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Part 3 of Channel Partner Motivation: Gameification

Gamefication’s biggest benefit is in encouraging indirect channel personnel to engage in more mundane but important activities that help the vendor or the wider ecosystem.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Channel Partner Motivation Pt. 3: Gameification

By Simon Taylor

Gameification as a term has been bandied about a lot over the last few years. At its most basic level, this is motivation that is driven by crowd recognition. With the advent of gaming and social media, “gameification” is a way to demonstrate the crowd-recognized value.

Gartner defines gamefication’s key elements as:

  • Game mechanics describes the use of elements such as points, badges and leaderboards that are common to many games.
  • Experience design describes the journey players take with elements such as game play, play space and story line.
  • Gameification is a method to digitally engage, rather than personally engage, meaning that players interact with computers, smartphones, wearable monitors or other digital devices, rather than engaging with a person.
  • The goal of gameification is to motivate people to change behaviors or develop skills, or to drive innovation.
  • Gameification focuses on enabling players to achieve their goals. When organizational goals are aligned with player goals, the organization achieves its goals as a consequence of players achieving their goals.

(“Gartner Redefines Gameification” By Brian Burke, April 2014, Gartner)

I have seen it used effectively to drive selling behaviour, but gamefication’s biggest benefit is in encouraging indirect channel personnel to engage in more mundane but important activities that help the vendor or the wider ecosystem.

Almost any trackable action could involve gameification, and it is a great way to alter behavior. For example, you could associate points with various things on your partner portal, such as

  • Self profiling
  • Recruitment and onboarding
  • Training
  • Incentives
  • Joint sales and marketing
  • Community engagement
  • Portal or mobile app usage
  • Survey participation

Then at next login a workflow can be triggered to collate the points from the last visit/day/week/months usage and notify the partner "your activity has been reward by …“ Participation and completion of tasks can be rewarded in a number of ways for example:

  • Points
  • Partner incentives
  • Products
  • Consumables
  • Sales and marketing tools
  • MDF or joint marketing dollars
  • Community status in the form of a badge, such as identifying the winner as an "expert”
  • Early access to content
  • VIP status at events
  • One-on-one time with executives

Of course, gameifying participation in your indirect channel program is incredibly complex and requires a suitably equipped external collaboration and communication solution (which Relayware offers).

The future of this practice is not about points and badges though. It’s about taking business problems and mapping them to “gameplay.” For example, being recognized for each course a partner takes all the way through certification. Or registering deals all the way through closing the deal and tying that to a campaign.

Take the partners on a journey. Give immediate praise and feedback from you as well as their peers. Enable your partners to compete and be recognized as thought leaders.

Next, I will explain how you can bring together gameification with partner scoring to win.