John Jonelis

So I ask, What’s the hottest marketing tool today?”  And the answer comes right back: “Gamification.” I glance left and right.  “What’s that?” 

Now the answers come at me fast.  Mike Rhodes, serial entrepreneur from AppFactoryInc and Central Street Games hits it outa the park at this session of The Tektite Group.  His marketing arm uses Gamification as their primary tool. 

Bottom line, people love to play games.  Games are the #1 activity on smartphones.  80% on tablets.  50% of Facebook logins.  Any time you offer a reward – that’s gamification.  Think about the way McDonald’s Monopoly game draws people to the store.   But it doesn’t have to be a big expensive campaign.  Turns out, the value of winning is bigger than the prize itself.  Sometimes a $10 gift card is more effective than an iPad. 

Mike Rhodes plays a guest's game

Mike Rhodes plays a guest’s game

3 Key Elements

So the question looms: ‘How do I use gamification in MY marketing plan?’  Three key elements make any interchange a game:

  1. Achievement
  2. Recognition
  3. Rewards

Mike ranks the three elements in that order, and the first two are a lot more important than the last.  Kinda counterintuitive, ain’t it?

The sweepstakes approach—awarding points incrementally—is the most economical way to host a game.  The game doesn’t need to have anything to do with the product you’re selling.  Come up with your own simple word game or trivia game and use a rented platform. 

Just keep the goal clear.  It’s amazing what people will do to win a game but no growth takes place till you bring the consumer to a call to action.  So make sure players register.  And make sure you give them questions that tell you what you want to know. 

Mike Rhode's AppFactoryInc

More Game Tips

Gamification is all about meeting the market where it’s at—and in an engaging way.  At a time when email clickthrough is below 8%, gamified campaigns are getting 30-50% because people are engaged. 

Think about giving points for activities with a weekly winner.  A player may not win this time, but points continue to accumulate.  Then you give free points just for answering 10 questions.  People are willing to do it because they actually want the points.

Think about rewards for liking a page on Facebook.  Give points for comments and comments on comments.  “I liked your tortilla.”  By the way, Gene just scored 15 points on our win a gas card game, and you can earn 10 points by just sharing with a friend.  It doesn’t need to be complicated.  Take what you do now.  Gamify it.  Put a sweepstakes element in your branding. 

Put this in your calculations:  Nobody ever stops after being involved in a 90 day game.  Keep the game going after the first winner.  Retention rates are huge. 

Want proof?   The field is new.  No banks of statistics.  Mike quotes Andy McKenna, who advises: “Invest a little, learn a lot.”

Types of Games

  • Trivia games
  • Word games
  • Action games
  • Casual games
  • Puzzles
  • Strategy games

Of all the different games, simple word games and trivia games are the easiest and least expensive to implement.

Who’s Here?

Jean Pickering of The Tektite Group

Jean Pickering of The Tektite Group

Find the speaker, Mike Rhodes at www.appfactoryinc.com.  I met Michael McConachie, from LoopDigital, www.loopdigitalus.com so the big players are here.  Kristin Tews of WIND Radio is covering the event  www.personalbestshow.com.  An investor who bought into one of my favorite startups introduces himself to me.  That company is Youtopia www.youtopia.com  and they’re integrating gamification into their platform as we speak. 

Tektite is always a small, limited crowd and I feel privileged to be here.  Sign up early if you want a spot.  You can find Tektite and Jean Pickering at www.Facebook.com/TheTektiteGroup and http://Twitter.com/TektiteGroup




Find Chicago Venture Magazine at www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.comComments and re-posts are welcomed and encouraged. This is not investment advice – do your own due diligence. I cannot guarantee accuracy but I give you my best.

Copyright © 2012 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved


Filed under Chicago Ventures, Events, Internet, Mobile, Tektite

4 responses to “3 KEYS TO GAMIFICATION

  1. sharonduffy@stocktrendspotter.com

    John, this is great food for thought! Thanks for the article. Sharon

  2. Pingback: THE TYRANNY OF THE TELEPHONE | Chicago Venture Magazine

  3. My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right.
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