Simplified, gamification is a tool that is a process which sees game mechanisms into something that is already in existence in order to motivate participation, loyalty and engagement from customers and potential customers. It is the application of game thinking to non-game applications. Gamification can used within many different industries in many ways, such as day to day operations, social media, websites and engaging with customers. The gamification industry, it is predicted, will be worth $11.10bn by 2020.
The purpose of using gamification is to increase things such as stickiness, content creation and purchases. An increasing number of industries is likely to continue to use and introduce gamification as a way to attract and retain customers. Nowadays we are already seeing many industries make use of it such as healthcare, education, politics, non-profit, online casinos, human resources and retail/e-commerce.
Gamification has now really started to take off in the world of healthcare. Many health insurers are now using it to promote their offerings, for example Aetna have launched a online social game, Mindbloom, which helps members to lead a more balanced lifestyle. Another way gamification can be highlighted with this industry is the app Gympact, which helps to keep members motivated to exercise as they are rewarded with cash when they do, from the members who didn’t exercise.
Within the non-profit sector gamification has been used to increase engagement and also vitally to build awareness of important causes. An example of this is ‘Movember’, which is an organisation helping to raise awareness of prostate cancer. ‘Movember’ consists of moustache growing throughout November and they offer clever challenges and rewards for those participating.
Gamification has additionally had a big impact on the online casino market. The two parts to gamification here that the industry takes advantage of is activities and rewards. Players will benefit from their activity at the online casino with rewards, such as free spins, bonuses and competition entries. Online casinos definitely focus on, with regards to gamification, the idea of incremental rewards, with the purpose being to keep attracting customers to return. An example of this would be that if a player logged in on 10 consecutive days they would then be offered a prize or a bonus.
Recently, Human Resource departments have started to see the benefits of using gamification in order to motivate existing employees and recruit new ones. An example would be that of Marriott, who decided to go as far as to develop a Farmville style game in which players had to find a way to juggle the duties of a hotel kitchen manager. The idea behind this game was mainly to attract young workers to the industry and hope they can recruit them.