Gamification has been creating a buzz amongst sales and marketing managers for the past two years. The term has become popular among large organisations with more and more businesses opting to include the strategy in their business model this year. At present, the number of software suppliers providing solutions in the gamification space is estimated to treble in size by 2025. The growth in the market mirrors the benefits of a well implemented gamification strategy.


Why has gamification become some popular? The answer is simple. Using gamification has huge potential impact on efficiency and therefore profitability. You can retain more employees, improve team accountability, and increase employee performance. And as soon as companies began seeing these benefits, they look to include some form of gamification in their sales and marketing strategy; this year gamification has become a hot topic for several Lites clients.


What is gamification?

In the simplest terms, gamification makes working fun. Whether you’re learning a language, working in a sales team, or buying food from an online delivery service, everything can be gamified.


For instance, if you’re managing sales performance, companies can include progress bars, XP points, badges, and leaderboards. On the other hand, food delivery services can give out badges for ordering extra add on products on the weekend or during lunch hours.


Essentially, gamification gives rewards for certain actions. There is no limit or restriction on what these actions are and who is doing them. In our own business we have set challenges around gaining space in retail for point of sale, weekly sales numbers and quality KPI’s.


The science

Gamification is its simplest term is a game where the employee is a player and meeting a KPI is equal to reaching the next level, which gets them a reward, and getting this validation is what drives them. While this is true to a large extent, gamification is a bit more complex and nuanced than that.


There are a few layers to the concept, and to understand the exact science behind it, we’ll be breaking it down into four components.


  1. Setting the challenge

It is human nature to like rewards. However, it is also human nature to want to feel that you deserve those rewards. For gamification to be successful, the goals and targets need to be set appropriately. According to the skills of your target player, set the goal such that it is difficult enough for the badge to be meaningful but not too difficult, or getting the badge won’t be worth it. Finding the middle ground is the science of it.


  1. Display the results

Once you’ve played a game, you want to know how you’ve done. The beauty of gamification is that you can use leaderboards to display results. Now people can see how they’ve performed relative to their co-workers and receive feedback at the same time. This creates healthy competition, which increases productivity.


  1. Ownership

Gamification uses basic human tendencies and uses them to drive behaviour. A typical human tendency is a desire to maintain control over your property. And this belief extends to abstract scoreboards and XP points. Once an employee has certain advantages, they will work hard to keep their position on the leader board or not lose points.


  1. Positive reinforcement

People also like compliments and recognition, and gamification is the best way to offer it to them. Whenever an employee reaches a goal, they get rewarded for it. This releases dopamine and makes them feel good. Since dopamine is addictive, employees will want to recreate the action that led to the feeling, thereby increasing work productivity by meeting more goals.



The science behind gamification is interesting because once you understand how companies use it, it seems obvious. People want to feel good about themselves, and so they repeat actions that give them a dopamine rush.


Reward them for doing their work, and they’ll increase productivity because it’ll be fun. Humans are naturally competitive and want to do well – put them on a leaderboard, and they’ll compete for the top spot.


Gamification works because the science behind it is simple, straightforward, and makes use of the most basic of human values. Therefore, it’s no surprise that our customers have begun using it at an exponential rate.


There are several off the shelf Gamification applications available and we can also integrate our own software solution to set challenges and provide results. If you are interested in how Gamification can help you improve sales or marketing performance, please contact us.