Industry Watch: Behavior management isn’t a game
May 21, 2013 —
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Related Search Term(s): Badgeville, gamification
Badgeville, which has helped define the gamification of software, now believes the term should be put aside. “Many people in senior positions still think it means competition or games,” Kris Duggan, founder and chief strategy officer at Badgeville, told me in a recent conversation. “They can’t even say it; they call it gamification,” he said, pronouncing the first syllable like “lamb.”
Duggan is perhaps the industry’s leading authority on gamification and social business. The point, he said, is for organizations to guide people through a process and show them how to be successful—how, in other words, to win—with rewards and other inducements along the way. Duggan said organizations need to understand “What are the engagement strategies to motivate behavior, and how do we represent those things in a digital environment?”
The term “gamification” arose when companies such as Badgeville took things from games, such as badges and other rewards given as players advance through a game, and applied to them things that are not games. “It’s actually behavior management—but I’m not sure how catchy that is—or engagement technology for customers and employees,” Duggan said.
As an example, he pointed out that 1% of visitors who go to Facebook brand pages ever return. “Marketers have to find new ways to create loyalty,” he said. “And ‘gamification’ doesn’t fully capture the real potential.”
It’s not enough to “like” a brand page and wait for a coupon. A food company, for example, could offer free samples to entice visitors to their brand pages to check out the entire product line, or to “find the missing ingredient” as they learn more about the company.
Duggan went on to say that gamification misses some context. “Say you’re the expert on Yelp for Chinese restaurants in your area. You’ve tried all the meals, spent hours hunting down out-of-the-way restaurants, that’s a badge,” he said. “But if you demonstrated high-quality behavior and are being recognized with the label of ‘expert,’ it’s not just ‘oh, here’s a sticker.’ ”