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Why gamification continues to gather pace

Gamification, when implemented effectively, can provide a strong foundation for a marketing campaign, or improving techniques for engagement. It takes an existing concept or experience and amplifies it, using the motivational techniques in games that make them so engaging. Through driving greater interaction with customers, industries are finding increased customer loyalty, improved customer experience and as a result, increasing sales. It’s no surprise to see that the global gamification market is forecast to be worth around $11.10 billion by 2020. But why does it continue to grow at such pace?


E-learning is one of the sectors where gamification has had a massive impact over the last few years. With nearly one-third of secondary school students playing 3 or more hours of video or computer games in an average day there is a huge market for applying this within the school environment. This potential exists because gamification leads to a rise in engagement and knowledge retention when coupled with learning. Another aspect is that many simply find it fun in comparison to more traditional learning techniques, and a huge 80% of learners feel it gamification would make their learning more productive. This promotes user engagement, which is the one of the hardest things to garner from a generation who are rumoured to have a notoriously short attention span. In the e-learning sector, gamification can add a sense of competition and accomplishment to a landscape where this would previously not be possible. Promoting these innate desires in people will help to bolster learning and produce a better ROI than alternative methods.


Gamification can be used by employers within the interview process to determine which candidates are suitable for the job. Deloitte’s training programs incorporate gamification and now take half as long to complete while ensuring students are more involved than ever. Alternatively, you can place prospective candidates in a simulated environment, such as dealing with a difficult customer, and gauge how they respond. This can save time in the interview process and determine result that were otherwise unobtainable. Researchers at University of Colorado conducted a study to analyse the impact of simulations and games on adult learners. They found that gamification offered 14% higher skill-based knowledge, 9% higher knowledge retention rate, and 11% higher factual knowledge, over conventional learning methods. It is a natural part of our lives with 61% of CEO’s, CFOs and senior executives taking daily game breaks at work, so incorporating this into the hiring process makes sense. With the Millennial workforce continually growing and overtaking Generation X companies need to adapt their training to reflect this. Social learning approaches have been shown to have a 75:1 ROI compared to traditional web based training, which is a statistic that is impossible to ignore for businesses looking to gain competitive advantage.


Gamification has been used to great effect in marketing recently for a number of reasons. One of these is that it can provide you access to markets that were previously hard to reach out to. Gamification, when used in a marketing campaign, leads to high engagement rates. We can see this through the example of the snack company Popchips, who used games to personalise their mobile advertising. This article details brilliantly how Popchips gamified their advertising to differentiate from other larger competitors, and how this in turn led to a sales rise of 40%. Many smart phone users do not mind being advertised to if the content is engaging and relevant. As a result, we can expect to see brands continuing to tailor games to different demographics, and using this to drive sales.


The way in which we consume media now has changed dramatically. Gamification has transformed boring waiting time, such as being on the train, into an enjoyable experience. Our smartphones enable us to interact with our favourite shows, or even play along, in real time, adding a whole other level of interactivity and sociability to a once one-way channel of communication. An example of this was demonstrated by HBO, the producers of the hit show Game of Thrones, creating a game with the #CatchDrogon. This engaged followers and created huge traffic and interest to their twitter page - in just one day, the social game generated over 74,000 tweets worldwide, 6.6 million total interactions and 1 billion total impressions, surpassing all of HBO's social benchmarks to-date.

The potential for gamification is huge. Being able to provide a more compelling experience for the user is easier to do through gamification and that’s why there’s been such a marked rise in recent years. Even industry veterans such as SAP, who gamified their SAP Community Network, have seen the benefits increasing usage by 400% and community feedback by 96%. If you’d like to discuss the potential for gamification in your industry or within your brand, please contact us at IRM

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