Earlier this year we began offering full-day intensive Gamification Strategy workshops for our customers who have purchased the Lithium Premium Gamification product.
We framed our workshop content around the point of view that today’s social businesses face major problems around customer motivation and engagement. Gamification, or the incorporation of game attributes into a non-game context to drive game-like player behavior, provides an opportunity to help brands solve these difficult problems.
Applying a strategic planning lens to this workshop, the Strategy Consulting group began with the goal of understand how gamification can be leveraged for business. Going into each session our goal has been to help our customers better understand what gamification is, how it works and whether it will work for us, all from a Science of Social perspective.
This workshop addresses all three questions – what is it, how it functions within branded communities, and which strategies and tactics we should deploy when designing a game for our customers – while exploring both the potential benefits and pitfalls of gamification.
These workshops continue to receive great participation from our customers across various groups inside the business including customer support, CRM, UI/UX, Biz Dev, Marketing and Operations.
The agenda is as follows:
100: the basics
101: why gamification works – mechanics
102: why gamification works – psychology & motivation
200: how gamification drives business value
201: key initiatives for communities
202: design guideline for communities
300: define your “end game”
301: lithium gamification planning canvas
302: High-level deployment timeline
Feedback we have received on these workshops is that attendees felt the content was engaging, highly relevant and a good mix of theory and practice. Folks were asking many questions and challenging others in the room during the exercises intermixed with games to keep the room active. Nearly all of our customers gave us high marks on the gamification planning canvas exercise where we built a gameplan based on the theory and practice sections.
Actual Customer Quotes:
Which part of the workshop did you find most useful?
All of it! Great background on the process, great granularity in the end
Which part of the workshop did you find least useful?
Jeopardy game - because I didn’t win. 😉
Which part of the workshop did you find most useful?
I really appreciated learning more about the player motivations and how to plan for the short term and long term.
Would you recommend this Lithium Social Strategy Consulting Workshop to a colleague?
Yes, I think this workshop was an excellent way to get us started on developing our gamification strategy.
And to recognize everyone who have taken the gamification workshop, we have released an exclusive badge, which will be displayed on your profile.
If you would like to received more information on how to host one of these workshops at your company, please contact your Account Executive or ping me Xavier Jimenez here @XavierJ or @xjimenez on Twitter.
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Absolutely agree w/ Lisa.
As Autodesk is a large well established community thinking through any modification of Rank Structure is critical, glad to see you reaching out for best practices.
As far as how to go about it? I'll list a few things we go over in much detail during our Gamification workshops w/ clients here and look for the community to chime in.
Make sure you are thinking through how Ranks > Category experts and Badges all work together, each provide something different and should be deployed accordingly. Basically what we're saying here is to avoid awarding users for the same achievements using different features: [ ranks , rank icons, badges & achievement indicators in signatures & avatars]
As lisa poointed out, focus your energies on how your community personas have evolved over time, as ranking systems rely on the competitive instinct of users to reach the next level, similar to advancing in a video game, the competitive nature will apply to many users [achievers, killers] but may not be key drivers for others [socializers and killers] making a rank nomenclature that spans all of these groups is key, and not an easy task. our recommendation, grab a piece of paper and draw out your rank structure in a visual format - try a mind-mapping exercise to align new or evolvoing rank naming to the ethos of your community of players.
Finally, creating an engaging rank ladder is key: in this step try to think through how to make it easy to move up for the socializer, then slightly more challenging for the explorers and achievers and finally superusers [killers]
putting your game designer hat on, identify a game that fits your design strategy and on a pience of paper try to mimic the gradually increasing difficulty levels of a game
consider a healthy balance between ability to rank up and the level of challenge
dont forget to make it fun and a challenge involving elements of surprise
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Today's social businesses face major problems around consumer/customer motivation and engagement. Gamification, or the incorporation of game attributes into a non-game context to drive game-like player behavior, provides an opportunity to help brands solve these difficult problems. If gamification is to be of use to business, we must understand it is not a panacea to fix shoddy service, lame products or bad talent. That being said, when done well, gamification + community + shared purpose = loyalty.
When it comes to Gamification, there is a lot of Bull out there. Lithium's POV is that good gamification is based on the confluence of Science, Practice and Product. Understanding the basic science is where it all starts. For a refresher we recommend reading these two posts from Michael Wu, Ph.D. Lithium's Chief Scientist.
Gamification from a Company of Pro Gamers
What is Gamification, Really?
Getting grounded in science will help clarify what gamification is as well as a clear understanding of the fundamental building blocks needed to build long-term and sustainable gamification systems for the enterprise. Once you’ve got the science down, you’ll want help explaining to your boss why Gamification is not a game, but serious business. A $2.8 Billion industry by 2016.
Tip: when your boss asks “what the deal with gamification in business”, here’s a short answer, sure to grab some attention. Companies deploying gamified applications are taking what makes games so exciting (shared purpose, challenge, reward) and deploying mechanics that make them work (points, badges, leaderboards) and combining all of this in order to enhance customer loyalty, motivate purchases and even better retain, motivate and encourage talent.
Push back: What if your boss says “But, game mechanics become ineffective after a while.” True, if you do not work constantly to understand how your users are evolving and design for flow, people adapt & get bored. Sustainable gamification requires planning for continuity all along the loyalty loop, which means care and feeding over time! Luckily most of you reading this blog have a community, which means you are a step ahead of most businesses looking to deploy gamified applications on a website. A branded community is the shared space that can help pull people back into the interactions important to the brand, members, customers, partners, etc…
So how do you get started?
Starting from scratch is never fun, but if you’re already a Lithium customer you don’t have to! Chances are if you’ve deployed the Lithium Platform to engage your customers and learn more about what they want, don’t want and might want from you then your way ahead of the curve. That means, for you, it’s easier than most to extract value from gaming mechanics and dynamics as they are already part of your toolbox.
If you’re ready to take your community gamification to the next level have a look at our Premium Gamification Product and let Lithium teach you some best practices we've learned from our customers as well as examples of gamification done well in the wild. The product comes with a full-on Gamification Strategy workshop that will help you deploy a gamification toolkit. Your boss, PR/HR/Marketing teams, design resources and/or agency partners will thank you for sharing a practical toolkit to deploy best practices for getting started with the Lithium Premium Gamification Product.
To wrap things up…Gamification can provide tangible benefits to the enterprise. [increased customer engagement, motivate participants, influence positive behaviors, drive adoption and learning, improve the quality of services, etc], but good gamification is hard to design, and most gamified applications fail due to poor design. To avoid the epic fail of your gamification programs you need a strategic program planning framework based on science, practice and product.
We’re here to help.
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