Do You Want To Play A Game...

Gamification is one of the hottest marketing trends right now and increasingly important to Market Research. It attracts ‘kids’ of all ages, with some of the fastest growing sectors being adults (men and women 35+). Why is it so effective in engaging people? Does it tap into a human hard-wiring around performance and winning?

A recent Wall Street Journal article about the easy acceptance of an inevitable gamified workplace got me thinking about its application in research. According to the article, games are an effective way to get “…people to do things they don’t want to do” normally without incentive. But whip up the right combination of interactivity, rewards, and positive reinforcement, and watch engagement, stamina and goal achievement soar.

Consumers expect and even welcome a gamified experience, it’s what they do a large part of their time online and on tablets and ipads, and this raises the bar for us researchers. We are facing responders who expect everything to be entertaining. Boring, static surveys aren’t going to fly for much longer – the research experience needs to mimic how they spend the rest of their time. What badge or status symbol does one win at each stage of completion? What is the incentive to go on? To reveal? To dig deep? For an application like our social community tool Hive, why should “players” return and continue sharing?

Emotion is the common element to both games and research. It’s all about the games people play! –only because engaging them helps us understand what drives their behavior and how they feel. And creating a more engaging, results-producing, ‘game-like’ respondent experience is what motivates our innovation at BuzzBack. This article couldn’t be more timely as we work to evolve mobile versions of our tools. But now I’m wondering - maybe I should’ve created an employee game called Developer Dash!