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Aquent/AMA Webcast: Serious Games for Designing Strategy, Products, and Messaging
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Aquent/AMA Webcast: Serious Games for Designing Strategy, Products, and Messaging


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How can you use gaming techniques to gain valuable customer insights? In this webcast, Sumi Shohara and Linda Stegeman will share how HP Software uses interactive games to engage its customers in …

How can you use gaming techniques to gain valuable customer insights? In this webcast, Sumi Shohara and Linda Stegeman will share how HP Software uses interactive games to engage its customers in everything from strategy and product development to marketing messaging.

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  • LINDAActual photo from a facebook posting during a typical user meeting.Look familiar? This is what we are changing at HP!My name is Linda Stegeman, president and founder of Artafact. We are a qualitative research company providing software and services for conducting qualitative research online.We do both online and offline focus groups, bulletin boards, and interviews to capture in-depth insights on a variety of topics. We specialize in projective and probing exercises to get groups talking and collaborating.Sumi Shohara is Director of Customer Advocacy for Software @ Hewlett-Packard. She is responsible for many customer advisory boards that HP sponsors for each brand to keep valued customers informed of future product strategy and direction. We have been working together for over five years on changing the dynamic of those sessions from “death by power point” to fun, engaging interactive groups where customers collaborate WITH HP on setting future product strategy and direction.We’re here to tell you how we do it with three specific examples of “serious games” that lead to important insights for HP’s top leaders, product management, solution managers and sales.
  • LINDALet’s start with a game! You can earn points by participating with us during this presentation and win a $25 Amazon gift card. Each time you complete a poll or ask a question, it’s an entry into the sweepstakes. Your reward is $25.00 amazon gift card for the top 5 contributors. 25 bucks might not sound like a lot but you’ll find out that just $25.00 will buy you into gaming with your customers.The game is ON!
  • LINDAWe’re going to start by listening. Here’s a quick poll to let us know what your experience is in gamification WITH your customers. We’re pretty sure you play games outside of work, but this question is all about your level of experience with your customers at work.Poll Question:What is your experience level in gamification with your customers?Pawn: Here to learnKnight: Know about gaming Bishop: Plan to begin gamingRook: Routinely use gamesQueen: Know gamification softwareKing: Active user of gamificationOk! Thank you. [summarize results] We’re all still learning.
  • LINDAWhat is Gamification? Gamification is a very broad field covering collaboration, engagement and reward systems. Although it has been around forever in the consumer arena with things like loyalty programs, frequent flyer programs and reward points; it is just now being recognized as a means of influencing behavior with large scale enterprises. Many experts believe that just as the last ten years have been all about building communities and networks, the next ten years will be all about how to ENGAGE those communities and networks with gamification techniques. Many new software startups are developing software specifically for gamification.Wikipedia definition: Gamification techniques strive to leverage people's natural desires for competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, and closure.A core gamification strategy is rewards for players who accomplish desired tasks. Types of rewards include points,[5] achievement badges or levels,[6] the filling of a progress bar,[7] leader boards and providing the user with virtual currency.Although gamification is a NEW term, the principles are OLD and the foundation of any collaborative discussion. It’s all about engagement, techniques, social and activities.
  • LINDAThe gamification landscape has evolved from small in person sessions to fully automated software. In person customer engagement goes back to qualitative research which started in the early sixties with projective and probing techniques (games if you will) like card and photo sorts, free form ad creation and collaborative whiteboard exercises to conducting many of these same exercises online with customers and prospects. Innovation games is one company that evolved many of these qualitative techniques by productizing and naming them and applying them to even broader business issues. And then, of course, took them online. Today,gamification is a hot topic with many companies developing innovative software solutions to engage customers with the same techniques used to engage players in games. Companies like bunchball, badgeville, and scvngr all have software solutions that integrate with communities and social networks to incent and reward participation.Bunchball’s nitro is software that integrates with customer and social networks and HR systems to drive engagement from customers & partners and boost sales and employee productivity. Nitro includes a dashboard for design and administration of engaging strategies, a rules engine, apis, analystics and a library of gaming tools such as challenges, levels, leaderboards and badges.Badgeville’s behavior platform serves customers and employees and introduces gaming mechanics, reputation mechanics, social mechanics and behavioral analytics into any team or community. The platform can be used for product development by identifying, measuring, and rewarding key user behaviors, celebrating brand advocates, and incenting participation.Scavenger is a platform for location based games where through your iphone or android, you go places, do challenges and earn points, just like a real scavenger hunt!
  • LINDAWe’re going to move on, but we would be very interested in knowing what gaming techniques you are currently using and would add to this slide. So, go ahead and find your chat window and answer the question: What gaming techniques are you using? SUMIAdd chat message (broadcast to all), what games are you using?
  • LINDAAlthough the in person and gamification software games are very different, the rules and principles of gaming still apply: Seth Priebatsch, founder of SCVGR says that all games have similar mechanics and rules that are followed. In the gaming vernacular, he calls these the appointment dynamic, influence and status, communal discovery and the progression dynamic. You can learn more about Seth’s view of gamification by listening to his Ted Talk.
  • LINDARule #1: Show up or in gaming (the appointment dynamic). You need to have groups assembled, whether online in a community or in person in a meeting. Just like today…we’re a group.
  • LINDARule #2: Reward. Reward participation with incentives. This can be achievement levels, recognition, points or influence and status in the gaming world. Or just simply be part of an elite club which is a reward level that HP uses.
  • LINDARule #3: Collaborate. Give the group or community a way of seeing what others are doing and even teaming with them to come up with a better solution or simply competing against them. This is known as communal discovery in gaming terms.
  • LINDARule #4: Track participation, whether with a progress bar on a game or a call to action in a meeting that drives them to return and keep playing or the progression dynamic as it is known in gaming.These four simple rules can help you create amazing games with your customers for everything from product to messaging development. Some of the questions we have answered for HP using games include:What investments should we make?How should we prioritize this list of features for development?What are the use cases for this solution?What is your return on investment with this product?What benefits do you get from our solutions?Which of these messages are relevant for you and your customers?I’ll turn it over to Sumi now and she’ll share with you a few examples of how it works:
  • Let’s start with the first rule: Show up. [LINDA HANDS OVER TO SUMI TO DESCRIBE CAB PROGRAM] SUMI: Thanks Linda.First just a quick true confession – when Linda asked me to join this webinar and share our Customer Advisory Board practices I was delighted as its one of the premier customer loyalty programs at HP Software. However, when I read the AMA description I was surprised to see it positioned as “gamification.” I never thought if it that way. But truth be told, the 4 “rules” apply completely. So I’m even more delighted to be able to position this program as being in the forefront of market trends.Now to the Boards.HP Software, has many customer advisory boards that meet in person and online on a regular basis. Our customer base is diverse spanning many industries with global leaders and emerging startups. These customers use a variety of HP Software solutions to deliver value to their customers and have a keen interest in HP’s product strategy and portfolio roadmap.Our customers partner with HP Software to improve our products, services and create effective go-to-market programs. What you’re seeing on the screen is the home page to our Look Book that describes some of results of this partnership.So….we had the audience ready to “show up” -- rule #1 was a piece of cake.However the challenge was to move from TELLING our customers what we HAVE to LISTENING to what they WANT.
  • SUMIWe have over 500 IT, security and big data executives and practitioners that participate in one of our 14 Advisory Boards. For today’s discussion I’m going to talk about our Executive Boards. The typical titles of include chief information officer, chief data scientist, chief information security officer, CTO, and SVPs and VPs of IT and Applications. As you can imagine, these are very busy executives with precious little time to spare. The good news here is the program is itself a reward. That’s Rule #2.The Customer Advisory Boards are an elite C-level club. Customers really value the “seat at the table” with HP executives, product marketing and R&D teams. They also value the opportunity to share strategies and best practices with their peers. Rewards all the way around.
  • SUMIAnd, with this kind of audience it’s critical to move from overwhelming them with information…you know…death by powerpoint…
  • SUMITo active listening by opening your ears and your mind. This is no easy task with many HP teams who have a ton of information to impart in a short period of time.We have found that designing a game or interactive exercises into the meeting helps break the dynamic of speaking and move to listening and ENGAGEMENT. Through games and interactivity, customers are encouraged to participate and share their own points of view. That’s Rule #3 Collaborate.
  • SUMIRule #4: Track participation. Participation is THE MOST critical. WE want to ENGAGE. Continuously. We want to partner with our customers to design new solutions. Enhance existing ones. We take all the information that we HEAR and share it across HP Software, and also look for opportunities to engage customers that are interested…to help us bring the new solutions to market.We use a very simple technique – familiar to all of you…Call to Actions.Call to Action items give your audience a choice of ways to stay involved with you. It’s always better to have more than one and a range of call to action items from easy choices to more difficult choices. This gets your customer on the path of staying involved one way or another. If we want to draw a parallel to gaming…this is no different than advancing levels in an online game or a progression bar from LinkedIn indicating how “complete” your profile is.HP uses call to action items like:Keep as an agenda item for future meetingsDo not keep as an agenda item for future meetingsStay informed.  Please add me to an email list for monthly updates or provide a link to the community forum on this topicBrief my team.  Schedule an executive briefing for my teamSign up as a design partner.  Participate in an external pre-release of the product or service.
  • LINDAHere’s how HP played the Buy A Feature game with this set of customers:The product management team created a list in power point of 15-30 projects that were within 1-3 feature releases. A good guideline is if you know you are going to do it, DON’T include it.They numbered each feature and provided a short description including the benefit of the features. In this example, we’re showing you six of the features. Things like a scorecard, a KPI library, a subscription service, and items like additional roles within the dashboard and a data consortium. They priced each feature according to level of difficulty (engineering man hours) and time involved.$25.00-Relatively easy$50.00-More difficult$100.00-The most time consuming and difficult.After pricing items, we gave each executive $100distribute enough money that any individual customer can purchase on their own between 1/3 and 2/3 of the items. Price some things so high that a customer would have to use all their money or pool their money to purchase it.Distribute worksheets to the customers to have them make their choices. 
  • LINDAAfter the items and pricing were presented, we distributed worksheets to each participant with all of the items and prices. The instructions on the worksheet read:You have $100 to allocate across all of the technology options just discussed. Each technology option has a value which will decrease the amount you have left to spend on other options. These values were determined based on the complexity and cost of developing the option. You may also add to this list additional options that you would like considered. If you add to the list, please explain why what you are adding is important and do not allocate any dollars to those items.
  • SUMIThe results of this exercise clearly indicated priority investments as well as some new ideas. As the top #1 priority--the IT executives clearly wanted a library of pre-defined key performance indicators, or metrics. This would save them the time and cost of developing their own. The #2 priority was they wanted other executives in the company to also be able to use the tool. We since launched the product with the help of our Board members. And we now have over 200 enterprise customers of the executive scorecard including global leaders such as United Airlines, Lubrizol and Procter & Gamble. And because we listened well…the executive scorecard comes with a library of over 60 KPIS, and provides several “personas” out of box. We’ve added Service Management Director, business and financial analyst and many others.This is a picture-perfect example of how a simple investment game produced real results.
  • LINDA: Now is the time to earn points by posting a question. We’ll leave time at the end to handle all questions.
  • SUMIOur second example is Lifecycle Solution Development. HP Software has many products for IT and Cloud Management, Security, Big Data that are usually #1 or #2 in their markets. Our objective is to develop compelling new uses cases, by integrating these leading products into solution offers that focus immediately on top customer priorities. We needed to:Determine customer priorities (urgency to buy)Adoption readiness (ability to adopt and go/get value)Understand key pains (key messages)Engage CAB members as design partnersThe participants in this exercise were about 20 CXOs and VPs and an HP VP of Solution Marketing
  • LINDAArtafact recommended How, Now, Wow as a way to collect feedback on use cases. How, Now, Wow, is available from When people want to develop new ideas, they most often think out of the box in the brainstorming or divergent phase. However, when it comes to convergence, people often end up picking ideas that are most familiar to them. This is called a ‘creative paradox’ or a ‘creadox’.The How-Now-Wow matrix is an idea selection tool that breaks the creadox by forcing people to weigh each idea on 2 parameters. The parameters can be anything. In this example, they are impossible to implement on the y axis and originality on the x axis.
  • LINDAHere is how it worked. The HP team handed out the exercise and instruction workbook first and then presented two different use cases. They asked the C-level audience to jot down their feedback in the workbook while the use case was being presented, putting their comments in the right color box based on their opinion. •Yellow are parts of the use case that are original but difficult to implement. •Green are parts of the use case that are that are original and easy to implement.•Blue are parts of the use case that are easy to implement and well known, meaning other companies may also offer this solution.•White are parts of the use case that you have no need for either because you don’t have the problem or it is already solved with another application.Customersprovided feedback on the whole product concept including each component of the product/service offering, packaging, pricing, channel, buyers, and more. After the presentation was over, they asked CXOsto to thenexplain “why” they made the comment.  The “why” will gives the best insights into how to improve the concepts and will provide input into positioning/messaging.
  • SUMI Here’s the results for two Use Cases code named here as Cross Check and Hour Two.Cross Check had 14 customers rate it yellow and green on the how wow scale. Remember - yellow on the scale is original but difficult to implement and green is original and easy to implement. Two customers rated it blue which is well known and probably already implemented. Hour Two was a little less unique with more than four customers rating it blue and nine rating it yellow.The info gathered from How-Now-Wow game plus other research pointed us in the direction of the Cross Check use case. We had a couple of success stories, as well as a set of customers who thought it had the “wow” factor but clearly require a “whole solution” to help with implementation and integration.
  • SUMIPlus, the information provided about “why” solutions were rated green or yellow proved insightful to the product marketing teams about the benefits for each use case. Customer benefits are the ROI of any solution!This How-Now-Wow exercise was conducted fairly recently so we’ll be seeing tangible results of new customer adoption really soon.
  • LINDA:Now is the time to earn points by posting a question. We’ll leave time at the end to handle all questions.
  • LINDAWe began with a video of the corporate messaging campaign. Then we moved right into “hearing” what customers thought of the video using exercises and games. Here is an example of a game we played to understand the big picture of what makes a software company great. We were looking for attributes and vision. The iceberg exercise goes back to the origin of projective and probing techniques used for focus groups in the 1960s that is still used today.The iceberg is designed to get feedback in an organized fashion. So, if you read the instructions, it says to fill in the iceberg with attributes a software company would have to be able to deliver with the tip of the iceberg representing those that are most important and the less important ones below sea level. The colors here represent different people participating and collaborating on the same whiteboard. Each of the five online groups created their own icebergs.After the groups finished completing their icebergs, we asked them what brands/vendors have these attributes to see how HP was positioned in their competitive set.
  • LINDAFrom the big picture, we moved to story telling to capture customer stories about HP software in their own language. One by one, we asked customers to fill in this sentence by articulating and writing down their best story about HP Software solutions in their company. What we were going for here was to create notecards. They are short customer use case histories that HP uses in analyst calls, speeches, on the web and in marketing materials. For this game, we took an actual HP use case and created a notecard from it. In this case, how an “agency” can set up emergency field operations anywhere in the world within hours using HP’s IT management solution. The benefits of this story are truly amazing with 7,000 schools, 13 million vaccines and 300,000 children in school. This is a true story!
  • LINDAUsing their chat window, these senior executives wrote their own stories about HP solutions using this simple fill in the blank story. Story completion games are available on Amazon as flash cards. These senior men and women simply played an old favorite game from their childhood called sentence completion that has been played around the world many many times with multiple generations. And, they were amazed at their own stories about HP!
  • SUMIAnother one of the stories uncovered in this online session refers to this article posted on ZDNet about Avaya. In 2002 Avaya was the sponsor of the World Cup tournament; had to manage all IT equipment in S. Korea and Japan, 20 stadiums, manage 10K devices and the IT team relied on HP technology solutions to provide “always up” service; No outages occurred during month-long event. They continued to run the network supporting FIFA World Cup in 2006.The big win here in this early “gamification” example, is because we had the Group showing up, rewarded them over time, collaborated with them often in the past, and knew that they’d participate. In advance of a major brand launch, we were able to pull this project off with a global audience of IT executives and practitioners, in 3 weeks from start to finish, and at a 1/3 the cost of a traditional focus group. We ended up with some amazing stories to share and it really was a huge win for the program.
  • SUMI - We’ve just reviewed several examples of engagement or “gaming” techniques in the lower quadrants of this chart. Beyond these few examples, my colleagues at HP have used many innovative engagement mechanics and gaming techniques in products, services, marketing programs and Web experiences. I took the liberty of adding to the upper right quadrant, the example of our IT Experts Community. Today it recognizes top contributors with ‘Expert badges’ encouraging members to participate in the support forums and blogs.
  • SUMIAnd finally in another example…HP Software will soon be launching a new Web experience named PRONQ – you can sign up at to learn more.In closing…I want to end this by telling you that these “gamification” techniques work. And if you want to design new products, enhance existing ones, develop spot-on messaging, and tell compelling stories it’s easy to do—you can do it fast, and at reasonable cost.Just follow the rules and get on with your game!
  • LINDAAnd so we end, as we began, with a question. What’ your next move?Poll:What’s your next move?:Follow gaming Follow Artafact on linked in Sign up for more gaming webinarsContact Artafact for more infoGet gaming with my customers
  • See how easy it is to create a game whether you are using a sophisticated software solution or not?Advance your level of gamification by getting in the game. For further information or questions, please feel free to connect with Sumi and Linda on linked in. We’ll be happy to handle any questions.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Serious Games for Designing Strategy, Products and Messaging How can you use gaming techniques to gain valuable customer insights? In this webcast, Sumi Shohara and Linda Stegeman will share how HP Software uses interactive games to engage its customers in everything from strategy and product development to marketing messaging.
    • 2. Serious games for designing strategy, products and messaging Linda Stegeman, Artafact Research Sumi Shohara, Customer Advocacy, HP Software
    • 3. Check in Polls Questions
    • 4. many in person online Movie Titles Thought Bubbles few
    • 5. many in person online Movie Titles Thought Bubbles few
    • 6. Add to agenda Brief my team Add me to email Sign me up
    • 7. Running the Business of IT Prioritize R&D
    • 8. Running the Business of IT Prioritize R&D
    • 9. Lifecycle Use Cases
    • 10. Lifecycle Use Cases
    • 11. Message Testing
    • 12. Message Testing
    • 13. many in person online Movie Titles Thought Bubbles few
    • 14. Linda Stegeman, President Artafact Research Sumi Shohara, Director of Customer Advocacy HP Software