Gamification – A new trend in international Marketing


Gamification – A new trend in International Marketing

The play instinct exists in every human being within living memory. Nowadays people all over the world spend more than 3 Billion hours a week playing computer games (Cf. Stone, 2012, p. 33). In order to take advantage of this development, companies use a new marketing strategy called Gamification. In Great Britain and the USA Gamification entered widespread adoption already a few years ago. In Germany it is established since last year (Cf. Janke, 2012, pp. 8-10). Drivers for the implementation of Gamification are the rise of social networks, location based internet services and the prevalence of smartphones (Cf. Wurst, 2012, p. 14).

But what is Gamification? It is the use of game mechanics in non-game context. Activities like scoring or attaining new levels are supposed to improve the brand perception and customer participation (Nameless author, 2012, p. 26)

Games are probably the oldest human cultural and developmental technique. Long before Homo Sapiens learned to speak, read and write, Homo Ludens (“the playing human”) played the first games (Cf., 12.03.2012). In our modern times, games are particularly used to escape from everyday life. There are four main reasons why people play: for mastery, to distress, to have fun and to socialize (Cf., Zichermann, 2011, p. 48)

A very important key factor which makes games motivating is the so called flow (Cf., Zichermann, 2011, p. 42). It describes the balance between challenge and personal skills. A player in that zone is in a state between anxiety and boredom. Also, rewards play a very essential role as games should create engagement and loyalty (Cf., Zichermann, 2011, p. 34). If you want to drive loyalty and don’t want to give away tons of cash for rewards, the solution is SAPS. It’s a system of rewards which can easily and cost-efficiently be involved in a game. It stands for status, access, power and stuff (Cf. Stone, 2012, pp. 36-37).  For further information on these subjects, please watch the video linked above.

Regarding the game mechanics, there are seven primary elements which have to be implemented: Points, levels, leaderboards, badges, onboarding, challenges/quests and engagement loops. However, having these foundations is not enough. There are some secrets ingredients which are still missing in a lot of games (Cf.,, 22.03.2012). Just as above, please click on the embedded movie to gain more knowledge about these points.

But why should marketing departments deal with this new social trend?

There is an easy answer to this question: Because there are many advantages which exceed certain threats which of course also have to be regarded. Your company or brand realizes attention, emotionalisation, loyalty, commitment, virality and the gain of data. For this reason, gamification markets are – as you will understand by watching the clip – expected to gain the tenfold volume as today in the next few years (Cf. Paravicini, 2012, p. 8).



Deterding, S., Meaningful Play: Getting Gamification Right,, 22.03.2012

Janke, K., Alle reden über Gamification. Zu Recht: Spielelemente motivieren Probanden und verbessern die Ergebnisse, 2012, in: HORIZONT 15.03.2012, pp. 8-10

Nameless author, Entertainment und Social Media, 2012, in: Lebensmittel Zeitung 06.01.2012, p. 26

Paravicini, S., Das Web 2.0 wird für Unternehmen zur Spielwiese, 2012, in: Börsen-Zeitung 14.02.2012, p. 8

Schmid, K., – Spieltrieb – Der Mensch als “Spieltier”, in:, 12.03.2012

Stone, A., The rules of play: What business can learn from game technology, 2012, in: Performance, p. 33

Wurst, S., Bernhard Fischer- Appelt „Digital Storytelling! Die stärkste Weiterentwicklung.“, 2012, in: Kontakter 02.01.2012, p. 14

Zichermann, G., Cunnigham, C., Gamification by Design, 2011


Über Prof. Dr. Heike Simmet

Prof. Dr. Heike Simmet Professorin für Betriebswirtschaft Speaker und Beraterin
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