500FRIENDS BLOG
Loyalty trends & best practices

Want Loyal Customers? Give Gamification A Try.

by Tiffany Go
October 03, 2012

Tiffany GoWith the market predicted to grow to $2.8 billion* by 2016, gamification is proving to be much more than just another buzzword.

In this MarketingProfs article, Darren Steele references a Bain & Co. study that revealed acquiring new customers is six to seven times more expensive than retaining existing customers.  The numbers make a pretty compelling case for focusing efforts on building customer loyalty.  Steele encourages applying game strategies to create better customer experiences.  He also succinctly explains why gamified marketing is effective, crediting “intrinsic motivators” that when used correctly “can be that missing link that keeps existing customers engaged while also bringing new customers into the fold.”

Steele makes an important point; game mechanics are a powerful loyalty-marketing tool, but only when used correctly.  In order to effectively utilize game design in loyalty marketing, marketers must integrate these techniques as part of a larger strategy.  Here is an example of a comprehensive gamified customer loyalty solution:

Customer Lifetime Value Curve

  1. Make it easy for your customers to connect and engage socially with your brand. Social sign in, an interactive member dashboard, and consistently updating your social networks will provide a more inviting customer experience throughout the relationship.
  2. Put an analytics system in place that tracks and measures program performance from every customer touch point.  Understanding your customers, their preferences and how they change will equip you to deepen the relationship.
  3. Strategically offer extrinsic (deals, rewards, etc.) and intrinsic (VIP service, badges, etc.) rewards to customers to motivate them to continue engaging with the brand and move them up the lifetime value curve.

Businesses that integrate gamification into a comprehensive strategy that includes social tools and analytics will be the most effective in building better customer relationships and growing customer lifetime value.

http://www.m2research.com/gamification.htm



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