May 20, 2014

3 Insights into the Gamification Market From Last Week’s Webinar

Written by
Tags: Gamification

Last week, TechnologyAdvice invited gamification experts from FantasySalesTeam, OfficeVibe, and MindTickle for a discussion on the state of the gamification industry. As these three experts lent their expertise to the subject, something became apparent: there’s a great deal going on in gamification. Despite the fact that the industry only came to prominence in 2010, gamification is being harnessed by some of the world’s biggest companies.

Given this, we not only decided to create a introductory webinar, but also to host a roundtable featuring the most prominent players in gamification. Here’s three actionable takeaways from last week’s webinar in case you couldn’t make it.

#1: Intrinsic Motivation is Important. And You Don’t Need a PhD to Get it

The topic of intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation can often seem abstract, or even esoteric. Speaking about effective gamification use cases, Adam Hollander of FantasySalesTeam articulated the value of intrinsic motivation quite well – which is to say simply. His example referred to the rewards of sales contests. While popular culture like Glenn Garry Glenn Ross may have us believe that sales people are always motivated by expensive prizes, such as cars or lavish vacations, Adam’s experience with FantasySalesTeam suggests otherwise (Adam of course is qualified to speak on the subject because his company specializes in adding collaborative gamification elements to sales contests).

To hear Adam tell it, sales people get just as much, if not more joy competing for novel or humorous prizes than they do luxury items. Notable examples included:

  • Winners of the sales contest getting to pie their CEO in the face
  • Victors getting to design shirts that the losing team must wear around the office
  • Sales teams competing for plastic trophies akin to the kind found at a middle school soccer tournament

In all three of these examples, sales teams responded to a novel reward for their work instead of a high priced commodity. The entire idea behind intrinsic motivation lies in people doing something because they love the act, not the reward. These three case studies highlight hilarious rewards that effectively motivated people who love what they’re doing.

Would a week in Maui have had the same effect? Maybe, but it would also take the emphasis off of their current responsibilities and job.

#2 Gamification isn’t Just for Millennials

Towards the end of the webinar, some questions came in from Twitter. One asked if gamification was only for Generation Y, more commonly referred to as Millennials. Jacob Shriar, Growth Manager at OfficeVibe, pointed out that SAP, while not often viewed as a particularly trendy company, is actually one of the innovators in gamification. Their organization’s branding isn’t geared toward 20-something Millennials, and yet their gamification platform – which includes SaaS and PaaS capabilities – is one of the most robust on the market.

Responses to recent surveys back up Jacob’s example. A 2011 poll of adults in America and the UK found that 73 percent of 33-45 year olds were open to having gamification introduced into their day to day routines, both at work and outside of work. And Millennials? They were actually behind Generation X with 63 percent confirming their openness to gamification.

Digital games have been around in a mainstream way since the early 80s, and the average American gamer is over 30 years old. Millennials aren’t the only group of users who have an innate understanding of game elements.

#3 In the Future, Gamification Could Just be Good Design

When asked to peer into the murky future of gamification, Mohit Garg, Co-Founder of MindTickle, had a fascinating thought: as gamification becomes more ubiquitous, game elements will eventually command less focus, and simply begin to function as a foundational element of design. In its current state, gamification software emphasizes specific game elements. However, creating engaging software elements is a universal goal for developers. In the future, game elements may simply be expected throughout the marketplace.

These are only three points from an incredibly insightful conversation we hosted last week. If you’re a business looking to better engage your employees, increase their productivity, or create more arresting digital experiences for your customers, you need to listen to this webinar:

Hear the full conversation now.


photo credit: dkshots via photopin cc