Don’t let games have all the fun: Why B2B marketers need to have a gamification strategy

Estimated reading time
5 minutes
16th March 2022
Author: Ellen Montgomery
Posted in: Content Distribution & Promotion, Content Production, Psychology & Science, Strategy & Planning, Technology

Gamification marketing is an online tool to encourage engagement. In a study by TalentLMS, 89% of employees believed that they would be more productive if their work involved more game-like activities, with 83% of people who received gamified training, more motivated to work. 

Conversion rates of websites with interactive content are nearly six times higher than those without it. So, what can gamification marketing do for your business and how can it be incorporated into your B2B marketing strategy? 

Why is gamification so successful?

Gamification is a rapidly expanding market, with industry value growing from $4.91 billion in 2016 to $11.94 billion in early 2021.

In essence, human beings love to play games. It taps into our naturally competitive nature. From a B2B marketing perspective, games engage people on a much deeper level than traditional marketing. Games hold attention for longer periods. They are highly effective, interactive tools in stimulating the motivational drivers of individuals.

Gamification works in a similar way to the IKEA effect – where if you take part in the creative process of something, you become more attached to it. If you encourage your customers to partake and influence your marketing content, it is more rewarding for them. Turtl CEO Nick Mason explains more on the IKEA effect and the psychology of attention in Turtl’s March 2022 webinar.

As such, with games, users are encouraged to actively take part – completing specific tasks with unique actions distinctive to the game. Gamification in marketing works because people like to compete with others and experience a story for themselves.

People also want to share their results with others – showing off their personal progress. This sharing element is a pivotal part of the marketing process. As a result, engagement rates are higher, and personal gratification increases. 

Interactive advantages of gamification in B2B

Increased brand awareness 

Not only does gamification make regular information seem more interesting (think promotional offers, branding, etc), it is an effective tool in explaining the benefits of a service or product. Gamification marketing can educate and inform people in the same way young children start to learn – through interactivity, playing, and having a ‘fun’ experience.

infographic reads 'let the games begin' and outlines the connection between games, entertainment, engagement and a motivated audience

Improved customer experience = greater loyalty

Games are entertaining. People are more likely to engage when entertained. When people have positive, interactive, engaging experiences, they will be more likely to return. 

Loyalty is one of the easiest areas in which to incorporate gamification. Starbucks is a popular example of gamification being used in this way. Customers collect stars, which fill up cups, and are redeemable against future purchases.

When people use this gamified loyalty scheme, Starbucks gets information on their favorite purchases. Starbucks will then use this information to create custom offers for the individual. By giving customers more stars with each visit, customers are encouraged to visit regularly, with a video-game style progress bar. 

Organic lead generation

Gamifying your customer-facing content helps attract prospects and keep them active. Engaged prospects are more likely to share their personal information. As a result, you get one of the most valuable assets in business: data.

You can use this data to specifically target the prospect and improve your understanding of your target audience (similar to how Starbucks know exactly what offers you will like because of your loyalty card).

  • By providing relevant information, users are interested. 
  • Stimulating that interest engages users. 
  • By engaging that user, they will be more likely to respond to your CTA.

What games work in B2B marketing?

Different games work in different ways and have varied outcomes. 

Knowledge-based games are highly engaging and require a lot of focus. These games could include quizzes, word games, personality tests, and prioritization lists.

Luck-based games require less focus but will get more interactivity because they are easier to complete. These games could include spinning wheels, bingo, slot games, scratch cards, and dice-based games.

image reads 'guess the word' with scrabble tiles below reading 'gamification' but some of the letters are missing

Level-based games require lots of focus and effort. However, when done correctly, they are one of the most effective types of games. This is because audiences stay on your page for longer, trying to get to the next level. These games could include sports-based games such as target practice, navigation games such as mazes, and memory games. 

In a recent study, 30% of adult learners preferred progressing to a different level type of game, over anything else. The key is to find something that fits your brand and message.

Implementing gamification into your B2B marketing strategy

The key to getting started with gamification is to have an open mind. Being adaptable in your approach to gamification will help a lot, especially in the beginning.

When thinking of a concept for a game you could use, ensure it is scalable. The best way to do this is to keep the game simple – no overly complicated rules that take days to understand. It is time you do not have. Keep it fun and easy to understand. 

It is also important not to rush the process of introducing gamification. Taking the time to create a high-quality, engaging game will be worth it. A poor-quality game with unclear objectives will not work well and may even result in loss of credibility. Professional guidance from a creative agency will reap long-term benefits. 

As with other aspects of content marketing, it is important to keep the ultimate purpose in mind. Do not lose sight of your audience and what will appeal to them. Clarify what you want to achieve, consider what your users are looking for and what they want.

The game is up…

While gamification is not the only marketing method to engage B2B buyers, it does encourage personal interactivity. Tapping into the competitive psychology of the human mind, more competitive games result in higher engagement (and more play). 

Incentivizing audiences (game players), either with physical discounts or simply their own satisfaction, makes learning about your target audience easier. However, gamification is not a quick fix to deeper business problems – think of gamification as more of a way to understand human behavior.

At Turtl, we recently gamified a charity outreach project for World Wildlife Day. Many of our content analytics saw a positive effect; from reader numbers to page events to social media shares. Take our quiz below to see gamification marketing in action, or follow our LinkedIn page which regularly utilizes interactivity. 

Turtl