How small businesses can leverage engagement with game-based marketing campaigns


The thinking around gamification and its role in marketing campaigns needs a serious refresher. For too long games have found themselves the novelty addition to larger marketing campaigns, always a bridesmaid, never the bride.

Successful games are more than just fun. The high-quality data they can generate to support smart decisions is of great value to any small and medium sized business (SME).

Game-based marketing (also known as ‘gamification’) is shifting the way businesses tackle marketing, statistical and business challenges. It’s therefore important that business owners and self-employed professions are on top of this emerging trend.

The power of engaging an audience

There is no doubt that games are a powerful way to engage an audience. It doesn’t matter if you’re a baby boomer or millennial; games play an important part in our lives in the way we engage with information, content and entertainment.

The Australian public has high levels of engagement with games. Simple puzzle games like Candy Crush and Pokemon GO have helped move gaming into the mainstream, engaging millions of consumers across the globe across multiple platforms.

Furthermore, the reach of games in today’s world is staggering, particularly given the rise of smart phones and the continual advancement of gaming content. While the majority just see a great form of entertainment, those ahead of the curve understand that there’s a unique opportunity for Australian small businesses and marketing professionals to enhance the way they attain insights from potential and current customers.

Many professionals believe the focus of gamification should be on the design of a great game, but it’s much more than that if you want to leverage it for business purposes.

The development of a game can be treated in the same way any other campaign would be treated. This includes measurable objectives, a set budget, an overall goal that supports the business, and KPI’s that effectively lead to improved business performance.

Turning engagement into business results

In today’s climate many SME owners and marketing professionals are completely unaware of the potential of audience engagement and how it can be leveraged to drive business performance.

The formula is rather simple: a switched-on consumer is an honest consumer, and honesty creates insights which in turn creates clear business opportunities.

Businesses can easily piggyback proven gaming models to foster these insights, but currently choose not to. Take the highly successful ‘freemium’ model of gaming, every time a player reaches a certain level they are asked to pay a monetary amount. Instead of asking for small recurring payments, why not ask important questions and utilise these answers to shape informed messages?

A survey blended in seamlessly with rewarding and fun gameplay becomes a cherished experience, something many other mediums simply can’t offer. The digital reach is far and wide and you can strategically tailor an activation to suit your specific demographic.

The future of gamification marketing

We have entered a new phase of marketing, and there are certainly some questions around gamification that still need to be addressed. For this reason, we have partnered with the Queensland University of Technology to further explore how inclined people are to provide information to a company when they are completely immersed in gameplay.

The gamification sector is rife with untapped potential, and we are only scratching the surface.

It’s certainly important for SME’s and marketers to be ahead of the trend. Gaming delivers on multiple outcomes and is great value for money. With it, you can give consumers unrivalled brand experience and achieve a cost-effective way to obtain information and shape better marketing messages.


About the author

Rob Holden, Founder & Creative Director, rubin8