Businesses are increasingly benefiting from gamification by infusing problem-solving, innovation and participation in their interaction with the masses, including their own employees, customers, and stakeholders. Gamification is a strategy that uses gaming techniques in real-world scenarios, stimulating the natural tendencies of human behavior to take on challenges, set goals, celebrate positive outcomes and collaborate in the process. For businesses that are able to use this concept effectively, gamification is enabling greater collaboration and improving workforce engagement. It is also helping marketers improve customer loyalty and launch innovative, effective marketing campaigns.
Research has shown that businesses have widely used gamification to successfully achieve positive outcomes. A recent example of effective gamification in marketing was the innovative approach used by Tata Motors in India. In August, Tata launched their new sedan, Zest, with advertisements in India’s leading newspapers and journals. What made these ads different is that they contained a barcoded car key. Tata then invited readers to bring their uniquely barcoded keys to the nearest Tata showroom. Winners walked away with a brand new Zest.
Organizations are also using gamification internally to encourage their workers to be more collaborative, participate in innovative projects and feel more motivated. Reward points, bonuses and the like offered in game-like scenarios make employees feel engaged and excited.
Some critics call gamification a “marketing gimmick,” while others claim gamification simply exploits the interests of ordinary people to fulfill corporate interests. Despite this minor criticism, gamification is continuing to make its way into many organizations. According to researchers at Gartner, by 2015 40% of Global 1000 organizations will adopt gamification as their primary means of transforming business operations. With the potential to bring friendly competition, fun, and excitement into everyday work affairs, gamification adoption among companies is a very positive sign. Now that they are beginning to experiment, many businesses that have not yet fully adopted these concepts are ready to “start the game!”