Gamification, loyalty schemes, and an 'earned data' strategy interview : marketing

Gamification, loyalty schemes, and an ‘earned data’ strategy interview : marketing

I recently interviewed Will Stuart-Jones from 3Radical about gamification, loyalty schemes, and personalisation. Personally I felt that gamification was just a bit of a buzz word 6-7 years ago, and never really met its potential. However, when you consider the real potential of gamification and an ‘earned data’ strategy, you can really see how it’d be of benefit to a huge variety of businesses.

Here are 10 key takeaways from the interview.

  1. Gamification is about the usage of elements from game design, and applying these to non-game context, in a way which boosts engagement with your audiences. It involves taking the fun and addictive mechanisms from games and applying them to business challenges.

  2. The end result of gamification shouldn’t be about PBL (points, badges, leaderboards), but these can help you nudge the customer towards a goal. There has to be a clear value exchange. If you want someone to fill out a form and hand over their data, what do they get in exchange? For example, an online food service (Hellofresh, Just-Eat, Uber Eats etc), could collect data about eating preferences, and use this data to provide a much more personalised experience.

  3. It’s particularly helpful when your audience is digitally anonymous, e.g. restaurants, cafes, bars, where your customers can simply walk in. If you can provide an engaging experience which has a clear value exchange to your customer, you’ll be able to collect data, and while this can include a discount as a reward, a discount doesn’t provide long term value to the customer; getting notified of new menu items relevant to your diet does.

  4. Walkers Crisps are particularly good at using gamification for research. Every 3-4 years they release some new flavours, or ask the public to create recipes, and then have the public vote on which they feel is the best. The customers feel much more engaged with the brand, and become quite vocal about it, while the company is able to collect some customer data, and more importantly, gather a wealth of information on consumer tastes.

  5. While purists will say that gamification shouldn’t include real-world rewards, 3Radical is more pragmatic about this and realises that when implemented correctly, rewards don’t devalue the experience, but it’s key that your audience understands why you want the data, and that they don’t think they’re giving it just for the discount.

  6. Onboarding is another area where gamification works, particularly where an account needs to be set up. The idea of using clear steps and a progress bar may seem quite mainstream now, but when you think about it, you are gamifying the process by showing your customer how many steps they have to overcome to achieve their goal.

  7. Almost every company uses email to bring people back to their sites, but way too many companies rely on it, increasing the number of emails they send with barely any personalisation, and while sales will increase initially, so will unsubscribe.

  8. With gamification, you can provide an on-site experience that encourages people to re-visit the site frequently. A board game, or scratch card, or dice rolls, that each day build up some loyalty points or prizes, and you get more rolls of the dice for every survey you fill in. This data then builds out your customers’ profiles, allowing you to provide a better experience in the long term.

  9. Most in-store loyalty programmes are either unengaging for the consumer or don’t provide value to the business. Buying 5 coffees to get a 6th free might give the consumer a short-term positive feeling, but they probably would have bought it anyway. A better idea would be a discount for some food instead. So really think about whether your loyalty programme is driving the right sort of behaviour.

  10. Earned data is going to be huge in the coming years. Companies who collect data, and enrich their customer profiles in an engaging way will gain a huge advantage in the coming years. 72% of consumers say they will only engage with personalised messaging, 82% say they’ll share data to receive personalised recommendations, and 90% will share data to receive rewards and discounts on products they like.

If you’d like to listen to the whole interview, you can find it here (no email or anything required, the podcast is embedded on the page or available on iTunes, Spotify etc).

Are any of you using gamification? Or do you know of any companies who are doing it well?

I realise my examples were very food-based, so if you’d like some ideas on how it could apply to your business just comment below and I’ll try to help!

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