Ovum: Gamification, more than just a technology

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Organisations need to stop playing around and consider the cultural aspects of gamification if they want to improve productivity.

According to Ovum, by also considering the strategic, organisational, cultural and psychological aspects of reasonably priced and low-risk gamification applications, enterprises can effectively apply gamification for maximum advantage for either customer- or employee-facing uses.

Analyst Adam Holtby explains: “Gamification can help enhance customer engagement and manage employee behaviours and productivity levels, but there must be clear understanding of how such an initiative will directly benefit the business.

“However, to better support business goals, the mapping of the value of desired outcomes will be developed as part of the planning stage.”

Social technologies and gamification work well together when points, badges, and leaderboards are tied to a meaningful value system that records status and accomplishments and meets users’ desire for feedback, said Ovum. Such a system can help to change behaviours, develop skills, and drive innovation.

But Holtby added that gamification can do so much more: “While much of the early coverage on gamification has focused on guiding behaviour and building engagement, increasingly organizations can use the data generated by gamified systems to gain insights into the skills and reputations of both their employees and customers.”

Forrester analyst James McDavid believes that adopting gaming into your marketing strategy is a win-win situation for raising branding and awareness.

“Marketers can begin to play by using existing resources and techniques familiar to them from standard online display efforts. From placing their ads alongside browser based games to integrated in-game advertising on consoles – and there's a rich vendor landscape out there to help ease the transition into in-game advertising,” he says.

But many marketers are failing to implement a successful gamification strategy. Dr Paul Ralph, lecturer in design science at Lancaster University, recently explained that gamification is likely to flop in the marketing sphere because marketers are focusing too much on points and prizes rather than fun. 

“This process is likely to fail as it replicates game interface elements to manipulate the customer instead of utilizing game design elements to motivate a player. Points and trophies are not the elements that make games fun.”

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