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Marketing made more effective with Game Mechanics

Video game designers use established techniques to engage players and motivate higher degree of participation. Business owners can apply similar techniques to motivate their customers to act in ways that adds value to their business i.e. increased sales, greater loyalty, word-of-mouth, etc. Some of this can sound complicated and outside the realm of a small business focus. But in reality businesses do not have to create something entirely new, they just need modify their existing customer touch points to integrate game mechanics. Usually businesses interact with their customers through websites, loyalty and gifting programs, online reviews, etc.. It is in these non-gaming experiences that businesses have an opportunity to engage and elevate their customer experiences, and motivate greater degree of participation. However there is a catch, for it to be effective it has to be simple to implement and simple to execute.

At BuyFi, we have focused on marketing automation company for small-and-medium-sized businesses.  When consumers make credit card purchases they generate valuable data. We use this data to create an automated marketing engine that merchants use to attract and retain customers. This system does not require any change of behavior by the merchant or the consumer. No new hardware, software or training is needed. It all works automatically based on data analysis. Here is an opportunity to modify the customer experience to include mechanics from the gaming industry to motivate and engage consumers. Let us take an example of a loyalty discount. Consumers plainly understand the value of a 20% discount. However adding status based on their spend or frequency of visits can change the equation.  For example customers spending $1000 could be elevated to premium club membership where they earn the 20% discount at a faster pace than non club members. The value of a club badge is much more difficult to gauge, and consumer psychology shows that this is an effective technique employed by airline companies and credit card companies to make their best customers feel special. Some other elements to consider:

  • – Thank users after each transaction and show them their rewards status and encourage them to take steps towards the next goal.
  • – Not everyone can attain special status with your business. Require engagement and an element of luck. Show them where they stand with respect to other customers, e.g. top 5% club, Reinforce scarcity value.
  • – Introduce multiple levels of achievement based on their engagement (spending, frequency and timing of visits)
  • – When friends of a customer engages with your business, the customer gets rewarded.
  • – Show historical record of accomplishments and current status.

A rewards program can be made more effective by just incorporating one of more of the above ideas. You can check out BuyFi’s automated marketing product here.