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What is Gamification in Marketing? + 3 Examples to Get Inspired

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Looking for new ways to capture your audience's attention? Want to spice up your marketing activities and campaigns? Well, fear not, because the solution to your problem may lie in one word: gamification. But just what is gamification and how can be used to optimize your marketing strategy? Without further ado, let’s jump straight in!

What is gamification in marketing?

Gamification is the process of motivating and engaging people by incorporating game-like elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards into non-game contexts. These traditional game tactics appeal to our natural human desire for competition, accomplishments, and rewards, making even the most difficult task feel exciting and enjoyable.

In marketing, gamification is a popular tactic to create interactive experiences that capture consumers' attention and encourage them to take specific actions. For this reason, gamification has quickly become a hugely powerful tool for marketers looking to attract new customers. Gamification is built on a variety of game mechanics and elements that make the experience feel like a game. Some of the most common gamification elements are:

Some common gamification elements include:

Points, badges and leaderboards

Gamification elements such as these are all about ensuring continued engagement with your product. All three of these are great ways to highlight user achievement as they earn more points and badges and progress up leaderboards. Leaderboards in particular, are a great way to introduce a competitive aspect, driving further engagement.

Contests and Challenges

Challenges give users specific tasks or goals to complete, adding an element of excitement and competition to your marketing strategy. Both contests and challenges are great for giving customers a sense of accomplishment when completed, and that all-important dopamine release. To make contests most effective, make sure that they are accompanied with sufficient rewards and prizes so you can get the most engagement.


Speaking of rewards, this gamification component is arguably the most crucial for boosting motivation. You're probably already familiar with Loyalty Programs It's really up to you what you offer as a reward, but common rewards include free products, discounts or limited-edition items. There are numerous benefits to using rewards. They not only excite and motivate users, but also provide them with the incentive to keep coming back to your product, helping your customer retention strategy.

What are the different approaches to gamification in marketing?

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5 benefits of using gamification in your marketing strategy?

Gamification isn’t simply a fun way to interact with customers; it's also a powerful marketing tool that helps businesses sell more and strengthen your brand. Here are 5 benefits:

1. Increased engagement

Gamification helps to create a sense of fun and excitement that keeps users engaged and coming back for more.

2. Improved customer retention

By providing rewards and discounts as well as engaging experiences, businesses can create a sense of connection that keeps customers coming back.

3. Improved brand loyalty

Providing positive experiences for customers can lead to them feeling more positive about the brand, making them more likely to recommend it to others.

4. Increased sales and revenue

Customers are incentivized to take specific actions or make purchases in order to earn rewards or move up on a leaderboard, which can lead to increased sales and revenue.

5. Collecting customer data

Through gamification, businesses can collect valuable data on customer behaviors, preferences, and interests. This data can be used for future marketing activities. Gamification provides numerous advantages for businesses looking to improve their marketing efforts. It helps businesses achieve their sales goals and build stronger relationships with their customers, whether it's increased engagement, improved customer retention, or increased sales and revenue.

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3 examples of marketing gamification in action

If you are still looking for some-real life examples of marketing gamification in action, then look no further:


Duolingo is a language learning app that incorporates gamification to enhance the learning experience. For completing lessons and practicing their language skills, users earn points, badges, and virtual currency. This gamified approach to language learning has helped Duolingo become one of the most popular language-learning apps on the market.

M&M’s Eye Spy Pretzel Game

M&M's is an excellent example of digital marketing gamification in action. M&M’s has created the Eye Spy Pretzel game, where M&M’s introduced a new product, and greeted a spy-themed game on it. The game required players to complete several challenges in order to uncover a secret message and win a prize. The challenges included various elements, such as completing each challenge, finding hidden clues, and completing puzzles, and players were earning points that they could use to unlock the next levels of the game. The game brought enormous success, which drove engagement and social media buzz around the new product.

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Starbucks Reward App

Starbucks is an excellent example of how to respond to a question about gamification in marketing. Customers earn stars for every purchase they make at Starbucks using the app. These stars can be redeemed for free drinks, food, and other bonuses. Starbucks has created a more engaging experience for its customers by utilizing gamification, encouraging them to make repeat purchases and engage with the brand on a regular basis. As a result, it increased customer loyalty, which increased sales significantly.

Start gamifying your office

You now have all the essential information on what gamification is in marketing, but what about your own business? We all know that sometimes work can be monotonous and uninspiring but what if we told you that there’s a way to make work more engaging and fun? That’s where Plecto's gamification features comes in. With Plecto, you can use gamification to create a healthy culture of competition and recognition within your team by awarding badges, prizes and holding fun sales contests.


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