Gamification news, tactics, case studies and more. The official blog of Bunchball.
Zombies make great TV characters, movie villains and Halloween costumes. But, let’s be honest, there’s no place for them in your business strategy.
Too many companies have practices or tactics that lurk around like zombies. Similar to the “undead”, these business practices may have once been vibrant and useful, but now they’re lifeless, ineffective at best ... and extremely difficult to eliminate. You know what I’m talking about: the old-school communication approaches, the fear-based directives (“Do this or else!”), etc., etc.
Well, since October is the month when all the ghosts and ghouls come out, now is the perfect time for me to offer you this Halloween-inspired tip: You can use gamification to ward off zombies. Really. I’m not kidding. And to illustrate my point, I’ve compiled a brief overview of what I consider the five most dangerous business zombies and how gamification can put them to rest, once and for all.
Next week, I’ll be moderating a panel at JiveWorld featuring T-Mobile, Pearson and UBM. We’ll be talking about gamification–of course–and the other day, as I was putting the finishing touches on prep work, I caught myself reminiscing about all that’s happened at Bunchball in just a few short years.
It wasn’t all that long ago that people would hear the term “gamification” and jump to conclusions. The automatic assumption was that it had something to do with entertainment or that it was some kind of short-lived tactic for tricking employees into doing things they don't really want to do.
But that’s not gamification at all.
The year was 2011. Bluewolf was looking for a way to engage employees internally and to harness their knowledge for thought leadership. We had a global workforce — subject-matter experts spread out across countries, continents, and hemispheres. In light of the era’s social media revolution, a question soon arose: “How could we turn this diverse and dispersed organization into a unified group of social collaborators?” The answer was gamification.
After a period of incubation, the #GoingSocial program was born. By leveraging Salesforce Chatter, we built a successful gamification initiative to spur collaboration, communication, and knowledge sharing — both internally and externally. Now, after three years of continual innovation, the program is still facilitating collaboration across the organization to drive business results.
Below are four tips gleaned from our experience to help you craft a successful gamification program:
Over the past few years, I’ve seen firsthand how marketing’s role has become increasingly strategic. In fact, recent research from IBM found that 63% of CEOs involve the CMO in formulating the organization’s overall business strategy –and that’s second only to the CFO (72%).
But as you would expect, with more responsibility comes more accountability–and more pressure to perform.
As someone who has worked in sales for more than 20 years, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to develop, and then nurture, effective sales teams. MHI Global summarized the challenges quite nicely in its recent report, which identifies three specific attributes as the cornerstones of a performance-oriented sales culture: Customer Core (how an organization engages with its customers), Collaboration (how people at an organization work with customers and together) and Calibration (how an organization measures, recognizes and rewards accomplishment).
But here’s the problem: The data collected in the study indicates that less than half of those polled feel confident that their companies are working optimally in these three areas. Check out these findings, where I list MHI Global’s reference point for each attribute, along with the results tabulated for World-Class Performers and All Respondents:
Guest Post: How to Inspire Financial Literacy and Motivate Employees to use Workplace Retirement Plans
I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines. You may even be guilty yourself. We know that people are just aren’t saving enough.
A resent survey found that 75% of employees have put aside less than a quarter of what they will need in retirement, while among those who who are close to retirement (50 and older), 47% are still less than a quarter of the way there.1
And yet, other research revealed that even though 74% of those surveyed with a workplace savings plan fully acknowledge that they are forgoing “free money” if they don’t contribute to the maximum company match, only 17% said they maximized their contributions.2
How much are you spending on customer acquisition?
Whatever it is, I’d wager it’s more than you’d like . . . and probably much more than you spend on customer retention.
Since most analysts agree that acquiring new customers now costs 4-6 times more than retaining the ones you already have, wouldn’t you rather engage your loyal fans, instead of continually depleting resources to attract new ones?
Some see Millennials as needy, entitled and self-centered.
To others, they’re rugged, tech-savvy individualists, full of optimism and eager to collaborate when needed.
Either way, there’s no denying that Millennials are destined to have a powerful impact on the workplace. Indeed, researchers estimate that by 2025, Generation Y (born 1978-1994) will comprise nearly 75 percent of the world’s workforce.
Social collaboration platforms are designed to help organizations engage the right people, accelerate innovation and improve business performance.
Unfortunately though, I’ve heard from many managers who feel underwhelmed by the results their social collaboration platforms produce. They’ve had only limited success and are often left scratching their heads, wondering what they could be doing differently.
From my perspective, the missteps are rather obvious.
Schools across the country are opening their doors to students eager to start a new year of classes.
And you can bet that most of these young folks are outfitted with the latest fashions, supplies and devices. Indeed, data from the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that back-to-school spending for K–12 and college for clothing, shoes, supplies and electronics is expected to reach $74.9 billion this year!
Of course, that comes as no surprise to anyone who has been inside a mall over the past month, where it’s difficult not to succumb to a mind-numbing haze of saturation in this competitive market. Every store and kiosk is stuffed with the latest “back-to-school this” and the next “must-have that,” all clamoring for attention. Consumers are, in a word, distracted—by all the choices . . . and by online merchandising and social media platforms that produce an endless stream of deals and information about what’s “hot.”
As Pam Goodfellow, Prosper Insights Consumer Insights Director, sums it up, “Students will make sure to keep one eye on social media and the other on retailers’ websites as they seek out what’s new and exciting in their hunt for fresh, fashionable and relevant back-to-school gear.”
It’s how shoppers operate now –whether they’re in the market for back-to-school items, groceries, manufacturing machinery, software or anything else. Typically, there are numerous product options, coupled with a wide array of channels and platforms –each one overflowing with information, offers, reviews and advice.