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Gamification Blog

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Gamification Blog

Gamification news, tactics, case studies and more. The official blog of Bunchball.

Defying the Odds of Gartner’s Gamification Prediction

Barry Kirk


Bad gamification works.

I hate admitting that.  I do digital strategy for a living.  I’m a champion of the critical importance of great experience design.

But it’s true. Bad gamification works.  At least, to a point. 

Going Over the Engagement Cliff

The problem with bad – or rather, poorly designed – gamification is that the behavior it drives is never sustainable.  Yes, you will almost certainly see a spike in engagement with even the most rudimentary application of points, badges and leaderboards.  But, inevitably that spike will plummet back to where you started if your audience realizes you’ve offered them nothing of real value. And often this is the perfect excuse for them to turn their attention elsewhere, a phenomenon some now cleverly label the Engagement Cliff.


Gamification Rockstars Hit the Road!


When it comes to gamification, there are those who do it well, and those who do it spectacularly. We call that second group rockstars, and now you’ve got the chance to learn the secrets to their success.

On Dec. 4 in San Francisco, you’ll have a chance to hear from some of Bunchball’s most innovative customers, who will share their first-hand experiences of using Bunchball Nitro to enhance their engagement, loyalty, sales and collaboration initiatives.

Build vs. Buy – The Gamification Edition

Rob Mullany


Have you ever found yourself browsing for the perfect movie to fill a rainy Sunday evening? As you browse the endless titles, suddenly, you stumble upon a movie that sounds perfect. How has this film eluded you up to this point? After popping some popcorn and sinking into your couch, you hit play only to realize “Crap, I’ve seen this before.”

Unfortunately, many of you may feel the same way as you read through this post. You may have seen this “movie” 10 years ago when it discussed the merits of building vs. buying a CRM system. I still remember the much heralded ending that featured and others riding off into the sunset. While fewer returned for the sequel, perhaps you tuned in a few years ago for the build vs. buy discussion as it related to enterprise social platforms. Well now, as we head into 2013, it seems that there are still some people out there wondering if in the case of gamification engines, things may somehow be different. I don’t need to include a spoiler alert as most of you already know how this story ends.


Data Science - This Is How We Do It

Neha Gupta


Although the amount of data collected is increasing every day, the amount of information contained in the data is very little (Fig. 1), and usually a human is required in the loop to ask the right questions and perform data science [1,2]. At Bunchball, we have the biggest gamification data warehouse containing "actions taken," "missions completed," "leaderboards viewed", and more – all taken from hundreds of our clients. At Bunchball Labs, we use this vast amount of data to get meaningful information as well as understand and predict human behavior.

Guest Post: says Marketing Cloud. I Say Social Cloud.

Natasha Oxenburgh


This post originally appeared on the official Bluewolf blog.

What’s been going on around Social within the Salesforce ecosystem? Last month, there were some big announcements at Dreamforce that we’re all eager to get started on:

1. Marketing Cloud

Salesforce CRM has proven itself on the sales and service parts of of the enterprise. Enter the artfully named Marketing Cloud. It fits nicely into the CRM suite of apps—the final piece of the customer lifecycle puzzle.

The Marketing Cloud is an integrated solution of two very powerful tools - social marketing solution Buddy Media and listening platform Radian6. At its most basic, the former helps marketing ‘push’ content and establish its brand presence. The latter provides a listening hub for marketing and the ability (via the Social Hub) to push social posts across departments within Salesforce. In truth, what announced was a nice integration of Social apps—it would be much more accurately named the Social Cloud.

The suite is not going to wipe out the use of other stand alone social management tools. For example, many social media teams that use Buddy Media—who are thrilled about the integration with Radian6—still use the Twitter interface to respond to their community, and/or Hootsuite to schedule tweets.

Making it Happen with Digital Strategy

Molly Kittle


"Execution is the ability to mesh strategy with reality, align people with goals, and achieve the promised results."

— Larry Bossidy, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

I often turn to this quote when I'm asked to explain what we do.  One of the most important functions of the Digital Strategy Team here at Bunchball is to help our clients put a plan together on which they can execute.  We help our clients take the broad promise of gamification and apply that toolset in the service of a specific goal, within a particular environment.  There's never a lack of great ideas going into a project and we're here to help our clients take those inspired concepts and turn them into actionable plans.  So at the start of an engagement, we move swiftly from theory and strategy to the component tactics which serve the project vision.

In the transition from idea to action, the following recommendations will help you lay a foundation to successfully execute on your gamification project.

Getting Ready to Jive


For the remaining few not familiar, Jive Software is one of the world's leading social business platforms. Jive allows the enterprise to engage employees, partners and customers in a social community.  Jive works because it brings together the best features of a social network, collaboration software, community software, and social media monitoring.

That’s why Bunchball introduced Nitro for Jive. Powered by the industry-leading Nitro gamification engine, Nitro for Jive helps Jive users get the most from this innovative social business platform by using game mechanics to increase engagement and productivity. Nitro for Jive is an integrated, add-on module for Jive and uses incentives tailored for both individuals and specific groups of users.

Next week/this week, we look forward to bringing our product to Jive Software’s annual user conference - JiveWorld12.

Analyze it and Optimize it!

Keith Conley


"Set it and forget it," great for ease in the kitchen, horrible for your engagement program. Despite all levels of discernment, consternation and effort put into the design of your program, it was still built on assumptions about how the audience will react to various stimuli.  Developers and creative resources are often stretched to the limit in order to launch a multi-faceted program and the kickoff is often seen as the proof point of success. "Look at my shiny new site with engaging content and varied experiences. It's awesome." Success!

While there is a great sense of pride that should be shared amongst team members when launching a program, opening simply is not the measure of success.  Ask the restaurant business... In my opinion, the best part of launching a program is getting to test if, how and why it works. Don't be deterred by not hitting the jackpot immediately out of the box. Roll up your sleeves and optimize!


My 4 Big Takeaways from Dreamforce 2012

Rob Mullany


As I look back at Dreamforce 2012, it is very clear that is a very different kind of company. A couple of things are very evident about the company named the Most Innovative Company for the past 2 years by Forbes – they know how to have fun and they take customer satisfaction to a level few other companies can dream of. Here are my four big takeaways from this year’s Dreamforce:

Winning Over a Reluctant Audience


Let’s face it. Online consumers today are a reluctant bunch: They resist targeted marketing campaigns, they ignore email offers, and they provide minimal feedback when asked.

So what are they doing when they’re not responding to your outreach efforts? They’re interacting with each other via consumer-focused social platforms.  They’re looking for connections and experiences they trust and enjoy. What they’re not looking for is sanitized corporate messaging delivered via the same old, same old.