The Federal Credit Union September-October 2013 - (Page 46)

inside nafcu services Gamification: Three Steps to Foolproof Engagement By Wayne Conte A lthough the concept has been around for decades, the term “gamification” was coined in 2002 and exponentially gained popularity around 2010. Gamification is the use of game mechanics to engage users and influence behavior. It’s widely used for diverse applications in marketing, education, loyalty building, productivity boosting, security authentication, incentive programs, and more. Chances are you already participate in several gamification programs. One example of gamification dates back to the 1980s, when the airlines launched their frequent flyer programs. The result is millions of participants earning points or miles in exchange for their loyalty. The airlines quickly determined that air travelers were more interested in achieving elite status than earning rewards. Leveraging the consumer’s need for status — or achievement — is demonstrated in other gamified applications such as receiving endorsements on LinkedIn and “likes” on Facebook, earning badges on TripAdvisor or Yelp, becoming a mayor on Foursquare, or tracking fitness activities with the wearable Jawbone. According to a Gartner report, more than 70 percent of the Forbes Global 2000 companies will have at least one gamified application by 2014.1 These companies will invest billions of dollars over the next few years to implement gamification and, ultimately, differentiate themselves through gamification strategies. As consumers become more accustomed to gamification in their everyday lives, it makes good business sense for 1. 46 you to engage both your members — and your employees — in the same manner. the program objectives do not compete with your credit union’s organizational goals. Here’s how to get started: 3. Track your results. 1. Know your players. Knowing your target demographic and their preferences is critical to program design. Understand their lifestyle, education, income and age. Do you have baby boomers or millennials? In what manner will they play the game? Will they engage through a website or social network, or will they use a paper scorecard? Doing your homework will help you develop a better program and effective messaging. 2. Define your objectives. If something is amiss in the program design, you’ll see it in the results. It is important to set and track participation and achievement rates. Be sure to regularly communicate results with your staff and keep in mind that consumers — and your employees — want recognition for their game participation. This leads to higher performance as they strive for the next level. If you find you are not achieving your desired results, consider these pitfalls: Is the game too easy? Developing skills and mastery makes a game fun and keeps players engaged. ■■ Did you narrowly limit who can participate? There’s a fine line between the allure of exclusivity and the boredom of too many rules. ■■ Are you forcing social networking on participants who would not otherwise engage this way? ■■ Are the participants exploiting loopholes? ■■ Ultimately, what do you wish to accomplish through your program? Are you looking to achieve brand awareness or increase your number of auto loans or Web traffic? Maybe you are looking to retain members. Be specific as to your objectives, and then develop a budget with measurable goals and a realistic timeline. Taking these steps will prevent your program from growing out of scope or becoming unwieldy. Gamified programs for employees can boost sales productivity, improve the member service experience, or simply increase knowledge about a particular product. For employee gamication programs, there are three special considerations. First, assign a champion on the senior management team who will promote the program. Second, consider how much time your employees need to actively participate. Lastly, ensure Use gamification as another resource in your tool kit for engaging members and employees. It can take the form of a limited-time campaign or an openended program. Either way, an effective gamified application will help you build loyalty and achieve desired results. Wayne Conte is executive vice president of the Affinion Group. Gartner Inc., “Gartner Says by 2015, More Than 50 Percent of Organizations That Manage Innovation Processes Will Gamify Those Processes,” news release, April 12, 2011, The Federal CrediT Union September–OctOber 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Federal Credit Union September-October 2013

Voices & Opinions
Fromt the Chair
Inside NAFCU
Technology Today
What You Need to Know Now About EMV
core Competency
In Case of Emergency
Delivering for Dealers
Getting to Know...
Management Insight
Compliance Central
Inside NAFCU Services
From the President's Desk

The Federal Credit Union September-October 2013