According to Forrester, in this age of the customer, the only sustainable competitive advantage
is knowledge and engagement with customers. Great gamification strategies follow an excellent psychological game plan, which includes creating an ecosystem that is addictive. Similar to any well-executed marketing campaign, the best strategies make a company’s products and services addictive sans overt incentives.
Owing to massive budgets and vast audiences, big businesses can do exceedingly well by implementing gamification. However, what should small and medium companies do in 2017 for successful gamification? Here are the top 5 tips to increase customer engagement:
Balance the roles your customers and company play
Good companies sell products, while great companies sell a culture! An excellent example of this is a site called FreeRice that came up with an innovative way of using gamification. They created a quiz game where every time you answered a question correctly, FreeRice will buy 10gms of rice which will be donated to the poor. This in turn will be paid for by the sponsors of the site. This gamification strategy is a win-win for all, as the users improve their knowledge, the hungry get fed and the sponsors get promotion in turn!
Tip: Compare the relationship of your company with customers with the way your competitors relate to them. By doing so, you may spot some opportunities or red flags that will help you improve your approach. These relationships vary from educational relationships to community-building.
Understand the reason for giving incentives
Rushing into gamification without a deep understanding of what is expected in return is completely flawed. It is necessary for businesses to understand why their product/service isn’t garnering enough engagement.
Tip: Try out an array of methods such as celebration and competitive campaigns. Several companies are not aware that customers are ready to pay a premium for the features they find indispensable. That gives you another opportunity to understand how to excite and reward.
Surprise your audience
Rewarding a customer is not as powerful as making them feel like they earned it. However, your engagement budget should be based on the potential risk of churn and on customer lifetime value. Hence a methodological approach needs to be used based on financial prudence.
Tip: Look for data sets that give you a peek into the behaviors of your customer that tell a story about how your product is used. Gamification isn’t strictly about building engagement, it should also be about nurturing valuable assets existing in your community.
Revolve the story around your audience
Even the top-notch brands in the world such as Coca-Cola, Nike, and General Motors have moved their engagement models to empower customers better. While premium brands such as Apple or Prada are exceptions, as they position themselves to be culture-builders. Contrary to what you may think, storytelling shouldn’t be limited to just a mere email or social post. It is the story that your customers tell their friends about your company.
Tip: In order to truly gamify the audience, it is important that you look for ideas and narrative pieces that you can successfully offer your customers. This includes achievements or gifts they would be proud to flaunt.
Reward your users relevantly
Every strategist has the same tools to drive customer engagement such as social posts, reviews, emails, messaging, push notifications, and accolades. However, depending on your audience, their lifestyles & interests, SMS, direct mail, phone calls, improved levels of service, extending invitation to events can all be quite effective.
Tip: It is recommended that you assess the habits of your customers as well as the methods of communication they prefer. You must look for trends to identify the channels that are highly impactful as well as those that may be under-utilized.
What strategy do you have planned for 2017? Share your results and ideas in the comments below.