What is gamification? Why is it so important and why has everyone been talking about it lately?We’ve compiled all the right answers for you. And more.
What is gamification?
Gamification has become a buzzword in the last few years and it consists in the process of adding game-like elements/mechanisms into systems (i.e: websites, online communities or businesses’ intranet), and marketing strategies, with the main goal of engaging more with consumers, employees and partners, as well as inspiring and boosting collaboration, sharing and interaction.
However, it’s important to understand that this is not the same as gaming, because it is a way to repurpose content that exploits the motivations inherent to games.
For businesses, gamification is the process of motivating people to engage and motivate employees to complete activities that drive sales, leads and more meetings with qualified candidates, with game-like mechanisms. When it comes to marketing, you also may find examples of gamification, all over the place, because it helps marketing experts to engage even more with their audience.
Gamification may become important in business, because it works as a tool to help employees adapt better and helps to improve one’s adaptability to evolving technologies and rapid demand/supply changes, for example.
How does it really work?
Gamification works by providing audiences with proactive directives and feedback through game mechanisms and game dynamics, which are added to online platforms that lead to the accomplishments of business goals and objectives.
Such an experience taps into a participant’s emotions and demonstrates which activities work best for an audience to complete while, simultaneously, making an impact on mutually shared goals.
So, as both employees and/or customers interact with a gamification program, they receive immediate feedback on performance and guided steps towards new achievements, while, at the same time, having a sense of accomplishment.
In short, gamification works because it gives people the control over what they are doing while also providing them clear markers as to their progress to date, a map to guide them in future actions and prizes to indicate when they’ve undertaken the right behaviors, with, of course, a little bit of competitiveness in the mix. You know, just like in a game - a real game.
However, gamification has its downside - as almost everything does - because it is not exactly a guarantee of success. According to a study from Washington University, some employees may try to manipulate these systems and another one conducted by Wharton, showed that trying to force fun at work has the opposite effect than the one intended.
The truth is that implementing a gamified approach is not risk-free which obligates businesses to offer a balanced approach that more engages their employees and all the workforce, if they want to get the most from gamification.