Psyched Up: Game On

Interactive content is proven to increase engagement, click-through, and conversion rates… but why? In this three-post series, we’ll be exploring the inner workings of the consumer mind and the psychological concepts that explain why interactive content makes scientific sense. In post 3 of 3, we’ll be talking about the power of gamification. If you missed posts 1 of 3 and 2 of 3, check them out!

How much do you enjoy brushing your teeth? You probably don’t think much of it; it’s a necessity, a part of your daily routine. But what if I told you that for every time you brushed your teeth, I would give you five points, and the more points you have, the closer you get to an end goal of a tropical vacation? I bet you’d suddenly take a lot more interest in brushing your teeth, right?

The process of turning a normally uninteresting task into a fun game is called gamification. The logic behind gamification is simple: people love playing games. It turns out, the end reward doesn’t even need to be monetary or material – ever take one of those “How Well Do You Know…” quizzes? Sometimes, the end reward is the knowledge that we have succeeded. I took this quiz for the sole purpose of seeing how much I know about the Harry Potter books, and am embarrassed to say that I scored a dismal 48%.

Why is it that when you turn a task into a game, people are motivated to do the task? It’s all thanks to a little thing called extrinsic motivation. When a reward that holds value to us (such as success, or a tropical vacation) is offered, we feel more motivated to complete a task (like brushing our teeth for that dream vacation). Of course, intrinsic motivation is preferable – to want to do something even when there is no reward is a stronger form of motivation than doing something because there is a reward offered. However, when the task is one that not many people are intrinsically motivated to do, external motivation is an effective tool to use.

So, how does this apply to interactive content?

Not many people are intrinsically motivated to tell a brand about their beliefs, desires, and preferences. So, why not gamify the experience? Check out how The Boston Globe used this gamification technique with their presidential debate quiz to motivate their customers, increase conversion rates, and ultimately improve the customer experience using psychographic data. 93% of people who started this quiz finished it, and half of them entered their email at the end for a chance to win a giftcard – some impressive numbers!


You’ve seen it in action- now harness the power of gamification for yourself! By creating an interactive content experience, you can make understanding your consumers fun and easy for them, and more beneficial for you.

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