Last week, the BigDoor team closed out our April conference schedule by attending iStrategy Miami. The conference brought together online marketers to strategize and discuss the future of customer engagement. In addition to enjoying a bit of sun and Florida weather, the BigDoor team had a great time discussing how the BigDoor loyalty solution can solve common marketing problems including; user acquisition, directing user engagement and customer retention.
BigDoor also also competed in and won the iPitch competition. Our CEO Keith Smith gave a 6 minute demo of the BigDoor product to attendees, followed by a Q & A session from panelists: Ben Parr, Jonah Goodhart and Eric Litman. Attendees then voted on the technology they thought was the most relevant to solving their marketing problems. We wanted to share Keith’s winning slide deck, for anyone who wasn’t in attendance or who wanted a chance to look over it again. Feel free to shoot us questions in the comments.
Last week the gamification industry gathered in San Francisco for the 2013 Gamification Summit. The conference highlights the truly broad application of gamification across industries around the world. Every year we are impressed with how much the industry has grown and changed. As long running sponsors of the event, we were very excited to have 5 team members staffing the BigDoor booth, speaking at the event and interacting with the gamification community in person.
GSummit offers up speakers from all aspects of the industry: education, enterprise, social good and consumer facing applications. This year, we were very pleased to have another one of our customers talking about their success using BigDoor’s platform. Jeff Hawley, Director of Customer Experience with Yamaha Corporation of America spoke about his experience implementing a customer loyalty program, in conjunction with Yamaha’s 125th Year anniversary that engaged and rewarded the diverse set of customers that visit Yamaha’s website. The ongoing program’s success is unquestionable, but they continue to expand the program in new directions. Be sure to check out their website and see the implementation live as well as check back for the video of his talk when it becomes available.
In past years, BigDoor CEO Keith Smith has spoken to the GSummit audience about various topics surrounding gamification, but we decided to mix things up and have our VP of Sales, Gavin Hewitt, discuss BigDoor’s philosophy on the importance of rewards in customer loyalty programs. In his talk: Rewards Matter: How big brands are unlocking the secret to customer loyalty Gavin highlighted the importance of offering customer focused rewards as key in increasing customer engagement and long-term loyalty.
Our booth last year was quite a hit (remember the marshmallow guns?) but we think we did even better this year. Some people might recognize this setup as a bit reminiscent of their college days, minus the beer. Depending on their skills, players could earn a number of rewards, from custom ping pong paddles to water bottles and T-shirts. Our grand prize winner, John Leech, walked away from GSummit with an Xbox 360.
Thank you again to the Gamification.co team, who put in a ton of work to make this event happen, as well as to the attendees and speakers who help continue to grow the gamification industry in interesting and innovative ways.
We are very excited to announce that we will once again be gold sponsors at Gamification Summit in San Francisco this coming April. GSummit is one of our favorite events to attend, connecting gamification and engagement experts, with industry professionals from all over the world. In addition to sponsoring, our CEO Keith Smith will also be speaking about the intersection of loyalty and gamification, specifically focusing on how some of our clients are using gamification to enhance their traditional loyalty programs.
We want to give our fans and fellow gamification lovers the opportunity to attend GSummit for free! Head over to GSummit’s Surprise and Delight entry page and fill out the form and then tweet that you entered for a chance to win. The contest ends this Friday 1/18 at 4pm EST. Good luck!
If you want to read up on our experience last year at Gamification Summit, you can check out the recap in our archives, here.
Last week, our business development team represented BigDoor at the2012 Gamification Summit. We were very excited to unveil our new logo for the first time at an event, as well as talk about some of our awesome clients, new features and get a chance to talk about how we are improving online user loyalty and customer engagement. When BigDoor was starting out, gamification was a concept that most people didn’t understand and relatively few people thought was valuable. We were so encouraged to see how big gamification has become. We heard the conference ended up with ~650 attendees for the two days, and we know we talked to some great people (though we wish we could have talked to you all!)
Nate @ G Summit showing off our swag
One of the coolest things about gamification is that it can be applied to a wide variety of sites. Our flexible Gamified Rewards Program can increase user loyalty no matter what your focus is, which means we have been lucky enough to work with an interesting variety of publishers. While everyone we work with has unique goals and reasons for implementing gamification, we love being able to show how effective our solutions are. That’s why we were very excited that Chamillionaire was able to be a part of Gamification Summit this year.
After searching for a way to engage fans on his website Chamillionaire found the BigDoor solution. He came to G Summit to talk about his unique challenges on Chamillionaire.com and his passion for engaging users and building brand loyalty. If you were able to hear him talk or if you know anything about him you will know that his passion for gamification is infectious. He is not only a very talented entrepreneur but a very convincing person to speak on behalf of gamification. You can view his entire talk on Fora.tv, but we thought we would highlight some of our favorite quotes.
On why rewarding people with status works: “People love status, nowadays people come up to you and introduce themselves without even telling you their name first, they tell you how many followers they have on twitter”
On making the decision to work with BigDoor: “It’s going to cost a million dollars, it’s going to be hard to implement, and all this stuff…and then…I was completely wrong. It didn’t cost a lot, it was actually affordable, it was actually something that was easy to implement to my website.”
On fan engagement: “I believe it’s a relationship, if I do stuff for you, you do stuff for me back”
On the success of his website after adding gamification: “They say a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it…that’s not my website…it’s a lot different on chamillionaire.com”
On his song hitting number one on itunes: “There’s a lot of people with more fans than me that just can’t do it, because their fans aren’t engaged”
If you were at G Summit, and watched Chamillionaire’s talk, make sure to head over to his Facebook page and tag yourself in the photo here.
Chamillionaire and Nsilo Reddick with the BigDoor Team
You can also check out Chamillionaire’s slide deck from his talk, below:
Our CEO Keith Smith was also a speaker this year and he talked about internet promiscuity and how gamification can turn infrequent visitors into engaged brand ambassadors. With so many options online, marketers need to give users extra incentives tor return and engage. Using game mechanics to encourage users towards desired actions and rewarding them for those actions, is a proven way to build engagement and customer loyalty in today’s tough market. The keys to loyalty and engagement according to Keith; Easy user onboarding, create yearn, reward and social integration.
Keith Smith speaks at Gamification Summit
You can check out the slides from his talk below:
While we mostly focus on creating fun on the web, we also like to bring fun on the road. This year we decided to give out 10 limited edition marshmallow guns to attendees at the conference. Check out a few of the lucky winners, including Caroline Japic, Senior VP of Marketing @ Bunchball. We had a ton of fun putting these together and even more fun playing with them ourselves. If you won one we would love to see some photos!
We had a ton of fun this year and can’t wait to attend again. What were your favorite moments of Gamification Summit?
Happy Monday! There was plenty of news to take a look at this week, from a study on brand loyalty to recaps from Gamification Summit 2012. If you missed out on any gamification news last week, you can catch up on our favorite links below.
Study: Loyal Customers Are More Effective Advocates in Social MarketingCMO.com 6/21/2012 We like to talk a lot about increasing loyalty and creating loyal customers, but we often don’t talk about the benefits associated with having a loyal customer base. This study takes a look at the effect of loyal customers on brand sales and marketing. The benefits seem to come from every angle; loyal customers who authentically recommended a brand had a larger impact than those who did not. Additionally, “advocacy programs focusing on loyal customers increased sales by an average of eight percent.” These are great reasons to focus on creating customer loyalty, and gamification is a great way to do that.
Gamification: It’s Like Playing Diablo For Everything You DoTom’s Guide 6/23/2012 While we don’t necessarily agree that gamification is the same as playing Diablo (but boy do we wish it was!), this article has a ton of great content on what gamification really means, and why it works so well. One of the benefits of gamification is the strong connection to analytics, allowing publishers to “expose users not by what they claim they do, but what they actually do.”
Gamification Day Two: Engage Your Audience, Your Kids and Your BrainFora.tv 6/22/2012 Fora.tv did a great job covering the 2012 Gamification Summit. In addition to providing videos of all the great speakers, they also ran some summaries during the event. We particularly liked this one highlighting Chamillionaire and his challenges in fan engagement. He talks about what he wanted and how he found the solution with a BigDoor Gamified Rewards Program. You can watch the full video of his talk on Fora.tv as well.
Keith Smith’s Gamification Deck at Vator SparkVator News 6/20/2012 Vator kindly uploaded Keith Smith’s deck from his talk on monetization at Vator Spark a few months back. Keith focused on how gamification can be monetized and what is important for a successful gamification solution. If you are interested, or you missed the updates from the Vator Spark conference, this is a great chance to catch up.
BigDoor has arrived at Gamification Summit 2012! For those of you who haven’t heard of Gamification Summit, it’s an event that brings together gamification, loyalty and behavioral engineering experts to talk and share information and ideas. The conference kicked off today with two workshops where attendees could earn a certificate in Gamification Design. You can check out more details about the workshops and the conference at www.gsummit.com.
Tomorrow, the conference will launch into full swing with a variety of speakers whose expertise ranges from game design to social media marketing. Our Business Development team is hanging out at the BigDoor booth waiting to answer questions, talk gamification and hand out some pretty cool stuff (including some awesome marshmallow guns to a few lucky winners). If you are at the conference, be sure to swing by and say hi.
On Thursday, our CEO Keith Smith will be delivering a talk entitled “Internet Infidelity: Using Gamification to Cure Online Promiscuity“. He will take a look at the ever growing problem of retaining quality online users. He will also discuss the gamification industry and provide best practices and advice for how gamification can help online publishers to create loyal and repeat visitors. He will be speaking in Room B at 2:25pm 6/21.
Chamillionaire will be also be attending Gamification Summit to discuss his “Direct to Fan Engagement” program. Chamillionaire’s Chamillitary social network has significantly improved fan engagement on his website. He will talk about the needs of artists to connect with fans as well as how he chose BigDoor as a gamification provider. You can catch his talk 6/21 at 10:25am on the main stage.
To set up a meeting with one of our gamification experts at the BigDoor booth, you can email us at: Charlotte@BigDoor.com
We can’t wait to post updates and photos from the event, stay tuned for our recap at the end of the week!
Yesterday our Co-Founder and CEO, Keith Smith had the opportunity to participate in the Vator Spark conference presented by Vator News. The event was titled “Get Game: How to Gamify your startup” and it brought together entrepreneurs, VC’s, startup enthusiasts and more to the Berkeley Skydeck. Keith was invited to share his own thoughts on gamification and presented a talk entitled “Monetization: The Love Child of Gamification and Rewards.” As we see it, gamification and rewards can really drive monetization. One of our principles from early on has been that gamification should be a profit center not a cost center. We believe the keys to monetizing gamification is to create yearn, or as Keith puts it “Yearn matters. Without a deep desire on the part of your users, you are left with uninspired and uninterested users.”
So how do you create that yearn? Yesterday Keith shared a few tips from the BigDoor wheelhouse:
1) Onboarding – First impressions matter a lot. Websites often invite users to their site and then don’t give them any ideas about how to interact with their content. Gamification can help users navigate a site through directed user engagement. Tell users what’s important when they first come to your site.
2) Rewards matter – Tell your users why they should stick around on your site. Reward users with something that’s important to them and give them the incentives for being there.
3) Virtual Currency – A redeemable virtual currency makes for a wonderful means to an end. Giving users small, incremental rewards in the form of points makes it so they actually have a reason to participate and be there. Points become meaningful for the user because of what they can be traded for.
We love having the opportunity to send our developers off to conferences to learn more, as well as come back with some new ideas. Last week, we sent developer Lee McFadden down to Santa Clara, CA for Pycon 2012. He was kind enough to give us an update on the conference for today’s blog post.
“Last week I attended my very first PyCon, where BigDoor was a Silver sponsor. The conference was the biggest PyCon ever, with an initial target of 1500 attendees and an actual attendance of over 2500 Python hackers from around the world. Lots of records were broken, and the introduction to the conference was very cool with some NAO robots kicking things off: http://pyvideo.org/video/624/introduction-and-welcome
I learned a hell of a lot and met some awesome people. Even better, Pycon made most of the talks available online, so even if you weren’t there, you can still experience many of the talks. You can see a database of all the available videos here but I have listed some of my favorites below:
I attended DevOps for Python: Doing more with less. Aside from the fact that I was enjoying the Ruby bashing during the tutorial, this was very helpful for me to get my hands dirty with Chef and I learned how Fabric complements Chef extremely well. In Noah’s words, “Fabric is the yang to Chef’s yin”.
Throwing together distributed services with gevent was a great talk which gave example usages of the gservice framework for creating services. It’s fun to see how people solve these scalability issues using technologies we’re using in house or have a decent familiarity with.
In a similar vein, the “Build reliable, traceable, distributed systems with ZeroMQ” session was also fairly cool and highlights the power of ZeroMQ – unfortunately the examples were few and far between, but it gave good insight into the decision making process in putting together distributed services.
Practicing Continuous Deployment confirmed to me that we’re on the right track with our efforts in this direction. Disqus have about the same number of engineers as us and they seem to hold very similar philosophies on testing and deployment in general. There are things to be learned here for sure.
This talk also highlighted Phabricator, which I could see BigDoor working with. It’s self-hosted, free, integrates with Git, has (what seems to be) good issue/task tracking, great code reviews and allows developers to doalmost anything which can be done from the web interface from the command line so there’s much less of a context switch when setting up reviews etc.
Scalability at YouTube is one to watch. I met Mike wandering around later that day and we had a great talk about BigDoor, gamification and our product as a whole. He has some great insight about the decisions they made and things they might have done differently.
Flexing SQLAlchemy’s Relational Power - While we don’t currently use SQLAlchemy much, we’ve talked about using it in the past. I love SA and used it for a few years before coming to BigDoor, and I’m hoping this will make you love SA too . SA is, without a doubt, the best-of-breed SQL toolkit available for Python (and potentially any language).
Of special note was TiP BoF (Testing in Python – Birds of a Feather). The BoF sessions are run by anyone with a subject they think will be of interest to others, but TiP BoF has become infamous. It’s generally tangentially related to testing, there is pizza and booze, and not being sober is almost a prerequisite for standing up and doing a talk. Lots of laughter is involved and every so often you learn something too - I highly recommend it.
Finally, the event was a HUGE SUCCESS. I had a blast and will be going again next year for sure. A big thanks to the organizers of Pycon, who were great to work with and put on a fantastic event, as well as all the attendees and speakers who had so much great information to share.”
Last week Geekwire, Seattle’s own independent technology news website celebrated their first birthday. In true Geekwire style they threw a great birthday party and networking event at the eekwire Summit. The theme for the event was “How to stay innovative in a world of technological change.” BigDoor’s own Director of Analytics, Sean Zhong, attended the event and gives us today’s blog post recap:
“I found the conversations at the Geekwire Summit to be the most interesting. Ray Ozzie kicked things off with a discussion about his fascination with the multitude of new technologies available today. Ozzie proposes that these new technologies lowered the barriers of entry and made it much easier for startups to compete against established companies.
In addition to Ozzie, there was a panel discussion about the future of mobile. The panel included executives from T-mobile, Rhapsody, Swype, Z2live. There was also a panel about creating sustained innovation that included Ed Lazowska of UW, MS FUSE, Facebook, Venture (Hadi Partovi), Farecast. Facebook’s Engineering Director, Jocelyn Goldfein, talked more about their culture: the word “process” is dirty; how they maintain a startup culture in a large company with small and highly effective teams; 1 person was responsible for the development of Facebook voice chat; less specs and more iteration. Hadi predicted that in the next 10 to 15 years, medicare has the greatest potential for innovation.
Overall, I’d say the event was very well organized. The informal format worked very well to give us a wide perspective on some hot topics.”
Happy Monday. It’s pretty dreary in Seattle today, which is the perfect weather to grab a cup of coffee and catch up on gamification news from last week!
Hidden Crush Introduces Romance 2.0 and Gamification to the Floral IndustryPR Leap 2/29/2012 The business of love has taken a step towards gamification with Hidden Crush’s new gift-giving experience. Users can pick a Facebook friend to send flowers and upon receipt of the gift, the giver can choose to reveal their identity through a game plugin offered on Facebook. This is a great use of social media and game mechanics to alter a real world experience.
Roccat Gamifies its Next Mouse With 4000 dpi SensorTom’s Hardware 3/1/2012 We don’t normally look at new product releases, but the new Roccat mouse with 4000 dpi sensor caught our eye. The mouse itself looks pretty exciting, but it came with the announcement than Roccat will be adding gamification to promote engagement with the hardware. Details about the rewards system are scheduled to be released 3/6/2012. We can’t wait to read more details!