Game-Based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges, and Contests
|Author(s)||Gabe Zichermann and Joselin Linder|
|Publication date||March 29, 2010|
Harness the power of games to create extraordinary customer engagement with Game-Based Marketing.
Gamification is revolutionizing the web and mobile apps.
Innovative startups like Foursquare and Swoopo, growth companies like Gilt and Groupon and established brands like United Airlines and Nike all agree: the most powerful way to create and engage a vibrant community is with game mechanics. By leveraging points, levels, badges, challenges, rewards and leaderboards – these innovators are dramatically lowering their customer acquisition costs, increasing engagement and building sustainable, viral communities.
Game-Based Marketing unlocks the design secrets of mega-successful games like Zynga's Farmville, World of Warcraft, Bejeweled and Project Runway to give you the power to create winning game-like experiences on your site/apps. Avoid obvious pitfalls and learn from the masters with key insights, such as:
- Why good leaderboards shouldn't feature the Top 10 players.
- Most games are played as an excuse to socialize, not to achieve.
- Status is worth 10x more than cash to most consumers.
- Badges are not enough: but they are important.
- You don't need to offer real-world prizing to run a blockbuster sweepstakes.
And learn even more:
- How to architect a point system that works
- Designing the funware loop: the basics of points, badges, levels, leaderboards and challenges
- Maximizing the value and impact of badges
- Future-proofing your design
- Challenging users without distraction
Based on the groundbreaking work of game expert and successful entrepreneur Gabe Zichermann, Game-Based Marketing brings together the game mechanics expertise of a decade's worth of research. Driven equally by big companies, startups, 40-year-old men and tween girls, the world is becoming increasingly more fun.
Are you ready to play?
From the Back Cover
Praise for Game-Based Marketing
"If you haven't applied games to marketing, advertising, or brand management, you'll want to get and study this book — or it could be game over for you." — Jonathan Epstein, CEO, Double Fusion, and former EVP, IGN/GameSpy
"The power of games to affect consumer behavior is almost limitless, and examples are all around us. Game-Based Marketing is the first comprehensive look at combining the power of games with marketing to create an exciting new user paradigm: Funware. This is clearly the future." — Joel Brodie, CEO and founder, Gamezebo.com
"Games are busting out of their traditional borders. No one knows that better than Gabe Zichermann who hit upon the insight early on that everybody, not just game-makers, should use game-like tricks to enthrall fans." — Dean Takahashi, Editor, VentureBeat
"If you think games have already taken over the living room, wait until you see what they can do to advertising. Authors Zichermann and Linder have put forth cutting-edge concepts about the power of game design in non-gaming contexts. And you get five achievement points if you read this endorsement." — Bing Gordon, Venture Partner, KPCB, and former CCO, Electronic Arts
Advertising is dead. You may not realize it, but you and everyone you know engages, possibly unsuspectingly, in some form of a game multitasking as an ingenious marketing device. Game-Based Marketing illustrates the pervasiveness of games today in business marketing, and how to better use them to create an engaged and loyal customer base. Game-Based Marketing will:
- Explain the growing phenomenon of game-based marketing and how it works
- Show marketers how to develop games to incorporate into their marketing strategy
- Share fascinating examples of marketing games already in play including Jigsaw.com; Chase Picks Up The Tab; the iconic McDonald's Monopoly Game that reportedly generates nearly one-hundred million dollars in incremental revenue per year; and United Airlines Mileage Plus where team pint competitions and real-world scavenger hunts for miles accrue millions annually.
Provocative and instructive, Game-Based Marketing's message is clear: Use the tools in this book to put games in your marketing mix now... or you'll be out of the game altogether.
Top 5 Ways to Gamify Your Business
From Foursquare on the iPhone to an online game of Farmville, not to mention the frequent fliers popularized in the Academy Award nominated film, Up in the Air, playing "everyday games" has become nothing short of a pop culture obsession. Driving unprecedented consumer engagement to smart brands like Chase and the US Army, loyalty programs and marketing games are marketing's best bet for the future of advertising.
It's easier than you think to bring the power of games to your business. Using the breakthrough lessons in Game-Based Marketing, you can start adding game mechanics to your marketing mix in 5 easy steps:
- What consumer behavior are you trying to drive? Don't just think about broad or bottom line objectives ('more engagement', 'greater brand exposure') when considering ways in which you'd like to effect the behavior of your consumer base, but instead, focus in on easy-to-achieve activities that will have an overall impact on your bottom line. For example: incentivize the sending of product endorsements to friends. The more specific you can be, the easier it is to build game mechanics around. Some behaviors are best left un-incentivized, however, a topic we cover closely in Chapters 1 & 2.
- Assign points to those behaviors. Think about how much value each of the behaviors has to your business and assign points to each action accordingly. Points should be weighed relatively, so if opening a new account is ten times more valuable than clicking on an advertiser's link, make sure the point system reflects that reality. Want to learn more about just how point systems function? Check out Chapters 3 & 4.
- Create a leaderboard to display points. Just like the Employee of the Month plaques at restaurants, create a socially-networked leaderboard that allows users to feel like they are accomplishing something relative to their friends and peers — A little encouragement goes a long way. You'll find a plethora of leaderboard dos & don'ts in Chapter 4.
- Develop challenges and message them. Just like Frequent Flyer promotions, creating simple challenges can have a profound effect on user behavior once they are connected to your community. Keep your challenges fresh and topical by knowing your players – Chapter 7 gives you riveting insight on exactly who is playing.
- Make 'fun' your goal! Whether your business is finance or funerary, making fun a principal objective will substantially increase consumer engagement and generate remarkable new revenue opportunities. Chapter 8 shows you the future and how Generation G – today's tweens – are driving 'funnovation' in every industry.
There are plenty more tips in store – from why cash, or even real-world prizes just don't matter as much as you think, to how you can compete against well-funded incumbents without much capital. Buy Game-Based Marketing today and learn the key secrets of leading-edge marketers - and how you can harness the power of games in your mix to create, engage, and excite your customers.
About the Author
Gabe Zichermann is the father of Funware theory and CEO of beamME — the world's most popular mobile networking platform for professionals. He is a twelve-year game-industry veteran, having worked for CMP Media as the director of marketing for the Game Developers Conference, Gamasutra, and Game Developer magazine, as well as helping to launch and guide Trymedia Systems from start to sale as the first successful online game DRM and distribution company. A resident of New York City, Gabe blogs about games and society at funwareblog.com.
Joselin Linder is a pop culture writer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. She currently lives in Brooklyn.