Gamification has been used for marketing for some time now, but of late marketers are leveraging it for B2B marketing as well.

According to recent statistics, almost 65% of US households play video or computer games with the average game player being of the age 35.   The joy of competition and the allure of the high score have driven people to spend a lot of their money and time gaming. This has made gaming an attractive proposition for businesses to use this to drive bottom-line growth.

Traditionally, most of the B2B applications of gamification are focused on sales enhancement and enablement, but that is changing slowly. The main reason behind B2B brands embracing gamification is the incredible opportunity that it creates to monitor and measure engagement with the target audience. This phenomenon is not slowing down any time soon. Momentum for a new breed of casual and social games is picking up speed as game titles migrate to social media, web, and smartphones. B2B marketers can leverage the sudden craze for games as part of an integrated campaign. Many leading brands, like Blockdot, build games across different platforms, especially for advertising purposes.

As a marketer, it is very challenging to build and engage a thriving B2B brand community. Lead generation is perhaps one of the biggest challenges for marketers reliant on inbound marketing. Gamifying the community experience can help hugely to drive engagement. The bulk traditional content in terms of blogs, brands, and business profiles clamoring for attention is fast becoming ineffective. Gamification can make the process of lead generation entertaining and fun. Gamifying the customer-facing content will not only attract a lot more leads but will also help to retain them by making more engaging experiences. This is the perfect tool to get those opt-ins and sign-ups.

Companies like Mint.com have successfully experimented with gamification to drive top of the funnel leads. Another excellent example of B2B gamification done perfectly is IBM’s Innov8 platform. Innov8 gamified the training process and became an instant hit within a few days of going live in 2009. For IBM, Innov8 was the top lead generator.

For B2B firms already implementing email automation for lead generation, gamification is an excellent way to keep customers coming back. In addition, integrating game tactics into the email lead generation strategy is a smart marketing tactic. As gamification boosts the marketing efforts significantly, it also motivates the sales teams to improve performance by simplifying management and resource allocation processes. As gamification continually monitors performance and results, the sales teams receive real-time feedbacks to monitor the campaign performance.

Organizations should look at gamification as a long-term strategy with frequent optimization to ensure relevancy in the program. The potential to apply gamification to the sales cycle is virtually limitless. To design an effective gamification strategy for sales performance management, marketers must combine data, motivation, and interactive design. Integration of these elements will promote collaboration of high-value behaviors throughout the sales channels, ultimately driving more revenue generation. Smart marketers realize the evolving needs of the world. Users are active on multiple devices across a variety of channels. Marketers need to tap the power of gamification across these different channels to make every single user feel engaged in one fluid and holistic experience.