Gamification: The Secret to Incentivizing Engagement and Driving Personalization

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Grabbing a consumer’s attention has always been a challenge for brands– but now holding that attention for a meaningful amount of time has become a new barrier. The average human attention span is shrinking and this is affecting how consumers engage with brands. Harvard Business School notes that, “Consumers have lost interest in the information content of ads because they can access more and better information on‐demand on the Web.” 

And the challenge to capture attention increases as consumers’ age decreases: Gen Z’s attention span is estimated to be only 8 seconds long, which is a 4 point drop from the 12 second attention span of Millennials.

Not only do brands need to cut through the noise to reach consumers at all, they now need to fight to earn their prolonged attention to ensure that noise does not distract them.

Fortunately, brands can silence the noise and successfully reach consumers with interactive digital experiences that deliver real value and are genuinely fun. 

While traditional offers, discounts and rewards are extrinsically motivating– that is, to be motivated by external rewards– gamification incorporates challenges, quizzes, and games, which are intrinsically motivating. Intrinsic motivation– or to be motivated to pursue an activity for the pure enjoyment of it– is arguably more effective at ensuring continued participation because it delivers self-satisfaction. The “reward” is performing the activity itself, and when that activity is engagement with your brand, gamification is a win-win for customers and brands alike.

Enhance Loyalty by Incentivizing Participation

Gamification is a key part of an advanced loyalty strategy. It can incentivize purchases and engagement from users to ensure the loyalty program does not become a mere accompaniment to normal, pre-loyalty membership spending behaviors. 

This can look like a coffee shop deploying personalized challenges based on user behavoir. Informed by a user’s purchase history, a brand can offer 3x points, a special reward, VIP experience, or freebie for customers who order a [previously purchased item] three times in one week. 

So, someone with a history of ordering caramel lattes will receive a personalized reward for ordering three of them in one week. This will incentivize that loyalty member to avoid a closer, more conveniently located competitor, or even opt out of making coffee at home, because they will be rewarded for completing the challenge. This way, the purchase in and of itself becomes a reward, because they are being actively rewarded for making the purchase. 

Retailers can deploy a challenge that rewards a user for purchasing an item from their abandoned cart within a specified time frame, or deploy a product recommendation quiz with extra points earned for participation and purchasing the recommended product. Again, the purchase in and of itself becomes a reward, because they are receiving something in return for choosing to engage with that brand at that moment.

Enhanced Personalization With Data Collection

These challenges, quizzes, and games are also a prime opportunity for brands to collect first and zero-party data from their customers. This self-reported data can be preferences, purchase intentions, identity data and more. Brands can leverage this data to build enriched user profiles and inform robust segmentation to drive personalization at scale.

Personalization is important for driving engagement and building real relationships– but sometimes consumers can find brands’ personalization efforts creepy.

70% of shoppers are prepared to stop purchasing from a brand if it uses their data without permission and 49% of shoppers describe themselves as concerned about how companies are using their personal data. 

But the good news is that 82% of consumers favor a brand’s messaging that uses their data responsibly. Consumers want personalized experiences, they just do not want to feel like they are being spied on.

These interactive experiences are a seamless way to collect personal information about a shopper in an ethical and transparent manner, so brands can confidently drive personalization that customers will appreciate.

Start Gamifying Now

The gamification market is estimated to grow by 26% in the next 4 years. Brands should be leveraging this tool to build stronger connections, grow their audience, and deliver better experiences–or they run the risk being surpassed by the brands who are. 

If you want to learn how gamification can enhance your loyalty strategy or drive acquisition for your brand, contact one of our experts or download our Complete Guide to Zero Party Data!

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