Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Game-Based Marketing Takes Off From Frequent Flyer Programs to Social Media

March 30, 2010: summarized from GamesBeat -- Gabe Zichermann coined the term Funware to describe the use of video game mechanics in everyday, non-game applications. It was a big idea that has now become a rallying cry for the spread of video games beyond their traditional borders into industries that seem remotely related to games.

What Zichermann, chief executive of beamME and a 12-year game industry veteran, realized was that games motivate people to do things that they wouldn’t ordinarily do. The book (subtitled “Inspire customer loyalty through rewards challenges and contests”) debuts this week and is a must read for marketers, including the folks who are attending the MI6 game marketing conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Funware is an intuitive concept. If you turn work into game, people willingly do it. If you make a tedious school assignment into a game-like competition, kids will become engaged with it. If you add a rewards-based loyalty program to your product, people will choose it over rivals. The time has come to “game-ify” all of the boring industries so that users will be motivated to use products and services because they want to, not because they have to. In fact, the authors argue that just about any task can be designed so that it can be more fun.

Over the past couple of years, the idea has gained steam. Venture capitalists such as Bing Gordon, former chief creative officer at Electronic Arts and Kleiner Perkins partner, believe that Funware has the potential to change all of advertising.

Game-based marketing is one of those things that has been around forever, but is only now getting recognized for what it is. Games have grabbed a bigger share of the entertainment market because they’re sticky. They get people to come back over and over in a way that ordinary ads or marketing programs do not.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/bz8Ui5

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