Gamification Marketing For Dummies
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In addition to working out what your gamification campaign will include, you need to decide how your campaign will run. This includes thinking about the demographics, duration, and frequency of your campaigns. This information will help you shape the final shape of your campaign and create a consistent message both for your team and your audience.

Choose the right game for your audience

Deciding which gaming elements will work with your audience is essential. One method for finding the right elements is to look at the Bartle player types, a classification of game players based on a 1996 paper by Richard Bartle. According to the Bartle player types, there are four different kinds of players, each motivated by a different incentive for playing:
  • Achievers: Achievers are all about points and status. Here are some characteristics of achievers:
    • They want to be able to show their friends how they are progressing.
    • They like to collect badges, trophies, and in-game status.
    • They respond well to incentive schemes, such as air miles.
    • They want to gain points or get to the next level.
    • They like proof of success, such as points, possessions, or prizes.
    • They seek rewards and prestige with advancement in the campaign.
    • Around 10 percent of players fit into this category.
  • Explorers: Explorers want to see new things and discover new secrets. They aren’t as concerned with points and badges. Here are some characteristics of explorers:
    • They value discovery more value than in-game status, such as badges.
    • They’re okay with repetitive tasks as long as they eventually “unlock” a new area of the campaign.
    • They enjoy the surprise element that is possible in a gamification campaign.
    • They want to discover new things; they love to find hidden treasure.
    • They like to dig down and find something new or unknown. Secret pathways and rare finds excite them much more than prizes do.
    • They care more about the gameplay than the end result.
    • Around 10 percent of players fit into this category.
  • Socializers: Socializers want to interact with other people. If you want to appeal to this group, the social interaction elements in your campaign will count more than the campaign’s gamification strategy. Here are some characteristics of socializers:
    • They experience fun in their games through their interaction with other players.
    • They’re happy to collaborate in order to achieve bigger and better things than they could on their own.
    • Their reward is in the relationships formed within your campaign.
    • Around 80 percent of players fit into this category.
  • Killers: Killers have strong competitive instincts. Here are some characteristics of killers:
    • They like scoring points, competing against people, taking part in challenges, winning, and showing off their knowledge.
    • They’re similar to achievers in the way that they get a thrill from gaining points and winning status. What sets them apart from achievers is that killers want to see other people lose.
    • They’re highly competitive; winning is what motivates them.
    • They want to be the best players in your campaign.
    • Less than 1 percent of players fit into this category.
To attract killers, include elements such as leaderboards and ranks. Consider having audiences compete against each other if possible.

gamification player types The Bartle player types.

If you know the Bartle player types of your target audience, you’ll be able to meet their needs when designing your campaign. To increase the success of your campaign, look at ways you can attract more than one type into your campaign.

There are other demographic factors to consider when developing your next gamification marketing campaign, including the following:

  • Gender: My research consistently shows that gender differences exist when considering the motivations for game playing in marketing campaigns. For instance, female audiences have been found to be less attracted to competitive elements. Male audiences are more likely to enjoy action games. Interestingly, women are more attracted to games that involve long-term relationship building, whereas men tend to respond more to task- and achievement-oriented elements.

Avoid gender stereotypes. You could end up alienating your audience with the wrong research data.

  • Age: Your main concern should be if your audience will instinctively know what to do when they get to your campaign. What does your current customer data tell you? A younger, more tech-savvy audience will hit the ground running. If you’re seeking an older audience, you’ll need to make sure to include multiple explanation elements along with a simpler graphics and mechanics.

Determine gamification campaign's duration and frequency

Consider the longevity of your gamification marketing campaign. How long will your campaign last? This is especially important for gamification campaigns, where you’ve invested huge resources creating a unique marketing vehicle. Ideally, you want your campaign to last long enough for your target audience to engage fully.

If your campaign is shorter than one month, you’ll be seriously reducing the likelihood of your audience seeing, understanding, and engaging with the gamification elements you’re marketing. Similarly, you don’t want your campaign to go on more than six months because you run the risk of your gamification elements becoming stale. If a gamification campaign becomes too familiar to your audience, it eventually loses its appeal. Even legacy brands like Coca-Cola and Nike change up their gamification campaigns frequently in order to keep their audiences interested in their marketing messages.

When considering the duration of your campaign, keep in mind the following:

  • What’s popular today may not be popular tomorrow. Gamification works best when it’s based on trends, but you need to identify a sensible longevity for those trends.
  • Try to provide a means for getting customer feedback. This can be through forms, chat bots, and social media platforms. Then keep track of public interest in your campaign and make adjustments accordingly. Being able to show your audience you’re listening will produce a positive reaction on social media.
  • Be flexible. Don’t be afraid to end the campaign sooner than you thought, if you identify interest going stale or, worse, you’re getting negative feedback. Figure out what’s working in your current marketing efforts. You may not need to change everything — just adjust anything that’s causing negative reactions.
  • Be innovative. Innovation is what gamification is all about. Be creative with your gamification elements. Pay attention to what’s current. Don’t be afraid to be a trendsetter!
After you’ve worked out the ideal duration for your campaign, consider the frequency of it. How often will you bring out a new campaign? Gamification elements are expensive to design and develop, and gamification campaigns can take a lot of effort.

All the elements you create — from the animation to the designs to the coding — can be reused over and over again. These elements are assets for your company. The first development will involve the biggest cost. After your first campaign, it will cost considerably less to revamp and recode new campaigns. Think about how you’ll be reusing the gamification elements when developing your first gamification campaign.

There are three frequencies I recommend considering:

  • One-off: When the campaign ends, so does the narrative for the gamification elements. When reusing the gamification elements for the next campaign, you’ll produce a brand-new narrative. This approach works well when your audience is exposed to your campaign over longer periods. In this case, a new narrative will reignite their interest in your marketing efforts each time you launch.
  • Series: Just like a TV series, your campaign’s narrative continues from where it left off with the last campaign. This approach can be extremely profitable in marketing terms. Your message is repeatedly pushed to your audience with minimum effort (after the first launch). This approach works for campaigns that are short, leaving your audience wanting more.
  • Seasonal: Here, you deck your campaign with the seasonal themes. The most popular version is Christmas, which has historically been the most engaging time for gamification campaigns. This approach can work for medium to short-term campaigns. It can even work for long-term ones as long as the seasonal theme is incorporated within the campaign rather than treated as a relaunch.
The table compares the various frequencies against the gamification models.
Determining the Best Frequency for your Gamification Model
Game Model Cost Development Time Best Frequency
Action Low 1 to 2 weeks Series, seasonal
Simulation High 3 months One-off
Interactive storytelling Very high 4 to 6 months One-off
Adventure Medium 2 to 3 months One-off, seasonal (incorporated)
Puzzles Low 2 to 3 weeks Series, seasonal
Word-based Low 2 to 3 weeks Series, seasonal
Skill-based Medium 1 month Series, seasonal
Multi-player High 2 to 3 months One-off
Educational High 2 to 3 months One-off, seasonal (incorporated)
Role playing High 2 to 3 months One-off

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Zarrar Chishti is a software and games development consultant who has developed and marketed more than 500 games for companies all across the globe. As CEO of Tentacle Solutions, he consults with teams around the world to develop gamification options.

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