Gamification in Marketing – Boost customer loyalty through game concepts

by Maximilian Claessens
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Gamification in Marketing - Boost customer loyalty through game concepts

The marketing world is constantly discovering new methods and tools to boost customer interaction, conversion and loyalty. One of the newer players on this domain is Gamification. Gamification is a unique method trying to increase customer engagement and build a connection between the customer and you. Let’s take a look at what it stands for and what the advantages of using gamification in marketing can be.

What is Gamification?

Gamification refers to the use of game mechanics in nongame environments. This means that game elements or game activities such as scoring, rewards, rankings and competitions get applied to new uses. The aim is to create experiences similar to those experienced when playing games, which should motivate and engage users.

Gamification in marketing

Using gamification in marketing can boost customer interaction and increase conversion. It can also enable repeated purchases and help to grow a strong connection between the customer and you.

One major application is to increase customer loyalty. Businesses love when a customer makes a repeated purchase – which is related to the concept of customer lifetime value. With gamification, you can easily reward those customers that come back, for instance by using a point system. With loyalty programs, there are points for each time a purchase is made. The amount of points continues to rise until they reach a certain threshold that can be redeemed for prizes, discounts, or coupons.

One well known example of applying gamification in marketing for increasing customer loyalty is McDonalds. With its regularly repeated Monopoly game, the fast food company successfully increases customer loyalty. By placing little stickers on each product, such as a street from the game Monopoly, it motivates customers to come back and purchase more. Only if you have collected the right streets, you earn certain rewards like a free meal – or a car. For the customer, there is no perceived added cost in participating in the game. However, the perceived marginal customer benefit is quite significant. How often have you actually bought that other burger just to win a certain prize? Most of us certainly remember such a moment, which shows how incredibly successful McDonald’s has been with using gamification in marketing.

A second popular application of gamification in marketing is the use of digital badges. Digital badges are used mainly for recognition purposes by many businesses such as Facebook. They are given to users who use a certain service often or have achieved a certain status. This in turn provides perceived appreciation to customers and motivates them to use the service more to gain that badge and impress others.

So, why should you consider using gamification in marketing?

There are three key reasons why you should consider using gamification in marketing.

Firstly, it’s easy! There is a ton of possible applications of gamification, which could be as easy as implementing it on your website. At the same time, it does not necessarily cost you a lot. Even on the scale of the McDonald’s Monopoly example, think about the small cost of giving away some free food and a few cars in exchange for millions of additional meals and returning customers.

Secondly, the perceived marginal customer benefit can be huge. For the customer, there is no perceived added cost – but potentially a ton of fun and, most importantly, the feeling of having the opportunity to win or achieve something.

Thirdly, using gamification in marketing will increase customer interaction and motivate the customer to come back – whether into your stores or to your website. In other words, you can be sure to feel a boost in customer loyalty.

Gamification is has started to become more popular and is bound to become a trend – try it before everybody else does to increase customer engagement and loyalty.

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