“To stimulate creativity one must develop childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition”
– Albert Einstein
Applying game tactics and mechanics to a non-game environment is nowadays the bread and butter of channel engagement and incentivization.
At its heart, gamification appeals not just to the part of you that wants a trophy or reward – it appeals to that inner desire for recognition, status and a sense of self-worth. These psychological triggers are some of the most fundamental characteristics of man, and are the essence of what motivates us to action.
We’ve analysed a wide range of gamification strategies and identified some of the most important and effective components to apply to channel incentivization.
You need to make sure that your channel partners are always aware of: their past performance and scores, how they’re currently doing, what is out there for them to achieve and all of the steps that pave their way to success.
If partners have a clear understanding of what is needed of them they’ll be sure to engage. A pleasing visual layout of the steps can make that engagement a reality.
One way to build recognition into your program is by using a Leaderboard. That way partners can monitor how they’re doing in relation to others and congratulate one another on successes.
Status is recognition’s big sister – it’s the reward at the end of the challenge. Winning awards certainly isn’t all that gamification is about but they do help, because knowing that your success will materialize into a tangible treat makes the whole process more appealing.
This is the real crux of gamification – tapping into the childlike delight, creativity and drive inherent to competition. People are naturally inclined to want to know how they stand compared to their peers, whether that be within their team, department or company. The broader you make the competitive landscape the better because it gives everyone involved the chance to measure their performance at the level and area that matters to them.
Keep in mind that some partners will just be starting out or feel under-confident and therefore may simply be interested in working out where they stand relative to their inner circle of colleagues, so you should make that a viable option. One way of doing this is by installing a tier system for your participants – those who move further and further up the rungs can gain access to a wider pool of friendly competitors.
You need to make sure that your channel partners have everything at their disposal to make continual progress and success a reality. Set them up nicely with all the gear and trappings to enable them to flourish.
That means: clear guidance on rules and game parameters, training and courses on best practices to ensure they get behaviors right, top class campaign material for them to use in marketing and at stores, and a robust portal and digital system for them to register information about products, customers and deals.