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Gamification - bringing play to work

Playing tools help carrying out heavy tasks and increase brand loyalty

  • Key4Communications

Although we associate games to kids, there is no doubt that playful instincts are natural to everyone and that they are maintained throughout life. And besides, these playing instincts can be used in other fields that are not strictly toys and games. Indeed, gamification consists in trying to make more attractive certain environments, as working, shopping, and even social networks, by using game elements.

This can be done with tools such as the inclusion of lists of best players, the introduction of small games among tasks, or even duels between different users, plus gifts, challenges, virtual goods and levels to overcome.

Within a firm and as explained in Game Marketing, these techniques can be used to:

- Attract and retain audiences and customers to a brand.
- Minimize the time of adoption of products or services.
- Encourage people to perform tasks that they consider boring.

These tecniques could bring better results when asking a client to fill a survey or visiting our website. And gamification could also help improve the effectiveness within the company and loyalty programmes addressed to customers, for example.

Social networks use some of these techniques. For example, Foursquare asks us to do check-in when we enter a store. The network has created a series of rewards, such as badges that indicate levels of use, besides all retailer promotions, to ensure that the task is fun for the user.

Also, for Linkedin is important that all registered members complete their profile and include as many details as possible. This is why the network shows a progress bar indicating how much more we need to do in order to complete the task.

Another success story is that of DevHub, a service that allows you to create blogs and websites. Before introducing gamification processes, only 10% of registered users finished their projects. After including them, the percentage rose to 80%. The website gave trophies and awards for completing tasks in what they called the building of an "online empire".

Fitocracy is a website that allows creating exercise programs and also follows a system of points and levels so users do not leave their jogging or weight lifting. It also incorporates elements of social networks, allowing to follow the progress of other users.

In short, this gamification term that sounds strange and seems yet another invention of marketing professionals, consists simply in taking advantage of our need to play and have fun, making more bearable, even fun, tasks that are arduous or boring.

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