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David Hill
David Hill
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Shall We Play a Game?

Gamification is moving from the consumer Web into the enterprise as employers seek to influence employee behavior. Startups such as Badgeville are ready to play.

Gamification is not just about increasing revenues (although there are many applications of that), but also eliciting other desirable behaviors. Let's look at a few examples of how Badgeville's service can be used:

Salesforce management: An app, Badgeville for Saleforce.com, embeds into the Salesforce.com CRM application to reward valuable employee behaviors. For example, employees can earn points creating or responding to a lead, converting a lead to an opportunity or closing a deal. This may sound like common sense, such as having a leaderboard and achievement levels, but a structured approach such as gamification is necessary to get the most out of as many employees as possible. While some workers never need incentives, and incentives cannot drive others, there is also a group for whom incentives matter.

Prescription compliance: Kaiser Permanente is using Badgeville DGE gamification technology to help it address a problem of getting some people to refill and use their medical prescriptions properly. This benefits the individual with the prescription and saves the overall health care community money because neglecting to take medications may lead to higher medical costs later on.

Social loyalty programs: Badgeville's technology has been used in a number of social loyalty programs to not only improve customer retention and repeat usage on a site, but also to get users to socialize and interact with one another (social media being a big use case for gamification).

Some readers know that online experiences are becoming more pervasive all the time, and that website owners attempt to influence your behavior. Some might be offended by this, but like advertising, it has to be accepted as part of life online. As long as you can participate voluntarily for the most part, and the gamification element is not as intrusive as something like pop-up ads, it shouldn't be a major issue. The data collection process involved in gamification goes on anyway when you surf a website or place an order, so an offer that gives you points toward rewards doesn't have to be blatant. Not only that, the fact that you respond to incentives means you derive some value by doing so. That's not a bad thing.

Badgeville is not a client of David Hill and the Mesabi Group.

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