The ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’ of Gamification

The ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’ of Gamification

By Adam Catlow

I hear the word gamification batted around time and again, but what does it actually mean? And how can it be used effectively?

Gamification is a broad term for any type of interactive online marketing which aims to encourage engagement with your audience. This can range from a simple, prize-based competition to a big budget online game with multi-channel integration, incentives and analysis.

Gamification isn’t a new ‘2016 trend’ but, as technology becomes more advanced, the possibilities of what we can achieve online through gamification grows.



Gamification can be applied to many different target audiences, ranging from potential new customer incentives and current customer loyalty programs to employee engagement and enhancing training processes.

Game mechanics help to distinguish content from the mass of static content within the digital arena.

It’s oft repeated that content is king, and this couldn’t be any truer than in the social media environment, so providing rich, interactive content is an important technique to generating audience engagement. This is where gamification comes into its own.

A good example is the Nike Running – Levels App.

Levels is a reward-based form of gamification which also ties into social media and simultaneously promotes the Nike brand and the Levels app. The more miles you accumulate, the further up the scale you go. There are seven levels, each represented by a colour; when you get to a new level you can share your progress with friends socially, which can then generate further competition and potential new users.


Gamification isn’t for everyone;  knowing your target audience is imperative to its success. Millennials will love it, but my grandma, maybe not so much.

Gamification is a proven engagement tool, and it is only going to grow. As technology advances there will be scope to advance the potential of gamification

An example of future implementation of gamification involves Facebook’s Messenger platform.

Facebook recently released Messenger bots (April 2016). Messenger bots allow a user to interact with a Facebook page via the Messenger app, the bot is designed to respond to user input and provide an autonomous response.

Facebook themselves released the Basketball game within messenger in March 2016, which Facebook states has had over 43.7million plays (and counting). The game is terribly simple yet frustratingly addictive.




We know bots will be big and are already busy coding away creating some for Messenger.

Gamification allows us to create and centre strategies around great, rich and interactive content which will drive user engagement, loyalty and ultimately get them excited about the brand and talk about/share it.

We have already created very successful apps and campaigns centred around gamification and it’s changing the way businesses interact with their audiences as a great way to drive engagement. With the right strategy applied around the incentive, gamification can be a real winner for both the brand and the audience!

Love yourself some gamification? Share your favourite examples with us @mycleveragency.

This post was written by Adam Catlow

Adam is one of myclever™ Agency's developers. A fan of all sports and a player of two (Lacrosse and Cricket), when Adam's not developing he can be found playing sport, watching sport, travelling (loves to Scuba) or in a nice beer garden!