Gamification in marketing
Interview with Yu-kai Chou

Title illustration: Gamification

What if you could, for example, convey an employee training video on safety aspects in the workplace, i.e., a video with thoroughly important but on the whole rather dry content, in such a way that the viewer even enjoys dealing with its content and he or she also internalizes it better as a result? Or more general — a problem that most marketers face nowadays in times of an almost unmanageable flood of information and messages that flow in on us every day: How do I attract and above all how do I keep the attention of consumers focused on my product or my service? With the average attention span of humans at eight seconds, this is almost impossible unless you offer a world-revolutionizing product or service. A key to success could be the so-called Gamification of your contents.

Gamification means embedding playful elements in a non-game context, for example in marketing campaigns but also in recruiting, employee development or other areas. It is a method of designing your content or your marketing strategy in a way that it places the focus on human motivation and, thus, keeps your target group engaged. To learn more about this exciting and promising technique we had the chance to talk with a real expert in the field of gamification: Yu-kai Chou.

Starting his work in the industry in 2003, Yu-kai Chou is one of the early pioneers in Gamification. But his fascination with games and gaming accompanies him already for his entire life. As a huge gaming fan, back in his school days, he had the epiphany that while games can engage the mind and motivate their players to stick to certain tasks, they are not productive and do not add any value to life apart from emotional gains. He then started to search for ways to make games more productive while at the same time adding fun to real life experiences.

Since then, he has founded a number of start-ups that specialize in game-based technologies. Besides, he has worked as a consultant for multiple companies worldwide (including Uber, Porsche or Microsoft), he is a speaker and lecturer on Gamification and Behavioral Design at numerous renowned organizations such as the University of Yale, Google or Tesla. Yu-kai is the Founding Partner and Chief Creation Officer of his consulting and design firm The Octalysis Group and has recently worked as Head of Digital Commerce and Head of Creative Labs for HTC in Taiwan. In order to help the world to gamify things better, he has summarized his years of experience and knowledge in and about Gamification in his Framework “Octalysis” which was published into a book called ‘Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges and Leaderboard’ in 2015 and since has been translated into over 15 languages. In our interview, he tells us more about his framework, the best ways of using Gamification in (video) marketing, and how Gamification will continue to play an increasingly key role in the future.

Interview with Yu-kai Chou