Obviously gaming has been a round for a long time. And social gaming isn’t really that new either. But for those marketers that are still not convinced that social media is really relevant to their organization, gaming might be a little tough pill to swallow. And just like social media, whether we like it or not, gaming is a very important element in consumer behavior.
So, is gamification the next word to be added to the marketer’s lexicon? Or is it destined for Buzz Word Bingo? I can hear it now… “We need gamification!” or “Our site has been gamified!”
I’ll be honest with you, I am not a gamer (if you couldn’t gather that already). I have however played Angry Birds on my iPhone and iPad. I am not sure I’ll ever understand the lure of gaming as a consumer (as a marketer, heck yeah!). Is it stress relief to blow up little pigs? Well, sure! Is it social to get a pig from a friend? Of, course! But will I be playing FarmVille or Mafia Wars just to understand that community aspect that exists with gaming? I am not so sure. And yet, I feel like I’d be a failed marketer if I didn’t deeply understanding the draw, the community, the vernacular and the gaming levels in order to best serve clients. Is understanding social media enough to understand gaming? From an ethnography and technology standpoint, I don’t think so. Just like anything social, not understanding these important elements can backfire on a brand. Only understanding social media is how organizations will best understand why the same thing applies to the gaming community.
Look at this! Even the Smithsonian has been gamified! Perhaps it is time to move beyond Angry Birds?
Thankfully, according to Seth Priebatsch, we have some time on our side. For now.
TEDx Boston: Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world
“…the social layer is all about these connections. The game layer is all about influence. It’s not about adding a social fabric to the Web and connecting you to other people everywhere you are and everywhere you go. It’s actually about using dynamics, using forces, to influence the behavior of where you are, what you do there, how you do it. That’s really, really powerful, and going to be more important than the social layer.”
Renée Warren: The Rise of Social Gaming in Marketing
“Understanding the psychology of the gamer is vital to using gaming as a marketing strategy. This is where ‘game mechanics’ come into play. It is important to build a game that is enjoyable and encourages the gamer to continue playing. Businesses that can use game mechanics successfully, and develop a good game as part of their social gaming marketing strategy are the ones who will be successful.”
“Joining forces with FarmVille is an incredible opportunity for us to engage with millions of players in the most popular social game… What makes our FarmVille effort unique is that it reinforces important features of the McDonald’s brand while enhancing game play for FarmVille players.”
“Social campaigns like this are about re-thinking the delivery and reception of advertising… It’s a way to engage where you’re relevant, not irrelevant.”
“…communication can occur between more than 2 users, sometimes up to 12 users can be connected in the same conversation at the same time). Immediately you have a situation where discussion about your marketing can take place between these users as they are interacting with it.
“The opportunities to place marketing messages within these environments, as always, must be accompanied by consideration for the environment where they are being placed. As this has been an underused channel for marketing up until now, the user of that channel is likely to be hostile towards marketing that detracts from their experience or saturates what was before a fairly desolate marketing space.”
Happy Watching & Reading!