Whether you’re playing a “match three” game like Bejeweled or successfully catching a legendary character on Pokémon Go, you revel in the win.

A thoughtfully constructed game has the ability to engage an audience on a deeper level. A number of major brands have taken note, as seen in the uptick in gamification being used in a variety of ways. There is incredible promise in connecting customers with not only brands, but also events, in exciting, new methods.

Basically, gamification is the application of typical elements of game-playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to non-game environments. Major events, movie launches, schools and companies have enthusiastically adopted this concept of competition, rewards, status, achievement, socialization and deeper engagement with their target audiences.

Gamification allows your brand to integrate the natural emotional connections customers have with gaming into your marketing strategy. These gamification tactics can be used to educate, engage and increase the loyalty of your customers.

Here are four ways your business can use gamification to drive engagement, increase revenue and enhance pre-existing marketing strategies.

  1. Attract new customers with contests, giveaways and rewards
    A tried and true way to attract new customers is to offer them a first-time buyer reward (10 or 20 percent discount) if they sign up or join your list. Build on this strategy through gamified contests or sweepstakes that require entrants to provide their name and email address to play. These methods immediately reward anyone who uses your product or service or attends your event, resulting in increased initial interest and customer loyalty.
  1. Use games to educate customers
    Rather than using an ad to talk about your company, service or event, you can develop a game, such as a quiz, that challenges players to learn new information. You can go one step further to foster engagement by including brand messaging and some type of call-to-action.
  2. Promote a new product or service with a fun, yet still informative, game
    Similar to the above technique, you can also use a game to announce a product or service in a fun, unique and exciting way. To ensure the game still meets marketing goals, it should be centered on key product or service attributes, emphasizing the core competitive advantages to the customer.
  3. Reward (and retain) customers by having them earn points for signing up with you
    Even robust “loyalty points” programs can benefit from including gamification elements. Make it fun for customers to engage with your brand through a game, and offer loyalty points for playing or host giveaways for big-ticket items such as paid trips or event tickets.

As you look to enhance your creative marketing strategy, thoughtful use of gaming tactics can help increase engagement and create a unique customer experience that strengthens the brand relationship. However, to be sure you hit the mark, gamification techniques must offer a worthwhile experience and fully engage customers by offering a realistic chance of getting rewarded.

To learn more about how this can work, see our real-world case study titled Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show Consumer Engagement.

A Cooksey Staff Member