Gamification for Better Business Outcomes - Motivating Users

Monday, March 18, 2019

Gamify’s video version of Neil Patel’s “How to use Gamification for better Business Results”

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Video Takeaways

Gamification works by encouraging users to engage in desired behaviours, by showing a path to mastery, and by taking advantage of our human psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.

Smart marketers use it to increase consumer engagement and influence consumer behaviour. In order to achieve this, consumers should be rewarded with virtual items (like points) for specific behaviour (e.g. buying something, signing up, using the product, filling out their profile), and those virtual items should offer access to exclusive privileges and rewards, such as levels or prizes.

The Secret Sauce: Game-Like Mechanics

Game mechanics are constructs of rules intended to produce an enjoyable gameplay. Think of it as basic building blocks that can be combined in interesting ways to drive a (often complex) sequence of actions in order to achieve desired results.

These typically include items such as pointsbadgeslevelschallengesleaderboards and the possibility to level up. These come from game-like dynamics such as rewardsurgencypridecompetition, and status-building.

Gamification’s Psychological Foundations

As Gabe Zichermann is quoted in the video, “Gamification is 75% Psychology and 25% Technology.”

A gamified system must engage the three elements of B.J. Fogg’s Behaviour Change Model (Motivation, Ability, Trigger). This means the gamified system must motivate users to do something, give them the ability to carry out the action and a trigger must be in place in order to complete the action and not have the users lose interest.

Key Motivators

  • Rewards. A reward is something you receive and feel positive about. The feeling positive part is the key ingredient. Consumers should be rewarded with virtual goods (e.g., points) for specific behaviour (e.g., purchases, completing a form), and those virtual items should offer access to exclusive privileges and rewards, such as levels or prizes.

  • Loss Aversion. Most people strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. One way to get going with this is to give people something right away that they can lose (unless they keep playing). When you join Zynga’s Farmville, you get a starter farm. If you don’t visit the farm and care for your crops, they wither and die.

  • Status, competition and reputation. Most people inherently want a higher status and not only to keep up, but to out-do the Joneses. This is why leaderboards are a good idea. Also, making achievements social encourages people to continually one-up, and stay motivated to reach clear goals. To learn more about designing reputation systems.

  • Feedback. Feedback tells users that their intended action was registered, and shows the outcomes of that action. Seeing points accumulate as actions are taken establishes a clear and instant reward system. It’s also an immediate indication that the user is getting closer to their goal. Continually accomplishing small goals in order to reach a larger goal is often what makes games addictive.

Final Thought

If you take what people love about games and apply it to other things, they become more enjoyable and fun. Gamification is a powerful tool to boost your business results – either by incorporating it in your marketing and/or product, or by using it to motivate your staff. Quality of execution determines the success.

“Most attempts at gamification currently miss the mark, but successful and sustainable gamification can convert customers into fans, turn work into fun, or make learning a joy. The potential is enormous.”– Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner

A gamified application must offer a worthwhile experience; otherwise people are not going to use it. At the same time, its success has to be measured.

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