Gamification news, tactics, case studies and more. The official blog of Bunchball.
How do you define gamification?
At Bunchball, we’ve been answering that question definitively since our founding in 2007. To us gamification is defined as motivating people through data – capturing the big data that your customers, partners and employees are generating as they’re interacting with online experiences, and using that data to motivate better performance.
We’ve always been quite clear on that definition. But outside of Bunchball, there’s been an ongoing debate about what exactly gamification is… and what it is not.
What are you going to do with your big data?
Big data is everywhere, but what can you actually do with it?
You can slice it, you can analyze it, you can create a lifetime supply of work for a team of data scientists, and you can add cool graphs to your internal reports. But does that really drive your organization’s value?
What you need is a means of leveraging big data: turning its insights into action. Plug it into your gamification engine. Let your big data drive employee performance, customer satisfaction, and your organization’s value.
Why Big Data and Gamification are Natural Fits:
Survivor changed everything (at least in my mind).
When people think of Survivor, many credit (or blame) it for the birth of the popularization of reality television. American Idol, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Amazing Race, The Voice, Big Brother, Expedition Robinson (the inspiration for Survivor) were largely created or popularized after its premiere, and success, on May 31, 2000.
Reality television brought big prizes, fierce competition, high drama, low production costs and curated intense audience engagement including public viewing parties and office gambling pools. The shows vent viral before we had a term for such a thing.
But Survivor unlocked a secret that had long been buried:
When companies set out to improve the customer experience, they typically focus on ways to better engage customers.
But engaging customers isn’t all you need to do.
The key to creating a great customer experience is to engage both your customers and your employees.
Here’s how Ed O’Boyle, Global Practice Leader at Gallup, sums it up:
Community engagement is now fundamental to a company’s success. It encourages collaboration among stakeholders, builds loyalty and fosters creative problem-solving –all of which are particular vital to IT companies like SolarwWinds. You see, SolarWinds is an IT generalist company, and that means we thrive at the epicenter of customer marketing, charged with engaging and retaining customer membership.
But how exactly do we do that? What’s our strategy for “engaging and retaining customer membership?”
At SolarWinds, we use a social community called “thwack,” a series of topical places for customers, resellers, employees and ‘visitors’ (read-only access) to connect, share and learn. Through thwack, we provide:
Data has a fundamental place in the world of gamification. A strong grounding in data ensures an engaged user base through a successful launch as well as program optimizations. At Bunchball, we want to ensure data is relevant for each program to increase the impact of gamification. Since we work with a wide variety of use cases, there are a myriad of analyses we have constructed to tailor data visualizations to each case.
Analyzing data from a sales community is one of the common use cases we encounter. The main goal for these communities is apparent: increase sales. Gamification can help provide the motivation to increase activities in a customer relationship management (or CRM) system. And by encouraging employees to keep their opportunities up-to-date, this ultimately leads to greater sales and improved tracking of sales opportunities.
As usual, February 2014 turned out to be great for groundhogs, Valentines, snow storms and Presidents’ Day sales. But did you know February has also been declared National Time Management Month?
So, before we turn the calendar to March, we’d like to help honor this unofficial “official” designation with a discussion about how gamification can help your employees better use their time. After all, as the old adage tells us, in business, time is money. But new survey results reveal that seven out of every ten workers (69%) waste time every single day. Doesn’t it make sense for you to do whatever you can to keep your employees engaged and motivated so they can be as effective, efficient and productive as possible?
Gamification solutions can help because:
Here’s Why A Global Virtualization And Cloud Company Uses Gamification To Create Personalized Learning Experiences For Its Partners
If your business depends on channel partners, you know how critical it is for them to be informed, engaged and loyal.
However . . .
If your business depends on channel partners, there’s no doubt that you also know it’s extremely difficult to motivate them to be any of those things. After all, to your channel partners, you’re just one vendor among many they can work with.
At Bunchball, we know gamification can help solve this problem . . . and to help me make the case, I’d like to explain the three main reasons a leading global virtualization and cloud company recently implemented our Nitro™ gamification platform. This customer is channel-driven and is now using gamification to transform its partner sales.
At first it may seem counterintuitive, but the truth is, too much hype and too much buzz can put even the best new business solutions at risk. After all, it’s difficult for innovation of any kind to live up to accelerated expectations once terms like “silver bullet,” “supercharged” or (my personal favorite) “secret sauce” become part of the mix.
But part of my job as a business development executive at IBM is to be able to distinguish hyperbole from reality, and over the years, I’ve been able to establish a rather straightforward litmus test.
So, how do I differentiate between a passing fad and technology with genuine staying power? It’s easy. I start by asking this:
Can this new technology offer true business value?
And from my perspective, when it comes to gamification, the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.” Here’s one of the reasons I think so:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a whopping 75.3 million US workers are paid by the hour. That amounts to 59 percent of the American workforce –or nearly three out of every five wage and salary earners in the country.
Unfortunately, though, many employers find hourly workers difficult to engage, motivate and retain. Why? Because most wage earners don’t aspire to “climb the corporate ladder.” Many work only part-time. Few have opportunities for bonuses or promotions. As a result, companies are left struggling with less-than-optimized workforces and high turnover rates –which can drain resources, tarnish reputations and create a variety of other problems.
Is there anything that can help turn the tide? Is it possible to improve productivity, loyalty and overall job satisfaction among hourly workers? Absolutely! At Bunchball, we’ve seen again and again that integrating gamification into the work environment can enhance efficiencies, reduce churn and even drive innovation. For instance: