Did you see the USA Today article about potato chip maker Popchips marketing via mobile games? Collaborating with Kiip (developer of smartphone apps) they created games that result in winning free bags of chips! I wrote about gamification recently (It’s all fun and games until you lose…) and many of the articles focus on having fun and creating acknowledgement and recognition. However gaming can help a company handle logistics ranging from work schedules and sales encouraging staff to sell specials by tracking and awarding visual icons allowing a visual spectrum for all to see.
This is not a new concept; we have been involved in loyalty and reward programs for years, think airline or charge card rewards. The technology is what is making this worth our attention now as we can access information, and rewards, immediately rather than waiting and scheduling. Gabe Zichermann states that “long-standing marketing techniques are now failing. They’re failing because people today are seeking more reward and more engagement from experiences than ever before”.
But wait, you say, my business doesn’t fit into a “game”. Surf over to the Gamification Examples and look at some of the industries using one of the five common levels of gaming (points, badges, levels, leaderboards, and challenges). Government, news, art, environment are here (I loved the Design one! The results showed fun changing behavior for the better) and my take-away is that we can incorporate fun into anything. Check out this short video making doing the speed limit fun and think about the challenges you face in delivering instruction and support to your learning community (and the result showed a 22% reduction in driver speed in the first week after implementation).
I am not suggesting that we make games of everything however as we look to incorporate social media tools into our support of people’s performance including some fun activities might be a good way to attract and encourage the return of these people to your site. And here is my hidden agenda item, gaming allows active data collection providing you the opportunity to trend and track situations that could be potential problems and these analytics can help you provide active and early support to your learning community. And that is a badge you can wear proudly!