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Game-Based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges, and Contests Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470562234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470562239
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Advertising is dead. You may not realize it, but you and everyone you know engages, possibly unsuspectingly, in some form of a game multitasking as an ingenious marketing device. Game-Based Marketing illustrates the pervasiveness of games today in business marketing, and how to better use them to create an engaged and loyal customer base. Game-Based Marketing will:
  • Explain the growing phenomenon of game-based marketing and how it works
  • Show marketers how to develop games to incorporate into their marketing strategy
  • Share fascinating examples of marketing games already in play including Jigsaw.com; Chase Picks Up The Tab; the iconic McDonald’s Monopoly Game that reportedly generates nearly one-hundred million dollars in incremental revenue per year; and United Airlines Mileage Plus where team pint competitions and real-world scavenger hunts for miles accrue millions annually.

Provocative and instructive, Game-Based Marketing’s message is clear: Use the tools in this book to put games in your marketing mix now… or you’ll be out of the game altogether.

Top 5 Ways to Gameify Your Business

From Foursquare on the iPhone to an online game of Farmville, not to mention the frequent fliers popularized in the Academy Award nominated film, Up in the Air, playing "everyday games" has become nothing short of a pop culture obsession. Driving unprecedented consumer engagement to smart brands like Chase and the US Army, loyalty programs and marketing games are marketing’s best bet for the future of advertising.

It’s easier than you think to bring the power of games to your business. Using the breakthrough lessons in Game-Based Marketing, you can start adding game mechanics to your marketing mix in 5 easy steps:

1. What consumer behavior are you trying to drive? Don’t just think about broad or bottom line objectives (“more engagement”, “greater brand exposure”) when considering ways in which you’d like to effect the behavior of your consumer base, but instead, focus in on easy-to-achieve activities that will have an overall impact on your bottom line. For example: incentivize the sending of product endorsements to friends. The more specific you can be, the easier it is to build game mechanics around. Some behaviors are best left un-incentivized, however, a topic we cover closely in Chapters 1 & 2.

2. Assign points to those behaviors. Think about how much value each of the behaviors has to your business and assign points to each action accordingly. Points should be weighed relatively, so if opening a new account is ten times more valuable than clicking on an advertiser’s link, make sure the point system reflects that reality. Want to learn more about just how point systems function? Check out Chapters 3 & 4.

3. Create a leaderboard to display points. Just like the Employee of the Month plaques at restaurants, create a socially-networked leaderboard that allows users to feel like they are accomplishing something relative to their friends and peers—A little encouragement goes a long way. You’ll find a plethora of leaderboard dos & don’ts in Chapter 4.

4. Develop challenges and message them. Just like Frequent Flyer promotions, creating simple challenges can have a profound effect on user behavior once they are connected to your community. Keep your challenges fresh and topical by knowing your players – Chapter 7 gives you riveting insight on exactly who is playing.

5. Make “fun” your goal! Whether your business is finance or funerary, making fun a principal objective will substantially increase consumer engagement and generate remarkable new revenue opportunities. Chapter 8 shows you the future and how Generation G – today’s tweens – are driving ‘funnovation’ in every industry.

There are plenty more tips in store – from why cash, or even real-world prizes just don’t matter as much as you think, to how you can compete against well-funded incumbents without much capital. Buy Game-Based Marketing today and learn the key secrets of leading-edge marketers - and how you can harness the power of games in your mix to create, engage, and excite your customers.

From the Inside Flap

TV advertising has "jumped the shark." Online advertising and marketing promises to fill the gap, but despite enthusiasm for buzz-generation and the value of social networks, no one has outlined a workable marketing model that actually leads to reliable revenue . . . until now.

Written by videogame innovator and entrepreneur Gabe Zichermann and writer Joselin Linder, Game-Based Marketing explores "Funware," a new model for incorporating and leveraging games and game mechanics to reach today's customers. Behaviorally based, Funware will give you strategic insight into the deep-seated impulses and habits that drive our socially networked marketplace.

In this groundbreaking guide, you'll discover which game-based marketing programs have already generated millions in revenue and produced the world's most loyal and engaged customers. You'll get a firsthand look at how this powerful approach applies to the new world of social media. Most importantly, you'll see how to create game-based marketing plans that measurably increase both sales and profits.

Game-Based Marketing gives you practical guidance on adding games and gaming concepts to your marketing toolbox, including:

  • How to cut through the media noise to use games more effectively

  • Why "free to play" designs are irresistible to customers and lead to long-term revenue

  • How to leverage the passive games people are playing every day without even realizing it

  • How to create virtual economies and link them to your real-world business objectives

  • Who the different types of gamers are, and how to reach them—even when they're not "intentionally playing"

  • How to use games internally to motivate employees and boost sales

  • How to find the best game-based techniques for communicating with youth markets

  • And much more

Filled with case studies from leading brands such as NBC, United Airlines, the U.S. Army, and more, Game-Based Marketing examines how Funware delivers results today and will be an integral marketing channel tomorrow. Use the tools in this book to reinvent your marketing strategy, or you might be out of the game altogether.


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Customer Reviews

Good concept, really poorly written.
Richard Benci
Game-based marketing is fast-moving, smart and insightful, full of practical examples and thought-provoking challenges.
Karen B. Kaplan
The whole book reads like a patchwork stitched with pieces and repeated pieces!
Tom Sawyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am totally on board with the authors' main concept, which is why it was so frustrating to try and read this book.

From start to finish it is poorly written and edited, overly verbose when it could be much clearer and to the point, and nauseatingly vague on important details. For example, it dives into frequent flyer programs without clearly saying what they are, presents grandiose visions of how Facebook could be improved by a leaderboard, and seems to think Starbucks branches have a VIP lane. Plus it keeps using the awful term "Funware" to describe all this.

Throughout, tantalising references are made to interesting concepts or events -- the Microsoft commercial, Flyertalk, Nike+ -- and either assume outright the reader is familiar with these, or provide little followup information for the reader to find out more. Even the section on Richard Bartle, the deity of player characterisation, was poor - lifted straight from Bartle's work with little original material about how this might apply to today's consumers.

If you have any familiarity with games or reward mechanics, you will find this book as disappointing as I did. I wanted to like it, and I want books like this to spread the message that games and fun are a key part of customer engagement. But this book failed to deliver, and needs a serious edit before the 2nd edition. Read an article on gamification instead, and you will come away with all its key points without having wasted your time and money trying to read this.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Richard Benci on November 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Good concept, really poorly written. The author wastes our time by trying to associate his own trademarked "Funware" name with anything resembling gaming mechanics past and present (including incentive programs that were used before he was even born, such as the Boy Scouts, Mary Kay and S&H Green Stamps).

Overly repetitive use of Frequent Flyer Programs, and very little useful information on using game-based marketing in a non-game entity. I really thought it would show how e-commerce, media, or product companies could deploy game mechanics to create a better user experience.

Gaming Mechanics and Game Dynamics are important to understand, unfortunately, this book doesn't help one bit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Diamond on July 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was all gung-ho to learn about game-based marketing. It's a deceiving title. This repetitive book kept talking about frequent flyer programs and fictional campaigns advertisers coulda-shoulda done. Technically, is this game-based marketing? Yes. But it's not relevant to what's really going on with games and apps like Farmville and Mafia Wars.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Melle Gloerich on September 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I agree with Susan Diamond and 'The big shmoo' in that this book just touches the basics and is quite repetitive in using Frequent Flyer Programs as the perfect example of game-based marketing. I'm now reading 'The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses' by Jesse Schell and although it's a much tougher note to crack it is waaaay better in giving you inspiration in using games for marketing or communities.

If you decide to do anything with games you need a more in depth book anyway, so you might as well skip this book because the contents will be covered in the first chapter of every book about games.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By store owner on April 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book covers mainly on-line gaming promotions and had little relevant information for retail businesses, which was what I wanted it for. The title was misleading in my opinion. Unless you want to create an elaborate on-line contest, it isn't helpful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom Sawyer on February 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You will read Frequent Flyer programs, McDonald's Monopoly, etc. across different chapters. It seems there were no coordination between these two authors. The whole book reads like a patchwork stitched with pieces and repeated pieces! It would be much better if they can focus on a concept and a few illustrating cases in each chapter. A waste of money.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Big Shmoo on July 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although Gabe Zichermann and Joselin Linder have a very well written and polished book, I can't say that they have fully convinced me of there thesis. Game Based Marketing definitely has its place, but I would hate to think the Frequent Flier Miles programs are an ideal embodiment. The book talks about the low redemption rate of flier miles and how this is a huge plus for the program. Maybe I am naive, but, isn't one of the reasons for low redemption, very simple. People who travel as part of their job, might not be as inclined to travel on their days off? (Think about it.) If 80% of airline miles accumulation comes from the 20% who fly as part of their job, that explain the low redemption rate.

I think that Gabe and Joselin lost focus on the most important thing, the customer. A customer, in any marketing program wants to feel valued and appreciated. More importantly the customer wants to feel like they are getting fair value for their time and money. Most of us DO NOT thrive on trying to accumulate points on a leader board. We DO thrive on trying to get something for nothing, or stretch our dollar as fast as possible.

One of the fundamental reasons that a form of game based marketing, such as MacDonald's Monopoly promotion, has any success, is the notion that by participating, the player can have a life changing event. The player is led to believe that by collecting game pieces, the player can have a shot a $1 million dollars. It is the same reason a player puts in $1.00 into a progressive slot machine. It is for the thrill of getting a life changing moment. The author's clearly missed this.

Games can be fun. Games can be a great way to promote a program.
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