Using Gamification to Power-up your Marketing
Authors: Daniel Griffin & Albert van der Meer
Review by: Lucinda Carney
At first glance, the title of this book isn’t an obvious choice for an HR audience, however, I soon realized that there were a number of parallels and applications. In fact, one of the first examples of poor gamification refers to HR’s attempts to make mandatory health and safety training ‘fun’. Whether this is harsh or fair, I realized that most people professionals could benefit from an understanding of what works in marketing as it’s largely about persuading people to think or act in a certain way.
Section one moves into the biology of motivation explaining some classic psychological experiments that explain how we are motivated towards reward or away from punishment and the role that dopamine plays in gamification. This is brought to life by examples of various shopping websites that we have all experienced, highlighting the extent to which gamification is manipulating our behaviour daily. Fast forward through further motivational and business theories, that may already be familiar, but are well applied to a business context with helpful examples.
Section two starts with the importance of knowing your purpose when wanting to use gamification and how we should use feedback to test whether this purpose is being achieved. I considered this a pertinent reminder worth reflecting on in the context of many internal HR processes. Later chapters go into gamification in the context of social communities with relevant insights that could be applied to help internal information sharing or use of internal collaboration tools. Finally, section three provides step by step guidance for building your own ‘gamification tower’. My sense is that this would be a really practical section for someone in a pure marketing role which is, of course the intended audience for the book. This section was probably the least useful to me personally but that shouldn’t detract from the fact that there was definite value earlier in the book to anyone in a people related profession.
To conclude, this is a well structured and easy to read book with nice summaries at the end of each chapter and clear next steps making it easy to dip in and out of. It struck me that there are many aspects of HR that could benefit from a gamified approach and this book would be a great starting point to achieve this.