Benefits of Gamification

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Gamification as a learning model is gaining more and more ground as a training method since it makes it easier to internalize new concepts, practices, and knowledge by generating a positive experience in the user who is rewarded for the achievements attained.
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Board games and video games have significantly influenced our generation. Somehow, we have all had some interaction with a tool, digital or physical, to acquire new knowledge, strengthen certain skills or receive some reward for developing specific actions.

For example, we enhance our cognitive function, improving our visual-spatial reasoning and problem-solving skills without consciously doing it through a puzzle.

Another well-known “hobby” is the crossword puzzle, which goes beyond testing our general culture to help us improve verbal skills, teaches us to detect patterns, and, if taken as a regular practice, in the long term, prevents diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

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Thanks to technological advances, we have moved from entertainment to education, with more dynamic and interactive formats. Consoles, computers, and later smartphones have promoted the creation of programs, platforms, and applications that make it easier for us to be online, learn in real-time, and move towards a specific goal.

This is what gamification is all about, a term that is becoming increasingly popular in both digital and educational environments.

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What is gamification?

From our everyday life, gamification is the implementation of game mechanics to a non-playful activity such as solving a mathematical problem, boosting sales, or educating a specific audience on any topic; to develop or strengthen the skills and competencies of the people who develop such activity, dynamically and entertainingly.

Nowadays, a whole universe has been created around gamification that can be applied to any subject matter, even with elements attached to reality and missions deep down. However, we may not consciously notice it, aim to educate.

However, it is essential to differentiate it from video games and loyalty programs, as gamification uses behavioral science techniques to “encourage” people to achieve their goals.

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This learning model is gaining more and more ground as a training method since it enables the internalization of new concepts, practices, and knowledge by generating a positive user experience that is rewarded by the achievements attained.

These rewards can be found in different ways: Accumulation of points by assigning a specific value to certain actions; scaling of levels by overcoming different challenges; obtaining prizes or gifts that are given when progressing in the established goals; classifications, which are presented through a ranking; challenges, missions or tasks that can be posed individually or as a team.

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Gamification theory principles


The word “gamification” was first used by the British computer programmer Nick Pelling in 2002 to refer to applying specific game dynamics to real-life tasks, influencing the behavior of the people involved.

For Pellign, this new trend was revolutionizing society at the time. Still, it was only until 2010 when two famous game designers, Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham, implemented gamification in congresses and conferences. Their work ‘Gamification by Design,’ published in 2011, defines it as “a process related to player thinking and game techniques to engage users and solve problems.”

This new approach to the application of gamification in different contexts was perhaps the starting point for it to be naturally integrated into new digital formats and had a boom that even today is still unstoppable.

This was evidenced by the report ‘The future of gamification’ published by the Pew Research Center in 2012, which shows how this trend would become an ideal model for adding valuable content to specific gamification schemes. 

This was highlighted in the Future of Gamification report published by the Pew Research Center in 2012, which shows how this trend could become an ideal model for adding valuable content to specific gamification schemes.  

In that document, the organization highlights how technology consulting firm Gartner projected that 50% of corporate innovation would be “gamified” by 2015. While another consulting firm, Deloitte, highlighted gamification as one of its top 10 technology trends for 2012, stating that “game simulations and serious game mechanics, such as leaderboards, achievements and skill-based learning are being integrated into everyday business processes, driving adoption, performance, and engagement.” 

Now, nine years later, we see that both projections would not be far from today’s reality. The world’s major brands are managing to increase customer loyalty, create online communities, and structure marketing campaigns, thanks to gamification that allows them to improve engagement with their customers and earn a relevant place in the minds of consumers.

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How can we take advantage of gamification in the business world?

One of the advantages of gamification employed correctly is to achieve greater consumer engagement with our brands. This is achieved by using empathy to create a better experience.

To achieve this, it is essential to understand how the brain responds to the stimuli of our target audience, what motivates them, what arouses their interest, and what can bore them, forcing them to abandon the tool we are using.

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The information technology research and consulting firm, Gartner Inc., points out that to improve user engagement and drive customer acquisition and retention, it is critical to consider the following four key pillars:

Challenge: We must create a scheme that is so engaging that it ensures continued user participation.

Obstacles: We cannot forget that adversity makes the chosen format interesting, but we cannot overdo it. The difficulty level must be accurately calibrated because a too easy dynamic will make the user overcome all the challenges too quickly, and something too difficult will demotivate him.

Rewards: Have clear intrinsic motivations so that the user feels rewarded for reaching different levels or tests.

Game rules: Provide specific regulations that do not distract the user’s attention within the format. Participants should not have to think about the do’s and don’ts; they can concentrate on the challenges posed.

Gamification in the pharmaceutical industry

As an agency specializing in pharmaceutical marketing, at igloolab, we have created different services based on gamification for knowledge management.

One of them is our E-learning, a virtual space that provides continuing education to a specific audience. It uses a simple and intuitive interface, which offers access to content presented in multiple formats such as lectures, podcasts, videos, infographics, chroma lectures, and bibliographic material.

This tool encourages user participation with games, interactive tools such as forms, surveys, and clinical cases. Additionally, it allows the evaluation of the audience’s progress to validate the learning of the topics studied.

This scheme, adapted to the pharmaceutical industry in a much more disruptive way, has managed to simultaneously connect hundreds of doctors from different areas, located in different parts of the world, who have joined E-learning to update their knowledge and contribute from their experience to other professionals and, of course, to the pharmaceutical industry.

As we have seen, gamification develops behaviors that can directly benefit our brand.

We can make consumers talk about us, interact with other customers or users, share and buy our products and services, all through a learning exercise in which the reward will always be for both parties.   

Luis Alfonso Ruíz                                                                                                                                              

CEO de Igloolab

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