Game-Based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges, and Contests

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 9, 2010 - Business & Economics - 288 pages
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Harness the power of games to create extraordinary customer engagement with Game-Based Marketing.

Gamification is revolutionizing the web and mobile apps.

Innovative startups like Foursquare and Swoopo, growth companies like Gilt and Groupon and established brands like United Airlines and Nike all agree: the most powerful way to create and engage a vibrant community is with game mechanics. By leveraging points, levels, badges, challenges, rewards and leaderboards – these innovators are dramatically lowering their customer acquisition costs, increasing engagement and building sustainable, viral communities.

Game-Based Marketing unlocks the design secrets of mega-successful games like Zynga’s Farmville, World of Warcraft, Bejeweled and Project Runway to give you the power to create winning game-like experiences on your site/apps. Avoid obvious pitfalls and learn from the masters with key insights, such as:

  • Why good leaderboards shouldn’t feature the Top 10 players.
  • Most games are played as an excuse to socialize, not to achieve.
  • Status is worth 10x more than cash to most consumers.
  • Badges are not enough: but they are important.
  • You don’t need to offer real-world prizing to run a blockbuster sweepstakes.

And learn even more:

  • How to architect a point system that works
  • Designing the funware loop: the basics of points, badges, levels, leaderboards and challenges
  • Maximizing the value and impact of badges
  • Future-proofing your design
  • Challenging users without distraction

Based on the groundbreaking work of game expert and successful entrepreneur Gabe Zichermann, Game-Based Marketing brings together the game mechanics expertise of a decade’s worth of research. Driven equally by big companies, startups, 40-year-old men and tween girls, the world is becoming increasingly more fun.

Are you ready to play?


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People play games – online, on phones, on game consoles – everywhere. Industry expert Gabe Zichermann, in collaboration with pop culture writer Joselin Linder, tells you how to engage your customers through interactive game play and take advantage of this growing trend. While Zichermann’s book gives readers a head start on exploring game-related marketing, the author unfortunately refers to Frequent Flyer Programs, "World of Warcraft" and even Webkinz without explaining how they work. Zichermann details the growth of gaming and explores the use of “Funware” – the word he coined for using games in a business context. getAbstract finds that this invitation to the playground is an appropriate opening move for those interested in adding gaming elements to their marketing mix.
More about this book:


The Argument for Loyalty
Putting Fun into Everything
Game Mechanics
Points and Beyond
Prizes and Games of Chance
Frequent Flyer
Designing the Frequent Flyer Massive
Benefits of Status
Challenges and Contests
Know Thy Player
Generation G
Generating Loyalty
Playing Together

The Solution Is Virtual Goods

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About the author (2010)

Gabe Zichermann is the father of Funware theory and CEO of beamME—the world's most popular mobile networking platform for professionals. He is a twelve-year game-industry veteran, having worked for CMP Media as the director of marketing for the Game Developers Conference, Gamasutra, and Game Developer magazine, as well as helping to launch and guide Trymedia Systems from start to sale as the first successful online game DRM and distribution company. A resident of New York City, Gabe blogs about games and society at

Joselin Linder is a pop culture writer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

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