I was just talking with my friend Nick about the power and prevalance of game-based marketing, having read recently Gabe Zichermann’s and Joselin Linder’s book, Game-Based Marketing. The ideas have been around for a long time, as the authors point out, and sometime later I will make a post with a more detailed review/commentary on their interesting points.
My conversation reminded me that one of the points I believe missed in that book, and one I see missed in general regarding games in marketing: successful game elements for product marketing really should focus on relevancy to the product. I think frequent-flier programs hit the nail on the head because the point accumulation is directly tied to the flight/travel product. I have made this point in previous posts, but I am capturing the thought more succinctly here as a metric: how relevant to the product is any game element being considered for us. Similarly, the marketer has to ensure the experience (delivered through the elements) is relevant to the viewer/operator — that really is the same point we see a lot of people making about defining buyer personas (which I first read about from David Scott Meerman).
In summary, two critical points in making successful use of game elements to product marketing are:
- Making the game elements relevant to the product’s capability to solve real problems
- Make the overall experience relevant to the buyer’s/viewer’s problem and motivation.