Is gamification dying? Forbes contributor Heather Clancy thinks so: “Despite powerful hype in recent years, few companies are using the business tactic today. Even fewer are doing so successfully.”
Few businesses are using it – but does that mean there’s a problem with gamification itself, or with how some businesses have implemented the tactic? We tend to think it’s the latter. Gamification is no magic bullet. Just because you’ve gamified an aspect of your offerings doesn’t mean players will flock to it. For gamification to work, you’ve got to get it right.
Game over on gamification? Not for these businesses
Take a look at ClickBlog’s 25 best examples of businesses that have achieved success with gamification. It’s clear there’s much to be gained: “Gamification is used by brands to motivate employees, create healthy competition among teams, generate buzz or social proof, and encourage customer loyalty, among other benefits,” said contributor Robert Stanley.
For example, Samsung uses gamification to engage customers and drive social loyalty, offering badges and achievement levels in exchange for user-generated content. Recyclebank leverages gamification for loyalty too, rewarding customers for buying eco-conscious products (especially those with the Recyclebank logo). Waze utilizes gamification to incentivize users to crowdsource road condition events.
Even Clancy cites examples of successful gamification by brands including Nike and Bluewolf. These businesses understand what gamification can and can’t accomplish, and they’re playing to its strengths.
When gamification doesn’t work
“The market research firm Gartner estimates market penetration of gamification technology … at just 5 to 10 percent,” said Clancy. “The pioneers have applied these platforms to all manner of challenges, from encouraging consumers to use a new product or service more liberally to reshaping employee behavior or processes. But without well-grounded goals, some high-profile early projects have foundered.”
There are two common problems: poorly-defined goals, and business-centric thinking.
The first problem is plain enough. If one’s goals aren’t clear, it’s hard to achieve them. The second is trickier: For a game to win and maintain players, it has to be structured around its players’ needs and interests. Yet it’s tempting for businesses to focus on their own needs and interests when designing a game, and as a result, the game is fundamentally unattractive to its audience.
How to engage drivers through gamification
With clear goals and player-focused incentives, we believe smartphone telematics can facilitate successful gamification initiatives. In last week’s post, we shared Lexus Nexus data indicating that most drivers are interested in becoming safer on the road. Furthermore, drivers enjoy competing against themselves even more than competing against one another. Appeal to the motivation for self-improvement and structure your game around that player-goal.
Next, consider your business objectives. Perhaps you’re interested in strengthening customer loyalty. Telematics gamification can achieve that goal by facilitating frequent, positive interactions with customers, and going beyond the delivery of insurance to give customers something they really appreciate – the opportunity to be safer.
Perhaps your goal is to reduce claims. Insurance gamification can advance that initiative as well. By helping drivers improve their skills through driver coaching, you can improve the risk profile across your driver pool.
Bottom line? Find the intersection between their desires and your objectives; get clear on what’s in it for them as well as what you want to accomplish; and create a game that makes it fun. Of course, smartphone telematics is the platform that makes gamification possible. Learn more about the benefits of smartphone telematics by downloading our comparison chart now.