The rise of gamification marketing in India

Authored by Bhavesh Talreja, Founder & CEO, Globale MediaWith the widespread adoption of digital technologies, people spend more time online and engage with various digital platforms. This has led to markets figuring out new interactive and entertaining ways to capture the attention of users. One such way is Gamification.Gamification marketing is a strategy that involves integrating game-like elements, mechanics, and dynamics into marketing campaigns and experiences. In simple words, it is the use of game elements in non-game activities or making boring things more fun. It utilizes elements of gameplay to engage and motivate consumers, encouraging them to participate, interact with a brand, and take desired actions.The term “gamification” was coined by British computer programmer Nick Pelling, but it first gained widespread usage in 2010. Although the trend may have become commonplace in marketing circles in recent times, the concept of gamification and its influence on human behavior has always been there. We all remember how legos and puzzles played an instrumental role in fuelling curiosity and developing cognitive skills. Or how Monopoly gave a simplistic understanding of capitalism. So, the original concept of using games for encouraging participation and learning is not unusual.Gamification taps into the fundamental principles of human psychology and motivation. It leverages elements such as rewards, challenges, achievements, and competition, which are known to drive engagement and encourage desired behaviors.Gamification marketing aims to enhance user engagement, create memorable experiences, and drive specific behaviors or outcomes. By tapping into people's natural inclination for competition, achievement, and rewards, gamification marketing can capture attention, increase participation, and foster a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.According to shopping preference surveys, 70% of shoppers want gaming elements in online shopping, and 36% would like gaming elements while shopping in-store.The global gamification market size was estimated at USD 10.5 billion in 2021 and it is expected to reach around USD 96.8 billion by 2030.Some common elements and techniques used in gamification marketing are:? Points, Badges, and Leaderboards: Users earn points or badges for completing certain tasks, reaching milestones, or demonstrating desired behaviors. Leaderboards display rankings based on user performance, creating a sense of competition and motivation. This is a great way to encourage users to actively participate and spend more time with the brand.? Challenges, Quests, Rewards: Users are presented with specific challenges or quests that require them to complete certain actions or achieve specific goals. This element adds a sense of excitement, progression, and accomplishment. Users receive rewards, incentives, or prizes for their participation or successful completion of tasks. These can include discounts, exclusive content, virtual goods, or tangible rewards.A great example is the Starbucks Rewards app, which gives customers the ability to earn “stars” for every purchase which can be redeemed for drinks or food. In the star-based Rewards app, customers are encouraged to follow through the entire process, right from scanning their member barcode to adding funds and paying with their digital Starbucks Card. According to QSR Magazine, this membership program accounted for 52% of all US store sales in 2021.? Progression and Unlockable Content: Users progress through levels or stages, unlocking new content, features, or experiences as they advance. This creates a sense of achievement, curiosity, and motivation to continue engaging with the brand.Gamification marketing often incorporates social elements, such as allowing users to share their progress and achievements, or invite friends to participate. This not only fosters social interaction and competition but also exponentially increases brand visibility through word-of-mouth publicity. Real-time feedback and progress indicators provide users with immediate feedback on their actions, motivating them to continue or improve their performance. Gamification marketing can be implemented across various channels and platforms, including websites, mobile apps, social media campaigns, events, and loyalty programs. It is used by businesses to enhance customer engagement, drive brand loyalty, increase sales, promote product adoption, and gather valuable data insights.In India, an essential avenue for gamification is fantasy sports. With an 18-crore user base, almost thrice the size of North America, India is already the world's largest and fastest-growing fantasy sports market and gamification will be the icing on the cake.With gamification, even traditional card games like online rummy which seem mundane, can become viral sensations. But unlike the rewards system, players can compete for real money or prizes, thereby making it a profession. Online rummy is the hottest pick in the ecosystem, with just the top four companies making a combined revenue of ?4000 crores. In 2019, Online rummy accounted for 335 million USD in India's online gaming market and is estimated to reach 1.4 billion USD by 2024.Many international brands have already tried out different types of gamification marketing. 1. Elon Musk’s Tesla partnered with Tencent during the launch of Model 3 and Model X in China. The two companies entered into a partnership for Tesla cars to be included in PUBG, which is rebranded as ‘Game of Peace’ in China. This marketing campaign allowed players of the game to actually drive the new special edition Tesla electric vehicles within matches. This type of gamification marketing is also known as Brandification, which is as simple as advertising real-world products within video game spaces.2. In 2010, when M&M’s launched the pretzel-flavored version of the candy, they incorporated an eye spy game into their marketing campaign, where users had to find? a single pretzel hidden in the sea of M&M's. This simple gamification strategy garnered 25,000 new likes on the brand’s Facebook page, in addition to 6,000 shares and 10,000 comments.Thus, by leveraging the principles of gamification, brands can create immersive and enjoyable experiences that resonate with their target audience, resulting in increased brand awareness, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, business growth.India is a land of games. Many games, including Chess, Polo, Snakes and ladders, have been born in India and are recognized globally. So, it should come as no surprise that India is one of the leading countries when it comes to gamification. Plus, with the Indian gaming industry valued at $2.6 billion in 2022 and expected to grow four-fold by 2027, the rise of gamification marketing will also be unstoppable. In India, there are avenues awaiting implementation of gamification such as the edtech market. Levels, points, badges, awards, quick feedback, time limitations, challenges, contests, avatars, leaderboards, and rankings can completely change the way people learn.After all, it's not always about competing to win, but sharing how you won.

Phillip Lord joins The Game Company as non-executive director

Dubai: UAE - The Game Company, an AI-driven cloud gaming platform, is pleased to welcome Non-Executive Director,  Phillip Lord. With twenty years of investment banking experience, Phillip has previously worked with Jefferies, Nomura & HSBC, and the Co-Founder of Pimlico Partners.“We believe that his experience will not only drive our success but also leave a profound and lasting impact on the gaming industry as a whole," said Osman Masud, CEO of The Game Company.As Non-Executive Director, Phillip will oversee strategic planning, partnerships, and investor relations, helping The Game Company to achieve its vision of providing the most advanced, flexible, and inclusive platform. With Lord's leadership and expertise, the company is poised for even greater success in the years to come.“I am confident that we can achieve our goals, particularly in leveraging cloud gaming as the optimal solution to welcome the next billion gamers into the market. Together, we will shape the future of gaming, reaching a wider audience than ever deemed possible." expressed Phillip.Phillip possesses expertise that extends across various areas, such as funding capital, managing investor relationships, and navigating exit strategies, all of which have been oned through years of experience in American, European, Asian, and Australian markets. Moreover, he has established solid international ties with significant sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms, venture capitalists, and hedge funds.With his strong grasp of the industry landscape and emerging trends, he plays a pivotal role in identifying and exploring new business opportunities that align with the company's growth objectives. Phillip's ability to foresee and capitalize on market shifts will enable The Game Company to stay at the forefront of the ever-evolving gaming industry.

iion and MMPWW unite to reshape MENA's gaming landscape

Dubai: iion, the global leader in gaming advertising, and MMP World Wide (MMPWW), a prominent ad-tech provider in the region, have joined forces to revolutionize gaming experiences in the vibrant Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market.In an era where gaming is on the rise, this groundbreaking collaboration aims to unlock the full potential of immersive gaming formats for brands, driving substantial growth in an industry that is projected to reach an astounding market volume of US$449.60 million by 2027, according to Statista.Coinciding with a remarkable surge in gaming and metaverse investments, the Middle East is quickly establishing itself as a hotspot for cutting-edge innovations. The MENA region is set to host an estimated 87.9 million gamers by the end of 2023, propelled by mobile gaming, increased investments from both public and private sectors, and the explosive growth of esports.Thanks to the revolutionary immersiion platform offered by iion, clients of MMPWW now have unparalleled access to the ever-expanding gaming audience across all devices and environments. Yasin Dabhelia, Head of Demand, US & UK, says, “The Middle East is emerging as a top market for gaming and the metaverse, with significant investment being directed towards this sector. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for brands in the region to integrate into gaming environments and leverage measurement and targeting tools to determine their return on investment. I can’t wait to showcase this alongside MMPWW.”Sanjaya Molligoda, iion co-founder, said: “We are incredibly excited to join forces with MMPWW, and to enable brands in the MENA region to tap into the massive potential of game advertising. As gaming experiences rapid growth—thanks to significant investments by Middle Eastern governments and the private sector—advertisers can connect with a diverse, engaged audience. Our goal is to establish gaming as an indispensable, always-on media plan component.”Molligoda highlights the extraordinary opportunities this partnership offers advertisers, allowing them to connect with gaming audiences across multiple platforms. "Our unique self-serve ad platform provides extensive access to inventory, including in-game, around-the-game, and away-from-the-game environments on PC, console, app, web, esports, and game influencers."Ultimately, Molligoda believes that this partnership will reshape the advertising landscape in the rapidly growing Middle Eastern gaming market.Walid Ramadan, GM of MMP Experiences, said: “We are delighted to be iion’s new and exclusive partner for the MENA region. Their innovative programmatic offering puts the user at the heart of the experience, while still allowing for in-depth targeting to reach these diverse audiences and create tailored messaging that best aligns with their interests. We look forward to collaborating with the team to bring these immersive solutions to our clients.”This groundbreaking partnership empowers brands to craft captivating and immersive campaigns that resonate with gamers across all devices. With the average UAE gamer spending an impressive USD 115 per year, as reported by Mordor Intelligence, this alliance is primed to capitalize on the rapidly expanding market.Excitingly, iion and MMPWW are gearing up for an agency roadshow where they will unveil their state-of-the-art gaming solutions to brands and advertisers across the region. Stay tuned for further details about this highly anticipated event, promising remarkable opportunities and invaluable insights for industry professionals.Romit Gharat, Ad Tech Director at MMPWW, said: “Our partnership with iion will unlock new channels for brands to reach a large number of engaged audiences in a unique and fascinating environment. With the potential to revolutionize the way advertisers can reach and engage with gamers, we are thrilled to offer this innovative and effective approach to driving brand awareness, engagement, and sales in the region.”