Will Stuart-Jones 3radical

1. Will Stuart Jones, 3radical – Gamification and Customer Engagement

 April 15, 2020

By  Will

In this first episode of the Customers Who Click podcast I have the pleasure of hosting Will Stuart-Jones of 3radical to discuss Gamification, Loyalty Schemes, and Customer Engagement.

Will is currently Head of Solutions Consulting at audience engagement specialists 3radical. Will has over 25 years experience in the marketing industry and has spent the last ten years in a number of high profile sales consulting roles at various marketing technology companies. 

At 3radical Will is responsible for (among other things!) evangelising about how gamification can be leveraged as part of an ‘earned data’ strategy that enables brands to cut through the noise of competing marketing to directly re-engage with audiences of all types.

Will Laurenson 0:06 Hello and welcome to the first episode of the Customers Who Click podcast.Over the course of this podcast I’ll be interviewing leading marketers on various topics, channels, strategies and tactics.Together we’ll learn about ASO, gamification, choosing your KPIs, artificial intelligence, and much more. And I hope you’ll walk away from every episode with some new learnings to implement for yourselves.In our first episode, I welcome Will Stuart-Jones from 3Radical to talk about the world of gamification and customer engagement. Will is the head of solutions consulting at 3Radical and is responsible for evangelising how gamification can be leveraged as part of an earned data strategy. This enables brands to cut through the noise of competing marketing to directly reengage with audiences of all types, using fun and engaging interactive experiences. I’m a huge fan of gamification and customer engagement myself and I’ve briefly worked with 3Radical last year actually. I think it’s super important to get your customers, particularly new customers engaging more intimately with your brand. We all know the stats that say it’s between five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a customer than it is to retain one. And so the best way to build a long term business is to engage properly with your customers, treating them as friends of the brand rather than just an email list to be sent promotions. You want them to come back to buy from you because they like your brand and your products, not the discounts you offer.That’s enough from me.Let’s get Will on to talk about gamification, loyalty schemes and some tips on how to implement them for yourselves.Hello, and welcome to Will Stuart-Jones. Do you want to tell us a bit about yourself, your background and why you do what you do.Will Stuart-Jones 1:41 Yeah, sure. Great to be here. So yeah, Will Stuart-Jones, I’m head of solutions consulting at a company called 3Radical so bit of potted history, gosh, left University back in 95. And since then, really over the course of Gosh, 25 plus years getting on for I have now been In both marketing technology and data in various different ways, and I guess the thing that I really love about all the things that I’ve done that over those years is really, I guess, helping people, I guess, understand how data marketing tech can be used, basically to solve, I guess, very different business challenges. And so today these days, I’m all about, obviously demonstrating power of the 3Radical platform, which no doubt we’ll touch on a bit more about today.Will Laurenson 2:28 And so what does a standard day look like for you?Will Stuart-Jones 2:32 Cool. So I guess you’ll probably hear a lot of people say this, but I guess one of the greatest things about my role is that there’s quite a lot of variety really. So the largest amount of my time is usually spent engaging with customers and prospects, demonstrating our software platform. And then I guess, moving on to then scoping projects and implementing technology, but as well as sort of demonstrating tech. The cool thing is that that can be done with different clients in different verticals from day to day. And then, you know, throw on top of that things like webinars and speaking industry events working on product marketing collateral, or, you know, getting my hands dirty in terms of actually implementing the software for clients. So you can kind of see why sort of no two days are ever the same.Will Laurenson 3:20 Yeah, it sounds like you’re pretty busy and got a lot of different things in your hands.Will Stuart-Jones 3:24 Absolutely, absolutely. But as I say, variety is the spice of life. So I guess that’s the cool thing. On one day, I might be talking to an online gaming company, you know, about how to use gamification or other techniques to drive maybe retention and retention of players. You know, scroll forward a couple of days, and I may be in the US talking to prospects in completely different verticals. So there it may be, you know, casual dining chains or large data agencies. So yeah, that’s really the bit that kind of keeps me going to work every day.Will Laurenson 3:59 Sounds good. Yeah, I think I’ve had the same of what’s in a bunch of startups. And now that I’m consulting, I think it’s really good working on a variety of different projects and testing out different things, different industries.Will Stuart-Jones 4:11 So yeah, that’s the kind of cool thing. So I’ve worked for sort of larger organisations, people like Tableau, other software companies in the past 3Radical has sort of arrived at the other end of the scale. So I was employee number three. And now we sort of scaled up to about 25. So I guess less of a start up more of a keep going these days, but it’s still fun to be part of something where you feel like you can have a lot of impact on how the company and how that how the product is shaped up over time.Will Laurenson 4:39 Yeah, definitely.So tell us a bit more about gamification. And you know, I think from my experience it kind of seemed like a bit of a buzzword maybe like five years ago, and I feel it never really kicked off. You’ve got obviously loyalty schemes and things but the idea of gamification just never seemed to become that massive. So yeah, tell us a bit about it. You know, what is it? What sort of businesses should use it, any particular businesses you think it works really well for?Will Stuart-Jones 5:14 Yeah, sure. So I mean, I guess sort of tackling your original question about, you know, was gamification a sort of a fad or a buzzword that sort of been and gone? So I think scrolling back, you know, having worked the best part of six years. And we sort of certainly entered fairly early on in the in the market. And I guess in those days at the outset, there was a lot of people maybe over promising and under delivering. And I think also there was a bit of, I guess, perhaps we weren’t particularly good at explaining what the value proposition was. So that I guess there’s quite a lot of preconceptions about what gamification isn’t. And I have to say, actually, if you get involved in gamification circles, that the industry itself seems to spend quite a disproportionate amount of time actually discussing exactly what gamification is, but if you look at a textbook description, it is basically what you’ll normally see if you look on Wikipedia. It’s kind of about the usage of elements from game design, and applying those to non game context to typically boost engaged with audiences different types. And so, you know, distilling that what does that mean, it’s a bit about the taking the essence of what makes games so fun and addictive, and trying to apply those to to, I guess, solve other business challenges. Now, you know, one of the kind of quite cool things is that it as I say, it’s a set of techniques, you know, that were sort of, you know, focusing largely on marketing today. Well, you know, obviously, it can be applied to solve things like classic marketing goals, like acquiring more customers or creating more frequent, just engagement as we’ve done for sort of lots and lots of household brands. But it’s actually something that can be, I guess, applied to pretty much any challenge. So we’ve also funnily enough applied the same capabilities to try and get people to engage more with maybe training content around cybersecurity training. We’ve even used it with sort of cohorts of students in terms of getting maybe overseas students to feel more comfortable in their surroundings if they if they rock up at an international university. So it’s really a set of principles set of techniques, as I say, that can be applied to different challenges when we’re trying to motivate audiences to complete different tasks and make that that process fun and engaging. And therefore, you know, drive higher engagement rates, higher response rates, higher levels of action accordingly. I guess in terms of why businesses should use it, I suppose because there’s there’s this sort of set of principles. You know, it’s really about establishing what that what the business challenges are. So it tells us the things that we’ve done, you know, I’ll give you some some kind of examples. So the first one is probably around, let’s say customer acquisition. So we at 3Radical we work with quite a few dining chains and casual dining. Brands people like Bella Italia, Zizzi, Ask Italian. And, and a lot of those organisations, you know, it’s one of the last sectors where consumers can be effectively digitally anonymous, so you don’t have to book in advance. And you can pay by cash, you don’t really leave a digital audit trail of any sort. So, as a result, a lot of those organisations typically maybe only have on their customer data in a database, maybe 10 or 15% of all people that walk through the front door. With those those kind of organisations, it’s really about using gamification techniques and or gamified campaigns to drive a transition from offline to online. So you know, you’ve got people that come in to a restaurant, they sit down for their food, what we try to do is fill the gap between somebody sitting down and the food arriving with a little gamified campaign, where there’s a value exchange that occurs, so somebody is potentially completing a little registration, perhaps adding a marketing opt in, and then potentially able to play let’s say some sort of instant win mechanic, something like a wheel of fortune or digital scratch card. And you know that the consumer payoff is that they potentially win something like an immediately redeemable voucher. And we can talk about whether that’s pure gamification perhaps in a moment. So they’ve, derived some value, maybe it’s a sort of stretch, spend voucher free desserts, or maybe it’s a bounce back to drive them back into store. They’ve had a bit of fun in terms of the game mechanic, and in return, the brand has received something in return. So they’ve potentially you receive some data, perhaps a new sign up a new name that they can market to. And then you know, if there’s a bit more time to kill, we might follow that up with an additional step maybe give somebody the chance to earn further rewards by providing some self reported data. So that might be answering a quick survey, which might be again gamified in some way. And what we’re trying to do there is not boil the ocean it’s typically, initial use case it’s about, you know, brands capturing four or five key pieces of customer insight data, again, in the sort of casual dining context of people got special dietary requirements, whether they’ve got children, when their birthday is or all things that you know, good marketers are going to be able to use to improve the, you know, the quality of personalization that they may be driving on other channels when they’re sending out emails or posting socially, for example. So that’s kind of a kind of a use case and a little bit of bit about gamification. And I guess, purists, this is a bit of a moot point. So purists would kind of say that gamification really shouldn’t be about using real world rewards. It should be actually about just intrinsically making processes more fun and using things like badges and things like statuses to award people to keep them engaged. And where we at 3Radical, we’re probably a little bit more pragmatic. We try and mix those kinds of gamification techniques with some are more The old school kind of loyalty, loyalty scheme mechanics as well to, you know, really bring the best of both both worlds to any challenge.Will Laurenson 11:09 Yeah, I see there being a mix between the two really, you know, you if you just gave people some badges on the website, people are going to look at them and go, well, no, what is the point of this, what am I actually getting from this and then might stop engaging with the tool. However, if you, you know, you could like, like you said, with the restaurants, you can kind of gamify the process of people giving more data, and then they get either immediate or future rewards towards that. Or you could use it as a process for maybe a SaaS business where it’s trying to get people through the initial setup of their account. And so you’re not actually rewarding them with things. You’re just kind of, like you said, using experiences from games to make the process more fun, and well they’re not fun, but you know more engaging and easier for them to actually accomplish all the different steps they need to get that initial setup.Will Stuart-Jones 12:08 Yeah, absolutely. So you have a lot, that’s a classic kind of onboarding use cases in it. So, again, how do you kind of visually bring to life some of some of these these mechanics that games use? So what percentage am I through a particular process? You know, am I collecting symbolic rewards to indicate progress towards the ultimate goal is, so onboarding is absolutely another use case. I mean, another one that we’ve also use quite frequently relates to, I guess, around retention or long term loyalty. So you know, let’s say, again, I let’s go to casual dining. Even if you love pizza, the chances are that you’re unlikely to visit a restaurant on you know, once a month, once a quarter. So a lot of these organisations you can apply this to a lot of retail outlets. You know, maybe you go buy some some clothing online or offline, you know, once a quarter, how do you have an ongoing dialogue with those consumers between those those infrequent visits? And now how do you establish I guess more of an emotional connection? I know, marketing is a lot about this, this kind of ephemeral concept of brand values and, you know, how do you make your brand connect emotionally with consumers? So, um, I guess, you know, in the past, a lot of marketers have relied on email as being the answer. So organisations have maybe sent out blanket or slightly personalised messages about offers in the kind of vain hope that they’re going to hit the right moment in terms of when somebody is considering their next purchase. But predicting somebody’s next purchase is, you know, not exactly easy, particularly if it’s something with an infrequent sort of cycle or pattern to it. So what tends to happen is that consumers will typically then sort of increase the frequency with which email messages are sent, hoping to hit that perfect moment in time. But at some point, what you’re going to do is kind of the reverse, which is actually hit somebody’s threshold for unsubscribing. And then all of a sudden, that’s a name and that you know, the harder name that you’ve acquired that you no longer have the rights to. So again, you know, in loyalty where we’ve kind of seen game of gamification being applied is how you sort of fill in that that digital conversation between those infrequent touch points. So there, you know, we might be using something like, again, a sort of board game mechanic, something where there’s a repeat touch element to it, you have to engage repeatedly over a number of days, and what that does is, you know, again, you may ultimately unlock certain rewards for that repeated engagement. But in the meantime, you’re coming back repeatedly to the company’s website, we might be surrounding that game with some other activities for consumers to complete. And so again, that has a value for the brand. So it could be, you know, readings some content about a new product. It could be going to a webpage, it could be, again answering a survey to provide this zero party or self declared data. And each of those activities in that instance may allow me to have some extra game time some extra dice roll in the board game, for example. So you can see that there’s this virtual virtual cycle as a mechanic that’s drawing me back in on a regular basis. And then, you know, the more that I do for the brand in terms of looking at content, providing data, maybe referring people into a particular brand, again, that allows me to play the game. So I kind of have a fun experience in terms of that, you know, genuine game mechanic in that particular example. But the brand stays front of mind, I’ve had multiple touches between these sort of infrequent visits. And then you know, when I decide it’s the time to buy a new pair of jeans, or it’s time to take the family out for a pizza, you know, all other things being equal that brand is sort of mentally available for me and I’m perhaps more likely to to pick those over a competitor, particularly for gaming, we’ve rolled into that whole cycle, a real world reward like a discount voucher or an electronic coupon that I can immediately redeem as well. So, again, I guess that’s a sort of loyalty use case, but your onboarding one is another classic example again, you know, how do you make that process visually more engaging? How do you drive people off to complete certain activities throughout that process? So I know, in online gaming, you know, one of the things is you need people to go through a series of steps for regulatory purposes. But then it’s about how can you get people to play, you know, a particular game X number of times, how do you maybe get them to cross play on onto different game types as well? Because obviously, the quicker you get people through that kind of cycle, the stickier those consumers, those players are going to be. So absolutely, that’s definitely a use case as well.Will Laurenson 16:57 Yeah, definitely. I mean, I’ve worked in both the gaming and car sharing industries and there’s a lot of account verification that has to be done. There are some difficult, not difficult processes, but more complex processes that are required to get account set up. So, for example, when I work with Europcar, you know, you have to get people’s picture of that driver’s licence, you have to get their address, you have to get their DVLA check code to be able to actually verify that they’re allowed to drive the cars and all that, you know, some of it is information that people might not be aware of, or, you know, they’re not too sure how to get hold of it. And if they’re faced with that initial signup, they go well, you know, maybe I’ll do this later. Or, you know, I don’t know what that is not really comfortable handing that data over, I’m gonna go whereas I suppose if you if you can gamify that process and I guess as part of gamification, you can provide more information as well. You know, it’s, you explain instead of just having a little pop up saying, we need this information to do this you can have a, like you said earlier, a badge or some sort of reward for each step that the user takes, through their signup process, and they get a reward at the end of it, and they can start driving the car or playing on gaming websites.Will Stuart-Jones 18:16 Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I mean, in a classic example of that really light touch gamification, something that people like LinkedIn do, and you may or may not have noticed this, you have the kind of concept of, you know, a progress journey. So an indicator from 0 to 100%, how complete is your profile. So in that case, it’s kind of like cut touches, just a little visual cue, which is kind of sort of indicating to you that there are more steps that you need to go through. And I guess what we bring to the table is then the ability to attach different types of rewards to each of those tasks that you complete. So, you know, it may be the, you know, incrementally, you get a visual indicator symbols to indicate progress, but perhaps there is this kind of pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, When you’ve completed onboarding, you know, when you’ve completed perhaps a referral of customers into a brand. That’s that’s classically what we’re talking about.Will Laurenson 19:10 Yeah, I see a lot of a lot of those profiles.Will Stuart-Jones 19:14 Again, pro progress bars, I kind of use the, the church roof thermometer. That’s kind of a classic analogy, isn’t it, you know, campaign to replace the church roof. We are so far towards collecting 50,000 pounds to replace the roof. It’s a kind of digital equivalent of that effective, isn’t it?Will Laurenson 19:31 Yeah, I think maybe it’s just something I’ve particularly noticed myself. But I don’t see many companies actually putting much emphasis on that and explaining it. So like you say, you know, we’re this close to achieving our goal. A lot of a lot of accounts that I’ve had, and you know, it says you are 60% your profile is 60% complete, and it kind of ends that when actually they could be saying your profile is 60% complete, members who complete their profile hundred percent are more likely to get a job or are offered higher salaries or I don’t know on other sites like gaming sites, they get more you get more rewards, but uh, yeah, I do see a lot of sites, they kind of they put that step in front of you. And it’s almost like that’s enough. That’s enough to make you go, my profile shouldn’t be 60% complete, it should be 100% complete, But I kind of don’t know why.Will Stuart-Jones 20:29 Yeah, absolutely. So you’re kind of getting to the heart of gamification now say, or at least for us 3Radicals. What we sort of believe here fundamentally is that we’re if we’re going to motivate audiences to act, be the consumers, be the students be the employees, and what we’re trying to set up is effectively a value exchange around every interaction. So you know, gone are the days where where brands could literally, you know, tell their audience do this, believe this, go here do that. What consumers realised there what the audience has realised now is that they they’re kind of in the driving seat, you know, this is not new. This is something that people have been talking about for 5-10 years. But so as a result, you know, people know there’s an inherent value in their data, there’s inherent value in their time and engaging with the brand. So what we fundamentally believe is that gamification can be used to set up these little value exchanges around every interaction. So you know, if I’m encouraging somebody to sign up using the earlier example, what is the reward that I get for completing that. And what we’re trying to do at 3Radical is create a platform or SaaS software platform where we can effectively break down these customer journeys into these individual interactions. We can orchestrate those together to create journeys, but every one of those individual touches is a value exchange of some sort. So it’s either, you know, as you sort of said, you know, a little useful snippet of information about why I should do this. It could be using let’s say gated content, for example, so you complete this little box survey about yourself. And we’ll give you this latest white paper, you know, which has some really useful findings in it. So that’s what what we believe is at the heart of what we’re trying to achieve is, is creating these value chain value exchanges around every interaction that we’re trying to drive audience members to do. And as I say, we’re kind of using gamification in some instances to to make that more engaging. But we’re also mixing in real world rewards as well. Because we know that there’s there’s a place for both of those, we believe in kind of, I don’t want to use a hackneyed term, but you know, you think about gamification 2.0. It’s kind of about combining those sort of two best to breed elements together. But whereas loyalty schemes in the past have always been about, I guess, purely rewarding purchase, and I guess the downside of that is, sometimes you’re rewarding behaviour that people would complete anyway. What we’re about is allowing you to apply sometimes under the right conditions, those real world rewards to every activity that someone can complete. So not just purchase, if I’m willing to share some content with my friends on social if I’m willing to answer a survey, you know, it may be that the aggregate of completing all of those tasks is something that I want to reward with real world value. And again, you know, that can come in lots of different shapes and sizes.Will Laurenson 23:20 Yeah, like you said, the loyalty scheme is about promoting purchases. Every time that every pound they spend or in every meal or coffee they buy, they get a stamp or some points, and he’s literally just rewarding that purchase, whereas gamification is more about generally enhancing the experience. Obviously, the company’s getting more data from it, they should be able to use that data to personalise and provide a better experience to the customer, which, in theory should be more valuable than a lot of loyalty scheme.If I’m giving you personalised recommendations on the clothes to buy or i dunno new menu items are something that as a consumer, in theory, I should feel like kind of better towards that business because they’re saying, okay, we know, because the data you provided you are vegan or you have, you can’t eat dairy. And so our new menu recommendations for you are tailored for that. And you go, Yeah, cool, actually, you get an email with some new menu items. And you’re like, cool, well actually this company is listening to me. They’re offering products that I like, and that are suitable for me. So I’m gonna go eat there or buy from there.Will Stuart-Jones 24:37 Yeah, absolutely. So I guess this is sort of touching upon a touching upon on another kind of subject for us. So we have recently started to use the term ‘earned data’. So this idea that we’re as part of this value exchange, we’re earning data all the time as people engage now, that data is either kind of earned explicitly. So it’s either somebody actually completing, you know, one of those pop surveys to hand over the kind of data that you’ve just talked about. It’s also their ability to capture it, you know, implicit or implied data. So if we challenge consumers to create to complete a range of different tasks, and they complete some and they don’t complete others, well, that’s kind of implied data about what things people are interested in. And I guess the kind of interesting thing there is what we’re, again, what we’re seeing what we’ve seen over the sort of five, six years that I’ve been at 3Radical is that now there’s kind of a bit of a growing backlash about data and how marketers are using data and how they’re driving personalization. So you know, if you suddenly see an advert online, or you get a message through for a product, and they’ve personalised that based on data that you didn’t knowingly or you’ve unwittingly given over by, you know, third party cookie or some other nefarious means of capturing that data. Then, again, at some point, you’re potentially going to turn off consumers. They’re going think you know, this organisation knows too much about me. I didn’t give you that data. That’s it again unsubscribes, zone out, ban the ads with, you know, ad blocking technology. So absolutely, what we’re about is definitely having a more transparent conversation with with organisation. So as we create interactive experiences that enable brands to create these kind of fun engaging interactions with consumers that capture data, it’s about being very transparent about why we’re capturing that data, how we’re going to use that. And then the personalization or how we market to afterwards then, you know, consumers give be a lot more comfortable. Yet I know I gave that data over it was during this particular activity, and you know, at the time, there was value for me associated to that and that and that’s why I was happy to give it in that scenario. And we think that’s going to be increasingly important. You know, there’s, you know, ways of legislation, obviously, we’ve had GDPR over here in the EU. Obviously, in the States, there’s various areas locations which are already going through the same process. So California and New York are about to do the same thing. And I guess what that means is that the traditional sources of data and the traditional techniques of capturing that data are going to get a lot more harder to source. So it’s about re engaging directly and starting to build up your own profiles or data about your audience base, using these value exchanges as a mechanism to capture that data directly.Will Laurenson 27:30 Yeah, exactly. I mean, you know, with GDPR coming and gone are the days where someone submits their email address to sign up for an account or, or just purchase a product, and they get bombarded with newsletters, you can’t do that anymore. There has to be the opt in. People don’t have to opt in for marketing. So if you’ve got the ability to provide a great experience, and kind of well yeah, earn that email address, or give really good reason why you should have it. So you know, you might be doing some sort of personalization. So, let’s say might be a fashion store, you give someone the option of different categories, they like different styles they like. And,you know, there are certain, I think Spoke does it maybe. And they ask you what sort of fits you like, and and the styles you like. So by answering those questions, and then providing an email address, you’re kinda saying, well, I’m happy to engage with this brand. I’m giving you the information to sell to me to kind of sell what I’m telling you I want rather than just being forced to hand over an email address.Will Stuart-Jones 28:39 Yeah, absolutely. All that all that classic. I agree to cookies, but I’ve just landed on a website before I’ve actually had a chance to look around and decide if I actually do want to start, you know, giving you data before I’ve decided if there’s any value that your site is going to give to me.Will Laurenson 28:55 But you know, at the same time from a business point of view, it’s difficult, isn’t it? You Can’t have. You can’t have pop ups in different places. And because you know, in the end, you’re going to create a worsening user experience. And so you’ve got to balance out, how do we give people the privacy they want and let them set the rules, but also, not trying to trigger a different cookie pop up, like every page they hit, because you you want to ask them a different thing.Will Stuart-Jones 29:23 Yeah, I guess it’d be interesting to see how that develops in time. I sort of spoke to one of the analysts at Forrester recently who kind of suggested that some organisations are starting to look towards, I guess, contextually relevant pop ups. So, you know, we see that you’re browsing this product, you know, is there a reason why you’re browsing this? So let’s say you’re on a banking website, you’re looking at savings or loans, for example, again, you know, is there the potential to contextually pop up at that stage? To ask a bit more information now? Yeah, fair enough. We’re not sort of maybe capturing cookies all the time but it’s about that opportunity. In the moment when somebody is looking at something to A. understand a bit more about why they’re looking at it and then B. okay ask permission is it okay if we use that insight that we’ve just captured in a more transparent way? But hey, you know, we’re probably some years off that that kind of scenario.Will Laurenson 30:19 Similar to, to newsletter pop ups, isn’t it? You know, they annoy everyone, when you land on a website for the first time, you’re immediately hit with a pop up saying join our newsletter, we’ll give you 10% off, and your thinking I might not even know what this business is. You might have clicked on a Facebook ad or might have been searching for something on Google, I’ve come across you for the first time. That gets really annoying. Whereas if you you know, maybe Wait, you know, it could be as basic as waiting 30 seconds, if they’re browsing the site to 30 seconds. They might be showing some interest, so maybe then you’re nudging and a little bit. So yeah, you know, with cookies, you could say, well, they’ve been browsing the site a little while they’ve been doing different products, and they might have even gone on to request a quote or something? And maybe that’s the opportunity say, well, you know, these are the cookies we use and do you mind if we track you or you know, record this data?Will Stuart-Jones 31:09 Yeah, absolutely.Will Laurenson 31:10 And then also, there’s the whole thing. I don’t know too much about this to be fair, but Google’s going to be killing off cookies, I think. So that, you know, in the next couple of years, that could massively change things.Will Stuart-Jones 31:22 Yeah, definitely. Third Party cookies. Absolutely.Will Laurenson 31:24 Yes. Cool. So are there any kind of big objections or I guess, myths about gamification that you face? Now, if you’re potentially speaking to a prospect or a new client? Do you find that there is that misunderstanding of what gamification is?Will Stuart-Jones 31:41 Yeah, I guess so. So let’s, let’s give a few. So, gosh, so there’s, again, there’s a bit of a term amongst gamification, people they call it PBL points, badges and leaderboards. So I guess you know, in the old days, a lot of gamification platforms, were all about just allowing you to sprinkle like Pixie dust these mechanics onto your existing process and magically expect outcomes to improve. And so I guess that’s kind of number one. I think, as I say, us at 3Radical, we have probably, over time started to think about how to say we roll in more traditional elements of loyalty, how we talk about this value exchange around data and usage. So that’s certainly one sort of original myth. I think the other other thing, maybe less of a myth, but more something that people kind of, I guess, mix up in their mind is that you know, gamification is doesn’t mean just games. Okay? So again, sure, you might include an explicit game mechanic as part of a particular gamified experience, but, but gamification is definitely, you know, a lot more than that. So those would be the sort of two that I call out. And I think that whole points, badges and leaderboards, this kind of idea of just pretty sprinkling pixie dust on existing process and imagining that overnight, you’re suddenly going to see a lot higher completion rates or, you know, outcomes in terms of what you’re trying to drive. That was what really drove probably, I guess this an initial bubble of hype, you know, sort of going back five years.Will Laurenson 33:21 Yeah. So the first thing that comes to my mind when I think gamification would be points, badges leaderboards, but there’s also and that’s that kind of consumer or customer facing side of it. But there’s also the kind of internal facing view on it where you say, well, we’re not going to show the customer anything, but we’re going to treat this as a game. They need to move from level one to level two to level three to accomplish their goals and our goals. So how do we build the site and build the product in a way that achieves that?Will Stuart-Jones 33:50 You’re right there’s, there’s this kind of with these sort of value exchanges, you know, you’re explicitly signposting what you want people to do in order to unlock rewards. You know, gamification also has, you know, techniques or concepts like surprise and delight. So this is where, unbeknown to the consumer unbeknown to the audience member, they have actually been sort of completing various steps that you want those people to go through. And then at some stage, you’re going to surprise or delight those people with a particular reward or a new challenge or a new piece of content based on how you sort of designed your framework. Just going off on a bit of a tangent, and probably one of the best gamification case studies or the most engaging or most memorable ones that I remember. Recently, at an event I attended last year, Gamification Europe was actually delivered by professor from upper University up in Scotland, and it was literally where they were trying to protect, I guess, very important government systems that hackers might try to infiltrate. And literally the gamification employed there was literally they were building whole parallel architecture, a system that had vulnerabilities in it, which was effectively an environment where hackers could be encouraged to go in and literally try and hack that parallel system as opposed to the vitally important system. I think it was actually communication systems for battleships in this particular example. And it was, it was about how you could use gamification to actually give the attackers little snippets that made them feel like they were actually hacking through this important government system. But in actual fact, you were just kind of expending their time in this ultimately, ultimate dead end effectively. So gamification is, as I sort of said earlier, it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. That’s kind of one end of the spectrum. I guess the other end of the spectrum is something as simple as obviously on if you have an Apple Watch obviously the the various mechanics that are used in the in the health app in there. So the ability to have your daily rings that you have to complete, the various different badges or trophies that you can collect if you have streaks of completing exercise on X number of days, so you can really see how you know, gamification is a pretty wide suite of things. But those are kind of, I guess, if I had to give you two ends of the spectrum, those would be two really, really nice examples.Will Laurenson 36:25 Yes, really interesting, is actually that that hacking example that reminds me of it’s not gamification, but a game developer a few years ago actually leaked a copy of their game, because they knew it was being downloaded and pirated. And actually, when people got to the final boss, instead of meeting the final boss, you just got to pop up, which said, you know, something like, we know you’ve pirated this game, why don’t you go to buy the real thing if you want to complete it?Will Stuart-Jones 36:55 Perfect. Lovely. Yes. Very similar.Will Laurenson 36:58 All right, cool. So um, how would you recommend a business go about getting involved in gamification? What will be the kind of the first or you know, the biggest things to consider initially? And to kind of get started with things?Will Stuart-Jones 37:12 Yeah, sure. So I guess with any any project involves technology in marketing. I guess it’s fundamental to have a clear business challenge that you’re looking to solve. And, you know, just as importantly, having a clear view of metrics that you’re going to be able to use to actually measure the success. So you know, I really love the kind of offline to online acquisition use case that we solve for various restaurant chains I mentioned earlier because, you know, a, the solution is quite simple. It’s quite, you know, pretty easy to implement. But it was also very simple to measure. You know, the KPI in that case is the number of multiple prospects that the campaign is generating, has it generated, you know, the level that you expect has it maybe you know filled in the shortfall between the names that you lost maybe when you had your database impacted by GDPR. So it is absolutely about thinking about these things upfront, you know, by all means, it’s great to have a sort of roadmap about multiple things that you might want to apply gamification to. So, again, you know, you start with acquisition, maybe then it is about improving your onboarding journey, then it’s applying it to retention or education, whatever the use cases are, but it’s about breaking each of those down into bite sized chunks and as I say, having clear metrics that are going to allow you to prove success or failure because one of the things you know, this applies to all good marketing, doesn’t it, it should be about testing things, measuring if they work and then refining and improving as they go forward. So you know, which mix of challenges or activities do consumers do which of those do they like which of those don’t they like, which are the different types of rewards appear to be generating the most engagement, the most activity. So it’s about having those parts of the story is yeah, I gotta be honest with you. It’s amazing how many times we go to organisations who struggle to get their hands on those metrics. So, you know, without that, you can’t really measure success.Will Laurenson 39:23 Yeah, definitely. So yeah, I, I definitely see a lot of companies who they, they seem to have a loyalty scheme because they’re supposed to, but they’re probably not really tracking it, and they haven’t really thought through the process. And it is just there because, you know, the other coffee shop down the road does it or Tesco does it where you get point for every pound or whatever it is. And, you know, if they don’t really have a plan for it, they’re not going to get any value from it, the customer is not going to get any value from it and it’s just a waste of time and money.Will Stuart-Jones 39:56 Yeah, absolutely. So you know the danger with loyalty schemes. I always wince when I go into a coffee shop and they’re still using those those analogue, you know, those physical cards where you get stamps on them. And you know, every sixth cup of coffee is free, the number of times they must be just rewarding people for behaviour that they’re going to be completing anyway, you know, if you’re going to do something like that, at least make your reward some sort of cross sell. So, you know, we’re going to give you 50p off a packet of biscuits or, you know, something that’s encouraging you to branch out from your normal behaviour, which is the daily cup of coffee that you pick up, you know, every morning on the way to the station or, you know, before you get to work.Will Laurenson 40:40 Yeah, definitely incentivize someone to try one of the other products or one of your other offerings, not just give them what they buy anyway. Because Yeah, you’re you’re literally just giving away revenue. So I mean would you said that’s the most common mistake you see. Just a kind of a not very well thought through plan and just they kind of just launch a loyalty plan or a gamification scheme. There’s no real goal for it. But are there other mistakes, big mistakes, you see.Will Stuart-Jones 41:10 Yeah, yeah, it’s often tricky. So I’ve been, you know, even us 3Radical if we scroll back, say, sort of four or five years, you know, sometimes we didn’t know what we didn’t know. So, but again, it is about sort of avoiding this temptation to boil the ocean. So literally, you know, come up with a few concepts that you believe are gonna have a clear business outcome for you. You know, maybe set up an initial three month pilot in there’s no point doing something for four or six weeks, you’re never going to see the value from that. So at least give it at least three months allow you to iterate change your creative content, change the rewards, change the mechanics that you’re testing out. And then you know, measure, measure, measure as you’re going along, and then and then improve and refine. So that’s definitely the way to success it and I guess as you’re going through that don’t be don’t be afraid to pivot. So in some circumstances, it may be that you start out thinking that your use of gamification is going to be all about driving more purchase, it may turn out that in actual fact, what works really well is in actual fact people don’t use the rewards, the real world rewards, but in terms of getting people to come back repeatedly, to a website over a period of time and getting them to complete maybe peripheral actions that capture data, it could be that in actual fact, that has just as much value to the organisation. So all that I’m saying start with a clear goal and a measurement framework. Don’t be afraid to pivot at some stage, if you find that the results are telling you that your audience is responding well or if it’s driving value in in an area that you maybe weren’t expecting.Will Laurenson 42:46 Yeah, I think what I see a lot is people kind of panic looking at the data too much too early, panicking when they’re not getting the results they’re expecting and changing things then, and actually they start fiddling with things when they haven’t really got the data to determine whether it’s working or not. And then similarly, the other end, you know, you might come into a business often, you know, when they’ve been running for five, six years, and they might have had a particular scheme or a way of doing marketing that’s working that entire time. And because it’s been working, they kind of, that’s it that’s it for them that they’re happy to leave it. They don’t, don’t look to optimise. They’re not really considering changing things. Because as far as they’re aware, it’s working. But actually, when you dive deep, dive deeper into the data, you find that actually it’s no longer as effective as it was a couple of years ago. But they just don’t want to change it because it did work for six months to a year and they’ve just kind of left it.Will Stuart-Jones 43:47 Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, firsthand experience of that. So definitely, um, you know, even as simple as keeping the creative look and feel fresh can have a big, big difference even if you don’t want to change the underlying mechanics but you know, absolutely at 3Rradical, again, being a technology company that comes from, you know, classic direct marketing background, you know, absolutely the ability to support, split testing, A/B testing of different mechanics, different reward types, so that you can be data driven. But as you correctly pointed out, it’s about not panicking. It’s about you know, these are my initial tests, I’m going to leave it running for a decent period of time. And then I’m going to review the results and understand what it was about the different tests that drove the the different results.Will Laurenson 44:33 So yeah, do you have any particular pet peeves when it comes to marketing, either as someone who works with companies or as a consumer,Will Stuart-Jones 44:41 Gosh, so I’m gonna put my neck on the block here. So I always get a little bit worried about people that obsess about brand value, particularly if they don’t have any measurement framework. So I love the old saying about you know, 50% of ad spend is wasted, we just don’t know which 50% it is. So that’s probably anyone that worries or obsesses too much about, yeah, the look and feel, I know it’s important, but you know, probably not as important I think, you know, studies have shown that it’s all about targeting and using the data. So that’s probably number one if we’re talking sort of digital marketing, I guess the other one would probably be the analogue digital analogue loyalty cards I’ve already mentioned would be my other pet peeve. Will Laurenson 45:29 Yeah, if there was one particular marketing channel or tactic that you could just get rid of, what would it be and why?Will Stuart-Jones 45:37 So I mean, I suppose we’ve sort of touched upon some of these, some of these themes already. But from a digital perspective. I think increasingly, the use of third party data is probably nearing the end of its usefulness perhaps, I mean, it’s always going to exist, there’s always going to be some value in using third party data. But I think probably, you know, sort of we talked about the backlash earlier from consumers about personalization based on inaccurate or flawed data, or where people are nervous or unsure about where that’s coming from, I think definitely means that that’s probably had its time and that’s why absolutely, we believe that it’s all about now engaging directly in and giving a reason to provide that data. So, I guess yeah, that would probably be probably be the the main thing that I would I would sort of point out as we move forwards.Will Laurenson 46:32 okay. Yeah. I guess on the analogue side, it’s probably still that those coffee loyalty schemes.Will Stuart-Jones 46:37 Yeah, I guess a good one to throw that back to you. Do you have any you would cite particularly from your track record in marketing as well.Will Laurenson 46:46 You know what I’ve got, it’s kind of relevant to my situation now that I’m potentially stuck in Poland. I’ve basically I’ve bought a ticket on a flight, and that flight was then cancelled, and then the offer I’ve got is I can either have a full refund or change the flight, I changed the flight in the first instance, and that flight was then cancelled. And so I feel it’s kind of a bit of a sneaky marketing kind of marketing tactic to actually get my purchase, you know, get me signed up, get my data almost get me committed. And they’ll actually keep trying to move the flights until it’s actually convenient for them. So they’ve almost like tricked me into buying them. Yeah, that’s one of them. The other actually, would be subscriptions that make it really difficult to cancel. I actually had one earlier today, they did a really good job of emailing me actually to say we’re going to renew your subscription in a week. And it’s an annual subscription, and it will renew on this date. And I thought actually, I don’t use this subscription anymore, I’ll go and cancel it. And I had to go through a three step cancellation flow which was pretty much identical on each page. But on one of the pages, they actually switched the layout of the buttons. So on the first page I clicked on the right hand button, which was end my subscription. And then on the next page, that button was actually keep subscription. So I clicked it by accident, ended up back in my account with a subscription that wasn’t cancelled. And so I had to go through the flow again. And there’s no reason for that, because it’s not convinced me to stay. It’s actually just wound my up a bit and it makes me more committed to making sure I’ve got that cancellation. So I think the big general one for me would be just making it difficult for people to cancel the subscription of services that they’ve signed up for. Especially you know, if there’s no contract or anything, you’re on a 30 day rolling contract or if someone’s subscriptions coming to an end, just let them in.Will Stuart-Jones 49:00 There’s been no attempt at a value exchange there to keep you engaged as a subscriber either has there. I guess another one that springs to mind I don’t know if things have changed it’s been a while since I’ve been in this space but, previous company I used to work for used to have social media monitoring tools. So the ability to you know, listen out to Facebook and Twitter and try to establish what people are saying about your brand. So again, unless you’ve got an army of people optimising that and, you know, applying keywords to filter things out so you know, that’s a classic example Scottish power. They use some some tools like that and they always used to get a spike whenever Andy Murray used to do well at Wimbledon. So it’s just a classic example. So, again, that’s another one. That was four or five years ago, things may have moved on since then.Will Laurenson 49:47 Yeah, I think similarly linked to that. People using bots to auto respond. I think it was a big thing on Twitter. And unless you really nailed your targeting, you were either kind of thanking people, when actually they were saying something negative about your brand. Or you’d be saying sorry to someone when they’re actually just trying to get in touch with you or, or they’ve had a good experience. If you just get one of the words wrong in yourtargeting you just ruin the experience. So I think you know, automation tools like that, you’ve either gotten absolutely nailed them or just just don’t do it. Just have someone human doing it.Cool. Well, thank you for thank you for coming on the podcast it’s been really, really interesting. Good luck with everything, there at 3Radical.Will Stuart-Jones 50:36 Fantastic. Yep. Thanks so much for having me. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. more than happy to talk to anyone, anyone that wants to discuss things further. But yeah, otherwise, fantastic. Thanks. Thanks for inviting me.Will Laurenson 50:51 Great stuff from Will there.If you’re not doing gamification, it’s definitely worth thinking about how you can build this into your business. It’s super helpful for capturing data and enriching customer profiles, so that you can create more personalised, and engaging marketing experiences. Contrary to what most people believe, it’s not about getting stamps on loyalty card for that free coffee we’re going to buy anyway, and while rewards are often used and to be honest, probably quite expected by the consumer. It’s important that neither side view the reward is the end goal. It shouldn’t just be a tool to provide a discount, it should be an engaging experience, which has the end result of enriching the customer profile, while providing clear value to the customer as well. If you’re thinking of implementing gamification in your business, or you’re thinking of reviewing an existing programme remember to start with clear goals and KPIs and prepare to be flexible, in these sort of programmes you do get unexpected results and impacts in other areas of the business. So as long as you’ve got enough data to make decisions, don’t be afraid to put up. That’s all for me today. If you liked what you heard, don’t forget to subscribe for future episodes. And if you have any questions about gamification or loyalty schemes, please just ping them over to will@customerswhoclick.com. In the next episode of Customers Who Click I’ll be speaking with Parry Malm, CEO of Phrasee, all about AI in marketing and the effect language has on consumer behaviour. But until then, keep those customers clicking.

If you’d like to learn more about 3radical, they have a great explainer video you can find here or reach out to Will on LinkedIn



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