Get ahead with gamification

It has been said that by 2015, 40 per cent of the top global 1,000 organisations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform their businesses. According to the latest figures from M2 Research, the market for gamification services is expected to be worth US$5.5bn by 2018. Meanwhile Gartner predicts that over 70 per cent of the top 2,000 global companies will have deployed a gamified application by the end of the year.

There is substantial proof of that already, with global megaliths such as Microsoft, Cisco, Nike and Samsung incorporating gaming principles as a way to engage with consumers, creating stronger loyalty and interaction with the brand. Corporate training is not far behind, as evidenced by SAP, one of the world’s largest software firms that has incorporated the art of gamifcation into learning and training.

Why shouldn’t training be fun as well as productive? Gamification is designed to change behaviours and enable individuals to acquire and develop new skills, to get colleagues to interact with a company and learn from each other, while getting consumers to engage with products, brands and concepts.

Gaming is now the predominant choice of entertainment for many, especially the youth market. While creativity, teamwork and communication may not automatically make you think of  ‘fun activity’, gamers are experts at challenges, enthusiasm for the task, commitment, incentives, competition and ultimately, rewards. The highest achievers in any company are probably avid gamers. They are trained through gaming to respond quickly, feel satisfaction with their achievements and are then inspired to move to the next level and more difficult tasks.

A quiet revolution is making itself heard in the work place. Gamification is becoming seen as a key way to encourage problem solving, collaboration, engagement and communication. It increases engagement with the brand and people are spurred on to achieve success using their creativity and competing with others. They also have greater knowledge and skill retention afterwards.

At Wildgoose we have harnessed the power of digital technology and utilised the principles of gaming to provide the motivational impact it has. We have worked with hundreds of brands globally to bring locational based gaming tools to staff – growing our business 50 per cent-plus year-on-year.

Companies are always looking for ways to encourage greater engagement with their employees, extend brand loyalty and get their workforce to co-operate more productively. Gaming is one of most effective ways to develop both core and higher-level skills.

Our corporate clients use gamification as an integral part of their events, not just as a jolly interlude to liven up a conference. They have clear objectives and understand that ‘work and play’ are not mutually exclusive to each other. Learning can, and probably should, be fun. Combining the two the effects can be incredibly powerful and long term.

Our investment in a new app, Mobile Adventures, has taken teambuilding gamification to the next level and is already paying off in the UK and across the globe, where it has 10 licencees.

It is evident that some of the major challenges for modern businesses include the necessity to perform better with fewer resources, increased competition and heightened customer expectations while trying to stay abreast of more complex systems and technologies. It is here that the power of gamification can tap into game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts, engaging users in solving problems through leveraging people’s natural desires for competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, and success. The resulting benefits are potentially enormous and companies not using gamification to engage with their employees and customers are going to be left behind.

This was first published in the September issue of CN. Any comments? Email Zoe Vernor

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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