Drive more traffic, increase content consumption, and encourage user participation with Gamification


Drive more traffic, increase content consumption, and encourage user participation…Gamification has become a most exciting mainstream technique that marketers rely on.

Gamification is the process of using game thinking and mechanics to engage audiences and solve problems.

Game dynamics are now entering every aspect of daily life. Good games take players (aka customers) on a journey. Early Gamification techniques only involved adding simple game mechanics like points, badges and leader boards to websites and apps. But, what I discovered at the Gamification Summit in NYC, an incredible 2 day event, is that it is not enough. The gamification journey should give the user something to learn and master, encourages people to stay engaged with your brand and have FUN in the process.

Gamification: Balancing Skill and Challenge

Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivations: (what motivates people)

How do you figure out what “journey” to take your user on?  By understanding what motivates people.  There are two types of motivators:

  • Extrinsic – monetary exchange for a product or service.
    In game mechanics, these motivators would translate into rewards such as money, points, or schedules
  • Intrinsic – exchange of an intangible for a product or service. In a game, these motivators would translate into things like friendship, commitments, & loyalty.

Gamification: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic Motivators are very good for encouraging people to complete simple tasks. To achieve longer term engagement and have people exceed their own performance, you have to use intrinsic motivators ~ Amy Jo Kim

What Motivates People? (competition or satisfaction)

Maslow's Hierarchy of NeedsWhen designing game mechanics for a particular group of people, to effectively generate the appropriate user engagement, it is important to understand the underlying motivations and personality types that make up your community.  What some people find fun or motivating, others might not…competition and winning are important for some, for others, a simple feeling of recognition or making a difference may be more satisfying.

Michael Wu, one of the presenters at the Gamification Summit, wrote a great post on Psychology of Motivation where he breaks down the science behind motivation.

What Personality Type is your Customer?

Gabe Zichermann, the chair of the Gamification Summit and author of  “Gamification by Design”, says that we need to really understand each of our customer type motivations so you can unpack what your consumer will think is fun.

He classifies all users into 4 Bartles player types, each motivated by different things:

  • Achievers are driven by in-game goals, usually some form of points gathering – whether experience points, levels, or money.
  • Explorers are driven to find out as much as they can about the virtual construct – including mapping its geography and understanding the game mechanics.
  • Socializers use the virtual construct to converse and role-play with their fellow gamers.
  • Killers use the virtual construct to cause distress on other players, and gain satisfaction from inflicting anxiety and pain on others.

Bartle's 4 player types

Can Gaming make a better world?

I was really inspired to hear the many case studies, examples, and conversations, of how gaming will transform the world and would really recommend that you watch Jane McGonigal TED talk on how gaming can make a better world.

Learn More:

If you were unable to attend the Gamification Summit, be sure to check out the live blog for a recap off all of the events and visit the conference SlideShare page for all of the presentations.

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