Tim Albright's Gamification Presentation and Notes -- NY/NJ User Group, March 5, 2015

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    TimAlbright, Sr. Director of Customer Success

    • Tim's background includes working on the Cisco community with 3.4 million unique visitors annually
    • The community saved $200 million annually

     

    Game dynamics -- the use of recognition and rewards as leverage to incent desirable behavior in your members

    • They must be culturally relevant to your users
    • Generally they are altruistic, not remunerative

     

    The "Happiness Equation" -- an equation that used gambling studies to find out what happiness is.  The key?  Happiness is all about expectations and managing them, which is also very important in gamification efforts.

     

    Three important aspects of gamification:

    1. Business -- the ROI
    2. Brand -- logo and other official imprimaturs on the badges/design that signify something to your users
    3. Culture -- the norms and mores that are meaningful for your business

     

    Example: Eloqua's branded badges

    • The branded badges are visually consistent
    • You can immediately see what category the badges belong to -- they are structured components of the design

     

    Example: Regional call center teams

    • Business was looking to see if they could improve first call resolution with a set of different kind of missions:
      • MBO Improvement missions
      • "Holy Grail" missions around perfect survey results -- very difficult to achieve
      • Fun missions -- things like getting selfies with executives, or charity days
      • Group missions that can be worked on with teams
    • They used a "Four Square" approach where you move up the levels from newbie to mayor
    • They translated the Jive badges into real badges using a button machine, people could wear their buttons at conferences and got really into making signs, taunting competitors, etc.
    • Perks: those who excelled had access to private lounges, invitations to town halls (things even their managers couldn't do)
    • The results: 49% performance improvement overall

     

    Example: Analog Devices

    • Since Analog Devices sells components to engineers, their "answers" badge included the ampere symbol
    • This kind of inside joke can be very effective if it speaks to the org's culture

     

    On Millennials:

    • Millennials are humans just like you and me
    • By 2025 they will make up 75% of the global workforce and their purchasing power will exceed Boomers by 2018
    • They intuitively get gamification and user generated content is important to them
    • The thing they could most not live without is their mobile device
    • Therefore, it is very important to take them into account when building out gamification

     

    Tim's recommendations for creating a gamification plan

    1. Have a structured plan
    2. Envision 2 years out, then 3 years (make sure people cannot achieve the highest level too quickly, among other concerns)
    3. Consider a "hall of fame" or lifetime achievement signifier
    4. Design your own icons/badges if possible, since Bunchball's OOTB badges are kind of terrible
    5. If you are an external community, use your logo in your badge design.  This makes it more official and desirable for the users to earn.
    6. Design for both short-term and long-term badges.
    7. Make some missions nearly impossible, some should be really hard to give people something to look forward to achieving
    8. Vet your program privately with advisory boards before going public with it, to make sure your assumptions are correct
    9. Include the community in your gamification planning when possible--let them participate in badge design, choose charity campaigns, etc.
    10. Explain the program to your users
    11. Explore physical manifestations of recognition, like the buttons that look like badges

     

     

    QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIOD

     

    Q: Do you have a template/gamification plan I can provide to my users to help them understand how to set up gamification?

    A: Yes, Tim has one, he must genericize it, but send him an email if you want it.

     

    Q: Some users have been having difficulties with the store, particularly the administrative burden on the community owner to manage it.  Do you have any best practices around that?

    A: Don't think Jive has been super successful with the store concept.  Recommended rewards like contributing to a charity fund.

     

    Q: What about using gamification as a measure of someone's performance? This is problematic in places like Germany.

    A: Yes, this can be an issue, more for internal communities. External ones seem to not face this issue.

     

    Q: Gamification seems to have a certain lifespan.  At some point the missions get tired or everyone has achieved them.

    A: Yes, it is challenging to continue to keep it fresh, although communities with a lot of turnover might not see this problem as much.  Tim recommended missions that start by getting you quickly to a reward and then tease you with a sequence so you will keep participating. Notes that gamification is often least effective for users in the middle of the bell curve--it is harder to motivate them to change their behavior because they might already be content with what they are doing.

     

    Q: When creating a mission, how do I differentiate between quality activity and stupid stuff that someone is just doing repeatedly to get points?

    A: Focus on missions that leverage value.  For instance, where people earn points if their content is marked as "correct."  In Tim's experience, when someone is cheating they will get shamed by the community.

     

    Q: At one company, there is a group of "Badge Geeks" that band together to hack the gamification system so that they can earn all the badges and get points.

    A: It will happen, but maybe focus the rewards on something altruistic, like at one company where they would donate money to a charity if people used the rating functionality.

     

    Q: When should you involve groups like HR and legal in your gamification planning?

    A: Tim recommends creating and fleshing out the plan as much as possible before going to those groups for their feedback.  There is a template  spreadsheet available in the Gamification community that you can use to show them everything that you are planning and get their input.

     

    Q: Is there typically an executive sponsor for a gamification effort at a company?

    A: Not in Tim's experience.  It is usually the community managers driving gamification. However, one great way to get engagement is to offer a "President's" or executive's badge that they can hand out.

     

    Q: Is there a way for us to experiment with Bunchball in the cloud?

    A: Yes, Jive encourages it.  Contact Jive to find out how you can do this.

     

    Q: While Bunchball doesn't change their product for Jive very often, Jive is constantly adding new features.

    A: Yes, and when Jive does add new features (like structured outcomes) you can add them into your Bunchball console and work them into missions as well.

     

    Q: Have customers on premise been able to use gamification, since it communicates with Bunchball in the cloud?

    A: Yes.  No sensitive information is sent to Bunchball, therefore on premise customers can leverage it.