Gamification in Marketing: A Case Study From a Customer Value Perspective

Gamification in Marketing: A Case Study From a Customer Value Perspective

Umit Basaran
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9223-6.ch007
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Advances in digital marketing technologies and the experience and value they provide to consumers have become important factors in market success. Therefore, businesses are focusing much more on the use of innovative technologies such as gamification. Gamification is the use of game design elements and mechanisms in non-game environments to increase the motivation of users to guide their behavior. Gamification elements used in marketing activities have an impact on the attitudes and behaviors of consumers towards brands, products, and services by increasing experience and value for them. Accordingly, this chapter is aimed at evaluating the gamified marketing activities from the perspective of customer value. In this context, the concepts of customer value and gamification are examined, and gamification techniques used in marketing and their effects on consumer value are evaluated. Also, the case study of Starbucks' gamified mobile application is presented from the perspective of customer value.
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Technology and globalization emerge as the most effective factors in the transformation of the marketplaces where businesses operate. Changes in communication technologies allow societies to become global. The fact that digital technologies have become an important part of consumers’ lives causes the demand for these technologies and technology-based services to increase rapidly. Therefore, businesses are beginning to benefit intensely from digital and interactive marketing techniques within the framework of developments in technology and changes in consumer demands. Gamification applications included in these techniques constitute one of the most up-to-date marketing activities. Gamification technique is carried out by using video game elements such as game mechanics and dynamics in non-game environments to improve user experience and interaction (Deterding et al., 2011c, p. 2425; Simoes et al., 2013, p. 346). This technique is used by businesses to integrate game technology and game design methods into web pages, services, consumer communities, created contents and marketing campaigns to attract users and increase their participation (Deterding et al., 2011a, p. 10).

Gamification in marketing brings benefits such as increasing the number of visits to the website, improving the effectiveness of ads, increasing sales, providing feedback from customers, and collecting primary data (Noorbehbahani et al., 2019, p. 393). The main purpose of using gamification in marketing can be summarized as increasing the value created for the customer (Huotari and Hamari, 2012, p. 19). In this way, customer participation and loyalty are increased by establishing a connection between the brand and the consumer (Hamari et al., 2014, p. 3025). In customer-oriented gamification applications, marketers increase customer efficiency and experience, reveal repurchasing intention, educate customers about the usage of the product or service, or create new products and services with customers (Burke, 2014, p. 63; Helmefalk and Marcusson, 2019, p. 128).

Marketers use gamification as gamified marketing practices in mobile applications and websites. In these gamification activities, it is seen that different game mechanics such as collecting points, leveling, earning badges, gaining virtual products or gifts, and different game dynamics such as gaining rewards, achieving status, achievement, competing, self-expression are used (Blohm & Leimeister, 2013, p. 276; Simoes et al., 2013, p. 348). In addition, the motivation factors underlying consumers’ use of gamification vary as intellectual curiosity, social reputation, achievement, cognitive stimulation, and self-determination (Blohm & Leimeister, 2013, p. 276; Hamid & Kuppusamy, 2017, p. 40).

Based on this information, it seems important to examine how businesses can design effective gamification applications that will enable them to create added value for their customers and increase their income. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is threefold: a) to present a conceptual framework for the use of gamification technique in marketing from the customer value point of view, b) to review the literature to determine the effects of the use of gamification technique in marketing on creating customer value and its consequences in terms of consumer behavior, c) to explain the issues covered in the chapter through a case study within the scope of the practice of an business using the gamification technique. Accordingly, in this chapter, a literature-based conceptual study and a case study are carried out with an exploratory research approach.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Gamification: The usage of game design elements and mechanics in non-game environments to motivate users to perform a task or act in a certain way.

Customer Value: An assessment that the customer derives from their judgment between what is expected and what is received regarding the outputs, benefits or utility of a product or service.

Customer Engagement: A state of being involved in product, service or brand derived from interactive customer experience.

Gamified Apps: Mobile applications containing game design elements and mechanics to engage and retain customers.

Gamified Websites: Web pages containing game-like features, mechanics, and user interface elements that try to increase the interaction between marketing programs and customers by activating users’ motivations.

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