Websites that stick – gamification of B2B websites
Website engagement has become one of the biggest headaches for online marketers during the last couple of years. With a more demanding and online savvy audience, making websites ‘sticky’ is a real art.
Not only you want your website to be remembered but you want people to engage and interact with it…
More and more websites have started to use one of the simplest interaction methodologies…Games….
As we know, the key components of games are goals, rules, challenges, and interaction.
The term ‘Gamification’ refers to the use of game play mechanics for non-game consumer technology applications.
We have seen B2C websites flooded by myriads of game applications ranging from growing a farm and milking cows on the McDonald’s website to one the latest Uniqlo sites where you can gain points and win discounts.
Gamifaction of B2B websites
But I am more intrigued to see if the B2B online sphere can and/or will leverage and/or monetise on such a phenomena? For obvious reasons, it is harder to imagine that professionals will take an extra second or two to ‘play some games’ on corporate websites.
The popularity of computer games has witnessed an unprecedented growth during the last couple of years. Adults were the primary source of this growth, more specifically adults over 30 on the other side of the Atlantic pond.
By listening to the excellent video by Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world
we know, there are a number of game related dynamics such as:
- Appointment dynamic (happy hour)
- Progression dynamic
- Influence and status dynamics
According to Seth, the last couple of years were about socialising…making people connect. The next couple of years will be ‘making fun’ out of all the networks and online applications we have.
Without necessarily realising it, we (professionals) are already using websites featuring game dynamics, such as the progression dynamic, on a daily basis.
Does this sound familiar to you? Your profile is 60% complete…LinkedIn (one of the first to introduce this idea), one of the most popular websites targeting professionals is using progression dynamics to encourage users to interact (build their profile) with its applications.
There are a number of other examples that I have recently come across.
IBM has recently launched a website game (CityOne innov8) for its Smart City campaign talking about sustainability and helping position IBM as a leader in sustainability consulting. A whole area of the website is based on a game application where you have to simulate business decisions to make profit whilst bearing in mind sustainability and the environment. (Unfortunately you do need to register to have a look)
Another famous business publisher McKinsey Quarterly has a whole section for its interactive features. Some of it does contain elements of gaming, like the one on ‘Squeezing more ideas out of product teardowns’ http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Interactive/Squeezing_more_ideas_from_product_teardowns_2402
It doesn’t come as a surprise, that B2B sites will embrace this methodology mainly for educational reasons, and the first emerging examples are essentially linked to innovation, R&D and creativity.
I will keep on eye on further examples… but it will be interesting to see what B2B organisations will be the first ones to realise the potential of gamification.