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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Barry Hillier

Barry Hillier CVO

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Gamification: the Power and the Opportunity

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Gamification is an interesting topic and one that has gained momentum in many business categories, including automotive. The reason for this level of interest in this area of automated marketing solutions is simple; there are connections between how habits are formed from a neuroscience perspective to how gamification works in driving customer engagement and behavior change. Now, gaming can be hard-core and even competitive or it can be purely casual and done just for fun and entertainment. Either is fine depending on your goals, but gamification in a Dealership environment is not about fun or even engagement, it’s about driving tangible business results.

Most Dealerships that currently use gamificiation are using it primarily as a sales strategy to motivate their sales teams. Having people compete on targets to win a bonus or other prize. The reality is that gamification in a dealership environment should compliment their marketing strategy and build on the existing promotions that the Dealership already offers their customers naturally each month.

By gamifying the promotion to consumers in a fun and engaging manner, you increase their likelihood to buy from you. This approach can also be used to provide valuable insights into consumer behavior and their purchase intent by tracking their online behavior. What models are they looking at in their research and how do they answer any questions at the redemption stage of the game for prizing. This produces better business results by creating a favorable impression from that consumer and gives real information to the dealership that your sales teams can use to create a more positive buying experience. Rather than having sales teams competing through gamification to hit targets internally, consumers provide tangible information relevant for your sales team to understand and interact with consumers in a compelling manner.

This type of gamification is casual, but still retains great value for everyone. The result for consumers is a better experience during their research and the added incentive of the promotional offer after the game. For the dealership, the sales teams can use this to demonstrate a better dealer experience and differentiate themselves from the competition while using the data around web behaviour to meet the consumers’ needs and expectations. When the consumer plays a game and wins $500 off a new car above factory offers and the sales team has a better understanding of the prospective consumer and their needs, everybody wins.

One may ask why do it, when everyone has gaming apps already available on their phones and likely has a gaming console at home? Competing against all of the dealerships in your DMA and fighting off all of the marketing communication to gain your consumer’s attention and interest is a hard thing to accomplish. By bringing gaming into a routine search for a vehicle provides a needed break in their research and a gives you a competitive edge to bring your existing promotion and offers to life. Gamification can let your dealership stand apart from the clutter and help you establish a stronger and better relationship with your customer from the moment they first hit your website.

Think about the last time you did a promotion in your dealership with a real spin to win wheel. Consumers were asked to physically spin that wheel and win something. What was their reaction? Did it create added excitement and buzz for the consumer and the dealership staff? Likely it did. That same excitement on your website provides the same distraction and engagement to motivate the consumer to buy from your dealership.

Grant Gooley
Great post Barry! The internet is evolving quickly, allowing us marketers to innovate and create a buzz around a sales event in a fun INTERESTING way. You don't see many Dealerships taking advantage of the technology we have at our disposal. I find we easily get lost, spending our time and energy trying to push more traffic to a website that is only converting at 2%... If your website had tools on it (gamification) that would keep the interest of the consumer in a fun exciting way, it only makes sense that we would convert at much higher levels! If your website now converts at say 2% and now with the addition to Gamification, the increase is 2%, bringing your site conversion to 4%. That means your 4000 uniques goes from 80 leads @ 2% conversion to 160 leads @ 4% conversion! From what I can tell, Gamification is about giving your website a tool to convert at higher percentages. Save on marketing spend, boost sales! I am super pumped about Octane, the product looks killer!
Megan Barto
Look at some of the most successful phone apps/facebook games. Farmville Angry Birds Candy Crush They're all games! People love games - why has no one in the auto industry thought of this sooner?

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