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Curtis Gross is the Senior Technology Marketing Manager at Jive Software. In this piece, Curtis explains the what, why, and how of implementing Gamification in your organization.




Football, Basketball, Soccer/Futbol, Mario Brothers, Dark Souls*, Call of Duty**,  WoW***.


All are games, all are arguably as difficult and require as much 'work' as actual work.  So, why do people flock to games?  Why will someone spend 40 hours at work, then go home to spend more time playing games?  And why are people motivated to train for a marathon in their off time that costs them money to enter?


Games have a certain mix of challenge, reward and mental satisfaction that drives people. How can we harness the best parts of games and apply it elsewhere?


What is Gamification?gamification.jpg

Gamification is the application of game logic, theory and design to improve work processes and incent behavior.  It is the understanding of why people enjoy and play competitive games like golf, soccer, basketball and video games, all of which are arguably more difficult that working in a spreadsheet all day.  People choose to play difficult games because of the challenge. Gamification is not the application of badges, cartoons and leader boards to make your job more like Farmville or Angry Birds.  Gamification is looking at those games and finding what draws people to play them, to return to them day after day, to understand the satisfaction that comes from playing a game.


53% of American Adults older than 18 play video games, BUT be aware that 97% of teens play video games according to the Pew / Internet study.  It is worth noting that these are just the numbers for VIDEO games. What about other traditional games (e.g., board games)?  Bet it is 100%!  It is time to start thinking about how to change the way we work, dramatically.


What are some common game elements?

Not every game includes all the different ways to get people engaged. If you understand that different people react better / worse to different game logic, you can mix and match the elements to create an environment that engages a larger audience.  Some examples of game elements:

  • Social Connections
  • Missions
  • Competitions
  • Rewards (badges, goods)
  • Reputation (status, levels)
  • Leaderboards
  • Visibility into Success
  • Challenges


In my opinion there is one hard requirement to make any gamified workplace strategy a success: Social Connections.  People like to show others their success, compete with other people, see how others have accomplished similar goals - and want to learn from other successful people.  The most successful games that managed to break outside of just 'hardcore gamers' are connected in at least one way to other people.  Words With Friends, Farmville and Draw Something all leveraged social connections with friends to expand into casual gaming territory.


With social being the glue that holds Gamifiication together it is a good thing Jive provides a social platform!


How can Gamification be applied to work and social communities?


  • Increased Adoption - Imagine if you could see every positive action your coworkers are taking to earn rewards.  People would start to follow and adopt the practices of those that are the most successful.  This is possible in the software world through tracking activity, its quality, and making it visible to everyone. This allows people to learn from success and encourages people to keep coming back for more.
  • Training - Let's say that you are using a brand new set of software, one that only starts with a limited set of functionality.  As you learn and use that functionality correctly new functionality is unlocked.  Games use the idea of 'unlocking' to slowly release more advanced concepts the longer you play. Through leveraging this idea, users will no longer be overwhelmed with the full platform from day one. This also means no manual or training webcast is necessary for your users.  You can promote when users have completed training to their friends, which increases the chance that those friends will complete the training in order to 'keep up'.
  • Fostering User Connections -  First day at work?  What if you're given access to a Jive instance with a list of people with the same hobbies, experiences, and likes as you.  Wouldn't it be nice to be in the company of friends with the same objectives?  Game logic says everyone needs better visibility into what others like and promotes people to form teams of similar users to incent them to stay engaged.
  • Sustaining Community Engagement - A user completes a difficult task, what is next on the list?  If the task is the same level of difficulty, the user will most likely not stay motivated to participate.  If it a similar task - but a little bit more difficult, it becomes a new challenge.  Constantly upping the difficulty means your employees will never be bored.  It is essential to create new and exciting challenges or missions for your users to keep their interest.


Make work more fun and engaging, but don't make work a game.

Gamification of work means that those repetitive tasks you do every day may actually pay off with some sort of accomplishment, a finale, reputation and rewards.  Every task needs a goal and gamification can help.  Employees can have clear goals, be challenged and rewarded for their work.  My challenge to you: make work more fun with Jive!

* Hardest, most rewarding video game I have played in the last 10 years.

** Battlefield series is better

*** Never played - worried I would get addicted.

How have you used Gamification to incent participation at work?

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Elizabeth Brigham is a Product Marketing Manager at Jive Software, overseeing the Social Marketing and Sales Solution. Her passion lies in providing fellow marketers and sales practitioners a better way to get work done, beat the competition to market and close sales faster. Prior to Jive, Elizabeth was a Manager of Product Management at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online where she managed content and commerce strategy for the Parks and Resorts portfolio of brands. She began her career at McMaster-Carr Supply Company managing call center teams, domestic and international sales operations, supply chain logistics, and sales software development. Elizabeth earned her BA in English Literature from Davidson College and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. In this piece, Elizabeth explains how to engage sales with competitive learning:


With JiveWorld past us and Halloween imminent, many of us are knee-deep preparing for a big kick off to 2013. As a product marketer, I'm thinking about themes, goals and best practices to prepare for our annual Sales Kick Off event coming in January. More specifically, I'm working with my team to brainstorm strategies and tactics around the 4 E's - Engage, Educate, Energize, and Extend - adding those to our marketing suitcase of the 4 P's and C's. When I think about the 4 E's of Sales Kick Off, here are the main tenets that I keep in mind:

  • Engage
    • Get buy-in and collaboration from marketing and sales to develop the kick off eventgia.png
    • Put together an agenda and content that will excite the sales team; keep it as short as possible while still achieving main goals
    • Think about "virtual" kick off opportunities for globally distributed teams
    • Figure out a way to bring in key partners/channels so they hear the same message as the rest of the sales team
  • Educate
    • Ensure all new product information is conveyed in an easily digestible format; include specific benefits and talking points that sales can use immediately
    • Reinforce learning through different channels - video, documents, discussions, etc
    • Connect sales to the appropriate product marketing SMEs
  • Energize
    • Make it fun; rally the troops; send them out with guns blazing
    • Share quotas, incentives and other comp plans
    • Present awards, recognize achievements
  • Extend
    • Develop ways to make sales kick off into a year-round activity/state of mind
    • Make all materials available and easy to access for sales post-event
    • Get sales ramped up as quickly as possible to close business faster
    • Shorten sales cycles by ensuring questions from sales kick off get answered and schedule follow ups as necessary


Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing video interviews from our Jive experts on how they use Jive to deliver on the goals outlined above.


I want to hear how you're preparing for Sales Kick Off! What are your best practices for getting sales engaged in 2013?

  • I am a member of six airline customer loyalty programs, but I would only recommend one to my friends (appreciate the great service, Jet Blue).
  • I have at least 14 frequent buyer cards shoved in my wallet, but I only visit one establishment enough to make it worth it (Nom Nom, Monkey's Nest).
  • I've "liked" 243 brands on Facebook, but I only engage with a few of them (I regularly share posts from ACL Live since I love music).
  • I've used dozens of enterprise apps, but only loved one so much that I decided to go work there (thank goodness for Jive).


iStock_000021690483XSmall.jpgMy point - building and recognizing true loyalty is hard. Sometimes social managers assume that by giving away the latest tech toy or, let's be honest, Apple product, they will build loyalty.  However, in order to be successful, it's necessary to build meaningful relationships with your loyal influencers. But what does this mean? 

A lot of people have debated the meaning of "loyalty," "satisfaction," and "influencer," so I'm not going to go down that route.  Instead, I will share 5 tips for moving away from being just another mass marketer on social to delighting your customers, employees, partners and fans.

1. Activate  You have to make it easy for people to share your content in a meaningful way.  Much like right-rail ads, people have become accustomed (a.k.a. now gloss over) social sharing buttons on websites.  However, when you build a meaningful or unique experience, they will want to share that with their network. For example, for a recent campaign, we created a Facebook application that asked, "What Type of Office Hero Are You?" After answering a few simple questions, users got an avatar that they could share with their social networks. What's even more interesting is that when people shared that information, I could see who shared, what channel they used, and how many people clicked on the link. In essence, I could track loyalty to the application and influencer. Plus, we gave our customers an exciting experience.

2. Reward  Building a good relationship with influencers is more than just increasing word-of-mouth-marketing.  It's important to also reward people.  For Jive's recent user conference, we created a series of online games for attendees.  We understood that people attending the conference are some of our most loyal customers; therefore, by doing online games, they could earn their share and be motivated by limited edition badges and prizes.  More than 10% of conference attendees completed the full game, and because several of the activities tied to social media goals (i.e., follow us on Twitter), we were able to increase our social reach among qualified people.

3. Recognize  Don't assume it's all about the #bling. Customers aren't always looking for a t-shirt or gift card. They are actually trying to build a better connection with you.  We regularly spotlight Real Office Heroes - a.k.a. customers who are pioneering social business at their organization. When we spotlight a user, we do a brief three-question blog post with them that is featured on our community, share the post on our social channels, have them show-up as the cover photo on our corporate Facebook cover image, etc.  Here is an example of a blog series highlighting customers: Real Office Hero Spotlight: Tracy Maurer, UBM

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Weekly, we also do #ThursdayThanks on Twitter, highlighting community members that said nice things about the brand or our products that week. This is an idea we got from Emilie Kopp at National Instruments:

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4. Amplify  Once you've gotten people talking, it's time to amplify their voices.  As seen by the examples below, we've taken customer-generated social content and turned it into conversations starters on other platforms. For example, when we recently sent Jive-branded boxing gloves to attendees of last year's user conference.  Enthusiastically, people shared tweets and pictures of their gloves. We then used that user-generated content on this year's conference website and on our official social channels.

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5. Look Inside  You don't have to look far to find advocates.  At Jive, we've done a series of employee video interviews.  The subjects are nominated by their fellow employees, and informally discuss how they use social business tools to get their jobs done.  We've featured people from various departments, including support, human resources, engineering, and product marketing.These YouTube videos allow us to:

  • recognize our best assets (our employees)
  • teach people about our software
  • generate awareness for the company
  • and even help us obtain new leads (true story - one video turned into a major deal)!


How do you build valuable relationships with loyal influencers?  Comment below.

J Award.jpeg.jpg

We have truly amazing customers. This year we had a record number of customers apply for a Jive Award and want to thank them for taking the time to share their success stories. It was a tough choice, and we are pleased to recognized six unstoppable customers who have really taken their use of Jive to a new level. I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about these customers and why they were selected as winners for their respective categories:

Screen Shot 2012-10-11 at 5.19.56 PM.png


Health-Fitness started using Jive for Teams to connect remote employees who felt disconnected from corporate. Jive allowed them to link up program managers with the company and global colleagues, improving communication, collaboration, and a sense of togetherness. In fact, our esteemed panel of judges went as far as to say that, "They exemplify why Jive created 'Jive for Teams'."


Screen Shot 2012-10-11 at 5.20.16 PM.pngEngaging Employees

When it came to employee engagement, creative agency Millward Brown achieved a remarkable 86% adoption in their first five months, which enabled the company to attract new business, solve challenging problems faster, and build thought leadership through expertise location. Millward Brown has 84 Champions worldwide driving their transformation. Today, employees across 88 offices in 58 countries collaborate on a daily basis. The judges characterized their use of Jive as a, "Impressive, flawless implementation. Essence of what social is about." I couldn't agree more.

Engaging CustomersScreen Shot 2012-10-11 at 5.20.39 PM.png

For engaging customers, two companies topped the list and the judges couldn’t pick just one deserving winner. So we called it a tie between Verizon and Premier Farnell. Both of these companies have such unique and successful stories, they each deserved to win.

Verizon migrated off a previous Lithium community, where registrations for their community peaked at 150,000 users after a few years. After their migration to Jive, their customer community skyrocketed to over 1.7 million customers in the first six months.   With this huge active new community, they were able to resolve over 10,000 customer inquiries within the community. One judge even noted that, "I experienced their solution as a customer and it saved me!"

Screen Shot 2012-10-11 at 5.21.06 PM.pngOur other winner, Premier Farnell, leveraged the power of their 115,000 registered community members to help acquire and engage net new customers. They experienced an astounding growth rate of 600,000 in monthly visits from 30 countries, which represents a 200% annual growth rate. In addition to a growing their business by leveraging their community, Premier Farnell has significantly improved customer loyalty and brand reputation through their consistent and authentic engagement strategy. One of our judges observed that this is an "Interesting use of social commerce. They are a trendsetter for their competition to follow."

New Way to LeadScreen Shot 2012-10-11 at 5.21.15 PM.png

Jive is all about changing the way work gets done. John Stepper, from Deutsche Bank, embodies this ideal by inspiring his peers and other financial services companies on how they can improve their bottom line through the use of social business technologies. Deutsche Bank was able to de-commission six separate tools, dozens of websites, and countless antiquated systems that were formerly used to store and share content. The company managed to dramatically reduce costs by empowering its employees with the information they need through Jive, eliminating waste and generating value. Our judges said, "They really showed that there is a different way to lead the company through the use of Jive." One judge remarked that John Stepper is "…an industry role model. He has hosted meetups for his peers, speaks at industry events, and manages a thought provoking blog around the value of collaboration."

New Way to Win

Our judges selected PwC for the winner of this final category because of how the company mastered the use of Jive for employees, customers and partners. PwC aligned 180,000 people throughout 156 countries with their usage of their Jive community, Spark. With each new territory leader, they are able to immediately engage and connect with employees worldwide. The judges put it perfectly when they said, "They are a beacon for uncovering true business value! Citing just a single example of how PwC improved the ability to deliver quality proposals in half the amount of time than before using Jive!"

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We are really thankful to everyone who was able to attend JiveWorld and our unstoppable customers worldwide. What do you think it will take to win a Jive Award in 2013?


JiveWorld12 is here!

As the social media manager at Jive, I know our social ecosystem would not be complete without your help.  We appreciate the thoughtfulness and ingenuity in everything you do. To make it easier for you to get social this week, I've compiled a list of activities.

Have a compelling success story, or a funny photo from the show? We would love for you to share it!


Here are the major ways to get involved:


The JiveWorld12 Challenge:

Be sure to take the JiveWorld2012 Challenges!  We are doing a series of games, and you can earn some awesome prizes and new Jive Community badges.



Daily, we will be posting the don't miss activities and onsite videos.  It's also a great way to network before you get to Vegas or stay tuned in if you can't make the show.

Twitter: @jivesoftware, @jiveworld, @jiveofficehero, #jw12,  #jiveon

We’ll be streaming mentions of #jw12 on larger than life monitors during JiveWorld. If you tweet and use the #jw12 hashtag, your tweet will be displayed for the entire conference to see.



Connect with a community of fellow #socbiz superstars and participate in fun activities.  I'm dying to know WHICH OFFICE HERO ARE YOU? (Jive Software - Palo Alto, CA - Internet/Software - Office Hero | Facebook)

Instagram and the Mobile Photo Contest:  @jivesoftware #jw12

Capture all your greatest moments using your smart phone, uploading to Instagram or the JiveWorld mobile app, and show off that unique artistic side for a chance to win some cool SWAG.

YouTube:, #jw12, #jiveworld, #jiveofficehero

Can't make it this year? Don't worry. We’ll be capturing clips of our customers and speakers throughout the event and posting them live. If you're onsite andcapture some of your own videos, remember to use the hashtags above when you share them.


LinkedIn: Jive Software Group Jive Software | LinkedIn

Join our LinkedIn group and stay connected to the people you meet IRL.

Google+:  @jivesoftware, #jw12

Share with your circles, give them the gift of Jive.  Leave no stone unturned.


Help us spread the word about JiveWorld12, make some industry history, and keep setting the social trend.  I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas, and please let me know if you have any questions.

iStock_000017197148XSmall.jpgLike most kids, I loved LEGO.  I would spend hours building everything from a space shuttle to a house for my chihuahua (true story).


As an adult, building a community has that same sense of awesomeness.


Here is a list of the top 7 things LEGO taught me about building a quality community.


Accessibility. You can find LEGO building blocks anywhere (especially stuffed between the couch cushions at my cousin's house).  Social business needs to be the same.  A strong enterprise community should span internally and externally, across departments, geographies, and devices.


Usability. Unlike Ikea furniture, anybody can pick up a few LEGO blocks, stick them together, and build something amazing.  A good community should make it easy for members to go from a newbie to expert in record time, with engaging tutorials and introductory tours.


Fun. LEGO allows people spend hours being creative. Enterprise communities should engage users.  With recent improvements in areas like gamficiation, this becomes a lot easier.


Beneficial. LEGOs are more than just an entertaining toy. By playing with LEGOs, kids learn things like simple mechanics. The same should ring true for your community - members should learn through building and sharing.


Next Generational. LEGO has evolved its product offerings. In a previous role, I got to help launch the LEGO Mindstorms NXT. This flavor of LEGO allows you to build and program robots - a far advancement from the standard building blocks.  A good community will also adopt next-generation technologies, such as enterprise applications, social search engines that knows what you're looking for and find it fast, and adaptive social intelligence to provide more personalized, relevant results.

Versatile. By buying a single set of LEGOs you can make several different creations. One day, you'll build a log cabin and the next day a castle.  Building a community is similar. With an investment in one strong social business platform, like Jive, you can build a variety of vibrant communities for areas like customer support, sales and marketing, social intranet, etc.


Leader.  Every box of LEGOs comes with one of those cool little, plastic people. Like those guys, it's key to have a community manager, who can serve as the front-man. Altimeter Research’s Jeremiah Owyang studied community manager job descriptions from 16 different organizations and found four key elements: community advocacy, brand evangelism, savvy communication skills and editorial planning, and liaising between internal decision makers and community members.  One of my mentors was Jake McKee, who served on the front lines of community management for LEGO. Check him out Jake McKee | LinkedIn.


While building a community might not feel like child's play, just remember that it can be fun and the hard work will pay off in the end.


Now, if I can only get my hair to stay as perfect as the LEGO girl's....

HiRes.jpegLeading analyst firm Gartner named Jive a Social Software and CRM Leader in the 2012 Magic Quadrant Reports.


We could not have achieved this milestone without YOU - our customers, partners and employees who are helping us drive the new way to business. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to our success. We look forward to stepping it up to an even bigger level as we continue to improve our products and services to help you grow your business.


Here are some of the details behind this achievement:


We are a Leader in the two Gartner Magic Quadrants covering the social business software market:  Social Software in the Workplace and Social CRM. (For those of you paying close attention the Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software has been collapsed into Social Software in the Workplace). Gartner positions vendors in the "Leaders" quadrant based on completeness of vision and their ability to execute on that vision.

Complimentary copies of these reports can be downloaded.


We feel this recognition from Gartner is a testament of the strength and leadership of our social business platform. And we are just getting started. We are constantly looking at every aspect of our business and will continue to innovate and invest in creating the best products in the market. Just as consumer social technologies are changing the way we live, Jive is building social business software to transform the way we work.  I look forward to sharing our future visions with you at JiveWorld12.

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During the course of her five years with Jive Professional Services, Carrie Gilbert has guided dozens of Jive customers through the process of defining and implementing their community strategies, drawing on her extensive professional and academic background in interaction design, technical communication, and usability. In this piece, Carrie shares her insight on how and when to make a splash with your rollout strategy. Carrie also invites you to drop by and say hello to her and her team at the New Customer Experience booth at JiveWorld 12!




When we last spoke poolside, we discussed the situations in which a company- or organization-wide rollout strategy can be beneficial. Today we'll pick up where we left off, looking at some of the considerations of implementing a department-by-department approach, and then discussing some of the ways in which the two models can be effectively blended to achieve your launch communication goals.


The Departmental Rollout


A common strategy with successful Jive customers is the staggered rollout: deploying the community to smaller subsets of the organization in defined "waves" based on specific departmental or team needs. This approach is effective in supporting "vertical" usage models—that is, situations where you may be using Jive to support deeper forms of collaboration around a discrete organizational unit, discipline, program or event.


Some common examples include:

  • RFP response process
  • Frontline support team knowledge sharing
  • Sales enablement efforts and sales tool creation
  • Collaboration in support of an event or project being handled by an outside agency


Benefits of Easing In

Unlike with an organization-wide rollout, a more staggered approach lends itself to iterative improvements: you can see what's most effective with each wave and incrementally evolve the rollout process (and the community itself) with each subsequent phase. Because of its smaller, more focused scope, it also allows you and your team to dedicate all your energy to proving value to a specified audience within a defined context. Plus, the smaller, tight-knit audience typically inherent in a vertical usage pattern is generally more likely to actively participate in online collaboration.


Things to Consider Before Dipping Those Toes

Despite the obvious benefits of the piece-by-piece approach, there are a few potential limitations to keep in mind, the biggest being the constrained visibility—and the constrained buy-in that it often accompanies. By definition, from a sponsorship perspective, a successful departmental rollout requires nothing more than a motivated team committed to better collaboration. As soon as that team begins spreading the word to other colleagues, however, the efficacy of that word-of-mouth will vary according to the degree to which each department or division's leadership supports the initiative. So, while your primary focus should be the current department's needs, be sure to keep others peripherally engaged and informed as well.


Decisions, Decisions...

So, aside from two tidy lists of pros and cons for each approach, where does all this leave you as you plan your rollout? Well, there's good news and bad news on that: Good news is you don't have to choose one! Bad news is you should do both, which can require a bit more planning and energy. However, by leveraging a hybrid strategy, you get the best of both worlds, while cancelling out the downsides of each. Make the big splash that's only possible with an organization-wide launch, while reaping the benefits of staying (mostly) dry as you ease into the water. Facilitate the "sticky" engagement (like users posting comments and replies) that is typically more common with a vertical model, while maximizing the visibility of your social business initiative that often goes hand in hand with a horizontal model.


Here are some tips on simultaneously balancing both approaches:

  1. For your first wave of departmental rollouts, target the teams that are closely tied to your selected company-wide usage model(s). For example, if you're announcing Jive as your new employee communication platform, work closely with your corporate communications team to show them how they can do all their internal team collaboration in Jive, too. If you're promoting Jive as a company-wide onboarding tool for new-hires, make sure human resources is on your departmental shortlist.
  2. Keep the messaging focused. When you're addressing multiple usage models of varying scales all at once, it can be easy to lead with a pitch that tries to promise all things to all people. Avoid that temptation and always come back to the primary value proposition for each of your selected usage models.
  3. Remember that this is phase one of an evolving program. You have to deliver enough value to participants that they are motivated to return, but that doesn't mean you have to deliver a perfect solution on day one. Keep an open mind, learn from your experiences, and listen to participants' feedback to inform future improvements.


How do you plan to rollout your community? For those of you who have already been there, done that, which approach(es) worked best for you?

Creative Commons image credits: "Day 51: Summer in the pool" by eyesofgreen

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Heather Foeh is the Director of Customer Culture at Eloqua (which she thinks is the most awesome job she's ever had). She's responsible for nurturing and communicating with Eloqua's amazing advocates, as well as managing Eloqua's popular online community, Topliners. When she's not creating delightful customer experiences and loyal advocates, Heather can usually be found with knitting needles in her hands.


We had the opportunity to get Heather's thoughts on social business.


What's the #1 piece of advice you have to those new to Social Business?

It's worth it to spend time knowing your audience and planning what they need and want before you build your community. A two-day workshop, closed in a room, will pay dividends in the future.


What will you be discussing at JiveWorld12?

I'm looking forward to sharing how we measure the engagement of our customer community and tie it to customer retention and what we're doing to positively affect both.


In one word, what's your favorite thing about Jive?



To connect with Heather on LinkedIn and sign up to meet her at JiveWorld12!

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