Gamification Hinrichsen Xun3Section IHistorical ReviewTechnically speaking, the concept of gamification has been around for hundreds of years.For example, the toy in the Cracker Jack box, which resulted in other companies using games ortoys to sell products (Gamification History, 2012). In 2007, the first modern gamification servicewas created by Bunchball. They started off as just a social gaming site but launched a softwareplatform called Nitro. This software allows companies to install game mechanics to their socialnetworks, mobile applications, and of course, websites (Gamification History, 2012). They nowhave customers like Warner Bros., NBC, ABC, and Comcast and consider themselves a leader inthe industry. Then in 2009 another website offering gamification services called BigDoor wasfounded. Following BigDoor is another platform called Badgeville. Badgeville’s websitedescribes their platform as software that “Helps world-class companies boost user engagementacross their most important technology investments, strengthening customer loyalty andenhancing employee performance” (Behavior Platform Overview, 2012).Gamification did not truly catch on until a few years later, in 2010, when it became verypopular and important to websites to increase page views, returning visitors, and fan loyalty. In2012 the first gamification platform started up in Turkey and within two months they had gottenthe first round of investments for the company.Reach and ScopeGamification has started to become popular in the marketing industry. It is an effectiveway of generating business. It provides a new tool for marketers to improve their businessimpacts and keep costs down. CrowdTwist has raised $6 million in venture funding for itsplatform that gamifies websites and creates brand loyalty and rewards programs. CrowdTwisthas a platform that is helping engage brand’s audiences both online and offline. It also providescompanies the ability to track, incentivize, and reward customer engagement via online, social,and mobile networks (Increase Brand Loyalty, 2013).Small and large businesses are very quick to adopt the loyalty program. Gamifiedcustomer loyalty programs can generate new business when existing customers get their socialpeersinterested as well. BigDoor offers gamified loyalty programs for publishers in small,medium and large movement categories. Gamification is used by various industries frommusicians, TV networks and sports leagues all showing the high increase in user loyalty and siteengagement.Reported ImpactsGartner Research predicted that over 70 percent of organizations will have at least onegamified application by the year 2014. Also by 2014, 40 percent of organizations will usegamification as the main approach to transform business operations.
Gamification Hinrichsen Xun4Gamification has increased many aspects of website loyalty. For example, there has beena 130 percent increase in page views, 40 percent increase in return visits, 250 percent increase ofregistered users, and a 380 percent increase in fan loyalty. This would obviously create moresales for web-based businesses and would help get other consumers interested in physicallygoing to a store, restaurant, or hotel and spending money.Section IIDirect Application 1: NikeNike- In December 2012, Nike introduced the Nike+ Fuel Band which people put ontheir wrists. The band tracks daily exercises such as walking, running, dancing, playing sports,and everything else done by the wearer. It tracks every step taken and calories burned. Users canalso download an application onto their smartphones and use it to set a daily goal and track theirprogress. Achievements and rewards, such as Nike Fuel, are given based on how athletic aperson is and how many goals have been met (Nike+ Fuel Band, 2013).Nike came out with an online interactive gamethat uses this Nike+ device or other Nike+devices such as the Sportband or Running App called Nike Fuel Missions. Users with an onlineNike account can begin the Missions journey where they lead a character through a world wherewinter has taken over everything. The more the user works out and moves with the Nike+ FuelBand the more Nike Fuel they earn. Each mission’s objective is to earn enough fuel within thegiven time period. Eventually the player will reach the Arc, which is the safety zone from thewinter apocalypse.This type of gamification is beneficial for Nike in that people who do not own a Nike+device would want to buy one to play the game and it will motivate more people to go onto theNike website which will generate more sales.Perception on NikeI think Nike did a very good job incorporating gamification into its marketing plan.Customers not only have a greater desire to exercise but also to buy Nike+ products in order toparticipate in the game. They chose to include an actual game along with points (Nike Fuel) andawards each person can achieve.This is a winning plan for both Nike and its customers and will allow Nike to sell moreproducts and probably reel in a few more customers as well.Direct Application 2: VerizonVerizon- The popular phone company has a social site called Verizon Insider wherecustomers can view upcoming sporting events, contests and deals on new products. Verizon tookthis site a step further by using Gigya to add gamification to get more user interaction. Gigya is acompany that provides websites with social experiences for users. Brands such as Pepsi and the
Gamification Hinrichsen Xun5television network ABC also use Gigya on their websites. They provide social plugins,gamification, and social privacy which allows users to know exactly how their information isbeing used (About Us- Gigya, 2013).Verizon uses this provider in order to help people interact, communicate, and competethroughout the site. Users can earn points and rewards for participating in contests, leavingcomments, and promoting events. This can all be shared onto Facebook or Twitter which willallow other people to take interest in the activities and to check out the site (White, 2012).Perception on VerzionI think Verizon’s use of gamification is not as good as other sites. I think users willbecome bored of the point system. I do not think the Verizon Insider site is a good platformbecause there are so many other social sites on the internet that it is unlikely for most people tovisit the site very often. The free giveaways are a bonus for the site but I do not think Verizon’sgamification platform will last very long.Industry Example and Analysis- Gamification at BigDoorGamification is all about making the internet more fun and personal. It encourages clientsto participate even when they are not purchasing by sharing the brands message, and learningmore about their customer and building lasting relationships. According to Keith Smith (CEO) ofBigDoor, Seattle, BigDoor has acquired about 300 customers in the past year. Such customerparticipation will help the company to meet the customer demands (Farr, 2013).Seattle startup BigDoor powers NFL.com’s rewards programs with the NFL regularseason forthcoming. NFL.com launched its first ever NFL Fan rewards which offered regularusers of NFL.com virtual coins in exchange for reading articles, commenting, and taking part inother activities on the website (Geek Wire, 2012). On April, 2012, BigDoor upgraded itsgamified rewards program presenting a basic operation process called Rapid Integration and ananalytics dashboard that helps publishers advance better understanding into key performanceindicators (IKPs) (Bannan, 2012). According to Bannan (2012), BigDoor has four platformboosts for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): loyalty, engagement, viral distribution of contentand revenue.BigDoor has a total funding to $13 million since it launched in 2009. Customers now canuse the analytics to take action on campaigns and programs. At BigDoor, customers are rewardedfor various actions such as downloading music, re-tweeting, liking content of Facebook,interacting on a blog or online community, or for revisiting a website (Bannan, 2012).Industry Example and Analysis- Gamification at BadgeVilleBadgeVille is a competitor to the BigDoor in the Gamification market with more than200 customers in the operation that has been in existence for 2.5 years. According to
Gamification Hinrichsen Xun6badgeville.com, BadgeVille offers a Behavior Platform to increase customer loyalty, userengagement, employee performance, mobile apps and enterprise application (2013). BadgeVilleis bringing game mechanics, reputation mechanics, and social mechanics to industry leaders andinnovation which includes Deloitte, EMC, Oracle, Citrix, Autodesk, Bell Media, NBC, UniversalMusic, VMware, and more.According to Williams (2012), BadgeVille has $40 million in venture capital, 80 full timeemployees, three offices, and 200 customers which includes Dell, Barnes & Noble, and Oracle.BadgeVille has experienced record growth in one of the fastest growing categories in enterprisesoftware (Badgeville.com, 2013). BadgeVille has also created a smart tool that gives brands,marketer, and enterprise clients a relatively inexpensive way to drive customer engagement andrewards users via the hot trend of social gamification (Empson, 2012).BadgeVille has also come up with the Recycle Bank loyalty rewards program thatencourages people to lower the environmental impact of their lifestyles. Recycle Bank will useBadgeVille gamification to help inspire green activities by linking people who are affectionateabout the environment via social networking sites and making it easier for them to get involvedand be rewarded for being green (Empson, 2012).Section IIIBusiness Landscape ImpactsGamification does not just impact social websites. It can also have an impact on thebusiness community. Gamification uses strategy, organization, and cultural and psychologicalaspects to maintain the platforms. Considering this and the fact that it is fairly low-priced andlow-risk software, businesses can use gamification to improve their productivity (Digital SignageToday, 2013).According to Adam Holtby who works at Ovum, a global analyst firm, “Gamification canhelp enhance customer engagement and manage employee behaviors and productivity levels”(Digital Signage Today, 2013). Ovum is an example of a company that uses social technologiesand gamification. “When points, badges and leaderboards are tied to a meaningful value systemthat records status and accomplishments and meets users’ desire for feedback, those tools canhelp to change behavior, develop skills and drive innovation” (Digital Signage Today, 2013).Businesses can use the data created by gamified systems to look deeper into the behaviors andskills of their employees and customers.Not only can businesses use gamification to look at their employees, but employees canuse these scoreboards and badges to track their own behavior within the company. This will helpmotivate them with healthy competition, team challenges, and the incentive to fulfill their tasksto the best of their ability (Brinsmead, 2013). According to Nick Stein, director of Content andMedia report at the social performance platform Rypple, gamification can enhance a businessprocess, system, customer experience, or employee performance management. This type ofimprovement of a business’s internal process systems has been called gamification of theenterprise (Palmer, 2012).
Gamification Hinrichsen Xun7According to analysts, “gamification will be in 25 percent of redesigned businessprocesses by 2015, it will grow to be more than a $2.8 billion dollar business by 2016, and 70percent of Global 2000 businesses will manage at least one gamified application by 2014”(Palmer, 2012).Related Course ContentI think the term “Gamification” can be related with effective sales technique, sales forceobjectives, customer retention, customer satisfaction and public relation. Gamification is animportant marketing tool to maintain a good relationship between the users and the publishers.Publicity is a direct function of gamification which helps to maintain a good relationship withtheir users offering rewards programs for using their websites.Similarly, it can also be viewed as an effective sales technique tool; with the use ofgamification users are visiting the sites more often and being loyal to their sites as they areoffered rewards, badges, virtual currency, and leadership boards. A satisfied gamified client willalso spread recommendation of favorite websites by word of mouth. On average, one satisfiedguest will tell five others, while dissatisfied users will tell ten people or more.Competitive AdvantageFor the businesses that have not yet stepped into the world of gamification they mightwant to think of doing so just to keep up with the crowd. More and more people are going toexpect some kind of reward or loyalty program from their favorite brands and companies,especially if they spend a lot of time and money on them.In order for already gamified businesses and companies to stay ahead of competitors,they will need to adopt the latest platforms, gadgets, and ideas. For example, a global technologybusiness located in Russia, Synqera, recently launched a POS terminal for in-store use calledSimplate. This terminal was created for the few minutes of time each customer stands waiting inline to check out. The system engages each customer with loyalty deals, interactive games andincentives. It also has the ability to give offers based on the customer’s purchases, storeinventory, and promotional offers (Shaw, 2012). This is a very new concept and stores would dowell by adopting these systems into their check-out lines.BigDoor’s plan to stay ahead of competitors utilizes the idea of internationalization. Thecompany understands that reward and loyalty programs are needed across the world so they willstart working with brands that have global reach. They are making their platforms available inany language or combination of languages. This will also make it easier for publishers to breakdown analytics based on language which will create a deeper understanding of customer insights(Malek, 2013).BigDoor, as well as other gamification software companies, need to constantly updateand upgrade the performance systems. The vast amount of users who access programs fromBigDoor or BunchBall need to be supported by the technology behind those programs, otherwisethe system will not work to its full potential.
Gamification Hinrichsen Xun8ReferencesWilliams.A.(2012, September 18). “Badgeville gamification platform comes to salesforce.com”.TechCrunch. Retrieved from: http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/18/badgeville-gamification-platform-comes-to-salesforce-com/Empson.R.(2012, January 10).”Badgeville proves gamification is here to stay, as recyclebank&others buy in. TechCrunch. Retrieved from:http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/10/badgeville-proves-gamification-is-here-to-stay-as-recyclebank-others-buy-in/Bannan.K.(2012, April 06). “Bigdoor upgrades gamified rewards program”. The BrainYard.Retrieved from:www.inforamtionweek.com/thebrainyard/commentary/social_networking_consumer/232800416/undefinedMarketwire.(2012, April 03). “A gamification changer!bigdoor’s new gamified rewards deliversbig results for publishers”. Retrieved from: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gamification-changer-bigdoors-gamified-rewards-130000202.htmlBadgeville.(2013, April 10). “Badgeville the #1 gamification platform taps cloud leader kencome as ceo”. Retrievedfrom:http://badgeville.com/news/announcements/badgeville- gamification-platform-announces-new-ceo-ken-comee"Analyst: Look beyond Tech to Cultural Aspects of Gamification." Digital Signage Today.N.p.,18 Apr. 2013. Web.Badgeville (2013, April 10). “Badgeville the #1 gamification platform taps cloud leader kencome as ceo”.Retrieved from: //http://badgeville.com/news/announcements/badgeville-gamification-platform-announces-new-ceo-ken-comeeOvum (2013, March 08). “Brinsmead, Aphrodite. "Gamification: A New Approach to Trackingand Improving Agent Performance." Ovum. Retrieved from://http://ovum.com/research/gamification-a-new-approach-to-tracking-and-improving-agent-performance/Unknown (2013)."Gamification History."HubPages.N.p., 18 Dec. 2012. Retrieved from://http://keepexploring.hubpages.com/hub/Gamification-HistoryUnknown (2012)."Increase Brand Loyalty."CrowdTwist.CrowdTwist, 2013.Retrieved from://http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/crowdtwist-caps-record-year-as-brands-extend-loyalty-beyond-the-point-of-sale-1629648.htm
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