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A Different Kind of Rockstar Roadshow

A Different Kind of Rockstar Roadshow

Rajat Paharia


By Rajat Paharia, Founder and Chief Product Officer

The Bunchball Rockstar Roadshow on May 15 was a huge success – and I’m not just saying that because I’m the founder and Chief Product Officer of Bunchball. I’m saying that because the presenters were stellar, the attendees were engaged, the discussions were rich, the questions stimulating and our specialty Nitrotini was, well . . . it was exactly as good as it looks:

But there was something different in our latest Rockstar Roadshow, a marked difference from the past.  Honestly, I couldn’t put my finger on it at first.  But, upon reflection, I know what it is: The conversation on Gamification is shifting.  It’s maturing.  Unlike my conversations at previous Rockstar Roadshows in Atlanta, New York and San Francisco… this time around, there was a more broad-based awareness about what gamification is and the business value it brings. 

Sure, I still kicked things off with my “Gamification 101” keynote. I explained that gamification is about motivating people through data, and I presented several examples of companies that are using gamification to improve performance and drive revenue. This time around, though, I noticed less quizzical looks in the audience. More heads nodding in agreement.

Then, Lisa Arthur, CMO at Teradata Applications, ratcheted it up a notch higher by using her keynote to connect the dots between big data analytics, gamification and business value. As Lisa stressed, data-driven business is a game changer, provided you’re tearing down silos and integrating all the data that’s available to you. 

And the panels reflected a new level of sophistication – where panelists discussed both internal- and external-facing gamification deployments, all of which are driving useful, durable and profitable relationships. I was particularly struck with the variety of gamification applications described. We heard about gamified websites and communities . . . used by audiences that consist of everyone from seasoned professionals to “Gen Yers”, from college students to elementary aged children . . . for goals ranging from increasing sales and improving health to building reputations and nurturing collaboration.

Interestingly, during the panel about “Engaging Customer Experiences,” the audience focused on how gamification fit with normal business practices, such as marketing efforts. The panelists offered information not only about the results, but also about what they’d learned while undergoing their gamification projects. (For more about what to expect and how to clear hurdles within your organization, check out this video of the discussion moderated by Keith Conley, Director, Analytics & Insight, Bunchball.)

At the end of the afternoon, Scott Buchanan, VP Marketing, NICE Systems, wrapped it all up with a fascinating discussion about employee engagement. Did you know that 70% of service workers are disengaged? On average, that costs you 46% of their salary in lost productivity. As Scott told us, gamification can help mitigate those losses because it leverages design, big data analytics and new research about universal human motivators to influence employee actions. It motivates employees to put learning and collaboration at the top of their to-do lists and that, in turn, can lead to measurable improvements for multiple key performance indicators (KPIs).  

Yes, the landscape has changed. Attendees at our Rockstar Roadshow were not debating whether or not gamification is useful. They know it is. They were there with us in San Francisco to learn more about exactly how to start putting gamification to work at their companies.


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