Gamification: Incentivize Your Constituents to Act
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"Gamification" is one of those buzzwords that makes its way around the nonprofit and marketing worlds every so often. Maybe you've thought about it before. Maybe it sounds too complicated. Or, maybe you heard about it at a conference a couple years ago and dismissed it as a passing fad. Yet, gamification doesn't need to just be a buzzword, and it doesn't need to be something big and complicated. It should simply be a tool in your marketing arsenal to buoy constituent behavior through incentives.
Back when gamification was first starting to be discussed, many organizations thought they needed to take a cue from popular mobile apps like Foursquare and create complex systems of badges and levels, perhaps in a custom member center, or even develop their own mobile apps. There are subtler examples of gamification that are far easier to implement, however, and they can improve your results much more clearly.
Have you ever been driven to do something just to feel like you've "finished" it? Or, to feel like you're in a group of "top performers"? There are elements of gamification embedded in many of the things we do every day, especially online.
Have you felt compelled to complete your profile in a new app or website after it tells you you're "80% finished"? Or, do more of a particular activity to move up a virtual "leaderboard"? Just recently, I was playing a mobile trivia game, and it told me I was in the top 10 in my area in a particular category. I wasn't even interested in that category — I was only playing it to unlock a particular badge — but suddenly I was invested. Who cares if very few people in my area were likely using the app at that moment or if minutes before I'd been bored with the game? I now had a ranking to protect!