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It's starting to show up all around us in different elements of our lives. Fitness is experiencing it, education is experiencing it, even governments are now trying it out. What is "it?" Gamification.
According to Wikipedia, "Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Gamification commonly employs game design elements to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning, crowdsourcing, employee recruitment and evaluation, ease of use, usefulness of systems, physical exercise, traffic violations, voter apathy, and more. A collection of research on gamification shows that a majority of studies on gamification find it has positive effects on individuals. However, individual and contextual differences exist."
In this post, I'm going to be breaking down how we at WunderTRE are working on "gamifying" digital marketing for the greater good and what that looks like!
Setting The Stage
For the purpose of this post, I'm going to presume you already know what digital marketing is and have a basic understanding of the ins and outs. When I say Digital Marketing, I'm talking about different ways you can promote your business through digital means. This includes:
Website, Social Media (Facebook & Instagram is mostly what I'm talking about), Email Marketing, Paid Ads (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.), Content Marketing (Blogging, Infographics, Videos)
Current Problems With Digital Marketing
In order to better talk about how gamifying can be a benefit, we must first talk about the biggest problems that need solving.
Difficult To Track
One of the biggest issues with Digital Marketing is that it's difficult to track and monitor what's working and how your business is benefiting from your efforts. This problem makes it hard to stay consistent and focused which leads to half-hearted attempts and never sticking with it.
The "Other Person"
Another problem with Digital Marketing is that there is always that "one person" that barley tries and ends up being super successful. This paints an unrealistic picture of digital marketing and leads to tons of frustration whenever it's not as easy as it was for that "one person."
Where's The ROI
Yet another problem is less with Digital Marketing as a medium and more the fact that we as business owners don't understand the ROI (Return On Investment) of it. As business owners we like knowing that if we sink $3 into something that it's going to bring us $5 in return. To us, that's good ROI and good business. With Digital Marketing, it's often the case that we sink $500/month into something only to see $100/month come back directly from that source. To us, that's bad ROI or bad business. I'll be the first to admit, sometimes that is bad business and we are throwing $400/month in the garbage and we'll never see it again. Most other times though, we as business owners are short-sighted and don't see the fact that really the $500/month digital marketing effort is bringing in $100/month directly, but it's also potentially bringing in more sales from other sources, and lastly (and most importantly) it's being invested into our business' brand which over-time will be the biggest, most volatile source for incoming revenue.
How Gamification Can Address These Problems
Now we know the problems we want to fix, so how can we fix them?
Creating A Journey
By gamifying the digital marketing journey, we can create "Levels" that show you where your business stands at all times. This allows you to see how you got there and what to do in order to keep going.
All great games have a path or journey that has been laid out in a way that allows us to progress and know where we're going. The game is your own and the goal is clear.
At WunderTRE we're creating "Levels" that our clients can follow in order to know where they stand, have a clear goal, and a path forward.
In most games, there is an element of character development/improvement. Your character gains experience points (better known as "XP") by completing different tasks in-game. As your character gains XP, they get better and can take on bigger challenges.
Applying this principle to business, WunderTRE is turning brands into characters and real-world digital marketing actions, like posting a video on YouTube, into things that grant your brand XP in order to "Level Up" along the journey.
We've done our homework in order to find the most effective digital marketing actions and measured their impact on businesses in order to come up with an XP system that is tied to real world actions that make your business better. For instance, getting a 5-Star Review on Google is going to get you more XP than posting a graphic on Facebook, but posting on Facebook consistently will grant you an XP bonus each quarter as well as helping you grow your following which also grants XP.
One of the best things about a great game is you always want to play it and rarely do you get tired of it.
By gamifying Digital Marketing, we can make the process fun and enjoyable. Getting a notification each time your business levels-up, or knowing what actions can get you where you want to go can be very satisfying. It makes the process seem meaningful and legitimate. It reduces mental stress and the feeling of going nowhere which often leads to inconsistency and giving up early.
Having a clear goal, and actions that get us there, along with a fun experience can keep us motivated to hang in there and know our marketing dollars are being spent well.
Getting It Right
I think it's important to note that there are tons of ways the gamification of Digital Marketing can go wrong. Creating a journey that means nothing or making things that give you XP just for the sake of it are dangerous.
At WunderTRE we've taken the time, and will always take time to make it better, when it comes to our system. Each action we have that grants XP is something that will actually make your business better. The journey we've created is a very real experience that caters to businesses of all sizes no matter where they are at.
In other words, a Level 35 business on our system is more likely to be making real-world revenue from digital marketing sources than a Level 25 on our system.
All of our services from Website Design to Social Media Marketing are designed to work within our system to Level Up your business and make it better!