http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/q-a-gamification-for-seamless-marketing-experiences/article/551671

Q&A: Gamification for seamless marketing experiences Special

Posted Jun 10, 2019 by Tim Sandle
Broadcasters have recognized that passive viewership does not drive increases to advertising or marketing. Evidence suggests that gamification strategies can lead to a 100 to 150 percent increase in engagement metrics. An expert provides insight.
Playing video games
A man playing video games
Rebecca Pollard (CC BY 2.0)
The days of passive viewership seem to be over and content is now all about experience. Gamification serves as a tool to deliver an emotional connection between audience and program, especially ensuring that the audience comes back for more and to drive up engagement metrics.
To find out more, Digital Journal spoke with Streann Media’s CEO, Gio Punzo. According Punzo, audiences want flexibility and interaction, and for broadcasters gamification offers opportunities for monetization. As an example, when broadcasting a football game, it’s common that audience uses external platforms to predict the score or access player statistics. Broadcasters can expand this model to other forms of programming, adding games, polls, and augmented reality.
Digital Journal: How has broadcasting altered as a consequence of digital technology?
Gio Punzo: Digital technology is undoubtedly bringing a breath of fresh air to the broadcasting industry. Traditional television may find itself facing an existential dilemma, as its audiences gradually move towards over-the-top platforms.
But we believe that this disruption brings many benefits to consumers. The rising popularity of platforms such as Netflix, Oculus, and Alexa welcomes a new era of broadcasting that can be characterized by greater flexibility and interaction. What’s more: We can now access a wide range of content at a fixed price, anytime we want, and from a variety of devices.
DJ: Has this led to a shift away from passive viewing?
Punzo: Totally. It’s obvious that we are now moving away from Prime-Time to My-Time. And we are going to see consumers play an even more active role. Engagement is becoming a reality, not just an empty buzzword. Viewers are no longer accepting passive spectatorship, they crave interaction and community.
This trend has introduced new forms of entertainment and broadcasting strategies, from gamification to massive growth of the global streaming community that is full of live chats, reactions, and activity badges. It’s no secret that viewers crave a conversation, and whoever can tap into this and produce organic chatter, will get the extra points.
DJ: To what extent does gamification boost engagement?
Punzo: Gamification has the potential to develop into the community-building lifeblood of any broadcasting platform. As mobile phones become the most popular consumer devices for video content, the fight for audiences gets even more intense.
Particularly millennials and generation Z want to be engaged with multitasking activities, instead of staring at one screen. Now it’s multiple screens, stimuli, and activities that hook the viewer and develop a better relationship with the broadcaster. Whether answering polls, chatting or filling out trivia, viewers can interact both with the platform and with each other, becoming part of a large spectator community.
DJ: What types of gamification technology can broadcasters use?
Punzo: We’ve observed how the mobile-only live streaming Trivia games have become a sensation, and I am happy that Streann is playing into this space. But this is not the whole story at all. We’ve also seen a growing popularity of real-time polls and surveys, particularly in sports broadcasting. The power of this interactive content lies in keeping the audience engaged throughout the whole broadcast, preventing viewers from turning to second-screen platforms - be it Facebook, Twitter, a fantasy league or other media.
DJ: Which forms of gamification-program combinations gain the greatest viewer engagement?
Punzo: Live broadcast events present the best opportunities. Whether it’s the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl or the Presidential Election, these events tend to bring people together. But we found that the secret sauce was in giving viewers the opportunity to compete. Humans are extremely competitive - we love to get badges, see activity statistics, challenge each other, and win. Live and multiplayer experiences with leaderboards therefore tend to attract global viewerships.
DJ: Are all types of broadcasts suitable for gamification?
Punzo: Absolutely. We have seen religious broadcasters, universities, radio, tv, influencers, and telemedicine enterprises expressing interest and showing readiness to move into the sphere of interactive experiences.
As long as the method is tailored for their specific needs, nothing is impossible. This means that broadcasters should always take into consideration who is their target audience and what is the content they share to tailor the best gamification strategy.
DJ: How can broadcasters successfully monetize gamification?
Punzo: The first step is realizing that every multiplatform is leaving a lot of money and engagement on the table for social media. For example, if they spend a huge amount of money on sports rights, they should make sure to maximize the return-on-investment.
Then, broadcasters can choose from many monetization strategies. Either they can do so directly: for example, allowing the user to buy lives to keep playing, through advergaming, adding brand in the game, asking questions around the brand history, and many others.
But there are also indirect options. Interestingly enough, broadcasters often fail to realize that the information they get during broadcasting is extremely powerful. When filling out questions and polls, viewers reveal a lot of useful data. And there are many actors - especially brands - that are eager to get their hands on it. Broadcasters can help them reach authentic insights into what their audiences crave.
DJ: How will augmented reality change things going forward?
Punzo: We are happy to see broadcasters increasingly experimenting with augmented reality. They now construct appealing virtual maps and models that can engage the audience in new ways. But some even take the extra mile and find ways to invite the viewers to directly participate in the creation of the content itself.
For example, what we call the “Pokémon effect” can be simulated so that broadcasters can build a similar experience around their brands. By creating an interactive network with the user’s gadget as a central point, end users can interact with content in real life, contribute to news broadcasts, and participate in treasure hunts.