Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation in Gamification Marketing: A Short Guide
  • Contest Factory
  • January 4, 2023

gamification marketing

Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation in Gamification Marketing: A Short Guide

It’s easy to see why so many industries use gamification to market products and services online. This interactive strategy encourages user engagement while communicating vital information. To deploy a successful gamification strategy, you must consider the relationship between extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation.

Marketing specialists created a short guide explaining how to revolutionize your content. Consider the following information, then see how Contest Factory’s gamification marketing services can boost your next campaign.

What Is Gamification Marketing?

Like movies or books, traditional video games typically include storylines, environments, characters, and dialogue. And while these are effective to a point, users must seek them out. Interactive gaming mechanics are the key features that separate this form of media from others.

Players usually have a goal to achieve and autonomously work toward it within the game’s parameters. Developers can even add encouragement to keep them playing, like points, achievements, or extra lives. An excellent example of gamification marketing is, where users are incented to upload their losing lottery tickets for a chance to win up to $50,000. The business goes further to incent users by offering you more points to share the contest on social media. You can earn endless number of points each day by watching different commercials. Folks really get jazzed by this motivation and dig in to compete.

Gamification marketing applies the same principles, using different content. Engaging mechanics drive your audience to interact with information while providing rewards based on specific outcomes.

Marketing strategists sometimes argue that gamification is nothing more than a clever way to make boring content appear more attractive. However, these elements are only practical when integrated into well-structured and impactful information. Effective gamification will enhance user learning and motivate them to explore more.

Deploying a successful gamification marketing strategy requires you to understand your target audience. How do people respond to extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation? Which type of motivation encourages the highest customer retention rates?

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation is the drive to complete a task for the external rewards it provides. Suppose you are an Olympic athlete about to run a 200m dash. Extrinsic motivators may include the gold medal at the end of the finish line or the career opportunities you earn from a win.

These rewards, whether capital or superficial, inspire you to see the task through to the end.

Online, extrinsic rewards may look like extra coins to keep playing, prestigious badges that show off your skill, or even real-world prizes like cash lotteries or vacation giveaways.

Applying Extrinsic Motivation Marketing Strategies

Many digital marketing specialists use extrinsic motivation to pull in users quickly with flashy prizes and bonuses like coupons or countdown offers. In the short term, this strategy can encourage users to keep grinding for the next reward.

Although this method may be initially effective at prompting users to act, many marketing teams do not have the knowledge or resources to produce long-term results. Sometimes, users become bored with these gamification features and resign. This problem usually occurs when the rewards become repetitive or stale.

Users may even attempt to exploit the mechanics to earn more prizes.

For example, a company offering rewards for online surveys may need to scrap the project if participants flood the campaign with bot accounts. Marketers must cover all their bases with testing before offering extrinsic rewards to users.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation involves the internal satisfaction you get from participating in the game rather than its external rewards. Remember the Olympic runner example above? Instead of completing the race for a gold medal, you may feel invigorated by years of athletic improvement, the desire to master the sport, or the joy of running itself.

When weighing extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation, it’s clear that the latter may be more challenging to translate into your content. Target audiences need to feel motivated to complete tasks within themselves, not from any enticing reward you offer.

However, you can still use some gamification mechanics and designs to promote intrinsic motivation in your marketing campaign.

Applying Intrinsic Motivation Marketing Strategies

Creating content that gives your target audience purpose is a practical way to generate intrinsic motivation. Often, people feel culturally connected to certain ideas or behaviors. Appealing to altruism, personal development/learning, or even social status can drive users to take action.

Simple taglines have the potential to create powerful intrinsic motivation. Consider corporate catchphrases like Nike’s ‘Just Do It.’ This seemingly small-scale branding choice gives individuals considerable feelings of autonomy and direction.

Intrinsic motivation can yield long-term customer retention, especially if your content creates a dialogue for users to share with others. Still, avoid deploying this strategy without completing adequate target market research. Marketers who misread their audience’s desires or worldviews may appear inauthentic and insincere.

Learn More with Content Factory

At Content Factory, we understand the importance of balancing extrinsic and intrinsic strategies in a marketing campaign. Our company prides itself on providing products and services that help you engage with your customers.

Learn more about how gamification marketing strategies can improve your online metrics.

Contact Content Factory for more information about gamification marketing. Book a demo with our specialists at 855-774-6966.

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