50% of Innovation & Research Companies to Use “Gamification”

Anyone who’s fed up to the back teeth with CityVille, Wii’s and Xbox’s, look away now (and stay that way for, well… 2-3 years?). Gartner just released a...

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Anyone who’s fed up to the back teeth with CityVille, Wii’s and Xbox’s, look away now (and stay that way for, well… 2-3 years?). Gartner just released a report stating that 50% of companies that manage innovation and research will be using gamification to drive innovation by 2015. This is just the shiny tip of a very large iceberg. Prepare yourself for a few solid years of gamification mania!

The concept of gamification is pretty simple and makes a lot of sense: by adding a competitive – and often fun- element to tasks that people might otherwise lack the motivation to put effort into, you can radically enhance both performance and results. This is especially so with online services and applications.

MySpace are working with gaminication thought-leaders Bunchball to increase engagement on the social network. Similarly, in the now booming social CRM industry, branded “advocacy” community specialist, Lithium, uses gaming theory to motivate brand advocates. Founded by once-professional gamer Lyle Fong, they had something of a head start in this market.

The new Gartner report cites a surprising and impressive example of gamification being used in the most unlikely of organisations: the UK Department for Work and Pensions:

“The Department for Work and Pensions created an innovation game called Idea Street to decentralize innovation and generate ideas from its 120,000 people across the organization. Idea Street is a social collaboration platform with the addition of game mechanics, including points, leader boards and a “buzz index.” Within the first 18 months, Idea Street had approximately 4,500 users and had generated 1,400 ideas, 63 of which had gone forward to implementation”.

Now, I’m primarily interested in marketing, but since social media marketing today is largely about engagement, I can see gaming and, especially, social gamification, playing an increasingly important role over the coming years.

Rajat Paharia, CEO of Bunchball, will be speaking on “Using Social Gaming Mechanics for Marketing” at Social Media Marketing & Monitoring 2011 in San Francisco on 23rd May.

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