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8 Gamification Trends for 2020: Current Forecasts You Should Be Thinking About

Category: B2B News

Gamification is not a new technique but recently, the buzzword has gained overwhelming prominence. With engagement and retention rates dwindling, and consumer attention span taking a downhill trend, gamification is posing as a timely antidote to these cases. However, today, replicating game mechanics in business scenarios is a hard nut to crack, especially with the budding gamification trends.

In this post, we’ll share the top gamification trends that are shaping the market space. Understanding these trends will help you better leverage the psychological drive behind games. This way, it will be easy to motivate employees, drive user-engagement, increase sales, or solve a business problem using gamification.

You can read our compilation of gamification statistics, to gain an in-depth understanding of this industry.

gamification trends main web

Gamification Market Overview

Forward-thinking companies leveraging gamification are profiting from the traits that make game-based applications so alluring. The benefits of gamification to consumer and employee engagement are so apparent, there’s no doubt about that.

However, in recent times, we’ve seen companies prioritize the implementation of gamification in corporate learning. The use of gamification training features is bearing fruit. For example, according to eLearning Learning, gamification enhances employee productivity by up 50% and employee engagement by 60%.

Benefits of Gamification in Training in 2019


Increase Employee Engagement


Enhance Employee Productivity

Source: eLearning Learning

Designed by

Unlike in consumer engagement, the use of gamification to boost employee engagement has faced less critical conundrums. This is because unlike customers who erect walls to filter gamified campaigns, employees have developed a positive perception about gamification. To illustrate, 97% of employees above 45 years old believe gamification would help improve work. Besides, 85% of employees are willing to spend more time on gamified software.

Whether you intend to apply gamification in consumer or employee engagement, here are some gamification trends you should know.

1. Select Industries Reaping Significant Reward

Gamification keeps growing in importance but lately, the growth has been snail-paced. This is primarily because gamification is nearing maturity. Besides, almost every sector of the economy has had the chance to try elements of gamification.

On the other hand, every aspect of gamification has been tried and tested in various sectors. Both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation designs have been stretched to their limit as businesses strive to milk meaningful benefits. However, with every industry viewing gamification from a unique perspective, a new trend is emerging.

According to Yu-kai Chou, president of Octalysis Group, gamification will have the biggest impact on businesses that are important, but comparably mundane. Industries like corporate governance, finance, healthcare, wellness, and education are having an enjoyable ride with gamification.

Besides, Chou anticipates that gamification will have a profound impact on businesses that want to stand out in highly competitive fields. These include businesses operating in retail, e-commerce, mobile apps, and entertainment. Generally, Chou concludes that in 2019 and beyond, gamification will have incremental significance in areas where employees or consumers are disconnected or distracted from their objectives and goals.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gamification is approaching maturity.
  • Relatively mundane industries are reaping the most benefits.
  • You’ll need a leading gamification software system, especially if you intend to run multiple campaigns in mundane industries.

2. Gamification Shifting to Mobile Apps and Social Media

The entry of millennials and Gen Z into the global workforce has presented a new challenge for small businesses. Keeping new entrants engaged isn’t easy these days. In fact, according to a Gallup survey, nearly 71% of millennials feel disengaged at work.

To address this challenge, small businesses are integrating gamification with mobile apps and social media (Gallup). With most enterprise platforms creating mobile apps, shifting gamification to social media and mobile apps is a timely idea. This is because, mobile apps bring convenience and simplify access, for on-the-go employees.

Moreover, small businesses are reverting to bring your own device (BYOD) practice. As a result, adding leaderboards and gamification techniques to mobile apps is perfectly timed. We predict this trend to persist beyond 2019. We expect small businesses to increasingly sync gamification elements to mobile apps.

Gamification shifting to mobile apps

Key Gamification in Mobile Apps Trend Takeaway

  • Adding gamification to mobile apps and social media makes gamified efforts more effective.
  • Besides, integrating gamification elements boosts the engagement of younger employees.
  • Adding gamification to social media or mobile app is highly effective. But, doing so isn’t enough to guarantee increased employee engagement. You should also not discount the importance of well-structured employee engagement to small businesses.

3. Powering Gamification Designs with AR and VR

Games are engaging and they often nudge the player’s desire to complete a milestone. They keep players focused, motivated, and constantly excited to succeed. Gamification borrows these intriguing traits from games and overlays them to real-life activities in business.

On the other hand, immersive technology leverages 360-degree space to extend reality. Technologies such as AR, VR, and mixed reality (MR), provide a rich visual sensory experience, which makes them a perfect fit for gamification.

Immersive technology is still in the novelty stage, but already, its use in gamification is gathering steam. The immersive experience of AR/VR/MR matches nicely the emotional experience provided by game mechanics. The combination augurs well for what gamification is meant to achieve: to provide a deeply engaging experience to the target audience.

Key  Takeaways:

  • Immersive technologies allow businesses to provide a deeply engaging experience for the target audience.
  • AR and VR enhance learning when applied to the eLearning environment.

4. Personalization in Gamification

For decades, çompanies have been using personalization to boost their marketing results. The trick has worked and its magical touch has caught the attention of practitioners in gamification. This comes in the wake of rapidly evolving consumer behaviors and the realization that one size doesn’t fit all in gamification.

As you know, marketers and businesses used to rely on one systematic gamified design to derive results in all situations. One-dimensional gamification systems leveraged the golden traits of games. Back then, consumers and employees loved them. However, things have taken a different course and the targeted audience has developed a different perception of gamified systems.

Today, personalization reigns supreme in gamification. Stakeholders in the industry have rolled up their sleeves to create personalized gamified designs. The race to create adaptive algorithms that can select the precise gamification design for each situation is on high gear. Already, some gamification platforms have personalization built-in while others have it on their roadmaps.

However, we have yet to see the best of personalization in gamification. As it stands, we have just seen flashes of its outsized potential. But with the massive strides made in machine learning and AI, the future of gamification looks bright. These technologies make it easy to implement personalization in gamification.

Key Takeaways:

  • Personalization is becoming a permanent thing in gamification.
  • Personalized gamified systems are key to great results.
  • When shopping for a gamification software, pick a platform that has personalization built-in.

5. Quantifying Gamification Results

badgeville dashboard sample

A Badgeville user with game achievements shown. Badgeville is one of the leading gaming software solutions around.

As a small business, you need to keep a close eye on results whether its in marketing, sales, or gamification. This is because quality data and meaningful reporting help you fine-tune your campaigns. Besides, tracking results makes it easy to optimize projects, increasing their chances of success.

For some time, it has been a daunting task to measure and analyze the success of gamification endeavors. The focus has been purely on clicks and interactions, with some gamification platforms billing clients based ón such factors. Fortunately, with modern technologies, platforms are now adopting more data-driven approaches.

Today, there is a fundamental shift to actionable information tracking around meaningful data like net promoter score, turnover rates, and performance. You can also measure how effective your gamification campaign is based on its application. As a result, it’s a breeze to demonstrate the ROI and longevity of gamification within an organization.

This trend of quantifying gamification results is not entirely new. However, we expected more and more platforms to adopt approaches that enable businesses to create clear objectives and define the measurables. As the trend heats up, metrics like time, quality, and engagement will become increasingly easy to quantify.

Key Takeaways:

  • Measuring things like frequency of play, increase in performance, number of active players, and quality of data captured is now easy.
  • Gamification platforms are now ready to deliver the meaningful information c-suites have been looking for.

6. Empathy Mapping Making Its Way into Gamification

As mentioned earlier, gamification campaigns flourish, largely because of the emotional experience provided by game mechanics. Creating good game designs that play around emotions has been the core driver in the success of gamification. However, with the competition to win the audience’s attention intensifying, design alone isn’t winning the race.

Today, consumers and employees alike are tired of gamification tactics that are manipulative or over-competitive. The audience doesn’t only value engaging campaigns; apparently, they want more. The modern audience is looking for campaigns that share and understand their feelings. This is where empathy mapping comes into play in gamification.

Empathetic design is a trending concept that is entirely simple at its roots. The trend is still a novelty, but already, it’s having a say in the creation of gamification campaigns. Practitioners of gamification have added this new idea to their arsenal of design tools. As a result, we are seeing the rise of gamification tactics that thrive on a meaningful and helpful experience.

We anticipate that as the use of gamification drags towards instigating behavioral change, the empathetic design will be more prevalent.

Key Takeaways:

  • To create gamification that achieves a positive change you must bring emotions into play.
  • The best of empathy mapping in gamification is ahead.
  • Promoting extrinsic rewards in the modern era isn’t going to deliver meaningful benefits.

7. Growth of Gamification on a Massive Uptick in North America

North America is a mature market for gamification in marketing. The growth of gamification has been on an upward trend. The inroads made in fields like product development and innovations are unsurprising.

So, what has fueled the rapid growth of gamification in North America?

Let’s first go back to the basics of gamification. For gamification campaigns to succeed, there must be high adoption and usage rates. Adoption and usage happen at the consumer’s touchpoints, that is, mobile or desktop devices.

The reason North America has witnessed a massive uptick in the growth of gamification is the proliferation of smartphone users. Approximately 70% of consumers in the US will have a smartphone by the end of 2019 (MobileMarketer). Better still, high penetration of internet usage has further propelled the greater usage of gamification. Gamification practitioners are also using social media integration tools to interact with the target audience in North America.

When combined, these factors have continued to drive the massive use of gamification in North America. Experts predict that this region will record the highest usage of gamified systems in enterprise-level solutions. Most importantly, North America is projected to move towards the use of technologically advanced tactics in consumer involvement systems.

consumers who will own a smartphone

Key Takeaways:

  • North America has the largest market share for gamification in marketing.
  • Gamification is a pivotal strategy in the consumerization of enterprise strategy for B2C and B2B brands in North America.
  • Brands in North America value gamification’s ability to enhance engagement and loyalty.

8. The Tilting Landscape

Gamification has been a permanent fixture in marketing, corporate learning, and training. However, gamification is slowly creeping into fields where people were skeptical about its adoption. For example, civic and political organizations were hesitant to embrace gamification. But it’s predicted that as gamification finds new meaning, its use in these fields will become more prevalent.

Moreover, gamification is going “deeper” in marketing. Marketers are churning out ideas that seek to make the desired behaviors enjoyable. Gamification practitioners are moving away from extrinsic to more intrinsic motivational design. As a result, gamification is approaching maturity.

Extrinsic motivational design thrives on the use of rewards and incentives. Even though the design can motivate the audience to start doing an action, the drive doesn’t last long. On the other hand, the intrinsic motivational design makes tasks enjoyable and rewarding. This way, the design guarantees long-term motivation and deliver meaningful results.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gamification is making its way in fields that were slow to embrace it.
  • Marketers need to use intrinsic motivational design to reap significant benefits from gamification campaigns.
  • Having a robust gamification software can help you move at the pace of change. A gamification platform like Bandicam or one of its alternatives can help you tread the slippery slope more strategically.

What Do These Trends Means for Small Businesses?

In summary, the landscape is changing, personalization is making its way into gamification, and immersive technologies are having an impact. Mundane industries are reaping the biggest reward from gamification and empathy mapping is now a core design tool. Depending on your situation, you should proactively adjust your strategy for optimal benefits.

The trends we’ve highlighted are currently making waves in the business and corporate learning arena. Some of these trends will persist beyond 2019, but others will cease to dominate. We don’t have a crystal ball to accurately tell exactly how each gamification trend will pan out. Because of these, all you can do is prepare your business for the current trends.

What you should know is that gamification will remain an incredible innovation for employee and consumer engagement. To be on the safe side, create gamification campaigns focused on motivational intrinsic rewards. Besides, apply gamification elements to different platforms and have a targeted approach to the implementation.

Above all, we are in the modern era. Therefore, all your gamification efforts should be digitalized to weed out potential design and execution flaws. You can read our guide on the best gamification software systems to find a solution for your campaigns.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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