Bridging the Gap with Gamification

Virtualizing our marketing event was successful but we knew we needed to raise the bar for the next one. So, we introduced gamification into the process to help bridge the engagement of the virtual and physical audience in similar activities. It was a whirlwind of activities to get it setup in time for the event but the team came together and we’re able to roll out a week before the event launched. We had heard horror stories of other large companies using gamification for scavenger hunts that were so complicated that it backfired on social media. So, we decided to keep it simple.

Keeping our gamification missions to a few simple activities enabled everyone to participate without having to spend a great deal of time jumping through obstacles. Again, within our online community we created a calendar of activities that everyone could participate and each one would earn them a badge on the next step of completing the mission. The mission was simple and there were activities for both physical and virtual attendees. View a session, ask a question, start a discussion. For the physical attendees we added a twist that included integrating badge scan activities at a few of the booths. So, if you attended a booth and had your badge scanned you could earn a special achievement that created a surprise and delight. These achievements could be leveraged by partners, divisions or any related booth sponsored activity that supported your event messaging.

The results were mixed on our first attempt and we would continue to refine the process to create better engagement but it opened up new opportunities for membership recruitment. We did see a 20% jump in engagement of new discussion threads and those advocate members where eager to participate in the next achievement in order to advance their knowledge level status within the community. However, what we realized afterward, was many of the physical attendees either weren’t currently a member of the community and or weren’t aware there was one. So we turned this information into an opportunity to inform customers, partners and yes, even employees about the value of the community and how it was used for driving knowledge awareness and ultimately assisting those through the buying decision. This was one of the many programs that helped us double our membership and engagement and jumpstart internal awareness. Once, others became aware of the program they wanted gamification implemented for all marketing activities that provided a grassroots marketing effort of content back into the community.

How to Virtualize a Marketing Event

During the “Great Recession” many companies were cutting back on travel expenses so it became harder to drive attendance of physical attendees. It was a problem that everyone faced and we realized we needed to do something to virtualize our event to maximize our messaging to the audience even if they weren’t attending. So, we decided to stream the event online to our community, allow them to participate virtually and even engage speakers and other attendees from the comfort of their office.

Note that I said community and not website. This was by design as we were also looking for a way to drive membership adoption to increase the number of active members in our community. So, we created a virtual calendar of activities and topics that we would stream so members could coordinate their time and participate in the sessions they were interested. This was a combination of knowledge experts, customer testimonials, keynote speakers etc… We also created an active chat that could be engaged online during the video session where we could respond and answer questions in real-time. This was our solution to bridging the gap between online and physical activities. Those who attended would walk by the small stage we were broadcasting from and watch as well as provide the exact same experience to those who where not able to attend.

The result was an active and engaged audience both physically and virtually who helped drive additional awareness and messaging via our omni-channels. The content was then posted and available on-demand so it became and evergreen marketing activity that continued to provide engagement well after the event was over.

Bridging the Gap between Virtual and Physical Marketing

As my web master use to tell me “It isn’t Rocket Science”. Many companies are still looking for ideas on how to bridge the gap between traditional marketing events and virtual audiences. Back in December a large healthcare company contacted me about community and collaboration marketing and I shared a few thoughts. They then went and hired an agency who didn’t have any experience in this area who contacted the vendor. Guess who the vendor reached contacted to speak with the agency on how to do this? I love irony. So, without giving away my secret sauce here are a few things I have done that have been successful.

  • Social Contests
  • Virtual Events
  • Bridging the Gap with Gamification

All of these concepts are pretty logical it is a matter of identifying your audience and providing content and activities they would be interested in participating. Engagement and participation is the key and if done right it will not only help bridge the gap between traditional and collaboration marketing it will expand your share of voice, increase brand awareness and help build a community of advocates who are passionate about your company. I’ll dive into more details about each one of these items and examples of what we did to help bridge this gap in my next few posts.

If you don’t want to wait for my next posts and want to know more you can connect with me via linkedin and Twitter and am available for select consulting opportunites.

 

How to Create a Steering Committee

Steerting CommitteeThe goal of having a steering committee is a few things. Typically, they are comprised of each departments representatives, IT, Business, Digital Marketing, HR, Communications, Operations, etc.. and are responsible for reviewing the prioritized backlog list and determining the priorities for the sprint releases. Identifying members fore the steering committee is something your executive team will be able to provide guidance on as well if not have suggestions. This is also where requests from stakeholders can be submitted by the representatives and reviewed where it fits in the overall list of items. This takes the burden of responsibility off of you and your team of being the sole decision maker. When someone complains that their request isn’t being address you can simply state that you will bring it up to the steering committee for consideration and it will be prioritized in order of importance as it relates to the greater project as a whole.

Keeping the meeting notes and results of these meetings public will also be important to your transparent communications. Because if someone does escalate that their request isn’t being addressed you can simply point that individual to the updates and keep this included as part of your monthly executive updates. This will keep you well ahead of any objection or obstacle you might encounter as the collaboration transformation starts to take shape.

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