Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems.
At MultiView, we are all in sales, but for the employees who aren’t making phone calls to potential advertisers, there are times some staff feel they cannot relate to the thrill of a big sale. Operations staff are busy on a daily basis to create and maintain the products that the sales reps sell ads in and around, and sometimes may not be aware who the top reps are for the month, or how the past few days of sales went.
People are naturally competitive. Whether it’s athletics, problem solving, or just eating more than others, people don’t like losing. Playing games that everyone has a fair chance of winning evens the playing field, and it is up to strategy and a little bit of luck to beat your opponents. After hearing some employees discuss their Fantasy Football success over a weekend, the idea to use this concept at MultiView made too much sense to not act on it.
For anyone not familiar with fantasy sports, this is very popular concept where you become a general manager of a team of professional athletes for a given sport. You draft your players and earn points from a few categories of statistics from their games. In our case, we had 40 operations staff employees become GMs of a team of sales reps. They received points if their sales reps hit over 120 minutes each day, for sales under and over $1,500, and even earned points if their drafted sales team was the top team of the day.
The results from the season were better than I could have ever expected. Soon after the draft was over, each GM let their sales reps (players) know they drafted them, and instantly invested themselves as supporters (fans) of their players. They sent inspirational messages on a daily basis to their drafted sales reps (team), congratulated them on sales (points), and even rewarded their teams with food, coffee, and gifts (spiffs).
The operations staff began communicating with more people on the sales floor than they did before, while also engaging in friendly competition with opponents in their departments for a playoff spot. They began monitoring the sales dashboard and motivating their team to hit their minutes. Yells of excitement started coming from operations when sales from across the office or other floors were made, and that was only the half of it.
Players who were drafted received a boost of confidence in themselves, while also keeping in mind that they were earning money (playing) for someone else besides themselves and the company. They had a new fan to make proud, and were receptive to this challenge. Some players even told me that if they didn’t make a sale one day, stayed late to ensure they would hit their minutes to earn some points for their GM. Sometimes staying late those days turned into sales. Some players who were not drafted, said they had something to prove, and strove to have a big month to prove why they should have been drafted, which leads to a bigger effort to more money for themselves and MultiView.
This concept is called gamification, and basically it is the application of game-design thinking can make anything more fun and engaging. The MultiView study proved that this works, and now we can continue to utilize gamification across the company, or even outside of work. You can make anything more engaging, so why wait? Implement today, or run the risk of missing out on increased productivity and interest.
Attention all MultiView employees in our Irving office! You have done it. You have landed an awesome career. You are a MultiView employee. You are AWESOME. You can prove it, and here’s how: MultiView Open House.
What’s that, you say? Well, here’s your chance to show off your professional digs! This Thursday, December 5th, invite your family, friends and significant others to MultiView. There will be office tours, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Dan Maitland, President of MultiView will also be speaking at the open house.
So, here are the important deets:
Event: MultiView Open House
Date: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: MultiView Office, 7701 Las Colinas Ridge Blvd., Suite 800, Irving, TX 75063
Everyone planning to attend should RSVP, even if you don’t plan to bring a guest! Click here to RSVP.
Things to do before Thursday:
- Invite your people to impress (mom, dad, sister, boyfriend, best friend, all of the above… go!)
- Pick out your cute Thursday outfit… or maybe that’s the way my brain works. Hm.
- Hit your desk with a Clorox wipe. I mean seriously—no one thinks the crumbly remains of the cheese balls you decimated last Tuesday are cute. No one.
There you have it. See you and your posse on Thursday evening for the MultiView Open House!
We all know that it’s best practice to have opt-in e-mail subscriptions, but we don’t all know how to increase our database of subscribers. There’s no replacement for creating awesome content that people want to read and share, but they may never know about your content if you don’t get any subscribers. In addition to always having a clear and visible way for your site’s users to opt-in, here are three ways that may help you attract more readers.
Make a statement. Upworthy.com does an excellent job with this. Upon going to their site, random visitors are met with a pop up screen that looks like this:
And after agreeing, they’ll give you the option to subscribe, making you feel like you’re becoming a part of something bigger than yourself.
Offer coupons or discounts to subscribers. Many companies do this already; and that’s because it works. I can’t count on two hands how many e-mail newsletters I have signed up for to receive discounts. This is especially evident during the holiday season. If you’re not offering discounts to your subscribers and you sell a physical product, you’re missing out.
Make it a game. Sephora recently pushed a Fall promotion to increase their e-mail subscription base by creating a game on their website. The game is called BeautyFall, and when you put your e-mail address in the form, a ball is released from the top and it bounces around like the Plinko game on the Price is Right. The ball will land in one of three spots: 10% off, free shipping or free samples. This doesn’t cost Sephora much, and to receive these gifts, you must make a purchase. It’s a win-win, really.
Originally, today’s blog post was going to be the typical, “What are you thankful for?” post. After all, Thanksgiving is in two days, and it gives everyone the warm fuzzies. Then I had a little inspiration come to my email inbox at about 8am today…so the Thanksgiving post will have to wait!
One of my dear friends over at Memberclicks, Sarah Hill (who I fondly refer to as, “my sister from another mister”), wrote a great blog post this morning about reaching your members over the holidays. As both of our companies work closely with trade associations, we get the inside scoop on what makes them tick. Sarah’s post from this morning is perfectly timed, highlighting why it’s difficult to reach out to association members during the holidays, why you SHOULD reach out to association members at this time and how to go about it.
I’m going to expand on Sarah’s blog post and talk about reaching customers during the holidays as a sales professional. Whether working in sales for an association or for any other business, selling products and/or services over the phone or in person, you know as a sales professional that getting ahold of your clients can be a daunting task during the holiday season. The good news is, you can prevail if you put your mind to it!
Below are some strategies and tips on reaching potential customers at the office and beating the holiday sales slump:
1. Capitalize on the holiday spirit. People are typically in a good mood during the holidays because they are focusing on family and their home. What does that mean for you as a sales professional? It means you can be a lot more light-hearted in your conversations because both sides excited about the same thing- a break from work for a couple of days and getting to stuff your face full of delicious food! If you focus on this, you may find reaching your decision maker and getting an answer a little bit easier of a task. Besides, if they make a decision now, it’s one less thing they have on their plates upon walking into the office after the holidays!
2. Remember that most departments within companies are trying to spend this year’s remaining budget, as well as planning for next year. Buyers are typically given an annual budget to spend. If they don’t spend ALL of that budget by the time they roll into next year’s budget, guess what?! They don’t get as big of a budget the following year. No one wants that! So if they have some extra dollars to spend, you want to be that contender for their business. Also, as Sarah pointed out in her post, it is important to be built into next year’s budget plan!
3. Don’t worry about what you can’t control. What do you do if the office or person you are trying to reach is unavailable because of the holidays? You put a note in the account to call on them afterward, and then move on to the next call. The more calls you make (whether on the phone or in person), the more decision makers you will reach; so don’t waste time fretting about who you cannot reach, and focus on who you CAN reach today.
What are some of the ways you reach your customers during the holidays? What works for you? I’d love to see some suggestions in the comments below!
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve noticed that more and more people are using smart phones to access information from all over the world. In the U.S. alone, 56% of the population owns a smart phone. What does this mean for your business? You both have the opportunity to gain new customers and, on the flip side, the opportunity to lose existing customers. Here are a couple of ways to increase the former and decrease the latter:
- Create either a mobile site or a responsive site to make it easier for mobile users to view your content on the go. Right now, responsive sites are all the rage. They are easier to maintain and are aesthetically pleasing on computers, tablets, and phones. The downfall? They can be costly to create. Mobile sites are a quick and can be fairly inexpensive way to get up and running to reach the mobile world. You can go about this one of two ways: 1) Simplify your page designs or 2) Create a separate site that is mobile friendly. The only problem with this is that you’re going to have to maintain a second domain, which may hurt your organic search results and cause you to maintain two separate silos of content. Either way, you need one of these to stay in front of your audience (especially during the holiday season).
- Build an app. This is another chance to brand your company and get in front of hundreds of thousands of potential customers. Several stores have apps that are simple, but give users a reason to go to their store. Hobby Lobby, for example, has a basic app that includes a 40% off coupon that you can use at the register from your phone. They may take a hit on one regularly priced item, but every time you look at your phone, you will see their company logo.
-Start an SMS campaign. While you’re collecting your customers’ e-mail address and other vital information, why not collect their mobile number (with their permission, of course)? This is an easy way to occasionally get directly in front of your audience. While e-mail providers like Gmail have filtered most promotional e-mails to a new tab, reducing the overall open rates, people are still checking their text messages. Scotty P’s Hamburgers launched a text messaging campaign in 2010 and were able to target customers during lunch hours based on which location they frequented. They saw a 12% response rate with zero opt outs. With this technology costing so little, they saw a 1,650% ROI.
There are a million and one ways to reach your audience while they’re away from their desktop. Don’t be afraid to try something new and see what works. Let us know what other ways you are targeting mobile devices from mobile friendly e-mails, website design, apps, or anything else you have come up with!