In our "Best-In-Class" blog series we discuss an Association Management System feature that is. . . well. . . the best in their class of features that AMSs provide (in The AMS Guy’s opinion, of course!) We will showcase a different feature that stands above the rest in each post and give a synopsis of why. Our Best in Class feature this month is Gamification & Engagement Scoring.
Ok, so I'm a bit of a gamer. Lately, when playing some of my favorite games, I find myself paying more attention to my player level, ranking, or going on quests to unlock additional items in the game. Even if I've completed the game several times, I find these additional gaming elements an exciting reason to stay engaged with a game.
Gamification is the use of gaming elements like ranking, badges, points systems, etc. outside of the gaming world in order to motivate and engage users. It has been employed in education, marketing, retail, social media, the workplace, and now (because some AMS platforms have introduced it into our marketplace) in association management!
Some AMSs have developed Engagement Tracking Systems (ETS) that face both the members and staff, giving the ability to employ Gamification and Engagement Scoring, and allows organizations to "level up" their member engagement. Here's what makes this system feature Best-in-Class.
Although your mission and activities should be enough to keep your members engaged, it doesn't hurt to have some additional motivations.
On the membership front, you can use the ETS to motivate members and offer additional reasons to engage with the organization. Placing your emphasis in the right places will drive them in the ways you want them to act. You can use both superficial (ex. tiers) and tangible rewards (ex. discounts) as incentives. Seeing a "score" gives members a quantitative understanding of their level of engagement and can inspire them to want to do more to raise their score.
On the staff front, the ETS can provide insights into member activity beyond what your reports provide. You can measure all of your standard points of engagement as well as establish some more in-depth ones. You can get an overall understanding of your membership and what their collective interests are, and you can understand each member and what he/she is interested in. Since member engagement is a great indicator of member retention, you can get a great sense of who will most likely renew based on their engagement score.
The key to employing a successful Gamification and Engagement Scoring campaign lies in what you develop. Stay mission-focused and highlight the activities that are both important to the organization and its members. Your incentives should make sense in the context of your organization and should be manageable by the staff and your budget (what would it look like if 100% of your membership took advantage?). As with all of the Best-in-Class features, you will be bound to the limitations of your AMS, but most ETSs give you enough flexibility to develop what is right for your organization.