Marketing is a very broad field where lots of concepts come into play. Gamification is one of those “fashionable” terms that are often misunderstood, misdescribed, or associated with unqualified examples. It is worth reviewing this elusive concept because it is one of the key pieces of the future in the field of e-business, as well as an inexhaustible source of exciting business cases. Gamification is a engagement technique (i. e., a way to increase audience involvement and retention), which consists of applying game mechanics to non-leisure environments.

Play mechanics “means proposing a challenge whose success is associated with a fun or stimulating experience and which has some kind of reward for marketing online. The use of this technique is spreading in multiple areas: loyalty programs, social networks, communication, productivity plans in the company, training, and even market research.

Online marketing will always be profitable

At least in the field of training, the original idea of gamification must be attributed to mother nature and the professional merit of countless generations of teachers. Many experts rightly point out that since the beginnings of modern advertising and marketing, loyalty methodologies have been applied that perfectly support the “gamification” label. However, the real potential of the phenomenon, as it is currently conceived, lies above all in the incorporation of this type of techniques into new technologies and online marketing.

The big companies are taking very seriously the phenomenon of gamification of processes, applications and even websites. Or at least they’re curious. The Gammification Summit has been held periodically in San Francisco, with the attendance of a long list of leading brands from all sectors, especially new technologies, consumer goods and advertising. What surprises does the future hold? Is this phenomenon really a key piece in the coming e-business, or just another mirage?

Personally I believe that gamification is one more step towards the future in the user experience (UX); it is a technique that connects very deeply with the individual and is independent of the sign of the times. Another thing, of course, is to make it banal.

What we’ve learnt and what we’ll learn

In any case, apart opinions, it is clear that gamification is a relevant concept that we must know thoroughly and which is worth following the track very closely. Neuromarketing is a specialized discipline of market research that uses biometric measurements to study the effects that advertising and other actions in the field of communication produce on the human brain, in order to draw conclusions that allow us to achieve full harmony with the customer and to know the non-rational causes why some messages work and others do not. These measurements may include indicators such as heart rate, brain activity, eye response (where eyesight is fixed, pupil dilation, etc.), and skin galvanic response, among others.

The analytical power and predictive utility of neuromarketing are backed by the great development that this specialty has had in recent years, both scientifically and business. Its application in advertising, product design and branding has been a reality since the late nineties. Incidentally, it is necessary to insist on the prominence of “biometric measurement” as a key differentiating concept, since we often find content on the Internet that confuses the study of behavior applied to marketing using traditional techniques with neuromarketing.