How businesses can win with gamification
Although “gamification” was defined less than twenty years ago and began picking up steam only in the past five, it has seen massive adoption among the business community. In fact, the gamification market is expected to grow 48 per cent by 2019.
By applying game-like elements such as challenges and scoring to everyday activities, as well as rewarding valuable actions with badges, points and more, brands can better engage, understand and retain participants.
Increasing Desired Behaviours
With gamification, the main objective isn’t for a business to turn its entire digital property into a game; rather, it’s about incentivising the behaviours that are most closely aligned with the organisation’s goals. For example, if a business is looking to generate brand awareness, it can offer special badges to users who share the most content or products with their social networks. On the other hand, if a brand is trying to increase time-on-site in order to boost CPM rates, it can give users points simply for viewing more pages.
Turning these types of behaviours into competitions or cause for reward with gamification gives consumers an incentive for taking the desired actions. As a general rule of thumb, brands should reward “actions of value” across their websites or mobile applications, but other ideas for scoring include:
- Joining live events
- Posting comments
- Writing reviews
- Participating in polls
Fostering Brand Loyalty
Gamification rewards come in many forms, including points, badges, leader board rankings, discounts and free merchandise. However, one thing is for certain: recognising and rewarding customers means greater retention and revenue. In fact, statistics show that companies that offer rewards card programmes see 46 per cent higher customer spending.
Gamified rewards like giving a customer free merchandise for reaching a certain level on a mobile app, or offering a 25 per cent discount for writing an honest product review not only increase engagement, but also make customers feel valued. Stimulating such feelings of exclusivity and membership results in increased conversion rates and lifetime brand loyalty.
Generating User Data
With every click, point gathered or achievement earned, participants are actively sharing information about themselves with a brand. Not only is there an opportunity to collect more data, but the data collected through gamification is also more accurate: 51 per cent of consumers agree that if a layer of competition were added to everyday activities, they would pay more attention to their behaviours.
When consumers participate in gamified environments, their actions are particularly meaningful, supplying businesses with high quality insight. These detailed data points can help guide future marketing campaigns across channels like email, advertising and more. Brands can use the information they collect via loyalty programmes to see which gamified activities motivate customers to convert, and further incentivise those actions.
Improving Lead Scoring
With gamification, B2C companies can also implement a lead scoring strategy to track the engagement levels of their customers. By assigning values to particular interactions, just like in B2B lead scoring, B2C brands can better gauge how likely an individual consumer is to convert.
For example, imagine a publisher assigns ten points for every article shared and five points for every comment left. It is then easy to determine that a user with a score of 100 points is more engaged (and more likely to subscribe to premium content) than someone with a score of 50 points. On the same note, if 80 per cent of shoppers who share products from an eCommerce company’s website go on to make a purchase, then a high score/value can be assigned to that action to help better measure consumers’ likelihood to convert.
As consumer attention continues to become increasingly difficult to command and engagement becomes the new standard for conversion, understanding how gamification works can make all the difference when it comes to building lasting, engaged customer relationships.
Richard Lack is Director of Sales EMEA at Gigya.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”