Gamification, especially in business, is a hot topic. Everyone wants to know how they can get a piece of the gamification pie!
In this post, we are going to highlight examples on how to use gamification in business and how you can gamify your work in marketing, sales, HR or innovation.
Welcome to our gamification guide on how to gamify your business!
How to use gamification in marketing
There are a huge range of ways to gamify your marketing strategy. One of these ways is combining gamification and storytelling.
Storytelling has become a popular buzzword in marketing in the last couple of years. But how can storytelling and gamification be combined to create a winning marketing strategy?
Take the case of The Dark Knight marketing campaign. When it came time for the studio to release the first photo of Heath Ledger as the Joker, they wanted to do something different and get fans and the public excited.
42 Entertainment, an alternate reality gaming company who had been assigned to help promote The Dark Knight, decided to take fans on a treasure hunt to find the photo of the Joker. 42 Entertainment says they could have just released the photo to the news sites but they wanted to do something different to give fans ownership, take them on an adventure and drum up suspense and excitement.
Check out this video if you’re interested in hearing the full story of how 42 Entertainment combined storytelling and gamification.
How to begin gamifying your marketing
Before you begin gamifying your marketing, you need to ensure gamification aligns with your marketing objectives and figure out how you can tailor your gamification strategy to your objectives. For example, if you want to create awareness then you could reward people for sharing your brand on social media.
You also need to think about your target audience and decide what kind of games they would enjoy – this is going to vary drastically between five-year-olds and fifty-year-olds. Also decide on a good incentive to get people involved.
HotJar is a great example of a company using meaningful incentives/rewards. Their referral programme involves giving customers a t-shirt when they refer five people and if they are at the top of their referrers leaderboard by the end of the time period, they win a free lifetime HotJar business account worth €89 a month – a great prize! This is a perfect example of an incentive that encourages people to refer as many people as possible.
Ensure you have clear goals of what you want from gamification. If it’s not working, then you need to be prepared to try something else. Gamification doesn’t work for every business and doesn't align with all marketing objectives.
How to use gamification for innovation and brainstorming
Innovation games are a classic strategy used often by businesses to encourage employees to think outside the box and come up with new ideas. In fact, it has become so popular that the term 'gamestorming' has been coined by Dave Gray, explained here in this presentation, to describe our affinity with using games to get our creative juices flowing.
Below are a couple of examples of three different innovation games you can use to get your employees thinking creatively.
Prune the Product Tree
This game is all about assessing the balance between different features of your product.
Draw a large tree with thick branches that represent each one of your core areas of functionality. Ask employees to write new/potential new features on post-it notes or leaf-shaped pieces of paper and then ask them to place them according to what core area they are attached or related to.
When you’re finished, take a step back. Is the tree balanced? If not, this could show you potential problems that could arise when implementing new features. This game also helps employees think of unique features that could help balance your product portfolio.
Mitch Lacey Team Prioritization
This is a great game to use to figure out what idea is the least complex to implement whilst providing the most value. This can often be the next logical step to take in your business.
You identify these ideas by using a graph layout - one axis goes from low complexity to high and the other axis goes from low value to high. Employees then place business ideas on post-it notes where they think they belong on the graph.
This game is simple. Employees are each given 5 dot stickers which they place next to ideas they would support.
How to use gamification in sales
Sales is an ideal department in which to implement an internal gamification solution. This is because the behaviour displayed in sales departments is easily rewardable and can be repeated on a daily basis.
One way to do this is by creating a sales leaderboard. This leaderboard can show who has made the most sales that day, week or month. The employee at the top of the leaderboard after your pre-defined time period could receive an extra day of holiday or a prize of their choice.
How to use gamification in HR & training
Training is often dreaded by employers and employees alike due to how time-consuming and mundane it can be. However, if you start to gamify your training process, it will suddenly become much more exciting.
There are plenty of programs that can assist you in a gamified training process, but it is also simple to do yourself. Simply create levels of the training process and give employees a virtual reward, or physical, each time they level up.
Encourage thorough training by rewarding employees for answering questions right, instead of rewarding them based on how quickly they complete the training process.