Millennials and Gamification: How to keep them engaged

The Millennial generation is a group of young adults who were born between 1980 and 2000. They are known to be idealistic and impulsive, but with a strong grasp on today’s technology. I myself, am a Millennial. At this point, it’s starting to feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy, where I’m magically destined to abide by the unspoken (but unofficial) rules of being a Millennial:

  1. The constant need to seek out new and exciting career opportunities at every turn! Job loyalty? What is that? Never heard of it.
  2. The hunger for self-validation and self-fulfilment. Rewards and benefits are a must-have, and the work we do… has to mean something.
  3. Mentally wired to give up when the going gets tough. Unlike our forefathers and the Baby Boomers, Millennials are allegedly unfamiliar with the term “working hard”.
  4. The short attention span of an average Millennial means shorter instructions, more action, and instant gratification.
  5. Millennials, being brought up in the “digital” era, love to have fun and enjoy life, in general.

As this generation is set to form an estimated 50% of the workforce by 2020, we need to start focusing on how to attract – and retain – them in our organisations, and also to engage them to learn on the job. Marketing for Millennials would also take into account the way they think and react to advertisements and promotions.

#1: HR for Millennials

Over the past few years, we have worked with clients in gamifying their recruitment practices, onboarding processes and training programmes. It seems to be a popular trend, and a growing concern, that the staff is disengaged and unmotivated to partake in activities within the office (e.g. staff e-learning, employee performance games). Millennial staff especially, are on a lookout for a more challenging pursuit of knowledge, coupled with technology, because… technology.

While there are many solutions to this issue of disengagement, the one that we are keen to talk about (for obvious reasons) would be the gamification solution. Gamification within HR can come in many forms and for most of our clients, engaging the younger generation of employees was their target audience.

Firstly, some large organisations have come to appreciate how gamification elements can be incorporated into the recruitment process. It helps them sieve out the qualified and interested applicants from those who are simply just trying their luck. It also allows them to engage their target audience (a.k.a the interested applicants and potential new hires) in ways that would be more interactive and detailed than a simple application form. With a fun theme, and creative copywriting in play, recruiting can be a game in itself, where applicants are expected to play the game in order to apply for the job, and in the process, learn more about the organisation and in turn, help them prepare for the interview that awaits them, should their job application be approved.

One example of such a unique practice would be DBS’ Joyful Journey recruitment programme. It invites applicants to embark on a journey around the world, understanding a bit of the culture from each country before completing a quiz that will determine which type of position are they most suited for.

Then, once the millennials are in, the onboarding programme is likely to be one of their first few exposures to the job, and HR/talent managers are keen to make a good first impression. To incorporate gamification into onboarding programmes, millennials can be encouraged to not only go through the programme in full (and meet the learning objectives of the HR manager) but also have fun while doing it! Creativity can play an important role in the way the content is introduced to the employees, and why not throw in some valuable rewards like “Coffee with the Director” as well?

#2: Learning/Training for Millennials 

After having spent a decade in the modern school system of today, with all the technology that can be offered, the millennials have adapted to a different learning style as compared to their parents’ generation. They are more responsive towards micro-learning, where information is given to them in bite-sized chunks instead of lengthy articles to be consumed over many hours of learning. They learn quickly and they can apply quickly too.

Millennials, unlike the previous generations, are more willing to learn via the latest technologies, in particular mobile technologies, thus allowing for their learning to be… well, mobile. However, instead of simply converting streams of data into a mobile app, we need to consider applying current mobile habits and user experience to maximise the efficacy of mobile learning programmes.

One way to do so would be to incorporate gamification elements into the way the learning/training programmes are conducted. Having visible milestones (e.g. progress bars, badges) for learners to achieve can appeal to learners with a shorter attention span and those who require instant gratification for completing small tasks. By splitting the content up into bite-sized pieces and rewarding them for every step they have taken will ultimately motivate them to complete the whole programme without feeling fatigued by the information. Also, games provide instant feedback, which will be useful for millennials to learn from their mistakes immediately.

Rewards of varying values can also be used as bait to motivate them to completed even more challenges and therefore, learn more as a result, especially those who are already highly engaged by the programme. From Starbucks vouchers or invitations to closed-door networking sessions, the rewards must be those of value to the target audience, so do have a chat with your potential players before creating them.

 

#3: Marketing for Millennials

Forget about hard selling to the average millennial. They don’t respond well to sales people who will only boast about their products. A Forbes article mentions the use of social influencers as the new way of gaining trust among millennials today, where validity is based not on how well a sales person sells the product but by how many people are using it. Influence and authenticity is key. In fact, 84 percent of Millennials say user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy, and many say it’s important to read others’ opinions before purchasing.

Thus, marketing strategies that are in line with gamification can include challenges related mostly to social-related tasks, so as to allow user-generated content to go viral on social media – and have the players be rewarded for it! According to AdAge, millennials spend an average of 25 hours per week online, thus it would seem appropriate to focus our marketing efforts towards online social media platforms where they consume content. Through gamification, marketing efforts will be made more “personal” and will not have the “mass-produced” feel which, in a way, will make the receiver feel more special.

Thoughts, anyone? Let us know what YOU think of millennials (and if you have any useful strategies to appeal to them using gamification) by commenting below! 🙂

 

Thoughts from a Millennial: Gamification of learning

Gamification will probably sound like a foreign word to you, if you’ve never touched a gaming console in your life. Yet, gamification is pervasive, and lies right under most of our noses—‘our’ referring to our generation of millennials.

“What? I don’t even game!” You might cry out in protest, but the truth is that you don’t need to know how to work a Wii Remote to experience the effects of gametization.

MConline is a company that branches across various platforms such as hardcopy books, directories, magazines, and also technology to reach out to students. Its online website—Mconline is extremely popular amongst primary schools in Singapore. Due to the standardized curriculum by the Ministry of Education in Singapore, MConline is an extremely efficient platform in which students from different schools are all able to access and utilise to make learning more fun. Through completing challenges and quizzes with interesting and well-designed graphics in the form of a game or storyline, students are more incentivized to engage in learning via other routes aside from the traditional pen and paper method. Recently, they’ve even developed the MCeMath and the MCLMS phone application for students to access on their phones while on-the-go. Most students would have had some form of experience to MConline in their primary school days, implying that the students of today would’ve been exposed to some form of gamification when they were as young as seven years old!

Another extremely common example of gamified learning is ‘Kahoot!’. Kahoot! is a free, game-based learning platform accessible to students and tutors by the web. Teachers are able to customize quizzes and add in graphics or videos of their own, and students are expected to take part in the quiz using their mobile phones. The quicker students click on the right answer, the more points the students obtain. The student with the highest points at the end of the quiz will usually be given a small item by the tutor as a reward for obtaining the most points. These extrinsic rewards further motivate students to continue with engaging in such games in the future. Through the competitive elements and the reward-point system of the gamified learning experience, students are more incentivized to engage in the game. Kahoot! is commonly used across secondary schools and colleges to make the lessons more interactive and fun.

At this point, you might be stunned. Or surprised. Or neither of the above. The main point being, gamification is practically everywhere, and it’s become increasingly popular. According to Technavio, the global digital education content market is currently valued at $36 billion dollars, and is estimated to be worth $54 billion in 2020. We don’t tend to think about gamification while we’re actually in the midst of playing the game, but gamification is becoming increasingly pervasive, and it has become a powerful tool for people all across different groups to make a traditionally boring task into something that is interactive, engaging, and fun.

Given the fact that it is still a relatively new concept in the world of technology, gamification still receives flak from critiques saying that the original intentions of the motivation to do tasks are lost in the pursuit of extrinsic reward. However, that is exactly why effective gamification needs to be carried out. It is a vital design-thinking process that will ultimately result in the creation of novel, exciting, and fun experiences that can re-design and re-invent traditional experiences, providing new meaning into various aspects of our lives, and it is something that we should all at the very least, be aware of, and understand.

Written by: Wong Shu Ning (TJC Intern)

Confessions of a Gametize Intern: The truth about gamification

As a sixteen-year-old going on seventeen who hadn’t the first clue as to what gaming was about, you could say that when I first signed up to spend four weeks of my life at Gametize (a local startup that specializes in gamification), I was overwhelmed. Mainly, it was because a part of me immediately related the concept of gamification to buzzwords like ‘Blackshot,’ or ‘League of Legends.’ (Both of which, I also had no prior experience in) However, after a week of exposure, I discovered that I was grossly mistaken about gamification.

Let’s begin by addressing a really common misconception—gamification isn’t the same as gaming.

I know, real shocker.

Many people tend to misunderstand gamification and what it aims to achieve. For example, when Gametize was announced to be one of the partnering companies with my school for the exposure project, many of the students dismissed the idea of it as merely gaming. When I told my parents that I was going to be attached to Gametize for a month, my dad raised an eyebrow and remarked that I didn’t exactly strike him as the ‘gaming type.’ Heck, even I thought I was going to be gaming for a month.

At this point, you’re probably wondering: Okay, so what is the difference then?

The differences between gaming and gamification can be concisely explained in two points—what it is and its purpose.

Firstly, let’s address what the two concepts are. Gaming is the action of partaking in a game, whereas gamification is a series of steps involving design-thinking. Gaming is an action, whereas gamification is a process by which elements of gaming—such as rewards, point systems and challenges are inculcated into carrying out day-to-day tasks.

Secondly, let’s look at the purposes of gaming and gamification. The main purpose of gaming is for the consumer’s fun, amusement, and leisure. The objective of gaming, in most cases, is to entertain. The objective of gamification, however, is to effectively translate real-life tasks into the form of a game, with a game interface and gaming elements.

Applications of gamification frequently tend to include sectors such as education and health & fitness. Through the intertwining of gaming elements such as obstacles, challenges, intriguing storylines and a point reward system, consumers are able to effectively learn/accomplish real life tasks which would traditionally be laborious to do. Hence, there is the implementation of a gaming interface to motivate and incentivize people to better carry out tasks.

So the next time you happen to come across the word, ‘gamification,’ remember, that although it includes elements of gaming, it is still not ‘Flappy Bird,’ or ‘Super Mario,’ or ‘Halo.’ It’s something much larger and much more complicated, and it’s also pretty darn cool.

Written by: Wong Shu Ning (TJC Intern)

Gamification of product advertising: M&Ms

What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you think of the word ‘marketing’? Perhaps you’d envision an enthusiastic promoter, someone who’s good with words, trying to convince customers of a product’s value. Well, in light of technological advancements and the introduction of gamification into the field of marketing, we realize that the traditional promotional methods are not the only ways to advertise products. Gamification is something that plenty of companies have turned to to do the marketing for them.

Elements of a good advertisement/marketing strategy would include audience engagement, memorable, gets the message across succinctly, is easy to understand, and calls the viewer to action. We can see how gamification easily meets the mark for audience engagement and the call for action, with it being an interactive game and all. As such, gamification has been a tool that people turn to for adding the element of fun into their advertisements.

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Maki, the Ninja Cat says goodbye to Gametize…

Maki, our Ninja Cat
Maki, our Ninja Cat

With a heavy heart, the Gametize team bids farewell to our first official Gametize Ninja Cat, Maki (named after our lovable Ninja mascot). He is now placed in a loving, forever home after spending 3 amazing weeks within the comfy confines of the Gametize office.

How it all began…

He was found abandoned by Keith and his friend. Keith, with his intense empathy for animals of all kinds, decided to “kitnap” the furry fella and bring him over to the office to bathe him and feed him. From then onwards, they were set to help Maki find a good home to live out his nine lives.

Maki in the ‘house’…

Aside from the other occasional cat that would visit Gametize (namely Pika, our Do-It-All-Ninja Shan Shan‘s cat), Maki made himself at home within the office. Which, by cat standards, was probably pretty fast, as his lovable nature made it easy for him to get along with everyone else during working hours.

From play-biting to jumping on tables and laptops, Maki has become well-acquainted with the Gametize Ninjas, and this writer for one, will surely miss his crazy antics.

Check out #makicatstory for all things Maki-related, and be sure to follow our blog for more Gametize updates!

 

MVP of the week: The super yummy GUMMY NINJA!

Shiqin hard at work!
Shiqin hard at work!

After a long hiatus, we are resuming our MVP series to feature our teammates. To kick things off again, we’re going to start with the latest full-time addition to our ninja family, Shiqin.

As Gametize’s first ‘Gametize Coach’, Shiqin focuses on coaching clients and Gametize users alike in the ways of the platform. She is also the voice behind our live customer service chatline!

Other than coaching and customer service, she has helped the rest of the business team in many other ways too, from drafting contracts to managing projects and clients. A multi-talented and inquisitive creature that she is, having her on the business team is an absolute pleasure.

Luckily for us, it’s easy to get on her good side; buy her a packet of gummy bears and bring over a good book (or a cat, perhaps) and she will instantly fall in love with you.

Here’s a short clip of her dancing to her national anthem (together with Brenda): https://www.facebook.com/Gametize/videos/1026192200761610/

She may only have been at Gametize for a few months so far, but she has left quite an impression on us already!

 

Revenue Management for the SaaS Industry

If you’re reading this off a computer screen, chances are you rely on some version of the Microsoft Office suite during work to produce reports (Microsoft Word), presentations (Microsoft Powerpoint), and spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel). We buy this software package for a one-time fee, install it to our computer, and it’s ours to keep.

However, in 2013 Microsoft came up with a new offering: Office 365. Instead of the one-time fee, users now have to pay a monthly/yearly subscription, essentially renting the software. Sounds crazy to pay monthly fees for something you could own by buying a CD, right?

Continue reading “Revenue Management for the SaaS Industry”

The Hunger Games and Gamification

In 2012, one of the must-see films of the year was The Hunger Games, which was also one of the first few films in the “dystopia” genre, which is still immensely popular even now (The Maze Runner, Divergent, Elysium, Ender’s Game, Snowpiercer… There is quite an extensive list.).

In The Hunger Games, the Games were created to punish the twelve districts, who’d previously rebelled against the powerful and rich Capitol. In simpler terms, it’s a control mechanism that balances fear and hope.

While The Hunger Games is a dark and often depressing story, there are many good lessons to learn from it. It’s not just about the game, or the killing, or who Katniss will end up with. It is a story that explores deeper issues such as corruption, society and class, the power of the media…

And, as its name implies, it also teaches us a lot about games.

Or, rather, gamification.

Gamification is the act of putting game elements into non-game contexts to increase engagement.

For example, game elements are placed into the murdering of innocent people in The Hunger Games! Let’s take a deeper look at the gamification within the Games.

Rewards

Rewards, in the form of gifts, are heavily relied upon in the Games, and they motivate the tributes to do their best, before they even step foot into the arena.

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While making public appearances prior to the Games (.gif above), the tributes show themselves off to television audiences to obtain ‘sponsors’, who will send gifts such as food, medicine, and tools to their favourite tributes during the Games

hungergames1

These gifts can be critical to survival and, thus, are highly sought after.

In gamification, achievements and rewards can come in the form of virtual badges to earn, or physical assets one can redeem with accumulated points. These achievements and rewards are meant to motivate players to play their best, the same way sponsors’ gifts motivate the tributes to leave a lasting impression in The Hunger Games.

Continue reading “The Hunger Games and Gamification”

Youngest Ninjas Ever

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Two weeks ago, Gametize opened its door to its youngest ninjas ever – two secondary three students (15-year-olds) from Regent Secondary School. Zhen Yuan and Wei Jian joined us on a job attachment program at school, and were all set to be part of the team for a good two weeks. The objectives of the program were to expose them to the working world and to hone their interests (which included “information technology”, for both the boys).

So we pulled out all the stops and held nothing back. If these guys wanted a real working-life experience, they were gonna get it. The past two weeks, Zhen Yuan and Jia Le have been uploading content, creating their own original games, and attending brainstorming sessions with other Gametize Ninjas.

Despite their youth, they are mature and level-headed, and are pulling their own weight amongst the other older, more experienced Gametize Ninjas. They just prove that it isn’t always about how much experience you have, but how much you want the experience!

Tattoo or Taboo? 4 Reasons Why Employers Shouldn’t Care

tabootattoo_final

Where my inked people at? Holler at me!

I said, holler at me!

Oh. Sorry. I can’t hear you guys hollering at me over all my aunts and uncles going, “You’re going to regret that” and “You’re never gonna get a job with that” and “You know it’s permanent, right?”.

Surely, at some point in time, we’ve all entertained the thought of getting a tattoo. Maybe a super-meaningful quote on our ribcage, maybe a skull on our arm, or maybe even a full-back oriental piece!

Tattoos are—let’s face it—cool!

Continue reading “Tattoo or Taboo? 4 Reasons Why Employers Shouldn’t Care”