Top Trends In Marketing Gamification For 2024

/ 20 November 2023

Consumer expectations have also evolved. People aren’t just open to gamified experiences; they’re starting to expect them. And in a world where grabbing and holding someone’s attention is comparable to striking gold, you need every tool to keep your audience engaged.

In 2024, gamification is no longer a clunky add-on, but an integrated, seamless experience. And with the demise of third-party cookies, the resulting data you can collect will be worth its weight in gold.⚖️

Keen to learn the top marketing gamification trends in 2024? Let’s take a look.

The top marketing gamification trends in 2024

Gamification has had quite a journey. It started as simple incentive programmes—think basic point systems and leaderboards. Now, it’s evolved into a strategy that leverages the latest tech to offer deeply personalised, interactive, and engaging experiences. 

It’s not about one-off rewards; it’s about creating a sustainable loop of engagement that benefits both the consumer and the brand.

With this in mind, here are some of the top marketing gamification trends you’ll see in 2024. We’re talking hyper-personalisation, AI mechanics, and even how gamification plays its part in corporate sustainability efforts.

Let’s take a look:

Trend 1: Gamification will provide more robust data & insights 

The insight gained from gamification (zero-party data) is taking hold as the cornerstone for successful targeted marketing. Now, what sets this data type apart is its explicit consent and transparency.

Customers willingly provide this information during gamified experiences. This means you can get a deeper look into their desires, motivations, and preferences. And because this data is provided freely, its accuracy is typically better than other data types. 

Think about it: Imagine knowing what your customer clicked on and why they made that choice. That’s a powerful lever for shaping your products, messaging, and overall customer experience. 

Collecting zero-party data through gamified experiences also ensures you’re fully transparent about the data you’re collecting and how you intend to use it. This can significantly increase trust between your brand and your customers. 

Looking beyond customer engagement, zero-party data can play a pivotal role in achieving your broader business objectives. Whether you want to increase user-generated content, boost online conversions, or ramp up your referral program, zero-party data gives you the laser-focused insights needed to align your gamification strategy with your business goals.

So, as you shape your 2024 marketing initiatives, consider how zero-party data can benefit your brand.

Trend 2: Hyper-personalisation

Marketers have always been on the quest to know their customers better. But hyper-personalisation is not about casting a wide net; it’s about being laser-focused. It’s beyond knowing the basics like age or location; it’s about learning behaviour patterns, purchase histories, and even anticipating needs before the customer expresses them.

Who else but Amazon could be at the forefront of this trend? They’re not just recommending products based on your search or purchase. Their algorithms are way smarter. They take into account your browsing time, clicks, and even how long you hover over a product. This results in a truly unique shopping experience for each user.

In 2024, we expect to see more brands like StitchFix leveraging hyper-personalisation. With Stitch Fix you don’t just get clothes; you get a style curated for you, right down to your preferred patterns and uncomfortable necklines to avoid.

When you personalise the gamification experience, the stats speak for themselves. Expect higher open rates on emails, more clicks, and a higher rate of offer redemption.

According to DataBees, personalised emails have a 29% higher open rate and 41% higher click-through rates. Translate that to your gamified marketing campaigns, and you’re looking at a level of engagement previously out of reach.

Trend 3: Gamification will drive corporate sustainability campaigns 

With climate change taking centre stage and consumers becoming more aware, sustainability isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’ — it’s a ‘must-have’ for brands. But did you know that gamification can power sustainability campaigns? 

A study showed that 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands.

Not to mention, younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z leading the way, making choices that align with their values. By gamifying sustainable actions, companies can directly involve their customers in eco-friendly missions. 

Imagine gamifying discounts to customers who recycle their old garments. It’s a win-win—customers get incentivised, and companies boost their sustainability creds. Or if you’re a tech company. You could develop an app that allows users to scan a QR code when they recycle an old device at an authorised centre. They earn points for each recycling action, which can be redeemed for future purchases or exclusive eco-friendly accessories like a sustainably made phone case. 

This approach not only encourages recycling but also drives customer loyalty and repeat purchases, all while boosting your brand’s green credentials. For example: Apple’s Apple Trade-In programme is a prime example. Users can trade in their old Apple devices, get credit for a new purchase, and know that their old device will be refurbished or recycled. The benefit? Customer loyalty and a pat on the back for being environmentally conscious.

Or if you’re in the travel industry, how about rewarding customers for eco-friendly choices? They could opt into a “Green Miles” programme to earn badges for selecting low-carbon-footprint travel options like electric car rentals or flights that offer carbon offsetting. 

Accumulated badges unlock real-world benefits, such as discounted travel insurance or a free upgrade. You get to influence eco-friendly behaviour while giving your customers status symbols to show off. 

So, in 2024, let sustainability be more than a bullet point in your company’s mission statement. 🌿

Trend 4: Financial services technology ramps up innovation

Building trust is key in financial services.Customers demand transparency now more than ever. Enter gamification—making the complicated world of finances transparent, interactive, and secure.

Financial services are different from what they used to be. It’s not just about maximising profits; it’s about creating value for your customers. And how better to add value than rewarding them for their trust and loyalty?

One of the front-runners in this space is Singapore Airlines, with its blockchain-powered KrisPay digital wallet. Customers can convert their hard-earned KrisFlyer miles into digital tokens and spend them at many outlets. It’s a unique way of driving engagement, but what makes this special is the focus on secure and transparent transactions, thanks to blockchain technology. 

There’s also Goldman Sachs and Marcus: Their Marcus app goes above and beyond regarding transparency. Think of earning badges for hitting savings milestones or completing mini-courses on personal finance.

And Chime which gamifies savings by enabling users to automatically move 10% of every paycheck into a separate savings account. This kind of automated yet interactive feature makes saving less of a chore.

So, what’s the big takeaway? Financial institutions are morphing into customer-centric bodies that handle your money and engage and educate you. Gamification is the catalyst for this transformation, making every interaction a chance to win—win trust, loyalty, and a sense of financial well-being.

In 2024, expect to see more financial services adopting gamification strategies to elevate customer experience. 

Trend 5: AR and VR integration

Augmented and virtual reality technologies are changing how we interact with the world, and brands are catching on. With AR, we overlay digital elements onto the real world; with VR, we’re immersed in a digital world. Combine these with gamification, and we have a recipe for phenomenal user engagement.

AR and VR have been possible thanks to leaps in machine learning algorithms and advancements in sensor tech. As hardware becomes cheaper and more accessible, expect an uptick in brands using AR/VR to gamify various experiences, from shopping to social networking to employee training.

For example, IKEA’s AR app is not just helping you visualise a piece of furniture in your living room; it gamifies the experience. Collect points as you try different settings, share them with friends, and get rewards for your next purchase. And hey, no more ‘will it fit?’ dilemmas.

As we head into 2024, AR and VR will be more than just ‘cool add-ons.’ They’ll be integral to customer engagement strategies, especially in retail, tourism, and education. 

And it’s not just for the big players; even small and medium-sized businesses will dive in, thanks to cost-effective, scalable solutions.

Trend 6: Time-sensitive/ephemeral gamification

The allure of the “limited time only” banner—like a moth to a flame. We’ve seen it in social media with Stories on Instagram and Snapchat, and now we’re seeing it make a splash in the world of gamification. 

The idea behind ephemeral gamification is simple yet incredibly effective. You create game-like elements that are time-sensitive. This urgency keeps customers on their toes and boosts their engagement with your brand.

For example, McDonald’s took a board game we know and turned it into a recurring marketing campaign. McDonald’s Monopoly is a limited-time event where customers collect stickers with their purchases to win various prizes. Simple, fun, and addictive.

Let’s not forget Amazon’s Lightning Deals during their Prime Day events or Black Friday sales. Though not strictly a ‘game,’ the countdown timer and limited availability of products make it feel like one, racking up sales and customer engagement.

The best part? Ephemeral gamification is super shareable. Users are likelier to share their limited-time experiences and rewards on social media, driving organic buzz and encouraging more people to participate before time runs out.

In 2024, customer attention spans are shrinking even further, and competition is fierce. Ephemeral gamification taps into the human psychology of ‘FOMO’ (Fear Of Missing Out). It’s a smart play to make your brand stick in a world of constant digital distractions.

So, if you plan to boost your customer engagement, consider the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ appeal of ephemeral gamification. 

Trend 7: AI-driven game mechanics 

We might start to see AI being used to improve and optimise the gamified experience continuously. Whether it’s predicting what kind of rewards would motivate you the most or adjusting the game mechanics based on how you play.

One of the most exciting things about using AI in gamification is that it can pull in data from different platforms and systems, breaking down data silos. 

For example, Duolingo uses AI to adapt to your learning speed and areas of struggle. Each lesson gets tailored based on your past performance, making the learning process far more engaging and productive.

Or have you ever noticed how Netflix always seems to know what you want to watch next? Their AI algorithm tracks your viewing habits and preferences, effectively ‘gamifying’ the watching experience. The more you watch, the better your recommendations get.

Business-focused platforms are catching on, too. DataRobot employs machine learning algorithms to help enterprises make smarter business decisions, turning the otherwise dry topic of data analytics into a series of engaging challenges and rewards.

AI and ethics: a quick note: As we go full throttle into the era of AI-driven game mechanics, we must also consider ethical considerations like data privacy and AI bias. Ensure you’re transparent with users about their data use and take steps to ensure unbiased AI algorithms.

In 2024, we will start to see AI woven into gamification, especially for personalisation, customer retention, and engagement. 

Trend 8: NFT rewards 

NFTs  or Non-Fungible Tokens are unique, non-interchangeable assets verified using blockchain tech, making them one-of-a-kind. In a world flooded with rewards and coupons, offering an exclusive NFT could boost your programme. 

Think: NFT-verified certificates for completing professional training modules or exclusive digital artwork for loyal customers. 

NBA Top Shot took fan engagement to another level by offering exclusive NFT “moments” or game highlights. Fans can buy, sell, and trade digital collectables like traditional trading cards with blockchain tech’s added security and exclusivity.

Or remember CryptoKitties? The digital cat collectables took the world by storm and are one of the first mainstream uses of NFTs. CryptoKitties offered a blend of engagement, strategy, and collectibility that traditional rewards programmes can only dream of achieving.

The ethical consideration: Given that NFTs are still a relatively new concept, transparency is critical. Ensure your audience understands NFTs, how they can be used, and any environmental concerns related to their creation and exchange.

Looking forward to 2024, as businesses scramble to stand out and capture attention, integrating NFTs into your gamification strategy could be that silver bullet. 

Trend 9: Voice and chatbot gamification

Voice and chatbot technologies have already infiltrated our daily lives, making everything from setting reminders to ordering groceries a breeze.  But in 2024, the role of these technologies in gamification could innovate them further. 

Voice and chatbots in gamification offer two-way, dynamic interactions. These are not your run-of-the-mill, push-button and receive-reward kinds of experiences. We’re talking about conversational engagement, which feels less like a transaction and more like a relationship.

For example, Drift, a conversational marketing platform, uses chatbots to qualify leads through interactive conversations. Gamifying these interactions by offering immediate rewards or unlocking premium content could drastically increase engagement rates.

And Amazon has been diving into voice-enabled games through Alexa Skills, turning a voice assistant into a gaming console. Now, think about applying this to a brand’s gamification strategy. Your next reward could be just a voice command away.

In 2024 we will see brands offering quizzes, running voice-activated treasure hunts, or even offering personalised, interactive storytelling experiences. 

How gamification is shaping the future of marketing

We’re not just talking about making things “fun” anymore. The era of simple point systems and flashy badges is fading away. In its place, 2024 brings a gamification landscape far more intricate and rewarding for brands and their customers.

Here’s a quick round-up of the top key themes:

📊Making sense of data

Gamification now serves a dual purpose—entertaining the user while collecting invaluable zero-party data. This is not just information for information’s sake; this data allows companies to sharpen their strategies, enabling them to reach out in more relevant, personalised ways.

👔Unlocking personalisation

Speaking of personalisation, it’s no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. Businesses are making the pivot from a one-size-fits-all approach to hyper-personalised experiences. Tailoring these experiences will be essential for keeping your audience hooked and happy.

🌿Good for the planet, good for business

Sustainability is becoming integrated into brand identities. Gamification will be a tool for change, encouraging and rewarding eco-friendly behaviour. Brands that ignore this trend risk losing customer interest and falling behind in the broader cultural shift toward sustainability.

🤝Trust and transparency

Then, there’s the role of trust and transparency. The heightened focus on digital transparency and secure rewards will likely make even the most sceptical consumers feel comfortable participating in gamified experiences.

As we’ve seen, advancements like voice and chatbot gamification, AI-driven game mechanics, and even NFT rewards are not just upcoming trends; they’re the imminent future. And let’s be honest—this is just scratching the surface. The technology and creative tactics are evolving so fast that we’ll probably need to rewrite this blog next month.

So here’s the key takeaway: if you still need to consider how to incorporate these trends into your strategy, you’re already behind. But don’t worry; getting in the game is not too late. 

Get ahead with the right gamification approach

If all this talk about the future of gamification has you fired up and ready to get in on the action, there’s no better partner than 3radical. 

With our cutting-edge technology and expert strategies, we’ll help you harness the power of these trends to create a gamification experience your customers won’t be able to resist.

Contact us at 3radical to kickstart your gamification journey.

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