As children, games are a source of learning and entertainment. We are taught games to drive behavior by receiving rewards for positive interactions. As we move into adulthood, most of us continue to incorporate “gaming” into our lives. It has been this way for generations.
Today, a company called Badgeville uses gamification—the strategy of applying game mechanics into non-game environments to drive behavior for businesses. Calling itself “Badgeville: The Behavior Platform,” the company offers game mechanics, reputation mechanics, and social mechanics, delivering real and sustainable business results.
Games to drive behavior?
“We provide the world's most powerful and flexible platform to measure and influence user behavior. Our customers span from HR and Training Directors looking to increase efficiency in employee certification compliance to loyalty marketers seeking to drive audience engagement,” says Adena DeMonte- Director of Marketing for Badgeville.
Founded in 2010, Badgeville is one of the fastest-growing SaaS startups in the world, having raised $40M to date in less than two years in business. Badgeville's client roster includes Deloitte, EMC, Universal Music, NBC, Oracle, Symantec, and over 175 world-class businesses.
There were three trends merging that influenced the creation of Badgeville:
1) Traditional web analytics were missing out on a huge opportunity to understand user behavior, versus just looking at page views and generic traffic. Social Gaming companies were fast evolving analytics for their own benefit, focused on measuring user behavior, but to date, no companies were offering these types of behavior-based analytics to businesses outside of gaming.
2) Social gaming also has taught us that there are many psychological levers we can pull to actually influence user behavior. These game mechanics and reputation mechanics that were increasing engagement within social games were relevant to non-game environments, but no one was effectively applying these motivators in business environments. The term "gamification" became a buzzword around industry analysts and forward-thinking business leaders around the time we launched the company.
3) Software adoption for enterprises, despite massive investments in SaaS applications for every business need, remains surprisingly low. The problem with SaaS applications for business is not functionality -- many of these applications have immense benefits to their respective departments, if only used correctly and consistently. In fact, Gartner reports $1 trillion in software and related services sold in the last 5 years, with less than 50% adoption. In social software the adoption rate is as low as 12%. We started to look at ways to use psychological behavior influencers to increase adoption of these software investments, and as we tested and applied these mechanics, we saw that they significantly drove adoption and usage.
The world of gamification and related behavior-influencing techniques may be confusing for someone trying to understand how to apply the techniques to drive meaningful business results, but Badgeville may just be the right place to start sorting out how to apply gamification and related techniques to drive user behavior.