Games. Which one of us has not been thrilled at one time or another by many sorts of games? Rhetorical, of course.
The origin of games goes back thousands of years to civilisations such as the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and many others.
Paintings of games have been uncovered in tombs, and ancient gaming equipment has been uncovered in many biblical cities, such as the Ur of Chaldee.
Games have evolved in many different ways over time, but one of the most interesting modifications in the business concept is known as Gamification.
This may be described as the application of game playing (including objectives, rules of play, competitive elements, point scoring, rewards, etc.) for the business to engage and motivate people in order to achieve specific goals.
Psychologically Gamification appeals to many basic consumer instincts and drivers including motivation, behaviour, personality, competitiveness, reward and recognition.
Depending on objectives and structure, Gamification can benefit many stakeholder groups such as organisations, consumers, staff and others.
Large corporates that utilise Gamification in different areas include Nike, Starbucks and Deloitte to name but a few, and the trend is growing fast.
Gamification can also be utilised to monitor, assess, manage and optimise so called ‘big data’ and enhance staff motivation, participation and levels of excellence. This, in turn, drives business to a far greater extent than would otherwise be the case.
In companies, the most often used mechanisms to reflect relative performance in Gamification are points, badges, levels of performance, leader-boards and challenges. Real rewards can also be applied, at the discretion of the organisation.
In a recent post by Peter Furtado, entitled “Rewarding Performance on the social platform,” Peter points to the importance of a number of crucial issues for Gamification to be successful. These include:
- Gamification programs should be carefully planned in relation to objectives and the most common motivations of the targeted participant groups.
- The objectives, rules and motivators should all be built on a sound software platform. In this regard Mumba Cloud can be configured to include Gamification in multiple forms.
- Where badges are used they should be understandable, relevant and fun and closely linked to participants and the culture of the organisation concerned.
- Ideally, online Gamification should also work in tandem with ‘real world’ activities and rewards. These include internal meetings, conferences and physical rewards, such as clothing or similar.
- Quality rather than quantity (e.g. posting content) should be the key to scoring.
- The reward system should be easy to understand and be perceived to be fair, at all times. If this is not the case, the entire system could fall apart and the organisation could suffer.
Whilst we have focused on the use of Gamification for internal stakeholders the process can also be adapted for customers and fans, on many platforms.
The most popular metrics by which Gamification is measured are: engagement, frequency, loyalty, quality of content, time spent, viral influence and performance enhancement in defined areas.
With the many advantages of Gamification it’s time for your organisation to consider all the many benefits that you and your stakeholders could derive by incorporating it into your digital planning moving forward.