There are numerous studies today which prove that motivated employees produce more, motivated pupils learn more and motivated customers are willing to spend more money. The main difficulty was always how to effectively motivate these target groups. Employers are increasingly seeing how a higher lacks the expected motivational factor, teachers are becoming lost in well-intended but non-implementable teaching methods and companies are attempting rather poorly to sell their goods by either driving down the price or providing them with special benefits.
In the early 2010s, some researchers started to take an interested in players. On the one hand, because games and in particular video games have long been considered much more than niche media and, on the other hand, because increasingly interesting and surprising figures have been established:
Accordingly, the average player is a 30-year-old male and plays for around 13 hours a week without earning any money from this. The reason why he plays so much is simple: games are extremely motivating and fulfil basic needs which school, the workplace or basic consumption all too rarely do. Gaming is fun!
(Read more about this in this post >> Strengthen your brand through gamification.
Gradually, more and more game-type mechanisms outside of actual games are being used and thus successfully rewarding, endorsing and motivating target audiences.
The term ‘gamification’ has quickly become established in the pedagogy, staff motivation and marketing fields. Gamification projects are being increasingly implemented. But only one in four of these is successful*. How come?
Because many companies are imposing their gamification strategy based on a competitor concept. Points are awarded and the people with the most points are rewarded. This creates a very destructive environment: two or more people try to achieve a goal that only one of them can actually achieve. That is not motivating. On the contrary: within a company, for example, this can cause employees to no longer feel committed to their work, to ignore their colleagues or to attempt to outsmart the system. Which for its part can harm the business.
Not until the focus of the game-type mechanisms lies on the ‘winner’ and not on ‘being better than everyone else’, does a gamification process become successful in the long term. And a successful process starts with searching for information:
Five fundamental questions for developing an effective gamification strategy:
Question 1: What problem do you want to solve with gamification?
Should forms be filled out in greater detail, reports submitted on time or customers rate your products? Aims such as these can quite easily be divided into four categories: teaching, entertaining, quantifying and inspiring.
Question 2: Does a ‘gamifying’ system already exist?
This could be for example, a call centre, a homepage or a mobile training app. It’s important to know how open the existing systems are and what opportunities exist to integrate mechanisms within them that are typical to games. A completely new and independent system normally requires collaboration with experts.
Question 3: How often will ‘players’ use the system?
Will it still be used on a one-off basis for training or will the system be used regularly? A system that is used regularly by many ‘players’ requires administrators and constant fine-tuning, even long after its introduction.
Question 4: Who are your ‘players’?
The more precisely the target group is defined, the better you can adapt your content towards this. Bankers find different content appealing than teenagers or customers of a car manufacturer.
Question 5: How much is the budget?
No matter how low your budget may be, start by ‘gamifying’ your non-critical systems. Brand management, marketing, training and development have proven to be promising areas for gamification as a result. If none of these apply to you, then select the worst systems in your company. That’s where the most potential is hiding.
These five questions will help you understand how to improve the gamification process.
Wherever people interact with a system, there are potential problems just waiting to be solved through gamification.
Don’t forget: by observing your ‘players’, you obtain all kinds of interesting information about their behaviour, abilities and interests. You learn what they are missing or what their expectations are. And you are already developing or improving other systems.
In order to further improve your gamification strategy’s chances of success, we recommend you five steps for a user-centric gamification design.
For more information, please contact:
daniel.leidorf (at) schindlerparent.de