December 2018, Johannesburg: If you aren't already implementing or including gamification in your marketing strategy, now is the time to take action. Don’t wait. Gaming as an industry and the need to promote brands is here to stay. Advertising and gaming entertainment has entered the world in a big way. Here are some tips on how you can incorporate gamification into your own marketing strategy.
Understand Your Audience: Always start with your target audience to determine what type of game might appeal to your customers. If you don’t look at this aspect first, you may not engage them to get the return you’re seeking. A millennial audience probably doesn’t like the same type of gameplay as a 40-something-year-old. If you are going to use a quiz or trivia format for your game, then consider your audience’s age so that it includes relevant questions they could answer. If your audience comprises a larger demographic, you could combine gaming elements and relevant questions to appeal to a more general demographic.
Do Your Market Research: Try other games that have been created for consumers to get a sense of how they work, what type of rewards they give, and how they incorporate product placement. Nothing helps shape your own gamification strategy like trying out what others have done to see if you can identify best practices that would fit your marketing objectives. The games that often do the best feature social sharing, scoring and rewards. Our team played numerous trivia, racing and skills games before knowing what would work for our brand and audience. The hands-on participation provided a better way understand what was engaging based on our own reactions.
Establish The Incentives: Determine what you want to give away as an incentive. It could be a new product sample, content and guides to help the audience, or promotional coupons. There needs to be a clear incentive in order to make the gamification work with your audience. Since I’ve used incentives in other marketing strategies, including contests on social media, this proved valuable in deciding what we wanted to include in the gamification strategy. If you haven’t used incentives before, it is good to benchmark what appears to be working with others in your industry or ask your audience what they would like to receive from you.
Don’t Over Complicate Everything: Keep it as simple as possible. A complex game or contest is going to be lost on your audience. If they can’t figure it out quickly or you ask too much of them to get started, they will abandon it. With relatively short attention spans and many distractions, consider making each gameplay relatively short. I have used focus groups and user testing sites to determine the right mix of elements that make a game easy to pick up, but challenging enough to keep the user coming back for more. The input received during focus groups and user testing was well worth it, as the feedback helped us tweak what we were doing.
Do What It Takes To Evolve: The future of gamification is nearly here with virtual and augmented reality features and the addition of artificial intelligence. These elements can personalize the experience and continually increase the challenge involved to keep the audience hooked. Always stay attuned to how new technology can be incorporated to keep your gamification strategy fresh for your audience that is always seeking more stimulation.
Riverine is a Johannesburg based studio working on 3D console games, immersive VR, and AR experiences. Get in touch with us to setup a consultation in 2019 for discussing possible marketing opportunities inside of upcoming games and software currently in development.