Gamification in the Channel – Really?
Gamification has been proven to grow enterprise engagement, and surprisingly it’s also gaining traction with the channel community, as top vendors leverage gamification in various channel incentives programs to change partner behavior by using data to drive those desired behaviors.
Gamification has been studied and applied in many different fields, with the main purposes of engaging, teaching, measuring, and improving ease of use of information systems. Gamification is currently being applied to customer engagement, employee performance, training and education, innovation management, and health and wellness. In a recent Perks sponsored survey about 65% of respondents welcomed the idea of gamification and only 11% felt it was a deterrent to their work.
Most people think of gamification as games created for a business purpose, but the reality is that gamification is about maximizing the effect of an existing experience, by applying the recognition and motivation techniques that make games so engaging.
Get Gamified, Get Simplified
Gamification is used as a way of driving simplicity, not necessarily games. By adding interactive game mechanics to your channel incentive program, you are letting participants track how they are doing compared to peers, and you are building interest and providing that extra motivational push needed by participants to stay on top of tasks. Progress bars for example, give a sense of accomplishment and put participant goals front and center instead of having to be continuously reminded by communications.
Top vendors are delivering a simpler user experience by showing users their progress towards different types of training and certification programs, sales incentive goals, and/or for driving and rewarding completion of courses and/or reaching or exceeding objectives. Yet, whichever type of dashboard, gauge, or progress bar is used, it must by visually actionable, and it must show participants where they are on their journey. Additionally, if your focus is training – progressive learning quizzes keep the user from feeling overwhelmed while ensuring the program stays fresh with new quizzes. This gives your partner participants a reason to keep logging into the site, while increasing their engagement with the program.
You should also reward the individual, as recognition increases the value of training, and adds credibility and increased competition. In fact, according to one Aberdeen report, competition with other team members motivated more than 1/3 of those surveyed.
By providing your partner’s teams goals to achieve, feedback on their progress, rewards for their accomplishments and a community of like-minded people to compete and collaborate with, you can motivate and drive desired behavior.
The objectives and behaviors you want changed, the skills you want developed, or the innovation you want created will determine how to implement gamification and the types of games. For more information about incorporating game mechanics into your Channel Incentive Program, here are some additional resources:
About the Author
Chief Strategy Officer Claudio brings over 20 years of global channel marketing experience to Perks. He is a loyalty marketing expert with broad knowledge in strategy development, market management and channel sales planning, who has developed and executed major go-to-market programs for a variety of vendors, including AMD, Bing, Cisco, Dell, EMC, IBM, Kaspersky, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Seagate, Symantec, and VMware among others.Claudio is a management strategist with cross-functional expertise in business, finance, sales and marketing, strategic planning, and customer relationship management; an area he has excelled at by executing complex CRM implementations, customizations, and business process re-engineering for CRM applications. He keeps current with changes in technology and is passionate about the business implications of new technology. Claudio is an avid social media user and early adopter of social CRM.More Content by Claudio Ayub