Not only did we see higher conversion rates, we also learned a lot about game interaction, game design, and players motivation. This was made possible by the detailed control Bunchball's Nitro platform gave us.
Despite the higher conversion in our pilot, I don't think we can make a direct statement that gamification drives revenue and guarantees ROI. This is not a simple demand generation program with clear conversion paths and single responses - like paid search and email are. Gamification is much more about engagement and long-term strategy to drive behavior change. This could be trial conversions, software upgrades, platform adoption, etc.
We will continue to push the game-based approach across marketing channels and programs. It drives behavior. But It is up to the business to monetize that. The gamification companies don't do that. They can enable it, but it the marketers who are to monetize it. Ultimately the marketers are to discover what games will engage their customers. And this discovery is a process that evolves over time, as the players learn and interact with the games.
Enterprise adoption for gamification has been slow, and that because simply creating a game doesn't mean anyone will play it. As gamification requires longer term focus, it is often difficult to resource when short term pressure pushed funds to be allocated to proven demand generation programs. Ultimately, with experimentation marketers will be able to understand how their customers respond, and apply game-based stimuli to effectively drive engagement.
Gamifying anything can be difficult, but it definitely works to drive engagement and behavior change. Is it the silver bullet ? Not immediately, but it does allow to get deeper and more meaningful interactions. Game over ? Not so much. Those staying on the sidelines will find themselves behind as consumer decisions get democratized more and more over time.