By: Christine Blank
Successful marketers are using gamification to engage their customers, particularly Millennials who prefer to interact with brands in fun ways. If you are not familiar, gamification is the process of adding games and the ability to earn rewards and points to everyday tasks.
For example, Foursquare’s Swarm has become a very popular way for Millennials and others to “check in” at their favorite restaurants, retailers, apartment communities and other businesses. Once they identify that they are at the business, they earn certain badges and distinctions for visiting that business – or that category of business – a certain number of times. Then, the smart businesses reward those who are checking in with free products or discounts on services. For example, Chili’s often gives guests who check in a free appetizer. Lowe’s offers customers a free packet of seeds. Customers are rewarded just for setting foot in a store they would have already visited.
Badgeville, Bunchball and Gameify are other popular gameification services, and there are many other services to choose from as well. American Express, Oracle and other major U.S. companies use Badgeville’s Behavior Platform to power their customer loyalty programs via points, badges and leaderboards. And then there are the types of loyalty and rewards programs that have been around for years – and are very effective. All the major hotel chains and airlines let you earn points towards stays, airline tickets, cash and prizes when you are part of their loyalty program. The same goes for most major retailers.
Tech–savvy Millennials – who are also very cost-conscious – are especially responsive to gamification. Sixty-three percent of millennials are more likely to check-in a store if they receive a coupon or discount, according to Yahoo statistics.
These types of reward and recognition programs, of course, boost loyalty to your business. If you don’t have a loyalty program in place – particularly one that makes it fun for your customers to engage with you – you are potentially losing signficant profits. Plus, you are missing out on the opportunity to retain your current resident and customer base, who are just as likely to go somewhere that offers them rewards and savings when they do business there. In addition, you may also be alienating potential new Millennial customers – currently the largest demographic group in the U.S.
Another great tool for customer loyalty is TrackitLog. TrackitLog give businesses the ability to loan, message, and track items to customers. Everything from small items like keys and electronics to large items like warrantees and expensive capital items can be monitored. The system’s fun interface allow alert message to be sent by text or email. These messages notify the person borrowing the items that they are due back in the office. These messages are fully customizable and automated so that you can incorporate your own gamification element into your alerts. Now even things as simple as borrowing the office laptop can be enhanced by adding a gamification element thanks to TrackitLog.