It would be difficult not to have noticed the phenomenal success of Pokémon Go. It’s a smartphone game that takes players out and about, to catch all the Pokémon they can. It’s gripped people of all ages, all over the world, uniting them with a single hook – collecting things. Of course, there’s more to the game than that, but it’s the fundamental goal of chasing down and catching as many of the little monsters as possible, that’s getting people up off their sofas and out into the real world.

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Game developers know what immerses their players and keeps them coming back for more. For example, exploration and discovery is a major part of World of Warcraft, an online role-playing game where a large number of people play simultaneously. Achievement through cooperating in teams online is another tactic used in many online games. Beating a high score is the classic draw for gamers, as are achievement badges and levelling up, the latter achieved by experience points.

Deloitte has recognised how gamification can help in the business world. More people are completing their online leadership training program, incentivised and engaged by the integration into the platform of gamified principles such as achievement badges, missions and leaderboards.

If emloying the same tactics that game developers use can help train employees, then how can it be turned to good use in marketing?

Whilst it’s vital that every business has an online presence and a method of transacting over the internet, over 70% of retail transactions are still happening offline. That means offline branding and marketing are still as crucial as online branding, and as such, still need to be monitored. While it’s easy to check how things are going on the website, getting information from every location about how well that brand is being promoted and displayed is impossible. Data samples can be extrapolated but it can never tell the whole story.

Using similar tactics to those found in online games, marketers are starting to crowdsource their data gathering. With over three quarters of adults in the UK owning a smartphone, which they check anything up to 100 times a day, there is a huge crowd to be tapped for the task. No expensive and time-consuming trips up and down the country for salespeople are needed, when members of the crowd are at thousands of different locations at once.

MSC Cruises have recently adjusted their marketing strategy, after they discovered through crowd research, that almost a third of their travel agent partners were unable to display their marketing materials properly, due to their shop front windows being too small. Global businesses like MSC can benefit greatly from incentivising crowds from around the world and can make huge savings.

Through gamification, companies can incentivise and reward individuals for the tasks they perform, ensuring that they’ll come back and do more tasks in the future, which in turn is changing the way business is done.

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