Gamification to increase participant AND client engagement

As elaborated in our gamification paper, the market research world needs to adopt its offering to both participants and clients. In our previous article on gamification, we focused on applying gamification during data collection to increase participant engagement to collect better and more data. However, we believe gamification can also be applied beyond data collection, further increasing participant engagement and also client engagement. Gamification can be applied during the analysis phase and the reporting phase as well.

Gamification in analysis

At InSites Consulting we apply gamification during the analysis phase, following the principles of crowd interpretation. Crowd interpretation helps us understand the data even better, providing us with initial insights. Imagine for a second that you are doing a research project with people who have a very rare condition. Even though you might be an experienced and well-trained qualitative researcher, if you do not have that rare condition yourself, you will always have some knowledge gaps. This is where crowd interpretation comes into play. By asking our participants who suffer from the condition to interpret certain observations, they can add a different perspective that we – as researcher – are unable to spot. In order to make this even more engaging, we developed the crowd interpretation game which exists of three rounds during which a selected group of participants (n=10) can collect points. The different rounds are analogous to the analysis process in qualitative research, where we go from observation to interpretation and to interpretation of the interpretation. In a first round, participants receive answers from other participants and are asked to interpret these. In a second round, they receive the same answers, but this time are asked to think deeper and provide more details.
After this, all the interpretations are collected and sent back to the original poster of the answer. This person reads how others interpret his/her answer and then scores each interpretation on how good it is. Based on this, a ranking is made with the best participant researchers. The crowd interpretation game has two benefits, one on participant level and one on researcher level. For participants, the crowd interpretation game is rewarding as they are more engaged in the game and because making them part of the analysis makes them feel more empowered. On a researcher level, having participants interpret their answers means we get richer data and are able to gather 20% to 40% more insights.

Gamification in reporting

During the reporting phase, there is another opportunity to apply gamification; this time to increase engagement on the client side, thus creating internal leverage for the research project. The goal of gamification during this phase is to create positive disruption at the client side by exposing their knowledge gaps. Before presenting the report, different stakeholders at the client side test their knowledge of the topic. They are then given their score. The lower the score (or the bigger the knowledge gap), the more eager people are to read and reflect on the report.
The example of the project with the R&D people at Unilever highlights the benefits. The R&D people’s goal was to learn as much as possible about their consumer. To show they knew their consumer, they had to play a game about consumers where they could collect points for each correct answer. There were different quizzes and after each quiz the scores of the different teams were advertised in different places throughout the R&D offices. The game increased engagement significantly and the report was not only used more frequently, but also reflected upon more. This meant that the R&D people spent more time thinking about the results and their implications.
Heineken Concept Club CommunityAnother example would be the Heineken Open Design Explorations case. In this case we collected data and insights about what going out means to young and trendy people. Heineken’s goal was to take these insights and use them to build the club of the future with upcoming designers from different fields. To make sure the designers would use the insights, we created an interactive app that immersed the designers in the results, allowing them to interact with the insights. In addition and to further stimulate engagement with the results, the designers had to come up with ideas based on the results. Every uploaded idea contributed to the personal score of the designers and the different scores were displayed on the home page.

Our conclusion?

As a result of an outdated offering and changed consumer reality, the market research industry is faced with a declining engagement. Part of the solution to increase engagement is to apply gamification throughout the research process. Other methods to increase engagement include: creating a more engaging environment that is visually appealing and stimulates exploration, empowering people and starting a two-way dialogue as well as offering flexible solutions that bring convenience to participants.

Eager for more? Get your free download of Game on Qualitative Researchers: Using gamification to increase participant engagement, data quality and client impact in Market Research Online Communities.

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