top of their game. This means brands can collect measurable data about who their most engaged consumers are, how they’re engaging, and for how long. This allows brands to better carve out where ads might fall, what kinds of rewards drive the best results, and what number of players are cashing in on their rewards. 

Measurable data helps create a roadmap for bigger, broader audiences and long-standing gamification strategies. 

5. Emotional Engagement:

Gamification inspires users to accomplish goals and to keep at it. They feel rewarded once they hit the target, both personally and as consumers of a particular brand. Once gamers are able to earn a reward for their accomplishments, they’ll create a positive association between that experience and the brand. 

Most consumers are driven by emotional purchases, so reaching consumers on an emotional level long before they convert with purchase helps to create long-term relationships and positive connections. 

Inspire users to create and share user-generated content (UGC). People taking to social media to share their best times on your branded racing game or using a branded hashtag to enter a contest represent priceless, organic, word-of-mouth marketing.

The Gamification Techniques that Work 

Gamification is meant to pop, wham, BLOW consumers’ minds away with fun, enticing, nearly irresistible fun. 

The best way to do that is with short, easy-to-follow gaming techniques that engage consumers for short bursts of time but that deliver frequent, branded rewards.

  • Points: This is a popular, well-utilized technique where buyers receive an increasing number of points for the increasing dollar amount spent. Users collect points over a period of time and then redeem those points for rewards. The best example of this are travel credit cards and their air miles rewards. 
  • Countdowns: Customers are challenged to complete a task, quiz, or competition within a locked-in amount of time, earning rewards for their ranking and completion of said tasks. 
  • Virtual Currency:  Create a unique currency exclusive to the brand that can only be used in-store. Currency can be used to reward frequent shoppers, in-store purchasers, or customers who earn a certain level of savings. 

   Example: Kohl’s Cash 

  • Badges: Rewarding customers with badges, sent to their account and directly to their email to signify and call out reward levels. This appeals to achievement-driven choices, encouraging consumers to continue to earn. 

 Looking for even more inspiration about how you can gamify your brand?

StellaPop has something for that!


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