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What is Gamification? Why is it key to unlocking loyalty and engagement with Millennials in the banking segment?


Lauren Wilson - July 12, 2018 - 0 comments

What is Gamification? Why is it key to unlocking loyalty and engagement with Millennials in the banking segment?

In a number of our past posts, we’ve touched on gamification as key solution and engagement strategy for Millennials, as well Generation Z.  These technology first, self-reliable generations are pushing Banks and Credit Unions to innovate their solutions to take advantage of gamification in processes and programs.

What is gamification?

Wikipedia has gamification defined as the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts’.

Gamification is not the same as a game. Nor is it a completely separate program or process. Rather, it is the enhancement of your product, process or application with the addition of motivational techniques focused on engaging core emotions and human needs. Gamification done right provides entertainment, competition, and gratification which will give your financial institution an edge over the competition.

Why does gamification work?

Here are 4 reasons why Gamification is the key to unlocking loyalty and engagement with Millennials.

1. Gamification attracts and retains attention

Millennials have a short attention span and need to be engaged, and continually re-engaged.  Gamification allows you to introduce and trigger engagement elements outside of the day-to-day transactions they have with your products and services. These new elements can include special offers, challenges, or tips that are introduced on a regular basis, even daily.  In-app alerts and messaging are powerful to drive re-engagement and attention, while short-term contests or challenges can help build routine activity with your services as users actively participate and revisit to check status and performance.

2. Gamification introduces and increases gratification milestones

Gamification enables you to break down processes and programs into smaller, digestible chunks, without losing sight of the end goal. This can include shorter instructions, and more actions and progress notifications to provide instant gratification through the journey. This instant gratification is often what draws Millennials attention away during longer registration and set-up processes or while researching new products and services.  Micro-learning, where information is given in bite-sized chunks instead of lengthy FAQ documents or instructions, is a great tool to drive deeper engagement with your products and services in a step by step manner. Visible milestones and rewards help provide the instant gratification Millennials are craving when they move through each step or level.

3. Gamification rewards and drives positive customer behaviors

Gamification doesn’t only need to focus on core transactions. You can also layer in rewards for preferred customer behaviors.  Some examples include offering bonus entries or points for opting-in to newsletters or informational services, contributing to online forums, or engaging with partner businesses. These rewards can also be looked at as advertising partnerships at the corporate level, enabling your customers to benefit from special rewards or offers, and in turn creating a unique competitive advantage for your institution

Rewards do not need to be monetary in nature. Experiential rewards, including access to closed-door education or networking sessions and behind the scenes access, are especially attractive to the entrepreneurial spirit of Millennials. They can also leverage and further demonstrate your in-house talent and expertise.

4. Gamification builds on Millennials social connectedness

Gamification can and should include social-related tasks and challenges, to allow clients the ability to generate personalized templated content on social media and be rewarded for it. Personalization is valued by Millennials as a core experience and loyalty driver.  As content generated through this method is more personalized it doesn’t have the mass-produced feel. These personalized promotional messages make the receiver feel more special and drive higher engagement. These programs can also have a viral effect and drive greater consumption, engagement, and impressions than traditional marketing efforts.

Gamification offers a broad spectrum of options to integrate into your own ecosystem. This broad spectrum can be overwhelming so bringing in the right talent to help develop the strategy and implement is important.

Gamification works best when it is truly embedded in your experiences and not just a layered in as an afterthought. The key is striking the right balance and avoid over-saturating your customer’s experience. The rewards are worth the finesse, restraint, and expertise required to understand the requirements for gamification. Opting to do nothing will see your Millennial customers quickly attracted elsewhere for their financial services.

Attracting and retaining Millennials continues to be increasingly important as they grow to pass Boomers in the US population by 2019. The stakes are high. In this growing digital world, the gap created from a late start becomes large, fast. Accessing your gamification strategy should be on the prioritized to-do list for all financial institutions. How are you approaching your strategy? Share your thoughts by getting in touch at support@myvoleo.com.

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