I spent many years working for the European energy group E.ON. If I think how I would have reacted back then if a company had come up and said they wanted to gamify the business, my instinctive response would probably have been rather sceptical. At the time games were more of an unknown quantity for ordinary people, especially in the business world.
Today my reaction would be different. I’ve learned about gamification and games have become part of our consciousness in a completely different way. For the past five years, I’ve been MD of the business incubator Minc in Malmö. Minc’s incubator companies are already working on games and gamification in various forms.
Despite the fact that people today are more familiar with games, I still don’t think you should start off by trying to sell gamification as a concept, blithely assuming that your client is on the same wavelength as you are. Instead you need to show the client the results and effects that can be achieved by using game logic to solve traditional problems.
Things to think about when making your pitch – sell the result
For a major group in a relatively traditional industry, retaining customer loyalty, increasing staff motivation and coming up with new innovative solutions are ever-present challenges. This is where I think gamification has a market in the future and companies that adopt gamification now will definitely be ahead of the game.
As in all business and change projects, it’s about identifying what the client’s and the management team’s problems are. Understand what the client and the management team want to achieve, introduce a solution that’s relevant to that and focus on the successful result.
Most importantly, make sure you’ve got good arguments in place about how, and in precisely what way, this will boost business. Show examples! If you have already gamified other businesses, show what it led to and how your solution differs from that of your competitors. Show a tailored demo as quickly as possible. This creates trust that the solution works and gives you feedback from the customer showing whether you are on the right track.
I’m convinced that we will see a number of new constellations and partnerships between people with experience in creating games and communications agencies. For agencies, game mechanics are an excellent complement to their existing client offers, while for gaming experts, the agencies offer a good lead-in for reaching new clients.
At Minc we will be monitoring the gamification trend and are keen to know more about companies offering this type of service.