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Playing Games With Consumers


My bachelor thesis on gamification in digital brand marketing from 2012. Feel free to contact me for a download or any questions.

My bachelor thesis on gamification in digital brand marketing from 2012. Feel free to contact me for a download or any questions.

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  • Hi Jan- I am interested in receiving a copy of your thesis on gamification. If you would mail me a copy at, I would be most grateful. Thanks!
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    interesting work, would you be happy to share as pdf file?
    also interested to know what are you doing now after finishing your degree.
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  • Hi Jan, Really Your Work is amazing, would you please send it as the save button is disabled really it will be appreciated, Thank You

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  • 1. Playing games with consumers How can gamification be used for attainment of common marketing objectives in the digital marketing of brands? Bachelor thesis Author: Jan Himmighofen Student number: 80383 Course: Media & Entertainment Management Stenden University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, Germany 8 June 2012 Picture by mikemcnary (2010)
  • 2. Playing games with consumers How can gamification be used for attainment of common marketing objectives in the digital marketing of brands? Lecturer: Deike Schulz Second reader: Gregor Garn
  • 3. 3 Abstract The objective of this bachelor thesis is to reveal the methods and insights how brands or media agencies can make use of gamification for attaining their digital marketing goals. Gamification is a relatively new and innovative approach, which has already generated very interesting results for some brands. The concept of gamification is defined as “the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in a nongaming context to engage users and solve problems.” Gamification differs from traditional games since it always uses game attributes to achieve other goals than purely providing fun. Also, gamification takes place in a non-game context and tries to turn any non-game activity into a game-like experience. Humans enjoy games very much. This is due to the fact that games very often motivate us intrinsically. We are not purely motivated by external rewards such as money or material goods when it comes to games, but by the pure act of playing. This motivation driven by the enjoyment of the task itself is called intrinsic motivation while motivation driven by external outcomes is called extrinsic motivation. Games and gamification can make use of both types, but they are particularly attractive because of their ability to provide those strong intrinsic motivators like performing satisfying work that makes us immerse in a fun and challenging activity where we see the direct impact of our efforts, have the experience to be successful, are autonomous in our own decisions, experience social connection and sometimes even feel that we are part of something larger than ourselves. Also, as with other activities that perfectly challenge us, we are often in a state called flow when playing games. In this state, our perception and senses process so much information that we lose our sense for time, place and even sense. In flow we feel extraordinarily happy and satisfied, because we are fully engaged in an interesting and challenging activity. A well-designed game or gamification experience is able to make players experience this state often by perfectly matching the challenge the game provides to the player’s ability. The player is challenged to the point that he is just able to succeed in the game without being bored or overstrained. In order to create gamification, a game needs to be constructed out of a nongame activity. This implies the application of the basic elements that make up a game such as a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation. Next, games make use of various game mechanics to create play and fun. Some examples are achievements like trophies, medals, or badges. The game mechanic of discovery, for example, allows player to explore a new world inside the game. Levels, points and rewards make players feel that there are progressing inside the game and attach a certain status to each player. The game mechanic of ownership allows players to be creative and create something of their own. There are many more game mechanics that can be used for the creation of gamification, which are explained in this thesis. The game mechanics can also add intrinsic motivation to the gamified activity. However, there are also more ways to add intrinsic motivation, which should always be considered since the use of intrinsic motivators especially creates lasting engagement. As the recent statistics about worldwide media spend and use of digital technology show, the future belongs to digital technology. Brands have already begun to shift their marketing budgets from traditional and analogue media to new and digital media. In digital marketing, next to social and
  • 4. mobile activities, gamification can also become an important tool for brands since it can yield great results as the case studies in this thesis demonstrate. Several aspects need to be considered when making use of gamification in digital marketing. Gamification is often poorly utilized by simply adding a few game mechanics to a product, service, or application. One needs to understand that gamification is a process that needs to be structured in order to be most successful. First and most importantly, any gamification campaign needs a goal and has to consider the brand, its product, the target group, the marketing budget and anything else that is provided in a briefing. A well-designed gamification campaign helps the consumers or users to achieve their goals, provides at least some intrinsic motivation while simultaneously attaining the goals of the brand. Typical marketing goals that can be achieved by the use of gamification are creating brand interaction, increasing customer bonds and loyalty, increasing brand awareness, and ultimately generating sales. Other goals can also be achieved, but gamification might not be the most efficient solution. There are several channels and tools that can be used for a gamification campaign in digital marketing. In general, gamification requires interaction and an interactive platform. In digital marketing, channels such as mobile, mobile apps, online and social media are most commonly used and provide a great basis for providing a gamification experience. For small or medium budgets (€10,000 - €70,000) the use of a gamification service vendor like, for example, Badgeville, Bigdoor, or Bunchball makes sense since those provide inexpensive prepackaged gamification tools than can easily be implemented into a mobile or web site of any brand. They make use of several game mechanics and can yield great improvements in user engagement, for example, but also often suffer from attracting only some of the different player types. Gamified mobile apps such as foursquare or SCVNGR also provide inexpensive means to create basic gamification and provide the advantage to access an already existing user base. When implemented into an overall strategy, those tools can yield great results, but the possibilities to gamify are also limited with these tools. A premium method to create gamification, which is only suitable for higher budgets (€100,000 and more), is the creation of an own and unique gamification platform, which can be customized to the brand. The design process of any gamification application is vital. A well-designed gamification campaign is tailored to the goals of the brand, attracts different players types, motivates people and helps them to achieve their own goals, provides intrinsic motivation and implements multiple game mechanics in a clever and attractive way. It also allows the players to experience flow and optionally offers extrinic rewards such as prizes or monetary goods. At the same time, the preparation of additional marketing and promotional activities, proper campaign timing, proper staff traing, and the testing of the gamification experience are important prior to launch. Finally, a gamification application never ends once it is launched. It requires constant monitoring, analysis and evaluation. Technical issues and bugs might need to be fixed and cheating players or inappropriate content might need to be dealt with. Also, the gamification application can constantly be improved according to the feedback of the players in order to provide the best possible experience. The learnings that are made from the development and execution of one gamification campaign can be used to optimize the next. When applied with care and proper consideration, gamification can yield impressive results for any brand and create memorable and long-lasting positive brand experiences in the consumer’s perception. 4
  • 5. 5 Preface The rapid development of digital technology in recent years has led to radical changes and various new possibilities in marketing. During the last decade, one of the most important developments in terms of marketing communication was the emergence of social media and social network platforms such as Facebook. As, for the first time, millions of people were able to stay connected with their friends and a larger social network by using these services, brands and marketers realized that social media offers excellent means to connect with customers and allows them to interact with the brand at nearly all times. Through the emergence of smartphones and other mobile devices with mobile Internet access, connectivity has increased even more allowing everyone to participate from nearly anywhere in the world. Today, consumers have the means and resources to actively participate in the media world and shape brand images. Consumers not only receive marketing messages, but also can send messages back to the brand easily as well as share messages with the whole online world. These developments have forced brands and marketers to rethink their marketing strategies and methods. In the digital and social media marketing world, it has become increasingly important not only to raise awareness of your brand by issuing marketing messages on a regular basis, but to actively engage consumers in activities that are related to the brand. A yet very young and promising approach to consumer engagement in marketing is gamification. The underlying system behind gamification is games and how game techniques can transform any non-game activity into an activity that is more engaging and more fun. Gamification can be applied in a broad variety of fields. There have been some great first gamification trials not only in marketing or entertainment contexts, but also in fields such as education, training, business management, fitness & health and many more. We enjoy games vey often and experience them as very engaging. Games seem to have a certain power and certain characteristics that attract us and make us enjoy playing them. The aim of this bachelor thesis is to find out about the characteristics and possibilities of gamification and how the concept can be incorporated into the marketing of brands in the digital world. Today, the aim of many brands in the modern media world is to engage their fans and customers as much as possible in order to increase loyalty, brand awareness and ultimately turnover. The possibilities of social media have allowed brands to make a big step towards higher customer engagement. According to Gartner, “by 2014…more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application, driving 50% of all innovation.” (The Gamification Summit, 2011) Can gamification provide the next step towards increased engagement? At this point, I want to thank everyone who assisted and supported me in the development of this bachelor thesis.
  • 6. I want to thank my university lecturer Deike Schulz for supervising the development of my thesis and offering help throughout the whole process. Furthermore, she constantly provided me with constructive feedback, which certainly helped to improve this thesis. In addition, I want to thank my colleagues at OMG Fuse, especially Christian Adams and Gregor Garn. The conversations that I had with Christian Adams about my thesis were very helpful for developing the research questions and a basic orientation within the research topic. Gregor Garn also provided a lot of constructive feedback, which helped to improve the thesis. It was great to hear a second opinion from the professional field of digital marketing about the content of the thesis. Of course, I also want to thank Andreas Harnischfeger, Markus Breuer and Mario Herger for participating in an interview and contributing valuable time and expertise although they all are very busy people. Finally, many thanks go to my family, friends and girlfriend, who accompanied and supported me throughout the whole process. 6
  • 7. 7 Table of Contents List of appendices ................................................................................................. 9 List of tables ........................................................................................................ 10 List of figures ....................................................................................................... 11 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 12 1 Literature review ............................................................................................ 15 1.2 Gamification ............................................................................................................................ 15 1.2.1 Definition .......................................................................................................................... 16 1.2.2 The power of games .......................................................................................................... 18 1.2.3 Creating gamification ....................................................................................................... 23 1.3 Digital marketing ..................................................................................................................... 29 1.3.1 Definition .......................................................................................................................... 29 1.3.2 Digital marketing methods ............................................................................................... 31 1.3.3 Digital marketing practice of brands ............................................................................... 33 1.3.4 Objectives in digital marketing ......................................................................................... 36 2 Methodology ................................................................................................... 39 3 Findings .......................................................................................................... 41 3.1 Gamification case studies ........................................................................................................ 41 3.1.1 Gamification service vendors ........................................................................................... 41 3.1.2 Mobile applications for gamified experiences .................................................................. 44 3.1.3 Case study: Buffalo Wild Wings ....................................................................................... 45 3.1.4 Case study: Nike+ ............................................................................................................ 48 3.1.5 Case study: Greenpeace VW Dark Side ........................................................................... 50 3.1.6 Comparison of the cases ................................................................................................... 52 3.2 Interviews ................................................................................................................................ 54 3.2.1 Andreas Harnischfeger ..................................................................................................... 54 3.2.2 Markus Breuer .................................................................................................................. 54 3.2.3 Mario Herger .................................................................................................................... 55 4 Evaluation ....................................................................................................... 57 5 Results and conclusion ................................................................................. 58 5.1 Gamification in digital marketing ........................................................................................... 58 5.1.1 Channels and methods ...................................................................................................... 58 5.1.2 Marketing objectives ......................................................................................................... 59 5.2 Successful gamification ........................................................................................................... 61 5.3 Implementing gamification ..................................................................................................... 63
  • 8. 6 Discussion ...................................................................................................... 69 7 Reference list ................................................................................................. 70 8 Appendices ..................................................................................................... 79 A Definitions .................................................................................................................................. 79 B Digital marketing methods from chapter 1.2.2 .......................................................................... 81 C Interviews ................................................................................................................................... 84 C.1 Andreas Harnischfeger ........................................................................................................ 84 C.2 Markus Breuer ..................................................................................................................... 86 C.3 Mario Herger ...................................................................................................................... 94 8
  • 9. 9 List of appendices Page Appendix A - Definitions ……..………………………………...…………………………. 79 Appendix B - Digital marketing methods from chapter 1.2.2 ……………………………... 81 Appendix C - Interviews ……………………………………………………………..……. 84
  • 10. 10 List of tables Table 1. Methods and sources used for answering the sub-questions. ............................................. 13 Table 2. Intrinsic motivators according to McGonigal (2011) ......................................................... 19 Table 3. Game mechanics ................................................................................................................. 25 Table 4. How Nike+ works ............................................................................................................... 48 Table 5. Comparison of the gamification cases studied ................................................................... 52 Table 6. Game mechanics to attract different player types ............................................................... 67 Table 7. Methods and game mechanics to promote different kinds of intrinsic motivation ............ 67
  • 11. 11 List of figures Figure 1. Farmville, Zynga (left); Diner Dash, Playfirst (right) ....................................................... 15 Figure 2. Games, serious games, and gamification .......................................................................... 18 Figure 3. The state of flow is achieved when skills and challenge match ........................................ 22 Figure 4. A player's overall result after completing Yee's motivations assessment ......................... 23 Figure 5. Global ad spend by media 2010 – 2014 ............................................................................ 34 Figure 6. Worldwide social networking ad spending ....................................................................... 35 Figure 7. Big Brother Superfans Leaderboard by Bigdoor ............................................................... 41 Figure 8. Badgeville's Widget Studio & API for web and mobile sites ........................................... 42 Figure 9. HopeLap for ZAMZEE by Bunchball ............................................................................... 43 Figure 10. foursquare on an iPhone .................................................................................................. 44 Figure 11. Web integration of Buffalo Wild Wings' SCVNGR challenge ....................................... 46 Figure 12. Challenges and impressions during the campaign ........................................................... 46 Figure 13. The VW Dark Side online platform ................................................................................ 51 Figure 14. The gamification design and implementation process .................................................... 64
  • 12. 12 Introduction Games have become an important part of our every day life. Many people across the globe play regularly because they enjoy their favorite games so much. At the same time, some brands have already utilized games as a tool for marketing purposes. A yet very young and innovative approach for making use of the power of games is called gamification. The aim of this thesis is to explore and analyze this new approach in detail and provide a recommendation how brands or media agencies can utilize gamification successfully for marketing via digital media. Limiting the focus on digital marketing was necessary because a general marketing approach would go beyond the possible scope of a bachelor thesis. This thesis will focus on the following main question: How can gamification be used for attainment of common marketing objectives in the digital marketing of brands? In order to answer this question, a couple of sub-questions need to be considered first: 1. What is gamification and how does it work? To get a first understanding about the subject of gamification, the general approach will be explained. Taking a look at the importance of games today and the characteristics of a well-designed game, we will also find out how gamification can be created. 2. What is digital marketing? How do brands use digital marketing today? In order to use gamification for digital marketing, it is vital to understand what digital marketing is about and what different kind of possibilities it provides. Also, today’s digital marketing practice of brands needs to be considered. 3. What are the common marketing objectives of brands using digital marketing? Before pursuing any marketing activity, a brand must define some objectives that it tries to attain using marketing methods. The most common marketing objectives that brands try to achieve using digital marketing will be compiled. 4. Where can gamification be implemented in digital marketing? Where not? What this question focuses on is whether and how the different channels and methods of digital marketing can be used when creating gamification. Some digital channels might be very suitable for gamification; others might not be suitable very much. 5. Which marketing objectives in particular can be attained through the use of gamification? Which not? What is the benefit of gamification? After having analyzed the marketing objectives of brands for digital marketing, it is necessary to find out which marketing objectives can be attained through the use of gamification methods by analyzing different gamification cases and talking to experts. Gamification methods might prove to be strong for attaining some marketing goals, but might not be very suitable for others.
  • 13. 13 6. What is important to consider when making use of gamification in digital marketing? The success factors of gamification will be identified according to an analysis of some gamification case studies and expert interviews. 7. How can brands implement gamification in their digital marketing? By answering this question, a recommendation for brands will be created. The findings of the previous parts will be summarized and the implementation of gamification into digital marketing practice will be explained. Qualitative research methods will be used to understand the phenomenon and its specifics. This implies an analysis of data from a limited number of example cases, theories from literature and expert interviews. The first three sub-questions will mainly be answered using desk research and literature analysis. The additional sub-questions will be answered by conducting some gamification case studies and applying information that has been collected using expert interviews. Finally, the results of this research will lead to a recommendation for brands or media agencies on how to make use of gamification in the near future for their digital marketing campaigns. This means that an inductive research approach will be used for this thesis since a theory will be developed as a result of the data analysis. (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007, p. 117) By using qualitative research, the findings of this thesis may not be conclusive and may not be used to make generalizations, but will provide an initial understanding about gamification and a sound base for further decision-making about the topic in marketing. (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007, pp. 100-121) (Higher Education Academy's Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, the Centre for Social Work and Policy and Sheffield Hallam University, n.d.) The following table describes the research methods and sources used in more detail. Table 1. Methods and sources used for answering the sub-questions. Sub-question Research methods Most important sources 1. What is gamification and how does it work? Literature analysis (McGonigal, 2011); (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011); (Zichermann & Linder, 2010); (Csíkszentmihályi, 2004); (Pine & Gilmore, 1999) 2. What is digital marketing? How do brands use digital marketing today? Literature analysis (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005); (Ryan & Jones, 2011); (Solis, 2011); Internal documents of OMG FUSE 3. What are the common marketing objectives of brands using digital marketing? Literature analysis Internal documents of OMG FUSE; (Farris, Bendle, Pfeifer, & Reibstein, 2009); 4. Where can gamification be implemented in digital marketing? Where not? Expert interviews Interview: Andreas Harnischfeger; Markus Breuer
  • 14. Case studies Case documentation and articles: Buffalo Wild Wings & SCVNGR; Nike+; Greenpeace VW Dark Side 14 5. Which marketing objectives in particular can be attained through the use of gamification? Which not? What is the benefit of gamification? Expert interviews Case studies Interview: Andreas Harnischfeger; Markus Breuer Case documentation and articles: Buffalo Wild Wings & SCVNGR; Nike+; Greenpeace VW Dark Side 6. What is important to consider when making use of gamification in digital marketing? Expert interviews Case studies Interview: Andreas Harnischfeger; Markus Breuer; Mario Herger Case documentation and articles: Buffalo Wild Wings & SCVNGR; Nike+; Greenpeace VW Dark Side 7. How can brands implement gamification in their digital marketing? Expert interviews Case studies Interview: Andreas Harnischfeger, Markus Breuer, Mario Herger Case documentation and articles: Buffalo Wild Wings & SCVNGR; Nike+; Greenpeace VW Dark Side
  • 15. 15 1 Literature review 1.2 Gamification Throughout the last decades, games and our possibilities to play have developed very drastically. Especially through the advance of digital technology and the widespread use of the Internet, people have been provided with new and extremely engaging ways to play. As a result, many of us have begun to experience games more frequently and to try out and test many different games since there are so many of them available. With over 600 million computer and video game players around the globe and games available for our computers, our mobile phones, and for our home entertainment systems, the video game market, which is only a part of the whole game market, is expected to become a 68 billion dollar industry annually by the year 2012. (McGonigal, 2011, pp. 3-4) Surprisingly, games don’t need thrilling themes or activities in order to be fun as the success of many social and casual games on Facebook, mobile devices, or other systems has demonstrated over the last years. Many of the most popular social games of the last five years are based on incredibly simple and banal ideas such as planting crops in FarmVille1, waiting tables in Diner Dash1 or diapering a baby in Diaper Dash1. (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, p. 2) Figure 1. Farmville, Zynga (left); Diner Dash, PlayFirst (right) (Dignan, 2010) (PlayFirst, 2011) This is good news for marketers, since it means that game-techniques by themselves provide engagement and interest for players and might be applicable to nearly any products, service or activity. (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, p. 2) Furthermore, games fit perfectly into today’s experience economy, as defined by Pine & Gilmore (1999). The experience economy describes an economy in which the highest form of value creation and differentiation is reached by offering experiences to customers. All prior economic offerings such as commodities, goods, or services usually cannot create the same value in customer’s 1 A description of the game can be found in appendix A.
  • 16. perception as an experience, because they remain outside the buyer. Experiences, on the other hand, are inherently personal, memorable and actually occur within any individual who has been engaged on an emotional, physical, intellectual, or even spiritual level. Therefore, in the experience economy, it is increasingly important to create an emotional connection with a customer. (Pine & Gilmore, 1999, pp. 1-15) And games do create very personal and emotional experiences in the player’s or customer’s mind, which is why they are enjoyed by millions of people and can provide a great tool for brands to create experiences around their products. As markets gamify and consumers demand fun, engaging, and creative experiences, brands are challenged to satisfy these demands or be left behind the competition. (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, p. 13) These developments have led to the creation of the term gamification, which has been one of the most frequently used marketing buzzwords of the last years. According to M2Research, the gamification market is currently estimated at around $100 million in size and will grow to more than $2.8 billion by 2016. Top gamification vendors like Badgeville, Bunchball, etc. have shown 155% growth in 2011 and are projecting an even larger 197% growth in 2012. (The Gamification Summit, 2011) But the meaning of the term gamification is not so simple and many people in marketing still not really understand its core meaning. Definitions in literature about the topic also vary to some extend. The following definition has been formulated using and combining several definitions from literature. 16 1.2.1 Definition Gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in a nongaming context to engage users and solve problems. In that sense, gamification is used to enhance products, services or applications that are not games and to encourage people to adopt them or to influence the way in which they are used. (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, p. xiv) (McGonigal, 2011) (Gamification Wiki, 2012) In order to understand gamification and how it can be utilized to make something more fun and “game-like”, it is important to understand what games are in the first part. Today, there are games in various forms. There are singleplayer and multiplayer games. There are games that can be played at home, outside, over the Internet, on a field, at a computer, with a board, with cards, with a controller, on a mobile device and more. Many games have become so successful that they are played all over the planet and by millions of people regularly. Many sports games like football and basketball, for example, are highly popular around the world making professional players, clubs and leagues earn millions of Euros since many years. And even video games are able to attract an increasing number of people recently allowing e-sport tournaments to be broadcasted on national television in some countries, such as South Korea. (McGonigal, 2011, pp. 20-21)
  • 17. Although there are many different game types, platforms on which games are played and genres of games, there are some attributes that all games share and that define them. According to McGonigal, these are: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation:  Goal: a goal is the desired outcome that players will plan and strive to achieve. It gives players a destination to go and focuses their attention. Throughout the game, players will constantly orient their participation towards achieving the goal. The goal provides players with a sense of purpose.  Rules: rules provide structure to the game. They limit the possibilities of how players can achieve the goal. By adding rules that prohibit the obvious ways of getting to the goal, players are forced to think of alternative and creative methods to attain the goal. Therefore, game rules also foster strategic thinking.  Feedback system: a feedback system supports players on their way towards achieving the goal by providing constant feedback about how well they are doing and how close there are to achieving the goal. For example, this can imply the use of points, levels, a score or a progress bar. Real-time feedback motivates the players to keep playing because it serves as a promise that the goal is definitely achievable.  Voluntary participation: games are played voluntarily by people. This voluntary participation implies that every player knowingly and willingly accepts the goal, the rules, and the feedback. This is also why games provide common ground for multiple people to play together. These factors are the core features of any game. Everything else, like rewards, graphics, interactivity or competition, is an effort to reinforce and enhance these four defining elements. (McGonigal, 2011, p. 21) Another very compelling definition of a game that summarizes its core meaning is this of the philosopher Bernard Suits: 17 “Playing a game is the voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles.” (Suits, 2005, p. 38) What he means is that games challenge us harder than reality because we accept voluntary obstacles when playing games. These obstacles motivate us to make use of our personal strengths and do our best to reach the goal. The following figure visualizes the distinction between games and gamification.
  • 18. 18 Figure 2. Games, serious games, and gamification (Wu, 2011) While games are mainly designed purely for entertainment, gamification should not be confused with games. Gamification always uses game attributes to achieve other goals than purely providing fun. In addition, gamification always takes place in a non-game context and tries to turn any non-game activity into a game-like experience. (Wu, 2011) In the overlapping area between games and gamification there are the so-called serious games, which are games that have a certain purpose except from providing fun and entertainment like, for example, educational games, games that drive awareness of certain issues, etc. In fact, gamification and serious games are related because both try to leverage aspects of games to achieve something else. A serious game does it through an actual game. Gamification does it through a non-game context that is turned into a game-like experience by utilizing a broader set of tools such as game mechanics, game design, gaming psychology, and more. (Wu, 2011) 1.2.2 The power of games Probably anybody has played a game in his life at least once. Most people, however, have played many different games or even play their favorite games regularly. According to the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, one in three Europeans plays computer and video games regularly. A total of nearly 100 million people in Europe play computer and video games. This is quite a large number and it does not include many other games that are not played on a computer or console such as sports games, card games, board games, or any other. Digital video gaming is most popular among the young, however, almost 30% of 30-49 year olds play video games in Europe today. Furthermore, video gaming no longer is a male only preserve. 20% of females in Europe indicate that they are gamers. (Interactive Software Federation of Europe, 2011) (GameVision Europe, 2010, p. 16) (McGonigal, 2011, p. 3) But what is it that makes games so interesting that many of us play and enjoy them regularly? According to McGonigal, the answer can be found in the research that has been conducted in the field of positive psychology. The relatively new science of positive psychology is concerned with
  • 19. the study of how people can achieve different kinds of happiness. McGonigal describes that according to virtually all theories in positive psychology, there are many ways to be happy, but happiness has to come from within oneself in order to lasts for a longer time period. If one performs tasks that provide intrinsic motivation, which is motivation that is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, one tends to be happier for a long time. And games can provide this intrinsic motivation very well. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation, which is motivation not driven by the enjoyment of the task itself but by external outcomes, such as money, material goods, fame, status, or threat of punishment, cannot provide long-lasting happiness. When people play games, they experience intrinsic motivation such as positive emotions, personal strengths, social connections and full engagement. (McGonigal, 2011, pp. 37, 45) The following table shows the most essential intrinsic motivators according to McGonigal and how these motivators are used in a well-designed game such as World of Warcraft2. 19 Table 2. Intrinsic motivators according to McGonigal (2011) Intrinsic motivators Use in World of Warcraft Satisfying work Satisfying work means being immersed in clearly defined, demanding activities that neither make us feel subchallenged nor overstrain us and allow us to see the direct impact of our efforts. In World of Warcraft, your workflow is nearly endless. There is always something to do and different ways to improve your avatar. Every mission or “quest” has a clear goal and fits to your current skills so that you are always able to accomplish your mission. As you improve in skills, your missions get harder. You battle powerful opponents that you are just barely strong enough to defeat. The experience or hope of being successful We want to be powerful in our own lives and be optimistic about our chances for success. We also want to feel that we are able to master something and that we are getting better over time. In World of Warcraft, your most important job is self-improvement. You have an avatar that you need to make better, stronger, and richer in many different ways. You start at a very low level and work your way up to the top level. Your odds of success are great. If you invest a lot of time and effort, you can achieve mastery. Due to the level and ranking system, you receive constant feedback and always know what your progress is and how far you still have to go. Social connection Social connection and interaction with other In World of Warcraft, you are required to do a lot of teamwork. The fun really starts as soon as 2 A description of the game can be found in appendix A.
  • 20. 20 people around us contributes a great deal to our happiness. We want to spent time with the people we care about, share experiences, build bonds and do things that matter together. you join forces with other players. Some missions require you to join a group of other players. Social interaction is very important as well as collaboration and strategic group work. Building bonds with other players from around the world is common. Meaning / Purpose Activities that have meaning or purpose give us the chance to be part of something larger than ourselves. We want to belong to and contribute to something that has lasting significance beyond our own lives. In World of Warcraft, as you progress and complete your missions, the world around you changes. Players feel like they have a significant impact on the world around them. Players can also take part in fights between hundreds of different players from different teams and change the game world drastically together. (McGonigal, 2011, pp. 49-50, 53-63) As World of Warcraft makes use of all these very strong intrinsic motivators, it is not surprising that the game has generated exceptional player engagement and productivity. In fact, since it launch in 2004, players have collectively spent 5.93 million years playing World of Warcraft. Each of the 11.5 million subscribers of the game spends on average between seventeen and twenty-two hours per week in World of Warcraft. The intrinsic motivators must have played a key role in achieving these great results. (McGonigal, 2011, p. 52) Daniel Pink is another author that conducted research on the drivers of human motivation. He distinguishes between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, too. Since extrinsic motivation relies on external and monetary rewards, it is able to engage us in routine tasks very effectively and for a short time period. However, as Pink explains, extrinsic motivation and monetary rewards are harmful when trying to motivate people to do non-routine and creative tasks. Even worse, when monetary rewards are in place, they have to be increased in value continuously to remain motivating. If monetary rewards for a specific task are suddenly removed, motivation will vanish nearly completely. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, provides renewable and sustainable motivation that will engage humans in a particular activity for a very long time. (Pink, 2011, pp. 1- 81) Pink identifies three essential elements that are required to motivate humans intrinsically:  Autonomy: Autonomy describes our desire to direct our own lives. In order to motivate people intrinsically, they need to have autonomy over task, time, team, and technique. This means that they are able to decide on their own what they do, when they do it, who they do it with and how they do it.  Mastery: Mastery is the urge of humans to get better and better at something that matters. Only when humans are highly engaged in something they are able to improve their skills and abilities to achieve mastery. Mastery also relies on a phenomenon called “flow”, which will be explained later.
  • 21.  Purpose: Purpose describes our desire to contribute to a greater cause. When people work for something larger than themselves they feel that they are contributing to something that has a lasting impact on the world. (Pink, 2011, pp. 83-146, 203-208) When humans experience all of these three elements, they are deeply motivated. Applied on gamification, this means that players should ideally have the greatest possible autonomy within the game, should be able to master the game and get better at it regardless of their prior skills and abilities, and should be able contribute to something they regard as a greater cause. Although McGonigal’s and Pink’s definitions of intrinsic motivators are different from one another, they describe more or less the same elements and are both important for understanding motivation by gamification. In order to understand how games motivate and engage us, it is also important to look at an idea called flow. The American psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi was the first researcher to analyze this phenomenon. He has defined flow as: “The satisfying, exhilarating feeling of creative accomplishment and heightened functioning.” (McGonigal, 2011, p. 35) In his experiments, Csíkszentmihályi found out that the most satisfying experiences in people’s lives were when they were in flow. In the state of flow, we feel extraordinarily happy and satisfied, because we are fully engaged in an interesting and challenging activity. When being in a state of flow, we live so deeply in the moment that we forget everything around us and lose our sense for time, place and even sense. After many years of research, Csíkszentmihályi also found out when we are experiencing this state most. The perfect setting for flow is when we are actively engaged in an activity and the balance between what we have to do and what we are able to do is perfect. We are neither overcharged with tasks that are too difficult, nor bored because the tasks are too simple and do not challenge our abilities. (Csíkszentmihályi, 2004) (Pink, 2011, pp. 114-115) (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, pp. 16-17) (McGonigal, 2011, p. 35) Game designers around the world are using this knowledge to create the state of flow. As well-designed games today create a perfect balance between hard challenge and the player’s ability, people experience flow when playing games very often. Players often feel extraordinarily satisfied when playing a game, because they are actively engaged and are always performing on the very limits of their current skill level. (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, pp. 16-17) (McGonigal, 2011, pp. 24, 35) In well-designed games, the challenge that players are experiencing is not too easy, nor too difficult. The following figure visualizes the idea of flow and the state in which it is achieved. 21
  • 22. 22 Figure 3. The state of flow is achieved when skills and challenge match (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, p. 18) When a player is performing below his skill level, he is not engaged and gets bored. On the other hand, when the challenge level is too high for the current ability of the player, he shuts down because he is too afraid of the task. The optimal point of engagement and satisfaction is reached in the “flow zone” where challenge matches ability. Over time, the player ideally is led along that flow zone, beginning with only some skills and small challenge and eventually working his way up to the point where challenge has become high as great skills have been achieved. However, according to research on the motivation of players, not every player experiences the individual elements of motivation in the same way. For example, some players feel extremely motivated when they are able to play together with friends while other players are driven more by competition and advancement and less by social components. Due to this fact, several player types can be identified. In the 90th, Richard Bartle published the most common classification of player types. However, since his classification suffers from several limitations, Nick Yee revised it and published an updated version. (Breuer, 2011c) (Yee, n.d.) According to Yee, there are three motivation components by which players can be classified:  Achievement: Achievement describes the desire of players to achieve in the game. Typical elements that achievement players enjoy are progression, advancement, competition and understanding the mechanics of the game.  Socializing: Socializing means the desire of players to interact and form relationships with other players. Typical elements that socializing players enjoy are communication, relationships, teamwork and collaboration.
  • 23.  Immersion: Immersion means the desire of players to immerse in the game and its contents to relax or relieve their stress from the real world. Typical elements that immersion players enjoy are discovery, role-playing, customization and escapism. In order to find out what type of player they are, players can complete a survey with an inventory of 39 items developed by Yee (2006). Some example questions from the survey are “How important is it to you to be well-known in the game?” or “How much time do you spend customizing your character during character creation?” (Yee, 2006b) It is important to understand that players are not exclusively one or another of the three player types, but can have characteristics of all types at the same time. Usually one type is more prominent than the others. In the example below, a player scores 89% on achievement, 58% on socializing and 39% on immersion. Therefore, he is most prominently an achievement type of player. (Yee, n.d.) (Yee, 2006a) (Yee, 2006b) 23 Figure 4. A player's overall result after completing Yee's motivations assessment (Yee, 2006a) For the practical side of gamification, this means that a gamification application which aims to attract a larger target group should not exclusively make use of one of the three motivation components, but implement mechanics that attract and motivate people of different player types. (Breuer, 2011c) 1.2.3 Creating gamification What gamification tries to achieve is to create play and fun around a product, service, or application that does not contain these features otherwise or by itself. In contrast to our ordinary reality, games provide freedom and allow unexpected and unusual behavior. By accepting voluntary obstacles in games, like, for example, kicking the ball with the feet in football instead of using the hands, people feel challenged and want to put their personal skills to use. Games free us from stress, anxiety, and the pressure of the daily life and put us in a new and more liberate situation. By applying game thinking and game mechanics on activities in
  • 24. our daily life, stressful and challenging work can be experienced as safe and pleasurable since we fell autonomic inside the game to the limit of the rules and we are free to enter or leave the game at will. (McGonigal, 2011, pp. 21-22) So how can these great features be utilized when applying gamification? How can play and fun be created? Initially, any gamification application requires the four core elements of a game as explained before: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation. Once this is set, it is important to think about how people can be intrinsically motivated to play the game. Ideally a gamification product should make use of the essential intrinsic motivators listed above: satisfying work, the experience or hope of being successful, social connection, and meaning. In addition, it is important to allow players to experience flow when playing the game. The perfect setting for this to happen is when the game system constantly adapts the challenge the game provides to the skills and abilities of the individual player. A player should always be challenged to the point that he is just able to succeed in the game. (McGonigal, 2011, pp. 49-50, 53-63) (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, pp. 16-17) The next step is to enhance these core elements. In order to allow great gameplay in games and gamification, the use of game mechanics is vital. According to Zichermann & Linder (2010), “a game mechanic is any technique implemented by game designers in order to create play.” (Zichermann & Linder, 2010, p. 25) Many game mechanics originate from traditional games such as board games, sports games or any other game and can be very different in type. One thing that all game mechanics have in common is that they allow and create play and contribute to a great deal to the fun and motivation of players. Game mechanics can be part of the rules of a game, make up the feedback system or more. The following table contains a compilation of game mechanics that are commonly used in many different games. 24
  • 25. 25 Table 3. Game mechanics Game mechanic Definition Examples Purpose Achievements A virtual or physical indication of having accomplished something. Trophies, Medals, Badges  Show progression  Indicate status & skill  Give players a representation of what they have done  Add challenge and character to the game Appointments A predetermined time/place a user must log-in or participate in game for positive effect. FarmVille: players are required to harvest their crops after a specific amount of time. “Happy hour” at a bar: get discount on drinks at a certain time.  Add challenge  Increase time spent  Increase player’s commitment to the game Blissful Productivity The sense of being deeply immersed in work that generates obvious results. The endless stream of work in World of Warcraft. You constantly have ways to improve and get things done.  Players are happier because they feel that they are productive and do meaningful and rewarding work  Increase engagement Bonuses A reward after having completed a series of challenges or core functions. Extra lives or extra points after having completed a level well. Job: receiving a bonus for great performance.  Provide feedback  Increase engagement, time spent, virality3, and influence on the player Cascading information theory Only release little pieces of content at the appropriate time and in the right context to help players solve immediate challenges. Learning new moves or game actions only right before they are required. Education: begin with the basics and gradually add more information and challenge.  Make the game more interesting over time  Prevent overwhelming the player  Increase loyalty, engagement, and influence on the player Combos A reward for skill through completing a combination of actions or achievements. Completing a combination of difficult moves in a fighting game.  Indicate status & skill  Provide feedback  Add challenge 3 The concept of virality is explained in appendix A.
  • 26. 26 Community Collaboration An entire community is required to solve a problem or complete a challenge. Large “raids” or battles between many players in World of Warcraft. Wikipedia: a crowd of collaborators is required to write the encyclopedia.  Increase virality and social interaction  Make players feel they are contributing to an epic scale project  Increase engagement Countdown Players are only given a certain amount of time to do something. Bonus rounds to get as many points as you can in a limited time. Temporary discount at a store: get discount until a certain point in time.  Increase player’s activity for a short time period  Increase challenge and engagement Discovery Allow and motivate players to make discoveries, explore, and find something new and surprising. Rewards or experience points for exploring the game world. A scavenger hunt.  Increase engagement, time spent, and fun due to the element of surprise Epic Meaning Make players feel they are working on large-scale projects with great meaning. Building something together in Minecraft4. Wikipedia  Give players a purpose for playing that is larger than themselves  Increase engagement, loyalty, time spent, and influence on the player Infinite Gameplay The game does not have an explicit end. It can constantly refresh its content or the player works toward a static and positive state. Tetris4, FarmVille, The Sims4, SimCity4  Increase time spent, engagement, and loyalty Levels Players can move up in a level system, by which players are rewarded an increasing value for a cumulation of points. In World of Warcraft, players earn the ability to improve their character as they level. The higher the level, the more powerful a character becomes. Colored belts of Judo fighters.  Symbolize status  Provide feedback  Strong player motivation  Increase engagement, loyalty, time spent, virality Loss Aversion Influencing player behavior not by reward, but by Losing points, status, or items in a game for not being active.  Increase engagement, time spent, loyalty, and influence on the player 4 A description of the game can be found in appendix A.
  • 27. 27 instituting punishment. Lottery The winner is determined solely by chance. Gambling, prize lotteries.  Create a high level of anticipation  Increase awareness, participation, engagement, virality Ownership Users or players are able to create, customize and control their own characters, items, goods or other things. Nintendogs5: players create their own pet to protect and look after it. Product customization: brands allowing customers to customize products  Create an emotional bond for the player  Increase loyalty, influence on the player, and engagement. Points A running numerical value given for a certain action or combination of actions in the game. Collecting pellets in Pacman5, moving the ball in pinball, often arranged in a high score  Indicate progression  Increase challenge and competition between players  Increase motivation, engagement, time spent, virality Progression A player’s success is gradually displayed and measured through the process of completing specified tasks. A progress bar displaying the completion of a quest.  Provide feedback  Motivate players to complete a task  Increase engagement, time spent, and influence on the player Quests Completing a set of tasks in the game world. Players must overcome a journey of obstacles / challenges. World of Warcraft: defeat a monster, pick up and deliver something. Customer recommendation: convince a friend to become a customer and receive a reward.  Different quests make the game more interesting and diverse  Indicate progression  Increase engagement, loyalty, time spent Reward Schedules A schedule mechanism by which rewards are delivered. Level up for killing 10 orcs in World of Warcraft, getting fresh crops in FarmVille after 30 minutes.  Provide feedback  Increase time spent, engagement, loyalty, and influence on the player. Status A system to indicate A high score rank, a  Increase motivation and 5 A description of the game can be found in appendix A.
  • 28. 28 the rank or level of a player. league in football. competition  Increase engagement, time spent, virality, and influence on players. Virality A game element that requires multiple people to play or makes the game better when more people are playing together. FarmVille: players can become more successful in the game by inviting their friends to play. Group buying: receive a discount for buying something collectively.  Increase virality, awareness and the number of players  Increase engagement and influence on players Adapted from: (Gamification Wiki, 2012) (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, pp. 35-94) (Schonfeld, 2010) (McGonigal, 2011, p. 53) (Lebel, 2011) (Priebatsch, 2010) (Schell, 2010) When these defining elements of a game and at least some of these game mechanics are applied to a product, service or application, fun and play is created and we can speak of gamification. As Farmville and many others of today’s casual games, in which players basically perform banal tasks like planting crops, prove, a good game does not require an exciting theme or a thrilling setting. It is the use of intrinsic motivators, flow and the mechanics of a game that make it fun. (Zichermann & Cunningham, 2011, pp. 2-3) Knowing about these techniques and how to implement them is of vital importance for designing great, gamified products and experiences. Using intrinsic motivation, game mechanics and putting players into the state of flow is going to allow extraordinary user engagement.
  • 29. 1.3 Digital marketing Technological change is one of the major factors that have shaped marketing strategy and practice in the recent years. The rapid advances in technology, and especially in digital technology, have made an enormous impact on the world. In particular, the widespread use of the Internet, new digital consumer hardware, and the social web had a major impact on buyers and the marketer who serve them. To stay competitive, marketers had to rethink their strategies and still have to constantly adapt to the rapidly developing digital environment. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, p. 128) As technology is becoming increasingly digital, new marketing channels are emerging. Information is less often processed in an analogue way and more often processed digitally, which means that it consists only of a stream of zeroes and ones, or bits. Computers and software are able to use this digital information or are able to convert analogue signals into digital information. Digital technology has brought us the Internet, digital television, personal computers, laptops, handhelds, tablets, smartphones and more. Unsurprisingly, marketers have already begun to use and benefit form this new technology by incorporating it into their marketing output. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, p. 129) 1.3.1 Definition Digital marketing is a sub branch of traditional marketing and includes all efforts to communicate about, promote and sell products and services by the use of digital technology and channels. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, p. 135) (Simply Digital Marketing, n.d.) Due to the diverse amount of digital technology, there are many different digital marketing channels available. Digital marketing can take various forms and includes:
  • 30. 30 Online • Website • Online Display Advertising • Affiliate links • Search Engine Marketing • Search Engine Optimization • Email Marketing • Blogs & Forums • Social Media Marketing • Viral marketing • Online Games /Advergaming • In-Game Advertising Mobile • Messaging • Mobile web advertising • Mobile apps and mobile gaming • In-App advertising • QR codes • Location-based services Digital Radio • Radio advertising • Sponsorship • Podcasts Digital TV • TV Advertising • Sponsorship • Product Placement Digital out-of-home • Digital billboards • Video and/or audio content delivered via electronic devices (Simply Digital Marketing, n.d.) (Wetzel, 2008)
  • 31. 1.3.2 Digital marketing methods There are two basic forms of digital marketing. We speak of pull digital marketing when the consumer is actively seeking for the marketing content like, for example, information about products or services, by visiting the company’s sources of information. The content is typically found on websites, blogs, or in streaming media such as audio and video. (Wetzel, 2008) In push digital marketing the marketer sends the message to the consumer by providing digital advertisements that are viewed by the consumer. Examples of push digital marketing are email, text messaging, and online display advertisement. (Wetzel, 2008) In the next part, only the most important digital marketing methods for gamification are described. Additional information about the other methods can be found in appendix B. Online In online marketing, the power of the Internet is utilized to reach potential customers and promote and sell products and services. With more than 2.2 billion online user, the Internet is a main driver of digital technology usage and allows many different marketing methods. It has also enabled two-way interaction between consumers and brands on a global scale. (Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2011) (Your Dictionary, 2012) The most important online marketing methods include: Website: Brands and organizations set up their own website as a central element in online marketing. Usually, a website offers information about the brand and promotes the brand’s products or services. The website is designed to handle interactive communication initiated by the company. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, p. 145) Email Marketing: Email still is one of the most commonly used communication tools online. Brands are using email in a number of different ways for marketing purposes. They use email newsletters for the promotion of products, services or offers, for building customer relationships or to raise awareness. Furthermore, email is used very often as a contact and support tool. Brands can encourage their customers to send feedback, suggestions and complaints. Customer service employees can directly respond to incoming email messages. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, p. 153) Blogs & Forums: In the online marketing world, there is the possibility to make use of blogs, forums or other web communities for marketing purposes. A blog (or web log) is an online journal that is written by one person or a group of persons and is usually themed on a certain topic. A forum is a web community platform on which users can exchange views and communicate within the community. Most blogs and forums are independently organized, but there are also a few sponsored blogs or own company blogs and forums. Brands can advertise on blogs and forums by paying for sponsored posts, providing product samples for testing or posting messages themselves in the web communities. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, pp. 152-153) 31
  • 32. Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is a relatively new type of online marketing. The widespread popularity of social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Google+ or Twitter has attracted marketers to begin building their own brand pages/channels on the most popular social media platforms, creating social media campaigns and communicating regularly in the social media world. Because of its very nature of social interaction, social media marketing in particular is useful for generating brand awareness, creating interaction between consumers and the brand and building customer relationships. (Evans, 2010, pp. 1-8) Viral marketing: Brands use viral marketing by creating content or information, which is so extraordinary and entertaining that customers pass it on to their friends. The brand content is spreading like a virus among people. Viral content usually consists of interactive games or funny video clips. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, p. 149) (Your Dictionary, 2012) Online Games / Advergaming: Online games like browser games or social games have become very popular among Internet users. Many brands have created their own games and provide them free to play on the Internet. These games are mostly themed on the products and services of the brand. (Entertainment Software Association, 2012) Mobile Six billion mobile subscriptions worldwide demonstrate that mobile devices and smartphones play an important role in modern day life and interactivity between people. Advances in digital technology have enabled the development of mobile devices with nearly endless functions. Unsurprisingly, brands also try to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive way through mobile devices. (Mobile Marketing Association, 2009) (dotMobi, 2012) The most important methods of mobile marketing are: Messaging: Marketing through mobile messaging means using short messaging service (SMS) or Multimedia Messaging (MMS) to promote a brand’s products and services. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, p. 129) Mobile apps: Smartphones and other mobile devices allow the use of mobile apps, which are software applications specifically designed to run on mobile devices. Brands have the possibility to create their own branded applications for mobile marketing purposes or sponsor a publisher’s app. For example, brands can create an entertaining mobile app that allows the users to experience an augmented reality using their mobile device’s camera and display. (Mobile Marketing Association, 2011, p. 17) QR codes: In marketing, QR codes (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) are used to enhance print or out-of-home media with the possibility of mobile and online interaction. A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that contains information. Consumers can access this information by scanning the QR code using an application on a smartphone or mobile device. In print advertising campaigns, for example, a QR code can be scanned to access a mobile website, on which consumers can find out more about the campaign or the brand’s products. (Denso Wave, 2010) 32
  • 33. Location-based services: Location based-services use the mobile device’s geographical location to offer services or send custom advertising relevant to the specific location of the consumer. Through the use of a location based-service, brands can, for example, promote a local store, send custom offers to people in a certain area, etc. (Techopedia, 2012a) Digital out-of-home Out-of-home advertising or outdoor advertising is advertising that reaches the consumer while he or she is outside the home. Traditionally, this advertising has been analogue, but new digital advertising media allow marketing using digital out-of-home technology, such as: (Outdoor Advertising Association of America, 2011b) Digital billboards: Digital billboards are able to create digital images or videos on large-scale outdoor billboard screens. (Outdoor Advertising Association of America, 2011a) Video and/or audio content delivered via electronic devices: In addition to digital billboards, there are various other digital outdoor media types, such as digital screens in public transportation, at events, in public buildings, etc. (Ströer, n.d.) 1.3.3 Digital marketing practice of brands Today, digital technology has migrated to the mainstream and has been adopted into standard marketing practice of nearly any brand. In addition to the older digital marketing types like television and online display advertising, there are new approaches evolving constantly. Social media marketing is one of the largest most recent trends, which brands and marketers have adopted after social media sites and services had gained widespread popularity among consumers. In fact, social networking is the most popular online activity worldwide and there are over 1.2 billion social media users. (Ryan & Jones, 2011, pp. 12-19) (Aquino, 2012) In digital marketing practice, very often multiple channels and methods are used at the same time and both push and pull techniques are utilized. For example, a marketing campaign is advertised on television and through online display advertising while at the same time consumers are asked to become fan of a social media page and a great amount of information about the campaign and the product can be found on the company’s website. According to Zenith Optimedia the allocation of Global Advertising Spend by media type has changed slightly over the last two years and is expected to change more over the next two years. (MediaBuyerPlanner, 2011) 33
  • 34. Figure 5. Global ad spend by media 2010 – 2014 (MediaBuyerPlanner, 2011) (Zenith Optimedia, 34 2011) From 2010 to 2012, the share of ad spend on the Internet, one of the main digital media, has increased from 14.4 percent to 17.6 percent. Over the same time period, newspapers and magazines, both analogue media, lost part of their share of the global ad market. Television and outdoor ad spends have increased slightly. What can be recognized in this development is that over the last years digital marketing has been gaining popularity among marketers and brands. Analogue media like newspapers and magazines are losing the attraction of marketers while digital media like television and the Internet are used to a greater degree for marketing purposes. Furthermore, this development is expected to continue for the coming years as Zenith Optimedia predicts. The most drastic change is expected for Internet advertising spend. In 2014, the share of Internet ad spend is expected to reach 21 percent, which is a large increase from its 14.4 percent in 2010. At the same time, print media ad spend is expected to decrease even more. Large developments are taking place also in social media and mobile marketing. Social media and mobile make up some of the newest digital media types and have attracted large amounts of users in the recent years. When looking at the developments and forecasts in social media and mobile ad spend, it becomes clear that many brands already begun to increase or shift their marketing budgets towards this type of media. Although the total advertising share of social media is still small in comparison with the other media types it is becoming increasingly important for brands as the following graphic indicates.
  • 35. 35 Figure 6. Worldwide social networking ad spending (Flowtown, 2010) From $480 million in 2006 to $4.3 billion in 2011, worldwide social networking ad spending has increased significantly over the last years. Ad spending on mobile advertisement has increased as well and shows a near 15% compounded annual growth rate since 2008. Mind Commerce estimates global spending on mobile advertising and marketing initiatives to reach $37.5 billion in 2012. A large part of that, namely $15.8 billion will be generated in the Asia-Pacific region, while mobile advertising spending in Europe will make up a share of $7.9 billion. (Mind Commerce, 2011) What this shows is that brands have realized the change in consumer behavior towards digital media and are increasingly shifting their marketing budgets to digital media types. Due to the diverse amount of marketing channels available today, a brand must become a multi-channel publisher. By actively participating in the digital media world and especially by joining the conversion on multiple social media sites, brands nowadays are able to engage customers more than they have been able before. Engagement with their brand is what most companies today are looking for when they are creating extraordinary digital marketing campaigns, manage their social media profiles or even when designing and launching their newest products. Audiences have turned into people that actively participate in the marketing communication process, which is why brands today increasing use digital media to speak with people and not at people. Those brands that are successfully engaging their customers via digital channels can expect to have advantages over their competitors, especially due to the value addition and the generating of brand experiences, which fits into the experience economy concept by Pine & Gilmore (1999) that has been explained before. (Ryan & Jones, 2011, pp. 12-19) (Solis, 2011, pp. 1-8)
  • 36. 1.3.4 Objectives in digital marketing Before starting with marketing, it is highly recommended to set goals for any planned marketing activity. Ideally these goals should be related to the higher-level strategies and goals of the company, specific and measurable, time defined and realistic. Through digital marketing it is possible to attain many different marketing goals, in fact, many of the goals that brands define for their digital marketing activities are similar to the goals defined for traditional marketing. Common objectives that brands try to attain using digital marketing are: Marketing/Media Increase brand awareness: Companies try to create awareness of their brand in order to be recognized by as many potential customers as possible. The percentage of potential customers or consumers who recognize or name a given brand indicates the level of awareness. Top of mind awareness is the highest form of brand awareness because it describes the first brand that comes to mind when a customer is asked to name a brand from a given category. All digital channels can be used to increase brand awareness. (Farris, Bendle, Pfeifer, & Reibstein, 2009, p. 33) (OMG FUSE, 2012b) Upgrade brand image: The brand image is the set of beliefs that consumers hold about a particular brand. A consumer’s beliefs can be shaped by his or her experience with the brand, what friends or society think of the brand, advertisement and many more. Brands may therefore try to improve their image by using digital marketing methods. Often, a marketing campaign may focus on improving certain attributes of the brand image like, e.g. young and modern attitude of the brand, product quality, price, and other. Since there are so many ways a brand image can be improved, all digital channels may be used for attaining this objective. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, pp. 282-283) (OMG FUSE, 2012b) Create interaction and promote recommendations: The Net Promoter Score is a tool to measure the loyalty of a brand’s customer relationships by asking consumers how likely it is that they would recommend a brand to a friend or colleague. The more “Promoters” a brand has, the more people keep buying and fuel growth by referring others to the brand. By making use of digital marketing methods, brands can promote interaction with their brand, which will ideally lead to recommendations from consumer to consumer and world-of-mouth spread. Especially interactive media, like social networks, video platforms, mobile devices and the Internet in general, are perfectly suited for generating interaction with a brand. However, one-way media channels like TV, radio and digital out-of-home media are also used in some cases to create buzz around a brand and fuel interaction and recommendations. (Satmetrix, 2012) (OMG FUSE, 2012b) Increase number and/or quality of leads: By using digital marketing methods, brands might also want to increase the number or quality of sales leads. If a target group can be reached very well via a certain type of media, a brand can become increasingly active on this media type and by doing so increasing the number of contacts to the target group. By reaching out to only those consumers who are very interested in purchasing a brand’s product and spending less time with consumer who are 36
  • 37. not really interesting in a purchase, the quality of leads can be improved. Brands do this by tracking, analyzing, measuring and comparing the means they have at their disposal to reach out to their customers and generate quality leads. In digital marketing, brands seeking this objective, select only the channels and methods, which have proven to be suitable for increasing the number and quality of leads and might ignore other channels or methods. Channels and methods used may therefore vary very much depending on the specific target group of the brand. (OMG FUSE, 2012b) (Business Dictionary, n.d. c) Customer relationship management Create customer bonds/relationships: Brands want to build long-lasting relationships with their customers in order to bind them and maximize the returns generated with each customer. In order to do so, brands need to collect all sorts of information about each individual customer and compile and organize all customer information in a central system. The information gathered can be used to identify the best customers to target or to customize the brand’s products or interactions with the customer. Additionally, fostering a regular dialogue and interaction between the brand and the customers can strengthen customer relationships. Social and mobile media have proven to be very suitable for both gathering valuable information about the customer and also increasing interaction with the brand. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, pp. 481-482) (OMG FUSE, 2012b) Deliver/improve customer service & support: A great customer service and support contributes very much to customer satisfaction. And satisfied customers are more likely to return or recommend the brand to friends. Also digital media channels are used for delivering customer service. Many brands offer support and customer service via their website or email. Offering help to customers on social media brand profiles is also a great way to improve the brand’s customer service or deliver support quicker and to more people. Digital marketing channels and methods are therefore definitely an option for brands trying to improve their customer service. (OMG FUSE, 2012b) (Business Dictionary, n.d. a) Increase customer loyalty: Loyal customers can provide huge benefits to brands. By promoting loyalty among customers, brands can maximize their return for each customer. In addition, brands can make their customers become strong supporters and fans. In the social and interactive media world, where anyone can reach out to millions of people easily and publish critical statements about brands, it is great to have customers who are likely to support the brand even in tough situations and defend it against any criticism. Brands therefore use digital marketing channels and methods to offer promotions for loyal customers or even elect the top brand fans via social media campaigns. (OMG FUSE, 2012b) (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, pp. 407-408) (Jackson, 2011) Market research / product development Generate target group insights: Today, it is possible to generate a lot of information about consumers or a brand’s target group using digital media. This provides the advantage of 37
  • 38. understanding the customer’s characteristics and needs better so that brands are able to adapt their products or services and their interaction with potential customers. The possibilities of interactive digital media like the Internet, mobile devices, and more allow brands to increase customer engagement. When customers are engaged and actively take part in conversations, they are likely to provide a great amount of information that can be of great value for brands. (OMG FUSE, 2012b) Financial / Sales Conversion of sales: Probably the most important marketing goal of any profit-driven brand is to generate more sales as a result of marketing efforts. In order to do so, brands need to move prospects through the buying process by providing them with all of the information they need to make a purchase decision. In practice, only a few digital marketing efforts of brands are designed to directly generate sales. The most common digital marketing method, which allows customers to make a purchase directly, is an online-shop on the brand’s website. Others digital marketing methods rarely allow customers to make purchases directly, but might be used to move prospects through the sales funnel. (OMG FUSE, 2012b) (Marketing Terms, 2012) 38
  • 39. 39 2 Methodology In the previous chapter, the most important literature and theories on the topic of gamification and digital marketing have been analyzed. Some of the research questions that were defined for this thesis have already been answered, namely the first three questions. However, the information that can be found in the literature is not able to answer any of the remaining research questions in a complete and satisfying way. In order to answer these questions, which are listed in the following, additional research has to be conducted.  Where can gamification be implemented in digital marketing? Where not?  Which marketing objectives in particular can be attained through the use of gamification? Which not? What is the benefit of gamification?  What is important to consider when making use of gamification in digital marketing?  How can brands implement gamification in their digital marketing? Gamification is a very young approach. Due to this fact, only a limited amount of information is available yet on the topic and there are just a few experts, which have studied gamification so far. Quantitative datasets about gamification are not available and the means for generating larger datasets or even testing a gamification application are not available either. However, a qualitative research approach including semi-structured interviews with experts on gamification and digital marketing provide a solution for answering the research questions. In addition, multiple case studies will be conducted which provide the advantage of taking the practical aspects of gamification in marketing into account. (Higher Education Academy's Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, the Centre for Social Work and Policy and Sheffield Hallam University, n.d.) (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007, pp. 117-119; 139-140; 310-313; 470-515; 527) Since the research is designed to be inductive, the collection of qualitative data makes sense, too. As fewer assumptions are placed on the research topic, a qualitative approach suits this kind of exploratory research and hypothesis generation. However, by using qualitative research, the findings may not be conclusive. They will allow an initial and theoretical understanding of the application of gamification to digital marketing. (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007, pp. 117- 119; 139-140; 310-313; 470-515; 527) (Higher Education Academy's Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, the Centre for Social Work and Policy and Sheffield Hallam University, n.d.) Interviewees that have been selected for the research and accepted to participate in an interview include:  Andreas Harnischfeger, Group Manager at media agency OMG Fuse.  Markus Breuer, Author of the weblog and founder and CEO of The Otherland Group, a multimedia agency focusing on business in virtual worlds.  Mario Herger, Senior Innovation Strategist and global head of the Gamification Initiative at SAP; Author of the website The interviews are conducted via online voice chat or email correspondence. The interviews are semi-structured and non-standardized meaning that a list of themes and questions to be covered is
  • 40. used. Questions vary from interview to interview depending on the expertise of the particular interviewee. However, some questions are the same for two or more interviews in order to provide some structure and allow a comparison between the opinions of different participants. (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007, pp. 310-325) For the case studies, three of the most extensive gamification applications are analyzed, namely: 40  The Buffalo Wild Wings SCVNGR campaign  The Nike+ products and gamification experiences  The Greenpeace VW Dark Side campaign Data about the cases are collected via multiple secondary sources and own observation and documentation. Unfortunately, it was not easy to find suitable gamification cases since only a few more extensive gamification applications have been launched so far. Additionally, many gamification cases were not documented properly or the data is not publicly available, which limited the amount of cases that may be used for a case study. Furthermore, experts on gamification are rare, too. The most active experts researching and experimenting on gamification like Gabe Zichermann, Jane McGonigal, Seth Priebatsch or Sebastian Deterding have been contacted and asked for an interview. However, most of them are very busy and were not able to participate in an interview. Luckily, a few other experts on the topic accepted to participate in an interview for this thesis. Markus Breuer was contacted due to his elaborate blog articles about gamification and Mario Herger for his expertise with practical gamification projects. Andreas Harnischfeger served as an interviewee to add information from the point of view of a marketing/media agency and its clients. Markus Breuer had to reschedule the interview several times unfortunately, but nevertheless he managed to find the time to do the interview. The interviews with Markus Breuer and Mario Herger were held via Skype for approx. 30-45 minutes and were recorded to an audio file with the computer. Later on, the conversation was transcribed and translated, which took more time than expected. There were no problems with recording the interviews, but the Skype connection quality was bad during some parts of the interview with Mario Herger unfortunately. However, the most important parts could be transcribed by carefully listening to each part over and over again. The interview with Andreas Harnischfeger was conducted via email correspondence to save some time since no transcription was necessary. In the end, all interviews that were held for this thesis contributed valuable information for answering the problem statements. (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2007, pp. 470-515; 527)
  • 41. 41 3 Findings 3.1 Gamification case studies A couple of brands have already experimented with the concept of gamification and launched their own gamified products, services or marketing campaigns quite successfully. In addition, there are a few relatively new companies that offer gamification software solutions. These gamification service vendors particularly offer the implementation of simple game mechanics like reward systems (points, badges), leaderboards and incentives on any website or software in order to engage and motivate its users. (Deterding, 2011a) (Deterding, 2011b) (Breuer, 2011b) In the following, some of the existing gamification cases are explained and analyzed. 3.1.1 Gamification service vendors Bigdoor Bigdoor offers gamified loyalty and rewards programs for web and mobile sites. Customers can also manage, track and analyze results and have social features integrated. Game mechanics like quests, virtual currencies, sweepstakes and reward systems are used in Bigdoor products. (Bigdoor, 2012b) For the second season of “Big Brother” on Swedish television, Bigdoor integrated its gamification techniques on the TV network’s website to drive more traffic to the site. Figure 7. Big Brother Superfans Leaderboard by Bigdoor (Bigdoor, 2012a)
  • 42. According to Bigdoor, after six weeks the program saw a 365% lift in user loyalty and a 1,000% increase in user engagement. (Bigdoor, 2012a) Badgeville Badgeville offers software services for web and mobile sites to track, manage, and reward user behavior using gamification techniques. Their products are designed to reward quality customer and employee behavior, increase user engagement and add social networking features to a brand’s web or mobile site. (Badgeville, 2012b) 42 Figure 8. Badgeville's Widget Studio & API for web and mobile sites. (Badgeville, 2012a) Badgeville’s Widget Studio & API, for example, adds a collection of skinnable and configurable gamification widgets to a site. These widgets can include a leaderboard, achievements, notifications, a rewards system, a level system, social features, scores and more. (Badgeville, 2012a) Bunchball Bunchball offers a gamification platform to influence user behavior and optimize how users interact with a web site. It provides a set of game mechanics, including challenges, achievements, and virtual goods, as well as an analytics platform. (Bunchball, 2012b)
  • 43. 43 Figure 9. HopeLap for ZAMZEE by Bunchball (Bunchball, 2012a) Gigya Gigya offers social and gamification infrastructure for businesses. Its gamification platform includes some gamification plugins, a gamification API, and a gamification analytics tool. (Gigya, 2012b) Leaderboards, achievements, progress bars, and other game mechanics are used to drive user engagement. (Gigya, 2012a) What all these gamification service vendors have in common is that they make use of several game mechanics to influence behavior and increase engagement. They make use of status elements like leaderboards, badges and ranks. They offer level systems, progression mechanics, points, achievements, profiles, and in some cases some avatars and some customization, which works and increases engagement. However, their products very often lack the ability to take other core elements of gamification into account. If game mechanics like reward systems or badges are just simply added to a website, user engagement might be increased on the short term, but long-term effects through intrinsic motivation and flow are very unlikely. In fact, user engagement and loyalty generated in these cases cannot be recognized as authentic. It is therefore very important to think of gamification as a holistic approach and take all of its elements into account when designing gamified products or services, including but not solely game mechanics. The missing ingredients in many of these cases are meaning, mastery, and purpose as defined by Pink and the intrinsic motivators defined by McGonigal respectively. (Deterding, 2011b) (Breuer, 2011b)
  • 44. 3.1.2 Mobile applications for gamified experiences In addition to those gamification service providers, there are some mobile applications that make use of gamification techniques. Brands can utilize these mobile apps to add gamified experiences to their marketing. foursquare With foursquare, mobile users can join a location-based social network to stay in contact with their friends and see what their friends are doing. Registered users can “check-in” to local places and venues to tell friends about their current activity and location. In order to motivate users to check-in more often when they are visiting places or shops, foursquare rewards check-ins with points, badges or special offers. These gamification mechanisms also benefit brands that offer users to check in at their local stores, for example. By offering rewards for top visitors in foursquare, users are motivated to check-in frequently at the stores, which means they have to visit the store more regularly. Also, every check-in and reward is communicated to the user’s friends within the social network to promote the brand even more. (foursquare, 2012) 44 Figure 10. foursquare on an iPhone (Arrowsmith Websites, 2011) Foursquare also offers a platform for brands through which brands can create pages and allow users to “follow” the brand and receive tips and information when they check-in at certain locations. Some brands also created their own badges that users can earn with enough check-ins. Starbucks, the global coffee chain, is one of the most active and popular brands on foursquare. Users who check-in at a Starbucks café can earn points and complete quests like “visit 5 different Starbucks” to earn special badges. (Bunchball, 2010)
  • 45. SCVNGR A similar mobile application that uses gamification techniques is SCVNGR. With SCVNGR, users can select nearby places and are able not only to check-in at these places, but to complete more complicated challenges like taking a picture of something at a place. As users do challenges at certain places, they can earn points and get rewards like special offers. With SCVNGR, brands can also create individual and unique challenges at their places and decide how users are rewarded when completing their challenges. (SCVNGR, 2012a) (SCVNGR, 2012b) 3.1.3 Case study: Buffalo Wild Wings In January 2011, SCVNGR partnered with Buffalo Wild Wings, a restaurant and sports bar franchise in the US, at all of its 730 locations for a 12-week campaign. Buffalo Wild Wings is especially popular among sports fans as a place to watch the game. With SCVNGR’s gamification techniques in place, visiting one of the restaurants became a gamified experience and restaurant guests were able to participate in competition, community, and gaming themselves. (BFG Interactive, 2012) (Drell, 2011) The goals Before the campaign was launched, Buffalo Wild Wings identified several marketing goals, which they aimed to attain. These goals included generating earned media6, creating deep consumer engagement through fun, increasing customer loyalty, positioning the brand as “home court” to watch sports, highlighting featured products and driving revenue. (Drell, 2011) The campaign Restaurant guests had to download the SCVNGR app for their Android or iOS smartphone. At the restaurants and with SCVNGR they were able to do basketball themed challenges, which were specifically scripted for the campaign and the restaurant. After checking in at a restaurant, players could e.g. pose for a picture with someone rooting for the opposing team, take a photo of the sauciest wing in the bucket, capture the crowd going wild, or do other challenges. By completing challenges, guests could earn points and unlock rewards, including a $5 off coupon, free drinks and free food. Once a player completed a challenge, he could also create his own challenge on SCVNGR and allow other players to complete it. The grand prize was a trip to the NBA finals with Scottie Pippen, a retired basketball star. There was also a web integration, which allowed players to track their progress via online leaderboards. (BFG Interactive, 2011) (BFG Interactive, 2012) (Drell, 2011) 45 6 The term “earned media” is explained in appendix A.
  • 46. Figure 11. Web integration of Buffalo Wild Wings' SCVNGR Challenge (BFG Interactive, 2012) 46 Figure 12. Challenges and impressions during the campaign (Drell, 2011)
  • 47. The results Throughout the campaign, 184,000 unique players participated at 730 Buffalo Wild Wing locations. One in three players returned to play again. (Drell, 2011) The brand’s goal to create deep consumer engagement was achieved as user participation during the campaign demonstrates. In the first month, over 334,000 challenges were completed. On average, the players completed 7 challenges, meaning they completed all challenges provided by Buffalo Wild Wings and a few user-generated challenges. In total, the players generated over 20,000 new challenges and commonly spent 3.6 years engaging with the brand during the campaign. (BFG Interactive, 2012) (Drell, 2011) A lot of earned media was generated since the photos the players took by completing the challenges were shared on social networks in many instances. This generated more than 100 million social impressions via Facebook and Twitter. In addition, there was positive and ongoing press coverage about the campaign (BFG Interactive, 2012) (Drell, 2011) Buffalo Wild Wings was one of the first brands to utilize SCVNGR’s potential for gamification marketing purposes. By turning guests into players and the act of watching sports games at the restaurant into a game, the brand was able to attain its goals and provide guests with fun and meaningful experiences. (BFG Interactive, 2012) (Drell, 2011) According to SCVNGR’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Chris Mahl, the campaign was especially successful because it was perfectly timed, the Buffalo Wild Wings staff was well trained for the campaign, and there was prominent marketing. The campaign was promoted and marketed via social media including Facebook and Twitter, a tab on the Buffalo Wild Wings Facebook page as well as information on the brand’s website, in-store television spots, menu inserts, and more. It was held during “March Madness”, the US college basketball championship, when there was heightened interest in sports and competition spirit. Another success factor was the staff training at Buffalo Wild Wings where staff was trained to play and get used to SCVNGR prior to the launch of the campaign. Having been trained with the app, serving staff was able to redeem rewards immediately once a guest had completed a challenge. However, Buffalo Wild Wings and SCVNGR also faced a problem during the campaign regarding the crowdsourcing of user-generated challenges. As with most crowdsourcing, there is a risk of inappropriate material and exactly this was the case with some challenges generated by users during the campaign. To solve this problem, SCVNGR built a filter system and deleted inappropriate challenges. Of the 20,000+ challenges that were generated by players, 15,000 were approved. (Drell, 2011) (National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2012) Evaluation With SCVNGR’s possibilities to create individual and customized challenges, the mobile app has more to offer than only allowing users to check-in at a certain location. The regular check-ins that are typical with foursquare actually are relatively limited in creating a well-designed gamified experience. When doing fun challenges with their friends, users are engaged more than they are when they are just pressing a button to check in. Users are challenged more and have a greater autonomy within the game, especially due to the fact that they are able to create their own challenges. Furthermore, they are able to master the game to some extend because they have to go 47
  • 48. through many different steps to become a top player. The elements of autonomy and mastery are exactly what Pink has identified to be two of the core intrinsic motivators that drive engagement. What the Buffalo Wild Wings case demonstrates is that gamification techniques can be very effective when applied intelligently and with proper preparation. The implementation of SCVNGR’s gamification system has especially contributed to a great increase in customer engagement and the generating of earned media. Nevertheless, a good timing, proper staff training, and complementary promotion are important for success. 3.1.4 Case study: Nike+ With Nike+, sportswear brand Nike probably created the most extensive gamification application of any brand so far. Nike+ was not just a temporary marketing campaign of Nike, but is a complete product experience, which has included the development of some new and innovative products to gamify the Nike brand and the sport exercises of its customers. The product In 2006, Nike partnered with Apple and revealed a sensor that was able to communicate with Apple’s iPod and iPhone products. With the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit, runners can attach a small sensor to their running shoes to monitor and store information such as duration of each workout, running speed, distance traveled, and calories burned. On iTunes, iPods or with the Nike+ App for iPod Touch and iPhone, runners can access this information and join the global Nike+ online community. (McClusky, 2009) 48 Table 4. How Nike+ works (McClusky, 2009) Capture The Nike+ sensor in the shoe tracks all necessary data about the activity of the runner and then send is to a receiver that is either attached to the iPod or built into it. Sync After each workout, the iPod is synced to a computer running iTunes, which processes all information and sends it to the Nike+ servers. Share At users can log in to the Nike+ community and access their run history including all the details about each workout. They can also connect with friends, enter challenges or set individual goals.
  • 49. Nike+ has turned exercising with Nike into a game-like experience. Before a workout, runners can select specific time, distance or calorie goals on their iPods or iPhones. While exercising, they can choose to listen to their favorite music playlist or Nike-created Sport Music to motivate them. The iPod or iPhone also provides the runner with instant feedback about the workout and when goals are halfway or nearly reached. Once the run is complete, users can access all details about their workout and sync their information with the Nike+ community platform. (Apple, 2012a) (Apple, 2012b) The Nike+ online platform adds many game mechanics to the product. From there, users can access their profile, which stores all details about their activities. They can also set personal goals, which motivate them to become better and better. With a lot of statistics, progress and feedback mechanics, the system provides Nike+ users with a great overview over their performance and shows them how they are getting better over time. Being connected to the online community, users can also find new places to run, challenges their friends in competitions and receive rewards for their achievements. When connected to Facebook, the system automatically posts messages about each workout on the user’s Facebook Timeline. For each like or comment by his friends, the runner will hear cheers on his headphones during the workout to motivate him. Every mile a user runs will earn him points and once a certain score of points is reached, you level up. The leveling system is made up of six levels to indicate achievement and status within the community. (Nike, 2012a) (McGonigal, 2011, pp. 157-164) The results Since its launch Nike+ has become a unique product category of Nike and has constantly been extended with additional products and features such as a GPS app for the iPhone, a Nike+ GPS SportWatch, a wristband, and more. More Nike+ products customized for certain sports are announced to launch this summer. (Nike, 2012b) The Nike+ online community has more than 2 million active members. (McGonigal, 2011, p. 160) Together, all members have run over 120 million miles, achieved over 240,000 daily goals, and earned over 220,000 achievements. (Nike, 2012a) By adding innovative technology and gamification techniques to the brand’s products, Nike was able to differentiate from its competitors and add unique value to its products. Unsurprisingly, the success of Nike+ has also inspired many competitors to develop and offer similar products. Some examples are adidas’ miCoach and UP by Jawbone. (adidas, 2012) (Jawbone, 2012) Evaluation With Nike+ Nike has implemented gamification in an excellent way. Instead of focusing solely on game mechanics and extrinsic rewards with monetary value, Nike has created a holistic gamification experience that builds upon intrinsic motivation. Nike customers and many people in general are motivated to run, engage in sports, and improve their health. There is an intrinsic motivation to do something that matters, which challenges us and allows us to get better over time. All this is possible with Nike+. The system allows users to seek their personal goals and motivates them to do so by offering game mechanics like feedback systems, challenges, progression, points, rewards, achievements, highscores, levels, and more. Game mechanics play an important part in contributing to motivation but are not the core of the user motivation in this case. It is the intrinsic motivation to do satisfying work and see that you get better at it that pushes people to exercise with Nike+. The social integration and connection to a larger online community also contributes to the motivation of its users. With global and public race challenges in which thousands of users 49
  • 50. participate, Nike+ gives runners a chance to be part of something larger than themselves, too. (Breuer, 2011b) 3.1.5 Case study: Greenpeace VW Dark Side In June 2011, Greenpeace launched a marketing campaign to counter the successful viral video “The Force” by Volkswagen. Volkswagen’s commercial video picked up on the popular Star Wars theme and has generated over 52 million video views on YouTube until today. The “VW Dark Side” campaign by Greenpeace, which was a response to and parody of the original campaign by Volkswagen, mainly consisted of a viral video that was distributed on social media sites and a complementary online platform that made use of some gamification techniques. (Volkswagen, 2011) (Nicole Sands, 2011) (Frickel, 2011) (Breuer, 2011a) The goals Greenpeace’s goal was to pick up on Volkswagen’s successful viral video campaign and use it against them to raise awareness of Volkswagen’s lobbying against the implementation of environmental regulations in the EU. (Nicole Sands, 2011) The campaign Greenpeace created a video very similar to the original video by Volkswagen. In Greenpeace’ version, however, Volkswagen is depicted as the dark side in Star Wars threatening the earth and children are fighting against the brand. Once the video was released it was spread online via many social networks. On its complementary only platform that also makes use of the Star Wars theme, Greenpeace installed a couple of gamification techniques to generate even more engagement and viral spread. (Breuer, 2011a) (Greenpeace, n.d. a) 50
  • 51. 51 Figure 13. The VW Dark Side online platform (Greenpeace, n.d. a) Every User that signs up on the platform is provided with his own profile page that documents all of his activities and achievements. Users then can earn points by generating visits to their own profile or by recruiting new members via shares on Facebook, Twitter or by Email. There is also a leveling system in place. Once a user has earned a certain amount of points, he is promoted to a higher rank and is rewarded with additional items or achievements. Finally, users that are able to collect all items and achievements get a free Greenpeace T-shirt. (Breuer, 2011a) (Greenpeace, n.d. a) The results 48 hours after the launch of the campaign 125,000 users had signed up on the online platform. Until today, this number has increased to over 500,000 users. The viral video of the campaign has generated over 1.2 million video views on YouTube until today. Due to the social sharing that is required to earn points on the website, the campaign was prominent on many social network news feeds at the peak time of the campaign. However, engagement dropped quickly after a short time period. While 100,000 users signed up on the first day of the campaign, only 25,000 signed up on the second day. Since it was relatively easy for users with an ordinary number of friends in their network to earn all the items and achievements, there was not much left for them to do on the campaign’s website after a few days. (Breuer, 2011a) (Greenpeace, n.d. b) (Greenpeace, 2011)
  • 52. Evaluation With relatively inexpensive means, namely a video, a website, and a few gamification techniques, Greenpeace created a simple, effective and efficient digital marketing campaign. The game mechanics on the website successfully contributed to high engagement rates and many social shares during the first days of the campaign. Additional game mechanics and a more extensive game system could have probably made the campaign even more successful. Users can engage in the campaign for a greater cause, namely environmental protecting, which complies with Pink’s definition of purpose as an intrinsic motivator. However, the implementation of additional elements of intrinsic motivation like mastery, satisfying work and autonomy, would have created even greater and more enduring user engagement. (Breuer, 2011a) 3.1.6 Comparison of the cases In the following table the differences between the three gamification cases that have been studied are analyzed. Table 5. Comparison of the gamification cases studied 52 Buffalo Wild Wings Nike+ Greenpeace VW Dark Side Costs Medium7 (Use of SCVNGR is cheap. Preparation, planning and development make up most of the costs.) High7 (Product development and development of own platforms is very cost intensive.) Small7 – medium (Development of own simple platform and video make up most of the costs.) Additional efforts Training of staff, promotional efforts Development of corresponding products and services, cooperation with Apple, marketing efforts, etc. Promotional efforts Gamification service used SCVNGR None, own development None, own development Target audience Sports and basketball fans, restaurant guests, mobile users Runners, Nike customers, Apple users Social web users, people concerned with environmental protection, VW customers, car owners Digital channels Mobile devices, Mobile devices (iPhone, Website, YouTube, 7 According to information presented later: Small = approx. €10,000 - €25,000 / Medium = approx. €25,000 – €70,000 / High = €100,000 and more
  • 53. 53 used SCVNGR, social media sites, the brand’s website, in-store television spots iPod and own products), mobile apps, website, community, iTunes social media sites, email Game mechanics used Achievements, lottery, ownership, points, progression, quests, status, virality Achievements, appointments, blissful productivity, community collaboration, countdown, discovery, epic meaning, infinite gameplay, levels, ownership, points, progression, quests, reward schedules, status, virality Achievements, epic meaning, levels, points, progression, reward schedules, status, virality Intrinsic motivation Social connection, autonomy (to design custom challenges), small amounts of satisfying work, small amounts of mastery Satisfying work, autonomy, mastery, purpose, social connection Purpose, social connection Extrinsic motivation Discounts, free food and drinks, a chance of winning a trip to the NBA finals, status Status T-shirt, status
  • 54. 54 3.2 Interviews The full transcripts of the interviews that have been conducted with Andreas Harnischfeger, Markus Breuer and Mario Herger can be found in appendix C. In the following, the most important findings from each interview are summarized. 3.2.1 Andreas Harnischfeger Harnischfeger works as group manager at media agency OMG FUSE, which is specialized in new and multi media marketing for brands. In his opinion, any of the digital marketing channels and methods can be utilized for gamification, but some, like e.g. mobile apps, suit a bit better than others, like e.g. radio. In the end, the channels are chosen depending on the characteristics of the campaign. Some channels, however, might not prove to be very efficient. According to Harnischfeger, marketing objectives like brand loyalty, brand interaction and world-of-mouth will work best with gamification. He sees brand image and awareness more secondary. It also depends on the goals of the campaign here and gamification might not be a very effective and efficient solution for some marketing objectives like upgrading the brand image. He estimates the costs for a holistic and individual gamification campaign that includes a mobile app, a website, the game design, the campaign promotion and more at 70-100 thousand Euros. A detailed estimate of costs cannot be made without a briefing. In Harnischfeger’s point-of-view, the development of a gamification campaign would make sense in two specific cases. First, a client wants to increase interaction and loyalty of a brand or product. Second, gamification can be used to create a strong differentiation in the market even with minimal use of resources. Harnischfeger thinks that a greater implementation of gamification in the daily practice of agencies would be very useful, however, he does not name any clients or campaigns where he think it can fit. Whether a gamification campaign is developed always depends on the cost-benefit factor and the specific briefing of the client, according to him. (Harnischfeger, 2012) 3.2.2 Markus Breuer Markus Breuer writes a blog about gamification, has dealt with the topic of games and gamification for many years and has worked in the multimedia agency business mostly as a CEO for over 15 years. He is currently working on the development of a startup business for which he wants to make use of gamification elements for user recruitment and retention. Breuer names foursquare as a great application of gamification because it shows how gamification can be wrapped around an already beneficial core of a software product or a service offer. In this case, gamification can motivate people to join who do not feel attracted just by the core use of the software or to reach a critical mass for the community. Another great example of gamification in his opinion is Nike+ because it makes good use of intrinsic motivation. The gamification elements support the users in reaching their own goals and motivate them to stay tuned while at the same time the goals of the
  • 55. brand are met. A rather worse application of gamification is what he calls “pointification”, where users are just provided with points or badges for certain behavior. Breuer explains that there is no relationship between providing these points and the benefits for the users. Some people might find this nice, mostly the killers and achievers according to the player type terminology by Bartle, but other player types are not really attracted by these systems, as Breuer says. The gamification service vendors also suffer from a similar problem, although they can be quite effective when embedded in the overall marketing strategy in Breuer’s opinion. Especially in the mobile and social media sector, gamification can be implemented particularly well as he puts it. Furthermore, the marketing campaign around the autobiography of the rapper Jay-Z in 2011 made great use of gamification elements, was well designed, very effective, but also very expensive in the implementation. With regard to marketing objectives, Breuer says that gamification can support the classic brand triad very well. It can raise awareness, increase sympathy and ultimately convince people to make a purchase. Most gamification application focus on creating a strong brand involvement that will lead to increased awareness, sympathy, and generate sales as a consequence. Breuer says that Facebook, individual websites or services, and mobile methods serve as great channels for a digital gamification marketing campaign. Although gamification can be implemented in a simple way to motivate people for a short time to do anything simple, just like the classic sweepstakes, Breuer explains that its actual benefit lies in creating long time user engagement when it is applied in a more extensive way, which is also a bit more challenging, of course. Although Breuer criticizes the gamification service vendors like, for example Badgeville, for only making use of some game mechanics that attract only certain players, he would definitely recommend the use of those. Mainly, because they are easy to implement, inexpensive, but can yield good results when implemented into the overall strategy and when intrinsic user motivation is considered. If one wants to bind people for the long term, Breuer says that intrinsic motivation is important as well as offering interesting elements for all player types. Finally, he envisions a future where gamification is not solely applied to marketing activities, but is implemented directly into the brand’s products just like the example of Nike+ demonstrates. (Breuer, 2012) 3.2.3 Mario Herger Mario Herger works at SAP Labs in California as Senior Innovation Strategist and is the global head of the Gamification Initiative at SAP. He is also the author of a website about enterprise gamification. His job is to define and adapt the technology strategy at SAP to the constant developments in the market, which made him analyze and practice the concept of gamification for approximately two years already. He names Amazon as a great application of gamification since it makes use of multiple game mechanics without customers noticing it. Also, he thinks that the gamified marketing campaign around the autobiography of the rapper Jay-Z was well planned and executed because it received enormous press coverage, there were thousands of people involved and the engagement was very strong. On the other hand, there are many examples of gamification that he finds stupid because they are poorly designed by just adding points to a senseless system that does not get better by adding a few game mechanics. As an example of such a poor gamification application he mentions a gamified email plugin for Gmail. Although even those simple processes can already yield relatively significant improvements in his opinion, the real 55
  • 56. power of gamification is released when it is implemented intelligently. This implies not only the use of extrinsic rewards like prices, money or status via badges, but also the implementation of intrinsic motivators like, for example, engaging in social relationships while performing the gamified activities, as Herger explains. For a first gamification approach he recommends the use of gamification service vendors since they are easily and quickly implemented, but that still requires brands to develop a good overall design of the gamification application. And for long-term approaches he is not sure if the gamification service vendors work so well. For successfully designed gamification, it is important to understand the problem of the user, appeal to the intrinsic motivation of the players, and at the same time meet the company’s goals. When Herger develops a gamification project at SAP he first looks at the problem and defines it. In the next step, he tries to understand why the employees (the users of his enterprise gamification projects) would like to have that problem solved. During this phase he analyzes what could be some intrinsic motivation and how this can be implemented into the game. He tries to hide the actual goals of the project behind the game system. Then he continues and considers the tools and game mechanics to use. Herger emphasizes that the gamification design is not a product that is constructed and then thrown out and never touched again, but it needs to be regarded as a process. He continues working on it after it has been launched and tries to learn from its evaluation. Also, he constantly tries to improve the gamification elements by analyzing the feedback he receives from the users, for example. (Herger, 2012) 56
  • 57. 57 4 Evaluation The case studies and interviews that were conducted provide valuable information for answering the research questions. The additional research particularly aimed at answering the remaining questions that could not be answered by the literature alone or completely. The case studies and the interviews provided a good overview about what channels can be used best for gamification in digital marketing. However, they did not provide a complete explanation about what the benefit or disadvantage of each channel is and when to use what channel. For answering these aspects, more research and testing might be necessary. The experts’ opinions about the marketing objectives that can be attained by gamification varied to some extend. However, they mostly agreed upon a couple of objectives that gamification could achieve best and even better than other methods. Also, the interviews revealed that gamification might just not be a very efficient solution for a couple of other digital marketing objectives and therefore alternative methods would be preferred. Throughout the whole study and research conducted for this thesis, the success factors of gamification could be compiled and summarized in a later chapter. Finally, the interviews and case studies revealed valuable information about the development and implementation process of gamification so that an advice plan for implementing gamification in digital marketing can be constructed. In general, the data collecting and analyzing process for this thesis was quite hard since there are not many detailed sources and literature available. Furthermore, only a few people have dealt with the topic to a greater extend yet. Nevertheless, based on the theory from the literature review the data analyzing process went well since the theory quite easily could be applied to the additional research that was conducted. Of course, the interviews also generated some information that was not directly useful for answering the research questions. But the important questions were asked and answered during the interviews, too. The only difficulties that were encountered in collecting the data were some Skype voice quality issues and the finding of interview partners. Multiple experts were contacted, but most of them did not have the time for an interview, did reply too late or did not reply at all. But in the end, those issues did not affect the research plan since appropriate interview partners were found in time.
  • 58. 58 5 Results and conclusion 5.1 Gamification in digital marketing Gamification has many different applications and can be used for various purposes. Digital marketing is only one of them, but the main focus of this thesis. When trying to apply gamification to a brand’s digital marketing, one has to consider the unique characteristics and functioning of gamification. 5.1.1 Channels and methods Since gamification can take various forms and use different methods, it certainly does not fit into one category of digital marketing types only. It is a general approach that can be implemented using multiple digital marketing tools and strategies. As described in the previous chapters, one of the key components of games and gamification is interaction. A game is an active experience, which means that players participate in it and are able to manipulate the outcome. A game is interactive since the game and the players always have an effect upon one another. The best possible digital marketing methods to allow gamified experiences are therefore those that allow interaction and active participation of consumers. Other, non-interactive methods might also be used when providing gamified experiences, but they can only enhance and support the gamified activity. At least one interactive medium is required to make gamification possible. Unsurprisingly, as we have learnt form the case studies and some interviews, most gamification cases primarily make use of online and mobile channels, which are inherently interactive. Buffallo Wild Wings chose to make use of the mobile application SCVNGR and the brand’s website for the gamification experience. Nike built its own mobile apps, products, and website for Nike+ as the core tools for creating gamification. Greenpeace created its own website for their VW Dark Side campaign and implemented a sharing function for social media sites and email. The rapper Jay-Z cooperated with Microsoft Bing to allow his scavenger hunt to take place in the virtual world and the real world, as Mario Herger (2012) and Markus Breuer (2012) explained in the interviews. Other digital marketing methods like digital radio and TV, unfortunately do not allow great interactivity yet and are relatively inflexible. They can therefore be used to enhance and promote the gamification experience, but can rarely be used as tools for the actual gameplay. Digital out-of-home, on the other hand, already is able to produce quite interactive user experiences. Digital billboards, for example, might be used for some gameplay elements, too. Nevertheless, when creating a gamification campaign, brands will mainly choose between the use of online platforms, social media sites, and mobile channels. They can also build their own website, use existing mobile applications, create their own mobile apps (like e.g. a gamified augmented reality app), or make use of several of these tools at the same time. Of course, gamification can also be created by analogue and real world methods, using actors to play roles in the game, for example,
  • 59. but these are quite expensive and cannot reach a critical mass as easily as online or mobile approaches. Also, the gamification service vendors that have been mentioned can help to implement gamification elements in mobile and web applications. They provide a relatively inexpensive means to create basic gamification and increase user engagement. (Breuer, 2012) (Herger, 2012) 5.1.2 Marketing objectives As the case studies demonstrated and most experts described in the interviews, gamification is especially good at creating interaction and engagement with your brand. The game elements make people enjoy the interaction very much since it provides fun and multiple positive motivations. Gamification therefore can turn brand engagement into a long-lasting positive experience in the consumers’ minds. This will also generate stronger bonds between the players and the brand, which is likely to affect brand loyalty and will turn more people into strong brand supporters and fans. With intrinsic motivators in place, gamification will make players enjoy the interaction because of the task itself and not (solely) because of external outcomes. Gamification therefore is one of the best tools for creating authentic and strong consumer engagement. (Breuer, 2012) (Harnischfeger, 2012) (Herger, 2012) Through the social features of gamification and its viral effects, brand awareness can be increased, too. When people are able to invite their friends and interact with them via the gamified application, the brand messages will spread quickly as the Greenpeace case demonstrated. Furthermore, gamification is a relatively new and obviously exciting approach that is able to generate a lot of positive press coverage. The scavenger hunt by Jay-Z as described by Markus Breuer (2012) and Mario Herger (2012) is just one example of a gamification campaign that was able to generate great brand awareness by ongoing nationwide press coverage. However, the development of a campaign of this size with a similar press interest will require a large budget. If a brand’s number one goals is to raise brand awareness, other marketing methods like, for example, paid media ads, can be more suitable. (Breuer, 2012) (Harnischfeger, 2012) (Herger, 2012) Engaging people in positive experiences for a long time will certainly benefit the brand image, too. As Andreas Harnischfeger (2012) explained, sympathy with the brand will be increased by a frequently repeated and positively charged interaction with the brand. However, the cost-benefit factor can take effect with gamification and marketing goals like raising brand awareness, upgrading the brand image, and creating recommendations. There are definitely many other marketing tools, which brands can utilize to achieve those goals and which could even be more efficient in many cases. One therefore always has to analyze each case individually and see if gamification provides an efficient solution. (Breuer, 2012) (Harnischfeger, 2012) In addition, brands that want to deliver or improve their customer service could implement gamification strategies to motivate their customer service staff or provide a gamified crowdsourcing platform to motivate customers to help each other more frequently and receive rewards for helping others. 59
  • 60. Brands that make use of gamification and develop their own gamified systems can also generate a lot of useful information about their target group, which is active on these systems. Mostly, however, the traditional methods of market research might be more useful and suitable. Ultimately, as a consequence of the marketing objectives that are attained by the use of gamification, more sales can be generated. Increased brand awareness, high brand engagement, stronger customer relationships, an upgraded brand image, etc. will indirectly affect the number of sales. However, gamification is unlikely to improve the quality of sales leads since it usually does not differentiate between an interested and an uninterested customer. (Breuer, 2012) (Harnischfeger, 2012) (Herger, 2012) 60
  • 61. 61 5.2 Successful gamification From the literature that has been analyzed, the case studies that have been conducted and the interviews with the experts several conclusions can be drawn about the success factors of gamification. The successful and well-designed implementation of gamification in digital marketing depends on a number of aspects:  Every marketing activity, including gamification marketing, needs a goal. Without defining and working towards a goal, the development of a marketing campaign does not make sense.  Gamification is not the providing of a game in a traditional sense, but the transformation of a non-game product, service or application into a game-like experience. Gamification always uses game attributes to achieve other goals.  Gamification is not a layer or a set of game mechanics that is simply added to a product, service or application. Gamification is a process. In order to be successful, the gamification design and implementation process needs to be structured and has to take into account several aspects and steps. An overview of a suitable gamification process can be found in the next chapter.  Gamification is able to utilize both intrinsic motivation as well as extrinsic motivation in players. Extrinsic rewards especially work well to motivate people to do non-routine tasks over a short time frame and can certainly be utilized. Well-designed gamification, however, makes use of at least some intrinsic rewards. Those intrinsic rewards, like e.g. satisfying work, social connection, autonomy, mastery and purpose, are sustainable and motivate people to engage in the gamified activity for a long time period. In addition, they do not require the purchase of expensive monetary goods as means for extrinsic rewards for players. Of course, the more the players feel intrinsically motivated, the more sustainable and ultimately successful the gamification is. An overview of the methods to implement different intrinsic motivators can be found in the next chapter.  Well-designed gamification applications make use of the element of flow and allow players to experience flow when playing the game. This means that, regardless of the player’s current skill level, he is guided through the flow zone and constantly feels challenged, but not overstrained in the game. Flow also allows players to experience mastery.  There is a large number of game mechanics that are often used in gamification projects. Some of these game mechanics provide extrinsic rewards like e.g. status in the player’s perception. They also can provide some form of intrinsic motivation as, for example, the progression mechanic, which allows players to receive direct feedback and see their progress. This guides them towards mastery or gives them the feeling of practicing satisfying work. The different game mechanics also attract different player types. Depending on who the target group is, a gamification application should include game mechanics that attract multiple player types.  Well-designed gamification is tailored to the goals of any campaign. Typical digital marketing goals that can be attained by the use of gamification are creating brand interaction, increasing customer bonds and loyalty, increasing brand awareness, and ultimately generating sales. Other goals can also be achieved, but gamification might not be the most efficient solution.
  • 62.  Well-designed gamification requires interaction and an interactive platform. In digital marketing, channels such as mobile, mobile apps, online and social media are most commonly used and provide a great basis for providing a gamification experience. Other interactive marketing channels and methods such as digital out-of-home can also be utilized.  Gamified mobile apps such as foursquare or SCVNGR provide inexpensive means to create basic gamification. Another advantage is that they already have an established user base. When implemented into an overall strategy, those tools can yield great results, but the possibilities to gamify are also limited with these tools.  The products and services of gamification service vendors such as Badgeville, Bunchball, Bigdoor, etc. are relatively inexpensive and can also yield great results when applied with the proper care, customized to the campaign and implemented into an overall strategy. However, simply adding game mechanics to a website with these tools can yield proper results only for a short time at best. Also, many of these tools mainly offer game mechanics that attract the achievement player type and leave out other game mechanics and elements to attract other player types. Therefore, before using such products, one always has to consider whether they fit to the goals of the campaign.  Apart from the development and execution of a gamification campaign, there are other key 62 factors that affect the success of such a project. Those aspects include:  The timing of the campaign  Marketing and promotional activities  Monitoring, analysis, and evaluation of the user activities  Technical issues and the patching of software/hardware bugs  Dealing with cheating players and inappropriate content  If necessary, proper staff training When applied with care and proper consideration, gamification can yield great results for any brand. The innovative and fun character of gamification promotes unique and long-lasting positive brand experiences, which consumers enjoy, memorize and adapt to in their consumption behavior.
  • 63. 63 5.3 Implementing gamification The diagram on the following page visualizes the process of designing and implementing gamification.
  • 64. 64 Figure 14. The gamification design and implementation process
  • 65. Stage 1 – Briefing At the briefing stage, all sorts of information about the intented marketing activity are provided and collected. The brand, the product(s), the target group, the brand’s marketing goals and the project’s budget are introduced and defined. Stage 2 – Analysis Before starting with the development of a gamification application, it is important to analyze if and how the use of gamification can actually be benificial and suitable in any given case. Gamification might not be suitable in all cases and there might be some other marketing methods, which prove to fit better. Questions like “what are the marketing goals and can those goals be attained by the use of gamification?” need to be answered at this stage. In addition, the target group has to be considered and how those people can be reached via gamification. Gamification can be a good choice especially when aiming at generating brand engagement and creating stronger customer relationships. Other digital marketing goals that can be attained by the use of gamification are increasing brand awareness, upgrading the brand image and ultimately generating sales. However, gamification might not be the most efficient solution in every case, so an individual analysis is required. For designing a successful gamification application, it is also important to think about possible motivations and goals of the users/customers/players. Only if those motivations and goals are implemented to some extend into the final product, the gamification will be sustainable and lasting. Of course, the brand’s goals also need to be incorporated. The best way to do this is to find areas where the goals of the brand meet or do not eliminate the motivation and goals of the users. The gamification application can also be designed to support the users in reaching their goals while simoultaneaously some goals of the brand are met (see example Nike+). By the nature of games and game mechanics, some motivations of the users, like e.g. fun, are already met when making use of gamificaiton. However, it is important to identify more unique and distinct motivations and goals of the users. Stage 3 – Channels and tools used Several channels and tools to be used when creating gamification have been described in this thesis. At this stage, one has to discuss these channels and tools and choose one or more for the gamification application. Of course, being able to create an individual and custom gamification platforms is always a great thing. But if only a small to medium budget (€10,000 - €70,000) is available, the use of gamification service vendors like Badgeville, Bunchball or Bigdoor makes more sense. Even without an existing mobile or web site or the means to build one, gamified mobile apps (e.g. foursquare, SCVNGR) can be utilized for the creation of a succesful gamification campaign. With those tools, brands benefit from being able to reach an already existing user base easily. However, if a larger budget is available (€100,000 and more) there is the opportunity to create a unique gamification platform and strategy, which can be customized to the brand and its goals. In addition, the products of the gamification service vendors are not perfect and, for example, rarely offer elements to attract the socializing player types. Brands will usually choose between several online marketing methods like, for example, a campaign website, social media 65
  • 66. activities, viral videos or mobile channels such as mobile apps and mobile sites since they can be utilized for gamification quite easily and can effectively reach a critical mass of players within a short time period. (Harnischfeger, 2012) (Herger, 2012) (Breuer, 2012) Stage 4 – Gamification design At the gamification design stage, a plan for the actual gamification product, service or application is developed. All aspects of the game and the gameplay are defined and described. This includes the game’s goals, its rules, its feedback system, the game mechanics used, the element of flow, possible intrinsic motivators, possible extrinsic rewards and motivators as well as the different player types. All elements that are defined here influence each other, so it is important to go through it step by step, talk over several aspects more than once and make the game work as a whole. Also, the motivation and goals of the users and the brand that were identified in stage two (analysis) play an important role here. Whatever was defined in the anaylsis stage definitely influences this stage. Furthermore, the channels and methods that were considered in stage three influence the decision-making 66 at this stage and vice versa. In general, it can be said that a good gamification design should:  support players in reaching their goals  provide clear and instant feedback about the attainment of the goals  establish connections to other players with similar goals  promote satisfaction and the experience of flow and intrinic motivation (Breuer, 2011b) At this stage, you therefore need decide whether to make use of intrinsic motivators, extrinsic motivators or both. The use of intrinsic motivators will be more difficult since more development effort and budget is required, but will generate a sustainable and strong user motivation and engagement. Providing extrinsic motivators, on the other hand, is relatively easy. You can easily offer some extrinsic rewards like monetary goods, but those rewards will not generate authentic engagement. People will engage with you because of the outcome, not because of the task itself, which means they are motivated only for a short time frame. A good gamification application will therefore always make use of intrinsic motivators. The implementation of game mechanics and intrinsic motivators can be quite complicated. The following tables have been created to ease and support the implementation process of different game mechanics and intrinsic motivators. First, the game mechanics and some example elements to attract different player types are provided. If one does not want to focus on one type of player only, it is important to make use of multiple game mechanics for different player types.
  • 67. 67 Table 6. Game mechanics to attract different player types Player types by Yee (2006) Game mechanics Examples elements Achievement Achievements, appointments, bonuses, combos, countdown, levels, loss aversion, points, progression, reward schedules, status Badges, ranks, trophies, leaderboards, highscores, progression, advancement, competition Socializing Community collaboration, virality Communication, chat, voice chat, messages, teamwork, collaboration, player meetings, multiplayer, co-op modus, relationships Immersion Blissful productivity, cascading information theory, discovery, epic meaning, infinite gameplay, ownership, quests Role-playing, customization, avatars, huge game world, narrative elements The next table presents methods and game mechanics that can be used to promote different kinds of intrinsic motivation. As the implementation of intrinsic motivators can be quite tricky and there is no one single method, this overview can be quite helpful. Table 7. Methods and game mechanics to promote different kinds of intrinsic motivation Intrinsic Methods Game mechanics motivators Autonomy Customization, open game world, crowdsourcing, players can make own decisions in the game, players are able to choose their roles, tasks, time, team and techniques, players can build, design, create Discovery, ownership Mastery / The experience or hope of being successful Flow, challenge, advancement, self-improvement, inspirational elements, mentoring Achievements, cascading information theory, infinite gameplay, progression, levels, points, quests Meaning / Purpose The player is able to influence the game and the game world drastically or to achieve something large together with other players. Or he is contributing to a greater cause. Epic meaning, community collaboration Satisfying work Instant feedback, flow, endless workflow of tasks, challenge, diverse nature of tasks, trophies, in-game rewards, leaderboards, competition, fun and interesting presentation Blissful productivity, cascading information theory, quests, achievements, bonuses, combos, reward schedules,
  • 68. 68 progression Social connection Communication, chat, voice chat, messages, teamwork, collaboration, player meetings, multiplayer, co-op modus, relationships, comments, likes, shares, help, give Community collaboration, virality It is important to understand that the methods to provide inrinsic motivation are not limited to game mechanics only. Some game mechanics can provide a solid base for intrinsic motivation, but definitely not all and most game mechanics only work for one of the intrinisc motivators and not the rest. One should therefore be creative and think of additional elements and methods (just like the examples mentioned in the table) to allow the players to experience intrinsic motivation. Also, the players might experience huge differences in intrinsic motivation depending on how a game mechanic is actually implemented into the game like, for example, what elements are used to express progression or how feedback is provided. That is why, game mechanics need to be implemented in a way that promotes intrinsic motivation and by considering its use for intrinsic motivation. Once all these aspects of the game design are set and it is implemented into the overall strategy that were defined in the previous stages, one can proceed to the next stage. Stage 5 – Implementation At the implementation stage, the final concept and project plan is provided. According to what was decided in the previous stages, the gamification product, service or application is developed. This can imply that there will be some coordination with a gamification service vendor, a gamified mobile app, or a custom platform and game system is developed. In addition, some staff training might be required prior the launch of the gamification campaign, the campaign needs to be timed well and marketing and promotional activities need to be prepared. Ideally, marketing and promotional activities are considered and prepared as soon as the game concept is completed. In a test, the gamification application is analyzed. If it works as planned, the gamification campaign can finally be launched. Stage 6 – Monitoring, Analysis & Evaluation Once the campaign has been launched, the process does not end. In order to provide a great product, the users and the game system have to be monitored, analyzed and evaluated. By doing so, you might be able to fix some technical issues or patch software and/or hardware bugs. Also, you might need to deal with cheating players and inappropriate content. Your analysis and evaluation as well as the players’ feedback can then be used to make further improvements and adjustments, especially if the gamification application is designed for the long term. The learnings that are made from the development and execution of one gamification campaign can then be used to optimize the next.
  • 69. 69 6 Discussion Gamification is a very complex topic and can be applied in various forms for nearly endless purposes. Furthermore, it is a very young approach that has not been studied, analyzed, researched or practiced to a great degree yet. The essential books, websites, articles, and other literature about the topic were studied and outlined in the literature review. The theory that is described in the literature serves as a great basis for understanding gamification and its essential elements. Although literature from different authors was analyzed and presented, the available theories already are quite uniform and useful. The different pieces of theory that were presented in the literature review fit together to a greater puzzle quite well. Nevertheless, in some literature that was studied for this thesis, one could find much confusion of terms, mistakes and false classifications that became obvious when studying the theory in a more detailed and extensive way. Unfortunately, many authors that write about gamification understand the terms related to the topic differently or have not understood them correctly or completely yet. For this thesis, I paid particular attention to identifying these mistakes or misunderstandings by certain authors in order to be able to present only those definitions, theories and literature that make sense and don’t suffer from contradictions. However, it was hard to study more of the practical side of gamification through the literature, also because this would require years of experience and testing, which has hardly been conducted yet. Therefore, the descriptive research was conducted. Surprisingly, the theories from the literature could perfectly be applied to the research. There was not one theory that could not be discussed and included during the analysis of the gamification cases, for example. Although it was relatively hard to find and collect the appropriate literature, in the end it served well and the research and the conclusions could be made without any major problems. Since gamification has a lot to do with human motivation and psyche, I would suggest more of a psychological analysis of the topic for further research. Also, there hardly is a complete and clear definition and classification of all game mechanics yet. It is relatively unclear how each game mechanic can be implemented best and what needs to be considered for that. Furthermore, the elements of flow and intrinsic motivation can be analyzed in greater detail since it is not yet completely understood what ways there are to make use of them in practice. Finally, of course, many practical tests and experiments are necessary to understand gamification better and make use of it in the most effective and efficient way, especially with regard to how well different marketing goals can be attained by it. As Markus Breuer said in the interview, we will most probably see a lot of gamification in the future in many different industries. Gamification will probably not be limited to marketing activities, but will be incorporated into brands’ products and services, too.
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  • 79. 79 8 Appendices A Definitions Diaper Dash Diaper Dash is a time-management game produced by Zemnott and PlayFirst. Players control Wilson, who is a daycare manager and worker that cares for the babies that are dropped off into the waiting area of the daycare. (Diner Dash Wiki, n.d. a) Diner Dash Diner Dash is a strategy/time management video game initially developed by GameLab and published by PlayFirst. The game takes place in a restaurant setting and involves seating customers and guiding the waitress around the restaurant to serve customers. Gameplay centers around catering to customers within a time limit in order to gather as much money as possible. (Diner Dash Wiki, n.d. b) Earned media Earned media is a marketing term and one of the three different types of media:  Paid media: Paid or bought media describe media where there is investment to pay for visitors, reach or conversions. Advertising is one example of paid media.  Earned media: Earned media is media where there is usually no direct investment to pay for media impressions or the like. Companies and brands are part of society and media messages about them are often spread via a number of different channels without them paying for that. For example, bloggers or the press can voluntarily report about a brand. Once a brand publishes an interesting message, people might share this message and make the brand earn media impression.  Owned media: Owned media is media owned by the brand and can include a company’s own website, blog, mobile apps or their social presence on Facebook and other social networks. (Chaffey, 2011) FarmVille FarmVille is one of the most popular games on Facebook of the last years. It involves players to become farmers on their own virtual farm where they have to plows the land, harvests crops and trees, place buildings and decorations, and collect from animals. The game also incorporates many of Facebook’s social networking features. For example, players can add their friends as neighbors in FarmVille. (FarmVille Wiki, n.d.) Minecraft Minecraft is a construction game created by Swedish Markus Persson. The game involves players creating and destroying various types of blocks in a three dimensional environment allowing them to form fantastic structures, create artworks and interact with other players in the multiplayer game mode. (Minecraft Wiki, 2012)
  • 80. Nintendogs Nintendogs is a simulation video game in which players own a virtual dog. They can interact with the dog by, for example, doing contests and doing walks. (Nintendogs Wiki, n.d.) SimCity SimCity is a series of simulation and city-building computer games. In the game, players build a city by creating residential, commercial, or industrial zones, adding buildings, adjusting tax rates, constructing power lines, building roads, etc. The game does not have a specific final goal, so the player can’t win or lose. (SimCity Wiki, n.d.) Tetris Tetris is a classic video game created in 1984. In the game, a player positions falling blocks of different shapes so that they fill up an entire line. The game has not specific ending. (Tetris Wiki, n.d.) The Sims The Sims describes a series of life simulating computer games. In the game, a player controls one or more virtual people living in a neighborhood. There is no primary objective to The Sims. Players are free to decide for themselves what constitutes success or failure. (The Sims Wiki, n.d.) Virality Virality is a term used to describe the effect when certain messages or content spreads quickly from person to person, just like a virus infection, reaching a mass of people within a short time. Today, social networks and the Internet are especially good at spreading viral information. (Techopedia, 2012b) World of Warcraft World of Warcraft is one of the most successful massively multiplayer online roleplaying games and is set in the Warcraft universe. In the game, players choose one of several customizable characters and one of two factions. The game is played entirely online where players can explore a huge game world and upgrade their character as they do certain quests, kill enemies or interact with other players and the game system. (World of Warcraft Wiki, n.d.) 80
  • 81. B Digital marketing methods from chapter 1.2.2 81 In the following, the remaining digital marketing methods from chapter 1.2.2 are described. Online Online Display Advertising: Online Display Advertising is a classic form of online marketing. The term describes the use of web banner ads placed on third-party websites to attract visitors to a brand’s own website or to increase awareness about the brands and/or it’s products. (Kotler, Wong, Saunders, & Armstrong, 2005, p. 149) (Your Dictionary, 2012) Affiliate links: Through affiliate programs, a company can promote its products or services on associate websites. By displaying a link or banner on their website, associates can receive a commission for every sale that is generated through visitors clicking on the link. (Your Dictionary, 2012) Search Engine Marketing: Search engines like are frequently used by online users to search through the Internet and find products and/or services they are looking for. Through search engine marketing, brands can make paid placements and paid inclusions in the results of search engines and therefore increasing their visibility on the web. (Your Dictionary, 2012) Search Engine Optimization: Search engine optimization is a technique used by companies to improve their ranking and visibility in the organic results of search engines. They do so by applying certain programming rules to their website so that search engines can trace and search trough the website as best as possible. (Google, 2010, p. 2) In-Game Advertising: Brands can also advertise in non-branded games. This can imply display advertising in the game, before the game or after the game. It can also take the form of in-game content such as branded items or something similar. (Entertainment Software Association, 2012) Mobile Mobile web advertising: Many website today provide a mobile version which loads when the site is opened with a mobile device. The content of the mobile web is optimized to match the specific screen resolutions and browser capabilities of each user’s mobile device. Just like ordinary web pages, a mobile web page can contain banner ads or text ads. On mobile devices, these ads are optimized for mobile access. (Mobile Marketing Association, 2011, p. 3) In-App advertising: In-App advertising is another form of using apps for mobile marketing. Third-party mobile applications may feature banner ads, full screen advertisements or ads that are integrated with the application experience. (Mobile Marketing Association, 2011, p. 17)
  • 82. Radio Advances in digital technology also led to the development of digital and online radio stations. Many big radio stations, which emerged during analogue times, today are also streaming their content via the Internet. (Radio Ad Lab, 2007) Digital marketing methods through radio include the following: Radio advertising: Radio advertising is the most classic form of marketing via radio. Brands buy “airtime” on radio stations to play their audio ads to the station’s listeners. Sponsorship: Another way to advertise on radio is to sponsor certain content like radio shows or live concerts and events. Podcasts: Radio podcasts consist of an episodic series of digital audio files. Online users often can subscribe to podcasts so that they automatically receive new episodes of the podcast directly. Brands may by “airtime” on podcasts or produce and distribute their own podcasts. ( , 2012) TV Today, television is mostly digital in Western countries. The analogue signal has been replaced by a digital system in the majority of European households. Furthermore, IPTV and similar new technologies allow new forms of television, which are more interactive and make use of the Internet. The switch from analogue to digital also led to some advantages for TV marketing. (Association of Commercial Television in Europe, n.d.) The most important digital TV marketing methods include: TV Advertising: The basic form of television advertising consists of a span of television programming that is produced by a brand to market its products or services. Television advertising can take various forms, but most often consists of a brief advertising spot for each brand. Some television stations also allow brands to buy premium placements, which are custom and exclusive types of advertisements during a program. (OMG FUSE, 2012a) Sponsorship: Sponsorship agreements between brands and television stations can include the sponsoring of certain television formats, shows, live events, live commentaries and broadcasts. Brands use this type of TV marketing to become associated with particular content and build strong relationships with the viewer of the sponsored program. (Turner Media Innovations, 2011) Branded Content: When brands produce their own television content that is not directly recognized as advertisement, they make use of marketing through branded content. The aim of branded content is to attract the target group with interesting content while simultaneously marketing the brand’s product during the program. (OMG FUSE, 2012a) 82
  • 83. Product Placement: In a product placement, a brand’s product is subtly promoted by integrating it verbally or visually into a television format such as a show, a series, a movie, etc. Brands often pay a fee to have their products used, displayed, or significantly featured on the television format. (Business Dictionary, n.d. b) 83
  • 84. 84 C Interviews C.1 Andreas Harnischfeger Correspondence, Email interview with Andreas Harnischfeger, Group Manager at media agency OMG Fuse Hamburg, May 15th 2012 JH: Which digital marketing channels and methods do you think suit best for the application and integration of a gamification campaign? Why? AH: Ultimately, any of the digital marketing channels and methods. Certainly, some suit a bit better like, for example, mobile apps than others like, for example, radio. However, I think all of the channels can be utilized. In the end, it depends on the campaign respectively the idea behind it. Meaning, also with gamification it is the same as always: every channels is valuable because it’s usable. It depends on the objectives and target audiences (potential, demographics, etc.) of the gamification campaign. JH: Are there marketing channels, which you think are rather unsuitable for the application of gamification? If so, why? AH: I don’t think so. However, I must effectively decide, which channel I will most likely use or which is most efficient for my objectives. When in doubt, you can do great things in the mobile area. Initial costs are usually lower and mobile reach is growing constantly. Basically, you are just limited by mobile technology. But still, in my opinion, the cost-benefit and other implementation factors like time, manpower, etc. are very attractive here. Also, because mobile can easily be connected with other channels. JH: Which marketing objectives can be achieved with gamification and why? AH: I think brand loyalty, brand interaction and world-of-mouth (keyword: herd instinct) will work best with gamification. The practical examples of gamification that I am familiar with do aim exactly at those goals. Gamification is a very convenient and appreciated means for that. On the other hand, I see brand awareness, image and the creation of recommendations more secondary. I think that, on the one hand, the cost-benefit factor takes effect here because it is too resource-intensive and that there are some other tools, which suit better for achieving those goals, too. But sales can also be achieved with gamification in my opinion. For example, those companies that are active on foursquare like, e.g. Vapiano, Starbucks, etc. certainly generated relatively good results by doing so. By the use of gamification the brand image can also be upgraded to some extend because a clean gamification approach will lead to frequently repeated and positively charged interaction with a brand. If I repeat that “voluntarily”, the image of my brand will automatically improve in the perception of the user. JH: Which marketing objectives cannot be achieved by gamification very well? Why?
  • 85. AH: That depends on what brand I am and what audience I have. For example, if I want to upgrade my brand image, I actually have to do this on a very broad basis. If I have a real image problem, for example, I would never recommend a holistic gamification approach as a first means. In my opinion, the brand image is mostly dealt with via classic media channels and tools. It is important not to confuse image with reputation. In my opinion, you can build reputation best via social media and image with the classic tools. JH: What kind of budget does a client has to provide at least for a holistic and individual gamification campaign? (For example: including a mobile app, a website, the game design, the campaign promotion, etc.) AH: That is a difficult question. Gamification can actually live and function in parts also by viral effects. For a basic set up without any media spending you should calculate approximately 70-100 thousand Euros. That also depends on the agency. Further costs follow on from the concept and the briefed goals. Without any briefing, I cannot give a detailed estimate of costs unfortunately. That would be irresponsible. JH: Under what circumstances would the development of a gamification campaign make sense in your opinion? AH: I think in two specific cases. First, the client has a brand/product/message etc., which already has a strong awareness in a broad mass and now he wants to increase interaction and loyalty. The idea here is to use the existing foundation for the further development of the brand. For example, there could be a popular brand like e.g. Tchibo that does not experience interactivity and brand loyalty among its customers. Therefore I choose a gamification approach like, for example tchibo ideas, which is designed to close that gap. Second, I think that gamification allows a strong differentiation in the market even with minimal use of resources. But in this case it actually depends on the client again. JH: How can gamification be implemented in the development of digital marketing campaigns for clients of OMG Fuse in the future? How to you image the application of gamification for campaign of OMG Fuse? What needs to be considered? AH: Well practically it can be implemented everywhere. Unfortunately, I cannot name any clients. But in general I think a greater incorporation of gamification for our campaigns would be very useful. But you cannot break it down to specific cases nor give a general answer. It always depends on the current situation and goals of the client. In the end it is a cost-benefit issue. I can have the best gamification idea, but if I do not reach my goal 100 per cent by it, it will not be realized. Nevertheless, the topic of gamification need to be implemented and understood more in agencies. For example, gamification can be a great door opener in pitches. Because even agencies – just like their clients – need to differentiate themselves. 85
  • 86. 86 C.2 Markus Breuer Transcript, Skype interview with Markus Breuer, Author of the weblog and founder and CEO of The Otherland Group, a multimedia agency focusing on business in virtual worlds. (Harnischfeger, 2012) Hamburg, May 14th 2012 JH: Could you begin by describing what you have done so far on the topic of Gamification and what your experience is with the topic? MB: Oh, that is a very very long story. I don’t even know whether or not there is something on my blog about that. I have dealt with the appropriate methods already almost 10 years ago. At that time, there has not been any gamification. We started to build communities for our clients and in this context I came across some articles by Amy Jo Kim, who started relatively early, in the early 2000s, to think and write about how you can on one hand get people into those communities and on the other hand keep them there, too. So, for example, by providing them constantly with new features and similar things over a longer time period. Then I did not dealt with this topic for a long time. At that time, I also left my old company and I had a phase in which I discovered the whole subject of computer games for me. I must say, I did my degree in computer science in 1984 when games did not play a big part yet. Afterwards, I did not have time for it so I came to it relatively late. And then when I started to study the topic I realized that particularly the big and complex games where fascinating since they made use of those gamification elements, which as I have already said were not called like this at that time, in a clever and distinct way. More in didactic aspects, familiarizing the users slowly and continuously with the complex control elements step by step, providing feedback, adapting to the development of the user and adjusting the level of difficulty accordingly. Also, within the meaning of Csíkszentmihályi’s flow concept and to keep the users in flow. That was the next contact and then two years ago the issue of gamification started to come up and I was a bit excited about it and studied it more intensively. In fact, I am currently working on a project in a new startup where we want to use these strategies extensively for member recruitment and retention, especially in the early stages. What I do not want to say is that I am a huge practitioner with crazy experience from recent times. I’m not. I have just studied the topic because of my enthusiasm and I used to deal with it, but at that time it was not called gamification yet. JH: Okay, but anyway you have gathered some experience and information about gamification as I understand it. MB: Yes, exactly. JH: You have also founded a company and, as I understand it, it is a kind of advertising agency with regard to… MB: No, no, this is a bit differently. First, the company was not founded recently, but is an older company. It was a kind of GmbH coat that I had lying around and that I just use at the moment for my activities. As for my background, I do not know if you have seen it, most of the time within the
  • 87. last 15-20 years I was typically employed in the CEO position in the multimedia, as it was called first, and then the web agency industry. In the 2000s, predominately in the Pixelpark/Elephant Seven group and there I was more of a merchant. Partly, of course, I also did concept and client service in a typical web agency. What I currently do, after having left Pixelpark about 2.5-3 years, that is free consulting, primarily strategy consulting. I have some small and one larger client, which I take care of in this context. Apart from that, I am developing concepts for new companies or service offerings in two areas. So basically you could call it the classical startup and I will probably found one or two new companies this years. But at the moment, this company which you have seen online, The Otherland Group, that is just a vehicle. It’s really quite handy if you work in the framework of a GmbH, for a variety of reasons, tax reason, for reasons of liability, etc. JH: So what would you say are the best applications of gamification at the moment and why? MB: This really depends on what you want to describe as the best as one might have quite different criteria for that. I personally, as an example of the possibility of gamification to clear certain hurdles, still find this app foursquare great because it demonstrates nicely how you can wrap gamification around an already beneficial core of a software or a service offer. By this you can recruit people to join who do not feel attracted just by the core use of that software. Especially in those situations when I first need a critical mass to make my business model or my community work, and that critical mass is not yet reached, gamification can help me to clear that hurdle until the critical mass is reached. That is why I think that this is a great example. A very nice example, although they never call it gamification, is certainly also the classic Nike+. Both the hardware and the software system, with which I can control my running, motivate the users to stay tuned. JH: And what would you say why are these examples so well implemented? MB: As I said, the first example because it shows nicely how to handle the chicken and egg problem. The second example, Nike+, because it goes very deep into what is called intrinsic motivation. The people using Nike+ actually are already highly motivated to run, to be fit, to be sexy, to do something for their health, etc. And the gamification layer actually only supports them to achieve this goal and to stay tuned, as they say. This gamification aspect or the playfulness certainly is not the focus of the application even though it takes a very broad area both in the corresponding apps and the website, but it supports in a very elegant way the actual goals that the users seek and ultimately, of course, also those goals that the company seeks, such as to win and retain customers on the platform. JH: Have you already encountered examples of gamification, which you would describe as not well made, which make use of gamification methods relatively poorly? MB: Well, there are a variety of those. That is also a cliché I would say and this cliché is true to a certain point. The classic is what is often called pointification, which means that I just give people points or badges for behavior that I find desirable as an operator of a platform, mainly because it provides money. There is no relationship between providing these points and something that I as a user benefit from. So in that sense it is a meaningless story. And you find that very often. Its already a bit older, when you look at forums, for example, also classic forums, there are various grades that people receive depending on how long they have been a member or how many posts the 87
  • 88. have made. Some people find this very nice, it is sort of a reputation, but I can trick it easily. It is not really an achievement that I make by publishing over a thousand posts or something similar. Or another extreme example, which I practiced myself for some time as well, is the platform empire avenue. They have just about everything in there what you can do with the topic of gamification. It is basically an exchange platform for personal status in the social media environment and it is simply meaningless. I do not benefit much from it, apart from a few exceptions, and at a certain point it only attracts people who are called killers and achievers according to the good old terminology by Bartle. It is then purely about collecting points or collecting more points than someone else. You can find very much of these types. This is primarily related to the cases when the corresponding toolkits as, for example, Bunchball and others are implemented thoughtlessly. This is because it is just very very simple to provide points, build point accounts, and establish leaderboards, in which people can compare themselves with others for only certain activities that my users do. This is just extremely simple and convenient and it can also be very effective if it is embedded in the overall strategy, but that is very often not the case. You remain with the pure collection of points. And there are many many examples of those types, I do not even need to name any more of those. JH: For what can gamification be used particularly well? MB: Yeah well, you can see that a little bit by looking at my favorite examples that I have named. I do think that it can be very helpful with social applications, as there are always new experiments especially in the mobile sector, to attract a critical mass by motivating people to engage with the help of gamification elements first and to reduce the importance of the pure playful elements later on as soon as the critical mass has been achieved and another benefit of the application develops. There are certainly some approaches, where it is not very complex to implement gamification in the whole context of marketing. This ranges from simple things like what the platform SCVNGR supports, which means I lure people to the point of sale, let them do certain things, they need to document it and get points for that. That is, I get them to interact with my brand locally, bond them to my brand and the like. This is where I do see a great potential, especially because these approaches are simple. Basically, my criticism that these project and approaches are too simple and can only motivate people on the short term would fit here, but for marketing activities this does not have to mean a bad thing, maybe this is already enough. A good example of how one can turn such an approach into something extensive and fancy is the autobiography of the famous rapper Jay-Z, which was released early last year. It was rolled out in form of a scavenger hunt everywhere in the U.S. Those were classic gamification elements that were used there. That was very smart, very clever and, of course, very expensive in the implementation. JH: But this did not make use of SCVNGR, right? MB: No, this did not make use of the platform SCVNGR, but they built something on their own on the basis of Microsoft Bing. The name SCVNGR comes from scavenger hunt. And that was a classic scavenger hunt in a sense, because the users had to find hidden things. This principle is a gamification principle, too, which I can apply well to bring people to certain locations in particular just like geocaching and things like that. It is somewhat a pity that this location platform Gowalla has been stopped. It completely failed compared with foursquare. But this platform made use of this principle certainly in an interesting and elaborate form. It wasn’t concerned only with going to 88
  • 89. a certain location and checking in, but Gowalla also offered certain paths that you could follow or its users had to be present at a couple of points to achieve a higher goal. These are also nice things I can rebuild with SCVNGR, for example. JH: So SCVNGR and Gowalla developed the check-in, as we know it from foursquare, a bit further. MB: You can’t really say that. I honestly do not even know who had the idea in the first place. At least, they all entered the market at virtually the same time. Let me put it this way: they are indeed more elaborated, but the problem with challenging approaches with more complex rules and the like, of course, always is the one that it limits the reach to some extend, because people don’t want to deal with it such intensively. On the other hand, this super simple principle, as foursquare does it, simply check in at one place and most of the work is done, clearly attracts the mass. I don’t have to think much with this; I don’t have to do much. JH: What would you say then, which marketing objectives can be attained with gamification best? For example, something like increasing brand awareness, improving the brand image, increase interactions with the brand, etc. MB: In the classic brand triad I can actually achieve anything by using gamification. I can raise awareness, I can increase sympathy and ultimately of course the intention to buy. That is the classic triad; I can promote all three aspects with it. Basically, most gamification projects in marketing are about achieving a certain amount of involvement and getting people to deal with the brand again and again, which guaranteed will typically increase awareness and if I implement it clever also improve brand sympathy. JH: But you also say that gamification can generate sales? MB: That is the consequence. If we talk about marketing and not tough sales or any discount promotions then I can generate the actual sale via a detour, that is multiple steps. And, of course, the first step is awareness and sympathy at that point. JH: If you think of the digital marketing efforts of brands, which digital channels are suitable for the use of gamification best? MB: It always depends on which concept I am pursuing in that context. At first, I can pick up people very well on Facebook to get them into the whole thing. If I intend do it a bit more extensive and if the whole thing has a longer life time, you will definitely always go for an individual website or an individual service. And as soon as I intend to get people to interact with the brand locally at the point of sale or to do things like collecting QR codes and the like, the mobile channel plays an important role. But to your last question, I was not quite finished yet: I think these short-lived marketing efforts continue to be what is done most frequently in the gamification context. Next, I think that the use of gamification in the daily enterprise business is playing a big or increasing role at the moment. A lot people are concerned with that. That is also a bit of motivation respectively work control what is happening there. There is also a lot going on in the area of knowledge management, i.e. motivating people to store information in the intranet or similar applications so that they are also accessible by others. There are a lot of activities in that 89
  • 90. direction at the moment. Or even classic business software, some examples are Salesforce and SAP, which is provided with gamification elements to motivate people. That is definitely one of the most important hypes in the context of gamification at the moment. Personally, I am still fascinated, even though the cost of this is relatively high and the money you can collect relatively small, which is why not much is happening in this area, by the use of gamification elements in education. In practical terms, I have a 12-year-old son and then you think a lot about this. Back then I came to that topic via games and I just see insane potential, particularly because I can use motivation mechanisms to engage children, who are not excited by learning itself, and I can engage children with playful elements very well. Since there are software systems in place, I got the opportunity to adjust the speed of learning and the topics to individual characteristics, which happens to be very difficult in the classroom setting. It is a great topic, but only very little is happening there, because other than in marketing or in the area of business software no money is available. There are a few projects, I also describe them on my blog, and I check them for news regularly. For example, Quest to Learn, this elementary school in the state of New York or now even with a secondary school, they do a lot in this regard. You only see very little about that online, but I think it is very promising. Or the somewhat clumsy-made Khan Academy, which of course is still good anyway. So these are things that I just find fascinating. As I said, it’s just a shame because you cannot earn money with this. JH: What are the advantages of Gamification as a marketing tool compared with the usual marketing methods? MB: This cannot be answered in this general form particularly easy. I would say it always depends on what you want to achieve with a particular marketing activity. I can use gamification in two contexts. On the one hand just like classic sweepstakes or the like if I want to motivate people for a short time to do anything simple. The second aspect is, or course, a bit more challenging or it is the fundamental problem with many gamification projects if I want people to interact with my brand over and over again for a long time period disregard of any inevitably sales. So these classic online communities or the old dream to find and win the brand ambassador, I think this is was gamification can be used for in marketing very well. The challenge to get people to become brand ambassadors, i.e. to talk positively about my brand offline and online again and again, requires you to provide any form of reward. And gamification elements, reputation, advancing in leaderboards, etc. provide a relatively cheap solution to win these brand ambassadors. A great campaign, although it was gamified relatively tiredly, was VW – The Dark Side by Greenpeace. That was really much of a quick shot I would say. There was nothing much to do for the users, but it still motivated people. And those are the two poles: on the one hand these short and rapid campaigns, which benefit from the use of gamification and replace these very simple sweepstakes. But in my opinion the particular strength of gamification actually lies in the possibility to involve people in the long term and get them to do something over and over again. JH: You have already mentioned some gamification service vendors like Badgeville, Bigdoor, etc. Would you generally recommend the use of these? MB: Yes, definitely. It’s not that I am against these platforms, because the building blocks that make up a complete gamification strategy are actually just these features, which I can buy off the shelf. So there is no reason against it and the effort of implementation in a software platform, 90
  • 91. whether it is in the web or in the mobile sector, is much lower when I use one of these solutions. The dangerous aspect, however, is that the implementation of such a package is often confused with a sustainable gamification strategy. And these service vendors do not communicate this, but often conveniently pretend that their products provide sustainable gamification. I can easily install these tools; the effort is really minimal especially with web platforms. These packages consist of a few JavaScript snippets, which I can put into my sites and then I have already installed it. Then there are profiles, then there are points that are awarded, then I can build a leaderboard, then I can provide badges an the like, but the whole thing must be placed into a larger context. I have to conduct sufficient research in advance to find out by which intrinsic motivation I can grab the people and how this fits to what I want as a company or brand from the people. Where is an interface or under some circumstances some common interests or where can I establish a give and take relationship? And that is actually the most work; that is the brainpower that you have to put into it and not necessarily the technical implementation of these functions. JH: So if you want to bind people for the long-term it’s mainly about intrinsic motivation and less solely about the pure game mechanics, which are just added to the system in these cases? MB: Yes, exactly. It’s about intrinsic motivation, but even with people who I grab solely by their play instinct, what for some already is almost an intrinsic motivation, that is very different from type to type, even those people I have to offer something lasting and sustainable. So I would say if I am someone who is not motivated solely by competitive elements, but in my case for example, I am more an explorative type, which means that I also want to discover things or I want to understand those systems and I enjoy doing that, if I do not offer those people enough of these elements, if they can discover and see everything in the game within 2-3 days, then these people will be done with the system within a few days and I can’t motivate these people anymore. JH: So one should generally appeal multiple player types at the same time? MB: With good platforms this is already the case. My complaint is also not quite original. What these pointification mechanisms or these toolkits offer are actually the approaches with which it is easiest to attract the killer and achiever player types of this old terminology. Whether you like this terminology or not, it is very suitable for many purposes. However, as we know from corresponding research, the killer and achiever player types make up only a small proportion of the entire population. Especially if these games shall appeal to women, those are often not the people who are motivated purely by competitive elements, but for them the game becomes a means to contribute to social interaction, for example. By this I reach a lot more people. Many of these Facebook games are also inherently social and generate their growth potential from that and their great power to retain people. And if I do not appeal to those people, I restrict my reach to a very small subset of my potential audience. That is why this question is not really surprising, whether to address multiple types of players. If I have a marketing product that I address not only to young men, I am doing good to include also the explorative component and especially the social component in certain games as motivation mechanisms. JH: So you think that the gamification service vendors leave out the game mechanics for explorative player types? 91
  • 92. MB: Both the explorative as well as the social components are supported relatively rarely. You only need to look at the functionalities of these platforms. Primarily they are about rewards, achievements or how you want to call it and these are the elements that primarily attract achievers and killers according to the classic terminology. Achievers are attracted because they want to move forward, always getting this quantifiable feedback, and killers because you can compare yourself to others and then eventual come off better than others. And that is the strength of these relatively simple mechanisms, which is nothing bad, but I just can attract only a relatively small target group with that. For example, those approaches which allow me to do something together with others, where I need to cooperate with others to reach certain goals or where the direct exchange between people is promoted, or where I can support someone else to reach goals. Those are all part of that social component, which is supported by these platforms only very rudimentarily. What these platforms typically offer are profiles; I can praise someone else, which certainly is social, or I can exchange messages, but that is it. So these important mechanisms, maybe even a bit competitive, like joining forces with two or three people and compete with another team or I can give a little bit of karma and the like, you don’t find that with these platforms. JH: That is also used relatively extensively with e.g. FarmVille. MB: Exactly, those are the mechanisms, which have contributed to the success of the social games on Facebook, all these casual games. Of course, some of those I can play alone, too. But the fun really starts when playing in a group and by that those viral multiplication effects come in place, which I always strive for in marketing, of course. JH: One can also send each other items in these games or help each other on one’s farm. MB: Yes, exactly. A few weeks ago I discovered The Settlers Online again. There is also a good old board game in the same form, but now it’s a social game. Sure, now I can increase the productivity of certain production units in my settlement by feeding them with something. But just as easily I can give this support to other players and then these effects last even longer. This establishes a relationship of give and take; I support your settlement, you support mine; all these social interactions. And I can definitely image something like this in the marketing field; there are some approaches already like saying: To solve this problem, you have to get five people together, which will be working on the problem or do various tasks together. And this, of course, is something that people enjoy and have fun doing, which are particularly motivated by social interaction. JH: Do you think that gamification will have a significant impact on our everyday life in the future and especially on the marketing practices of companies? MB: I do think that it will have a significant impact on our everyday life, but in my opinion to a large extend it will go beyond pure marketing applications. I’m thinking more of things like Nike+ or of other applications, for example in the medical and medical technology sector. There, behavioral changes will be promoted with chronically ill people or regular medication will be promoted or some other desirable behavior. One of my blog articles was about how I gamified my driving technique in my Toyota Prius to achieve even lower fuel consumption. And I think those elements are already permanently installed in the Opel Ampera or GM Ampera, whatever its name 92
  • 93. is. So I think there is going to happen a lot especially in combination with sensors and mobile phones, because I always carry those with me and eventually they already can measure movement and position and other sensors will be able to measure even more in the future. JH: So this means that gamification will not solely be carried out with marketing activities, but also the products will be adjusted to it. MB: Yes, I sometimes strive for certain things like good intentions and there has always been this important thing. Look at Weight Watchers or things like that. You already make some sort of lists. Those are quite annoying things to do, I can forget it, and it is something that is not fun. But now there are tools like, for example, Nike+, possibly in combination with sensors, which take over this annoying bookkeeping. With this I don’t have to do anything but put on the wristband or put a sensor in my shoe and the software does the rest. And I would say quite trivial: infants and brushing your teeth or taking medication regularly in a tight time frame or things like that. Who wants to make tally charts or something like this? I just see new possibilities how one can apply these mechanisms that have always been around in a better way by taking away what is just annoying. I mean bookkeeping, monitoring of rules, the referee function and the like. And that is why I think we will see very much of this, but it won’t necessarily be called gamification in all cases. 93
  • 94. 94 C.3 Mario Herger Transcript, Skype interview with Mario Herger, Senior Innovation Strategist at SAP Labs in Palo Alto, California and global head of the Gamification Initiative at SAP. Author of the website Hamburg, May 10th 2012 JH: Could you begin by explaining what you have done so far on the topic of gamification and what your experience is? MH: I am with SAP since 13 years. Two years ago I came across this topic of gamification. Back then the term yielded 400-500 search results with Google search. So I was not sure at that time if that is the right term. Today there are 300 millions search results or whatever search engine you are using. Back then I was employed in the field that was concerned with defining und changing the technology strategy of SAP, i.e. we do not only have business applications, but also the underlying platforms on which these business application run. And there we analyze those things that can influence our technology strategy like new technologies, new concepts. Just think of mobile, cloud or gamification. JH: So you analyze gamification primarily in relation to the company and how you can improve processes within the company with gamification, right? MH: Exactly: how one can use it. So if there is, for example, the massive urge that employees use mobile devices in the company, then this also means that we need to have an appropriate platform to manage mobile devices within the company, that one can connect mobile devices with our business applications. Time registration, for example. Suddenly there is a mobile application and we need to provide and have the platforms for that. And gamification is also an issue like this. Since the data of the user activities and their achievements are tracked, which means that they receive rewards, points or the like for activities, you need a platform to record that, by which you can set rules like how many points are rewarded for what, etc. That is something were we see we have a gap. And I started at that time, two years ago, to establish an internal SAP Community, which today holds 500 colleagues worldwide that want to study gamification and actively follow the news. And by coincidentally stumbling on the topic I have become the driver of that concept, i.e. I am currently forming a gamification strategy task force. We have a kick-off, a first initial big meeting, on Wednesday to get going. That does not means that we did not have meetings prior to that, but we do this since 2 years. Now it is about how do we move forward with a technology platform, which we need, who is going to do what until when, what are examples and the first projects that need to make use of that and that will influence it right from the start. That is my job more or less. JH: I read that you are the global head of the gamification initiative at SAP. Have you already worked on gamification projects or is this platform which you have established the only one? MH: We did not establish a platform, but it’s about a strategy: Do we buy a platform, do we buy a developer of such a platform, do we license such a platform or do we build our own platform? Or
  • 95. do we found a new company, which does that in the enterprise sector? These are the questions. I was partly involved in several gamification applications since it is not a straightforward process. We did several things, for example what we call InnoJams. In the context of my group we organize hackathons, which take place in different formats like, e.g. the colleagues come together for 24 hours and practice a task like “how do I gamify a business application?”. And then they come up with a business application, which they know from CRM, because they work in that field, or which they know from finances, because they work in that field, and try to implement game mechanics. And I do a workshop with them or we have a workshop together so that people understand the methodology of gamification. And then there are InnoJams where people present their ideas in front of a jury. Recently, we just had an competition where people could present such a concept, too. It was enough to submit a PowerPoint document and a screenshot in that case. I sit in the jury and judge the submittions. I am also actively involved in the internal consulting, i.e. I am called in by the teams, we do a brainstorming about this things and design and work on it. Or I connect the task force very well with other experts doing similar things. JH: Excellent. Then you definitely have some great experience on that topic. MH: Yes, a little bit. [laughs] JH: Ok, then I will directly go over to the first question I have noted down. What are in your opinion the best applications of gamification at the moment and why? MH: I distinguish between applications in the enterprise sector and applications in the consumer sector. My main area of expertise is, of course, in the enterprise sector. I give you an example: Amazon is an application in the consumer sector, which is gamified. It uses many game mechanics and that is also why people always return and buy, not just because there is a wider range of products available, but because they use game mechanics and other things that contribute to that. So that is certainly a top application. Perhaps this is a little disappointing for you because you know that website und you have hoped that I will name you a new application, which you don’t know yet. At Amazon they are especially successful with this because they implement it very well. JH: In fact, I haven’t really noticed that at Amazon. What game mechanics exactly do they use that you mean? MH: The whole feedback system is made of game mechanics. The comments, ratings, reviews, there are several things that are in use there. If you look at the game mechanic categories, these are 47 different categories, which are defined, they use some massively. You don’t have to use them all, but it is certainly enough if you use a few. The professional networks like LinkedIn or XING also use game mechanics, for example this profile completeness bar, which displays how complete my profile, is. It is a very silly little progress bar, which is the progression mechanic, and gets people to try bringing the bar to 100% without noticing that they are being gamified. JH: So you would describe Amazon as a great application with regard to gamification? MH: Exactly. It is certainly also one of the most commonly known. That is just the thing: you do not even notice that you are actually being gamified. If I talk to people from the professional field, they are relatively skeptical, but then I name them an application, which they “play” already. 95
  • 96. Amazon is one example; another one is the frequent flyer program, for example by Lufthansa: you collect miles and are brought into the behavior of flying with the same airline again and again. And that is something what games, what gamification, tries to do; get you to engage in a desired behavior. JH: On your website you list a few gamification applications in the marketing sector, too. Can you think of one where you would say that it is particularly well implemented? MH: Do I? [laughs] Let me look what I write there quickly. Hmm, I just experienced an error on the site… JH: For example, you mention Buffalo Wild Wings. Do you remember that? Do you know what it was about? MH: Oh, you find that under “facts & figures”. Well, I cannot say very much about that. I have not really seen that. I’ve only read about it. But I can tell you an application where this has obviously worked very well. It was by the rapper Jay-Z. He published a book, some sort of biography or something like that. That was also a bit of a lifestyle book. I think the book itself did cost $35, what is not necessarily an amount of money that a typical rap fans would spend. Maybe he does not even read a book. [laughs] I don’t know. He won’t spend nearly $40 on a book. But the rapper did a marketing campaign around the whole thing and did not just buy some ads. Instead, he wanted to have that classic interaction with the fans and did not want to do that in a traditional way. What he did is that he took double-page spreads from his book, which had about 320 pages and hid those pages all over the world. By this I mean that he did… JH: That was a scavenger hunt, right? MH: A scavenger hunt. He went to the gym where he always works out in New York City and there was a punching ball, which was covered by such a double-page. Or in his hamburger joint, his favorite hamburger restaurant, there was as hamburger lying outside in the display, which was wrapped into a double-page. Or they had a car completely covered with such a page. Or they had a double-page spread on the roof of a house, which you could only see with a satellite photo that was provided by Bing. Or they changed all dishes in his favorite restaurant in Los Angeles and provided dishes on which a double-page was printed. Or in the London tube there was a poster somewhere with such a page, etc. etc. They were really creative. You had two possibilities to find a page, you could find it in the virtual world on Bing or in real life, which means you had to find the page, take a photo and upload it. And the people who found such a page won a VIP tickets for their lifetime to all of the rapper’s concerts, which is quite valuable. That motivated an incredible amount of people to participate in the hunt. There were some people who even employed others to actively search for the pages. And every time a page was found in the virtual world on Bing, the page was found within only a few minutes in real world because they send people directly there. That was a marketing campaign, which received a lot of praise and there were many reports about it. The New York Times, for example, had a double-page spread only about that marketing campaign. If Jay-Z had booked a double-page spread he would have spent a lot of money, too. Although they did not mention the costs, which probably amounted a single-digit million amount, probably more in the direction of a double-digit million amount like $8.5 million, he probably would have received the 96
  • 97. same amount of media feedback if he had spent the money on ads. So he would have had to pay to maintain a presence in newspapers or on Bing, but with this approach the reports were totally different. And that is certainly one of those marketing campaigns where you think “wow – that was very different from the usual!”. JH: Why do you think that was successful or so successful? MH: Well, the brand is already there, speaking of the rapper, and he obviously achieved to hit just the right note with people. He had the plan “I do write a book, but I don’t want the real fans to pay for it.” A publisher wants to sell the books, of course. By making the pages publicly available and turn it into a scavenger hunt, he achieved it. If you want, you can read it like this, too. He also managed to engage the fans and that wasn’t just an individual activity, but you really were part of a large community who all have been looking for it and tried to find clues about the location of the pages. JH: Have you also seen examples of gamification where you had to say: those are not very well done or were implemented poorly? MH: Yes, definitely. [laughs] For example, a gamified email plugin for Gmail. That is of course absolute crap. JH: How did it work? MH: They just added an additional counter to your email inbox, which counts down if you have processed an email, meaning after each answer or after having an email archived. Which, of course, is absolute nonsense, because first of all, it does not tackle the root of the problem and secondly it does not check whether you answered an email appropriately. That does not mean that you get a huge amount of emails in the next moment because people get back to you and email you again on the mails you have already answered. I also got an article about that on my website. This plugin certainly is complete shit. JH: What do you think, which power do games or gamification exert on the users? MH: My opinion of the most gamification experiments is that they are relatively simplistic. So they are not really sophisticated or people just slapped points on there or the like. JH: So they added game mechanics? MH: Very simple. What is amazing is that even those simple processes and gamification approaches already yield relatively signification improvements. When we talk about double-digit percentage improvements like 44%, then those are major changes. And then I ask myself, what would happen if you really implement it nicely and apply it really intelligently? Perhaps the question is not the right one, maybe it is more like, why does it work and what are the aspects that make it so powerful? And the power that I see behind it is less those extrinsic reward systems and motivators, like e.g. points, badges, money and prices that I can win. Those are all less important because ultimately all these applications provide pieces of information by this game mechanics, which are a feedback loop. They provide you with feedback immediately all the time, where are, 97
  • 98. what you do. And they help you to pursue intrinsic motivators, which are much stronger and more important to people and last longer. For example, if you participate in such a scavenger hunt, one motivation is to find the price and win the whole game, but maybe you do that together with people, i.e. you suddenly have this social element of being together with other people. You enjoy doing that. You meet with people for a couple of beers, you go out for a meal, you do a walking tour together, I don’t know. That means this socializing, this intrinsic motivation, because it is about relationships, you foster relationships. Many social games are not played because of the game itself, but because you play together with other people, you have the chance to play together with other people. JH: So those are the intrinsic motivators, right? Like, for example, fostering social contacts… MH: Relationships, love, sex, fun, belonging, being recognized as an expert, all these things. JH: What do you think, for what can gamification be used particularly well? MH: The question might rather be, for what can it not be used? At a conference there was a similar question. The industries ultimately have very similar processes and problems. It works for every industry; the question is just where does it not work so well? For example, you cannot gamify a CIO to buy your software. That is nonsense since he is not the right person who prepares the decision-making process to buy software, but he banks upon his people with IT knowledge, the business users that he has. So you cannot set out as SAP, for example, and invite the CIOs of several companies to participate in a scavenger hunt in order to make the decision to buy your software. For software features it can be used nearly everywhere; you can use gamification methods everywhere to engage people more effectively and to do it better. JH: There are also several service vendors like Bunchball and Badgeville which offer an implementation of game mechanics, for example, on you website. Do you think it is sufficient to solely add a couple of game mechanics to an application in order to create successful gamification? MH: Well, for the first approach that obviously works, we have seen that. For long-term approaches you always have to see whether this works or not. The service vendors provide a structure that allows you to embed game mechanics, for example, you can monitor which activities the users did and which prices they won. They also provide widgets to implement and analytical tools for the administrators and all those things. That does not release you from your obligation to create an appropriate good design for the gamification. With design I do not just mean that it looks beautiful graphically, but that you put an appropriate gamification design behind it. So you address it and try to figure out what are the issues that you want to solve, what do you want to achieve, who are my players and why should they care about it. Why is it interesting for them? Then you can see if you want to use a gamification platform. In most cases you will probably need one, but it is not always necessary. It is also possible to work together with a game studio or that you only make small and subtle changes on the system using game mechanics that you do not really need a gamification platform. JH: So from your point of view it would definitely have an effect and you can be successful using the service vendors, but you can also make it even better? 98
  • 99. MH: Yes, in most cases you will need their products, but still we are just at the beginning of the whole here. It is the same thing with communities and social media platforms. You face a similar question there: which platform do I use? There are several types of platforms and several services, too. If we speak of social media then there is a great number of services that are completely different. From Twitter to chat tools up to Facebook and LinkedIn, wikis, forums and you have to think carefully about what you want to use. JH: What are the factors and qualities, which are very essential to creating successful gamification. For example, there is the term flow, intrinsic motivations as you have already mentioned, game mechanics, etc. What would you need to implement in any case of successful gamification? MH: Yes, that is that you understand the problem of the user. The most important thing is always to appeal to the intrinsic motivation of the players. Especially it is important not to move into the direction of competition, but to give players a chance to reach their intrinsic goals. So for example, providing them with an opportunity to get to know other people, to be part of something, to have fun. And, of course, in the enterprise area, from the point of view of the business, it always has to solve a problem. People need to be able to solve problems by that. So, for example, being able to share information quicker, reducing the duration of each telephone call, etc. All these things, that more information can be share with each other, are very important for cooperation. JH: How do you approach the development of a gamification project at SAP? MH: First, we look at the problem and try to define it. And the definition of the problem is mostly influenced by the point of view of the management. But often that does not match the problem that employees see, for example time registration. For example, employees might think that it does not help anything; it only requires more work. “I know, I should do sports more often to stay healthy.” So the first step is the problem definition. Then you continue and try to understand why it is important for the employees. So you try to figure out what could be the intrinsic motivators like e.g. time registration. When thinking about doing sports, we can maybe approach that not by telling people to stay healthy, but by providing the opportunity to get to know other people by doing sports together. Or to have fun. We hide the real goal behind those things. Maybe we turn time registration into a competition of who can type in the time faster. Or we make a Tetris and block game out of it. Then you suddenly have time registration by blocks. And the actual goal is hidden behind that. Then we continue and think about which tools and which game mechanics we use. Later on, that is not something that you can throw out and it works, but it is a process. So we have to rework on the whole thing, we have to continue working on it and have to see if we can learn new things. We have to make sure that people that cheat are recognized, but maybe we also experience something, which provides a new possibility to gamify even further. Or there is something, which the community discovered, and we try to strengthen that or improver that further. 99