If you’ve worked in sales in a midsize or a large company, 90% chances are, you’ve used a CRM tool for your everyday work. Time for some honesty - exactly how long did you use the software for as enthusiastically as you used it the first day or first week?
Tch, tch. Don’t be embarrassed, I know how you feel because I felt the same when I used an archaic CRM system during my initial years as a salesperson. The fault isn’t with you; if you have to keep looking at a drab-looking screen all day long and enter customer information and the communication you had with them, it would be absolutely that: drab.
A few years passed and then I started using a CRM system (not going to name it of course, but it was founded in Chennai, India!) that came with a juggernaut of impressive features, some bells and whistles, and most importantly, suggestions for use based on my CRM activity. I’ve never looked back since.
It’s 2024, and gamification for B2B loyalty programs is FTW.
Importance of Loyalty Programs in B2B
Loyalty programs are like customer retention magnets. In B2B, they improve retention by nearly 8.5% overall. Enhanced customer engagement and improved profit margins are two other compelling points for having a loyalty program on board.
Current Business Landscape
Recent statistics show that the gamification market size is bound to skyrocket from $9.1 billion in 2020 to $30.7 billion in 2025, representing a CAGR of 27.4%.
The primary factor pushing this growth in gamification is improved engagement with customers and the creativity of strategies that B2B marketers push out in their loyalty programs. This has made it really critical to have gamification as part of the marketing strategy for 2024 for tons of companies worldwide.
Key Components of a Successful B2B Gamified Loyalty Program
A thriving B2B marketing strategy with a gamified loyalty program hinges on 3 continuously moving parts:
Establishing Clear Program Objectives
Zeroing in on specific and measurable goals, such as 20% increase in customer engagement or a 25% increase in annual sales, provides a clear roadmap for success. Take SAP’s PartnerEdge program as an example. It provides clear objectives that are tied to partner performance, fostering a result-based performance environment.
Customization for B2B
In an ideal B2B, a one-size-fits-all solution never works. When you go the route of Starbucks or Nike as a B2B product/service provider, you are sure to get lost on the way. This is why tailoring rewards and challenges based on the unique needs and preferences of your clients is so tantamount.
Alignment With Business Goals
This is perhaps the biggest component of all. Your B2B marketing strategy for gamification must align with your broader organizational objectives. You would need to spell out clear program objectives, what relationship it would share with the business’s direction, and any metrics that can help define the strategy.
Strategies to Implement Gamification Successfully for 2024
1. Use Different Game Mechanics
In a B2B marketing strategy, gamification is a real game-changer. Leveraging game mechanics can fuel user engagement and productivity. Here are some mechanics that are making waves in the B2B gamification space:
Points and Badges
Project management tools like Asana motivate teams to complete tasks by rewarding them with points and badges for accomplishments, fostering a competitive, yet goal-oriented atmosphere.
When you go bowling with your friends and you see your name rise up that leaderboard every time you hit a strike, it feels good, doesn’t it? Salesforce creates a similarly healthy competition among sales reps by showcasing their performance metrics. This leads to a results-driven culture and boosts sales effectiveness.
Levels and Tiers
Suppose your company has ever used LinkedIn Learning to further employees’ skill levels. In that case, you’d know that they could go through levels and tiers, gaining recognition and maybe even unlocking new learning opportunities based on their achievements.
By incorporating various collaborative features such as shared documents and real-time communication, Microsoft Teams sharpens teamwork and productivity in a B2B environment.
2. Personalization and Dynamic Quests
A breakthrough strategy for gamification in B2B marketing is personalizing your loyalty programs and including dynamic quests for your users. Take pointers from these use cases:
Doing this based on the roles or preferences of your users leads to targeted interactions. Bringing Salesforce back in here, its Trailhead program bifurcates users into different learning paths based on their job roles and tailors content to their needs.
IBM Watson Build Challenge tweaks tasks depending on the participant’s expertise and skill levels. This feeds users a sense of achievement, inclusivity, and relevance.
Self-explanatory, of course. Microsoft has scored a winner here: its Partner Centre adjusts training modules’ difficulty dynamically, ensuring users are challenged continuously without the overwhelming factor.
Customize Rewards and Communication
Gamification and B2B marketing will win together when you tailor rewards and personal communication. Customization creates an iron-clad sense of exclusivity and recognition. A great example here is Cisco’s Champions Program.
3. Focus on Social Interaction and Collaboration
Did you know that SAP’s Community Challenges are team-based? The focus is on creating camaraderie among users by drawing them into problem-solving and knowledge-sharing exercises.
A proven B2B marketing strategy (and surely that’s going to continue into 2024) to hit the bull’s eye on gamification is leaderboards and head-to-head challenges. There’s nothing like spurring a friendly rivalry among customers, is there? Take Adobe’s Behance platform; it showcases individuals’ achievements and contributions among teams, promoting healthy competition.
Networking in a Community
If you’re a software developer and haven’t yet checked out IBM’s TechXChange Community, you’re sorely missing out on a ton of networking opportunities! Users can share insights, seek advice from more experienced professionals, and build valuable industry connections within a focused community.
To grow with your customers, it’s obligatory to recognize and celebrate their achievements, milestones, and contributions within your loyalty program. The strategy to do this would be through public announcements on social media, virtual badges through your platform or personalized messages. Social recognition reinforces continued engagement.
4. Utilize Emerging Technologies
Jump onto the technology train and meet AR/VR (augmented reality, virtual reality) for your B2B loyalty programs. These technologies can provide a launchpad for enhanced user experience and trust. For example, when Siemens deployed AR/VR experiences for their industrial equipment training, it led to the users gaining a better understanding of the products, while earning loyalty points as they navigated the experiences.
Now that all the blockchain and crypto hype has ebbed, we can get into more and better advantages of the technology, like blockchain-based rewards. IBM’s Food Trust Network is a classic example of this. It’s transparent, tamper-proof, and trust-building among participants in the program.
5. Prioritize Data-Driven Insights
Gamification and B2B marketing cannot go hand-in-hand without data. What they say about data being the new gold is absolutely true, because of the sheer power it carries. Get the below gamification touchpoints for 2024, and you will thank us.
You’re better off if you can collect and analyze data from your loyalty program to monitor its performance. Keep a close eye on customer behaviors, engagement levels, and direct feedback from customers to identify areas of improvement.
Your focus on the loyalty program’s alignment with your business goal has to be razor sharp. Implement any changes that are identified through testing and continue to monitor the program’s performance against set KPIs.
Feedback is king when you’re in the loyalty program space. Surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews work best to compile feedback. But gamifying the feedback itself can really unlock a world of wonder for your business. For example, offering free points on your CRM tool that customers can use to purchase new features after they’ve collected enough.
If you really want to make it big, you have to start small. For complex tasks, offer better rewards for your B2B crowd, because their time is more valuable to you and your program.
Keep the gamification mechanics simple and easy to grasp - nobody, not even in B2B, likes a convoluted platform. More importantly, keep customization as your B2B marketing mantra - it’s a requirement for a smooth customer journey.
Finally, analyze user behavior and adapt to the feedback that you receive. If you want more ideas about gamifying your loyalty program, then connect with the Flyy team right away!