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What is Gamified Marketing?

The term refers to utilizing strategies and components from games within marketing campaigns and instruments. This process seeks to play on fundamental human impulses that seek challenge, accomplishment and rewards, in order to capitalize their attention, interest and hopefully, their purchasing power.

As early as 1896, S&H Green Stamps  sold stamps to retailers who used them to reward loyal customers.The method has stood the test of time, and is probably one of the most effective ways to communicate creatively with potential customers. Unsurprisingly, marketers across industries are ever eager to use gamification-driven techniques to supercharge their campaigns and get the most out of their investments. 

Benefits of Gamified Marketing

Why does Gamified Marketing work? It’s easy to answer this question once you look at the many advantages provided by this phenomenon.

·  Makes things fun: The entire point of a game is to be fun. No game, in all of human history, was played just because it was informative or educational. We come to games for fun.

Gamified Marketing zeroes in on exactly this intent. Human brains are wired to seek out pleasure, fun and rewards – fundamental components of every game. Gamified Marketing makes marketers think of people as purveyors of games, and thus designs campaigns to be as enjoyable as possible.

Above all else, fun is marketable. By making a campaign enjoyable, it has a much higher likelihood of actually cutting through the noise and being seen and heard.

·  Fosters engagement: Given that users actually have to participate with games, they require a level of engagement that cannot be matched by text or video. Furthermore, a game cannot just barge into a user’s feed and try to get their attention. Users actually have to actively play the game, which means that their engagement will be proactive and intentional.

When you gamify marketing campaigns, you interact with people who are focused and looking forward to the next stage in the game. Brands and businesses can display their messages throughout the game to already interested users. They don’t have to worry about people looking away, as they do during TV commercials or skipping intrusive ads before Youtube videos.

Gamification offers people a few moments of stimulating activity, an escape from an otherwise mundane day. By associating a brand with this good feeling, marketers can create positive product and brand awareness – the first step towards inciting an eventual purchase.

·  Wide, multi-generational appeal: The mobile gaming industry alone made 77.2 billion U.S. dollars in revenue for 2020. There’s been no sign of any slowdown in 2021.

Additionally, 35.4% of gamers in the US are in their late 20s and early 30s. The 18-24 age group counts for 24.9% and the 35-44 age group counts for 23%. About 80% of smartphone users play games on their phone. 50% of them play for about 1-2 hours each day.  That means people in key spending groups are deeply invested in games, which makes their attention highly desirable for marketing campaigns.

As mentioned before, when playing games, people are engaged in a way they are not when watching video or reading something. They have to constantly participate to progress, which means they are not zoning out. Consequently, brand messaging in games is more likely to be perceived positively and with more attention. This also stands true when you actually gamify the campaign itself.

·  More effective data collection: In the digital realm, data is gold. The more marketers know about their target audience, the more they can appeal to their preferences in order to sell a product.

However, collecting data that actually matters can be difficult if users are not actually interested or engaged with whatever digital avenue they are handling. Therefore, by generating interest through gamification, marketers can inspire users to engage. By building positive brand association through gamification (ideally through some kind of reward), users are more likely to give accurate and useful data, which helps with better understanding them.

·  Increased conversion rates: As users continue to interact with gamified elements of a brand, there is a much higher chance of clicking on or responding to a CTA. Traditional banner ads and other common marketing methods are known for being notoriously ignored. However, creative and interactive gamification strategies give users a real reason to take action. Needless to say, this will improve conversion rates.

Imagine that you are offering a 20% discount on a brand-new product if users take a quick 2-minute quiz about themselves. Users are far likelier to answer those questions, grab that discount and actually use it. So, not only will marketers get information about them, but will also end up making a sale.

To gamify campaigns is to empower them in unique ways. By using techniques that make games endlessly fun and addictively engaging, gamified marketing has the ability to supercharge it’s impact and gain results unimaginable by traditional marketing tactics. 

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