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The Turkey Bowl: How to Win at Gamification

11 Nov, 2015 McKell Naegle

Lace up your cleats and baste the turducken! It’s Thanksgiving, and nothing complements your mashed potatoes and gravy more than a good old game of football. Two teams competing at their best for the same prize; victory. No prize is worth more than beating the other guy. Few words can express this better than of coaching legend Vince Lombardi, who said,

Gamification  “Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing.”

Football and winning are great, but can you harness the power of competition in your marketing campaigns? You bet you can! In marketing, we call this gamification. Gamification is the application of game playing elements such as point scoring, teams, and rules of play. It’s a successful strategy because a competitive spirit can be found in virtually every human being, and while some may be more competitive than others, everyone likes to come out on top.

Gamification is so often used that it’s easy to take it for granted. Let’s take a look at just a few examples of gamification strategies that can help you receive more clicks and more conversions.


Rewards for Social Sharing


The world is more social than ever. Invite your buyers to turn around and invite their friends to buy from you as well. Then reward them with coupons, credit, or prizes. Most consumers are willing to click a button for a deal.


Create a Leaderboard


As was mentioned above, we humans are competitive and we like to see our names at the top. The key to a successful leaderboard is visibility. Remind the consumers often about where they stand on the current board. Informing a customer that they have fallen behind or moved ahead in the running can motivate them to visit your site or participate in your product more frequently.


Loyalty Programs


Reward your loyal customers. In today’s economy, no field is without its competition, so don’t take it lightly if customers return to your product. It’s a big deal. Let them know that they’re loved, and you’ll learn that they love you back. Take Starbucks, for example; loyal customers of Starbucks carry a loyalty card, and with every purchase the customer earns points. Once enough points have been accumulated, they can be used in place of money to purchase certain offers. In 2012, these cards accounted for $3 billion in sales.


These are just a few examples of the success that is possible through gamification implementation. However, I must caution you that not all games will work for your customers, so gamification should only be used where and whenever appropriate.

There are many successful gamification campaigns and many unsuccessful ones. What’s the difference? Success in gamification comes when the participant’s experience is more rewarding than the prize, so make if fun.

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