Why Gamification Is The Future Of Digital Marketing

7 min read

Gamification –– the process of applying gaming elements in marketing strategy — is one of the hottest trends in marketing at the moment. And it’s working. Gamification marketing greatly appeals to Gen Z consumers, as it matches how they spend their leisure time. As marketing efforts go, it’s not only the current trend; it’s here to stay.

Some notable gamified success stories include a fitness competition from Nike, the Starbucks rewards app, and Wordle’s streak counter. All these gamification techniques have worked because they encourage participation and involvement. Gamification provides a level of user engagement that few digital marketing strategies, if any, can match.

If your company is still on the fence about gamification as a marketing strategy, this article has some points for you to consider. You might be missing out on the most significant marketing opportunity since the invention of social media. This is a look at why gamification is the future of digital marketing.

Gamification caters to Generation Z

As Gen Z consumers have reached an age where they've started to have jobs and disposable income, it’s important to find consumer engagement processes that cater to them. Gamification is a natural fit for this market segment and has proven more effective than other content marketing efforts.

The truth is, simple engagement on social media is seen as old hat by younger generations, and a more interactive experience will be required for customer retention in this demographic. Remember that this is the first generation immersed in rapid technological change, always being in front of a screen and with access to a never-ending stream of content. You have to find a way to turn their attention from social media feeds and YouTube subscriptions.

Gamification offers a method to reach and retain this audience. Smartphones, apps, and video games are closely associated with Gen Z consumers. If that's your target audience, finding a way to incorporate an interactive experience into your digital marketing is important.

Gamification maintains customer relationships

Gamification presents an opportunity for customer retention that your average marketing strategy doesn’t. The ability to reward consumers for engagement, loyalty, and sharing brand messaging is one of gamification’s strong points. It creates a mutually beneficial relationship between brands and consumers and does it in a fun way.

Loyalty programs reward repeat consumers with coupons and free products, which all consumers appreciate. This works by giving points or rewards to your customers every time they make a purchase with you. Once they've collected enough points, they can redeem that for another product in your store, allowing cross-selling as well. Using a rewards system is only a tiny example of gamification to sell more products, and there are many more ways to help you.

Even the simple act of accumulating loyalty points can feel like a game itself, providing fun encouragement for customers to return again and again. If you were to deploy a game app, the leaderboard is another effective tool, as it incentivizes the consumer to keep engaging with the brand.

Gamification increases brand awareness 

Every brand is always searching for ways to reach an audience, whether that’s existing customers or an untapped market segment. Gamified experiences offer the opportunity for consumers to engage without feeling like they’re constantly being sold a product.

This inspires a level of brand awareness that's more fun and personable. Since games are not designed to lead to the sales process directly, they allow companies to show off a more playful personality.

The possibilities of brand awareness are endless with gamification. It can play a large part in promoting new products or even highlighting older products. Gameplay encourages customers to keep your products at the forefront of their minds. This leads to more sales in the long run and increased profitability.

Gamification encourages continual interaction 

When social media marketing and digital marketing first became popular, they presented new and existing ways to keep your product or service relevant and in the limelight. But like every other prior marketing and sales technique, you can’t rely on them alone.

If you remember what e-commerce was like in the days before social media marketing, you’ll recall it worked simply because of the novelty of buying products online. There was an initial rush of interest to try it out, but that wouldn’t have lasted if digital marketing techniques hadn’t evolved. Once social media became part of our daily lives, marketing had to evolve to start using those avenues.

But with the use of gamification, companies can hope for similar rewards and exposure without constantly bombarding their readers with posts to increase brand awareness. For example, if you're trying to promote a fitness watch, an excellent way to keep the interaction with customers going is to create a game where the users of the watch get to compete with their friends and family. 

Competing with others over exercise routines and stamina building creates a sense of camaraderie. This technique will have users posting their results over social media without the company publishing and generating publicity and product use constantly.

Gamification helps meet regulatory requirements

One of the main goals of every digital marketing campaign is to collect data. The more you learn about leads and current customers, the better you can target your campaigns. 

However, customer data collection is now a heavily regulated activity. Since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was passed in the European Union, digital marketers have had to follow strict regulations on how data is collected and maintained. Other countries and jurisdictions have followed suit and passed their own data collection laws.

At the heart of all these regulations is the “opt-in” concept. That means you must gain consent to collect and store personal data, such as names, email addresses, and other real-world information. In traditional sales contexts, this can often be a hard sell. 

Games and other techniques that follow the gamification model incentivize customers to willingly share their data. After all, to have your name on the leaderboard, you need to provide some information. Users are much more willing to share information when they get the rewards that gamification offers. 

With consent in place, you're clear to track user demographics, behaviors, and motivations and build metrics off this data. The key here is to have your customers see this as a fair exchange of information and services. By getting to play your game, save their name on the leaderboard, or whichever activities they have opted in to, consumers will not feel like they’re getting nothing in return for providing their information.

Gamification is here for the long term

Gamification can be seen as a hot new trend. But trends tend to lose their effectiveness and fade away. While gamification is a relatively new, existing way to interact with customers, it doesn’t show any signs of losing relevance in the digital marketing sphere anytime soon.

Considering that it’s one of the best ways to reach younger generations and meet important regulatory requirements, it’s quite likely that gamification is not going away; it will evolve right along with technology and the changes in customer tastes and preferences.

FiveCRM helps coordinate marketing strategies

Gamification helps you leave minimal digital engagement behind and engage customers in a whole new way. It certainly differentiates you from other companies that still only make use of social media.

Whatever the future of digital marketing holds, you will always need robust systems to collect, manage, and maintain your customer data. FiveCRM offers an exciting suite of products that covers every approach, whether it’s email campaigns or telemarketing. Reach out to us today to see how we can help with your marketing efforts.

Michael King says...

"I can’t think of a time where a client has requested something that we weren’t able to do with FiveCRM. Unlike most systems, it has a lot of flexibility."

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Managing Director, Senior Response


“Each client, and each of their campaigns, has its own unique specifications. We essentially needed to set up mini CRMs on one platform to meet those requirements.”

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