How Can You Leverage Gamification For Your Small Business
Did you ever have that one friend when you were a kid who could make a competition or a game out of anything? They made even the most mundane tasks -- like putting your toys away -- seem like a whole lot more fun.
That's essentially what gamification attempts to do for businesses -- turn everyday or mundane tasks into competitions or games that motivate people to learn more, do more, or buy more.
Until now, large businesses have held the advantage when it comes to gamification. With larger budgets, they can easily afford the expense that goes into setting up and maintaining loyalty and reward programs. With the advances that have been made in mobile technologies, gamification is now accessible for the average small business.
Here is how you can leverage gamification for your small business:
Gamification in the workplace
Encouraging employees to take certain actions or to accomplish shared goals has gotten easier with gamification. Even using something as simple as a points and rewards system is enough to get the results you are looking for. The way it works is you assign a certain point value for desired actions or achievements and when employees rack up a certain number of points, they unlock some reward.
Another option is to add an element of competition by having the employees compete against one another to see who will get the prize. These can be used as team building exercises, as well, since they foster a sense of team and community. When the awards are announced in front of all their co-workers, employees gain a sense of pride that will motivate them to work even harder in the future.
Many businesses are even moving toward the practice of introducing gamification into the training or on-going education process. What could be better than having fun while you're learning? Studies have shown that the knowledge gained when you are self-motivated to complete a training has more staying power than knowledge that is forced upon you when you aren't really interested.
Gamification in the marketplace
A popular and inexpensive form of gamification in the past was the punch card. Customers were encouraged to buy a certain amount of one thing, have their number punched on a card, and then be rewarded with a free one on their next visit. Punch cards are great for encouraging repeat business, but now mobile apps are even better at it.
It may not be appropriate for every small business, but for the ones that can, they can set up leaderboards to encourage a healthy sense of competition between customers. Something about seeing someone else compete for the same thing as you -- whether you're truly interested in the prize or not -- sharpens your desire to have it.
Gamification attempts to take advantage of our most basic human nature to compete for survival and give it a twist that marketers and business owners can benefit from. In order to find out if gamification can benefit your business, you can start by identifying what your main objective is. Do you want to get people to buy more products, get your employees to work toward a common goal in order to complete a project?
Whatever your goal is, you should tailor a gamification plan that makes sense and feels organic to the situation. Games that cause people to ask, "What's the point?" won't get very far.
You also want to give some consideration to the prizes you are offering. If what they are getting doesn't feel "worth it" to them, they won't be interested in playing, no matter what the game is.
The post was written by Monica Wells, a gamification specialist who works for a companies house filings business directory - Bizdb.co.uk.
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I'm a marketing specialist, whose real passion is gamification in business context. I'm interested in all possible applications of gamification in both marketing and customers service. My blog is dedicated to all marketers out there who have always wanted to now more about gamification in their sector, but couldn't...