Solutions for Memberships, communities and associations
Starting and stimulating a community, membership, association is often the best solution for a specific target group. But once started, what often happens is that engagement or real use of the knowledge base, benefits, services etc is lacking. Joining a community can be just by default because you chose to live in a certain area, attend a school or university or work in a particular organisation or it can be quite intentional where the individual actively chose to become part of a group for a specific reason. The reason why they joined, may well be totally different than the reason why they stay in the group.
With gamification based on human centred design we will always start by asking you to complete a member profile, so you understand the motivational drivers of your members from their perspective. Once this is completed gamification and narrative can often assist in encouraging participation and increasing the feeling of being part of something worthwhile that is to benefit of members. In online environments we can observe by setting a number of pre-defined actions, what members are actually doing and how that varies with the objectives you have set.
The nature of learning communities is that people joined them with the intention to learn, whether by opting in through a bought membership or by default because they belong to a course, educational facility or organisation. If a learner can apply the learning to their situation or discuss different context on where concepts may be applied, then deeper learning takes place. Kickstarting the discussion is the hardest part in these communities and keeping the conversation going the second thing to manage. Gamification can drive some of this engagement.
Knowledge based support forums
Online you will find a support forum for most technical applications and if a specific product forum doesn’t exist there are plenty of communities of practitioners in the field will use. If you intend on starting these forums there are some great practices that have over time proven to work and equally there are things such as making contributing safe and rewarding that can be put in place to encourage maximum participation. Gamification and curation in our view can help significantly.
Online membership communities are springing up quite a lot on a variety of topics. Sometimes they follow the structure of a learning community and sometimes they are more cause based. Either way it is a business model that is actively driving how online business is done. Knowing how to attract, onboard, engage and retain members is vital. Gamification can assist in each of the steps, once we know what motivates your members. and if you are not sure we can help you find out.
Business and membership associations
Associations have often been set up to address the needs of a specific group of either businesses or even a specific cause or concern. The reason why people join may vary largely, so understanding your audience is critical to creating an environment where individuals feel they can belong and find something of value to them. Communicating what is on offer is another challenge and then engaging members to participate in offers, events, contributions etc is the next step. Some associations have traditionally been very good at it, we keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t. Gamification can definitely provide a thread that people can follow to first of all join and secondly participate.
Fans of a sport, a brand, a celebrity, a game, a cause etc all follow a similar pattern of wanting to be closely associated with something or having experienced something in common. The level of buy-in and loyalty of these types of groups is higher than most and also runs deeper in emotions. Providing opportunities to engage is key for community engagement. When you already have active engagement, we would say keep up the good work. If however you would like to extend it further or build an active plan then we can certainly give some gamified ideas to make it work.
Business outcomes and scope of projects
- Understand business objectives
- Scope of project
- Key Performance Indicators
Understanding your target audience
- User research (surveys, focus groups, analytics)
- Motivational drivers
- Experience mapping
- Collaborative and iterative design process (workshops, journey building)
- High level concept
- Detailed gamification design
- Wireframe and prototype
- Ongoing monitoring
- Feedback to keep engagement high