Myth-busting the world of gamification
Tell me about your background. How did you get into gamification?
I’ve worked in digital product development for almost my entire career. Over the past 5 years, I’ve been focused on enabling digital revenue streams for the retail.
What are the key considerations for retailers thinking of creating gamified reward schemes?
Retailers often struggle to understand how something that appears to be as simple as a game can drive commercial objectives for them as a business. Many are concerned about how a gamified reward scheme will affect their current operations. In some cases, for example, gamification in itself may open a new revenue stream—no doubt a great result for the bottom line but it means a shift in the way they manage customers.
Retailers are aware that gamification will naturally have an impact on their digital departments. It’s amusing to watch the horror in the marketers’ eyes as they realise they will have to forge a closer relationship with their IT departments. Gametation seeks to alleviate this—we even offer to handle the relationship with the IT department.
How do you effectively measure the ROI of retail gamification?
Evaluating the value and ROI of marketing campaigns is hugely important today. Clients are primarily focused on footfall, brand and product exposure. We measure the in-store traffic generated by offering prizes and deals that can only be redeemed instore using our software’s unique redemption functionality. We also track views and clicks on in-game products. Depending on the client objectives, campaigns are tailored to encourage users to share their data, to opt-in to give permission to be contacted with marketing and to become social media followers. This enables clients to build a longer-term relationship with users to foster brand loyalty, influence brand preference and change shopping behaviour.
How do you create a memorable or viral game? How do you balance fun with meeting business objectives?
The key to a successful game is creating something that is intuitive and simple. We don’t so much ‘balance’ fun and business, rather we combine them. We create games that are transparent to consumers. The games are heavily branded and extremely commercial – we don’t try to lead customers away from this. We aim to be user centric.
Who can you target with mobile games? Are they solely the territory of millennials?
Mobile gaming and devices are so widespread these days that almost everybody has access and is familiar with playing a game on their phone. So we can actually reach a huge range of demographics—dependent on the campaign and the client. A supermarket’s Facebook page, for example, is mainly populated with mums between the age of 30 and 50. This could be compared to a McDonald’s Facebook page which is mainly populated by under 30s. We study these and build games that we know will resonate best with that audience.
What are the biggest disruptors in your industry at the moment?
Finding and seeking relevant ways of activating the shopper is a real challenge. With so much available at our fingertips, it has become less about the technology and more about the use of that technology. For example, voice activation and AR are currently popular devices with brands, but we need to ask how these are relevant for shopper engagement.
Looking beyond gamification, some see GDPR as a disruptor. We believe we have an advantage in the lead up to GDPR, compared to other businesses. Our games have been transparent to consumers from day one and we have already updated our platform and data handling processes to be in full compliance with GDPR.