Gamification is a marketing strategy that has been around for decades. What is gamification you ask, it is simply the use of game elements to elicit desired behavior in a target audience. On the surface it sounds like an obvious tactic that you’d never fall for. But if you’ve ever bought a lottery ticket, installed a game app on your smartphone, or peeled the monopoly pieces of your drink at McDonalds, you’ve fallen prey to it. The fact is, gamification is everywhere, and that’s because it works so well.

Gamification comes in all shapes and sizes. It could be a texting loyalty club, an employee of the month contest, little toys hidden in food products, or hidden rewards in video games and smarphone apps. Today’s mobile technology has drastically changed the gamification scene by introducing a number of new elements.

Gamification and social media

One major way that mobile has affected gamification is the introduction of social media. Now, when a person is drawn into a gamified experience, whether it is a popular new app or a sweepstakes, that person can instantly share that experience with friends and acquaintances who may also be drawn in. It’s a huge advantage for marketers when consumers are doing much of the advertising for them.

mobile marketing

Mobile gamification

Here’s a look at some of the many ways mobile is changing gamification for the better.

  • The market keeps getting bigger. According to gathered data, marketers will spend somewhere between 400 and 500 million dollars on gamification apps. By 2020 70% of companies will have a gamified app and by 2020 gamification app spending will reach almost 3 billion.
  • Less gimmicks and more value. Mobile has changed the way marketers look at gamification. Gamification used to be all about gimmicks. Consumers were tricked into playing a game that only rewarded them will silly prizes that didn’t matter. Today, people who are participating in gamified experiences aren’t satisfied to compete for virtual badges. They want to see real value in gamification

Gamification done right

For businesses who want to look into introducing gaming elements in their advertising, they need to make sure they’re doing it right. Above all, gamification is successful when consumers perceive value in the gaming experience and feel driven to act as a result of the gamified experience. If gamification isn’t modifying consumers’ behavior, it’s a gimmick and a waste of the marketing budget.