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Crowdfunding & Gamification: New Marketing Channel

Published on Nov 06, 2015

Crowdfunding's real explosion will come at the enterprise level. Combine with advanced loyalty and gamification crowdfunding becomes a new marketing channel.



Crowdfunding + Gamification = New Marketing Channel
Photo by Adam Crowe

Crowdfunding & gamification

  • Crowdfunding sources large pools of "investors". 
  • Investors (customers) want to JOIN. 
  • Cash + Feedback + Advocacy = gamified investment.
  • Investment = ante (to JOIN). 
  • 2+ Gamified Investments = COMMUNITY. 
Crowdfunding creates the "game play" for some of the most robust gamification.

Gamified inestment creates community.

Community creates scale.

Scale creates ROI and a new round of products and gamification (i.e. more game play).

More game play is secret goal of all great and enduring gamification.
Photo by nicolasnova


Ante = trade valuable time, advocacy, shares, cash.
Crowdsourced players "self identify" with advocacy, social shares, content creation, User Generated Content and cash.

Important to reward every "investment".
Photo by Great Beyond


Ante creates "LIKE ME" tribe.
Games are great "social identifiers" segmenting "players" from all others. Once an ante is provided, in any form, a visitor has walked across the "game line" becoming a player and a tribe member.
Photo by Dietmar Temps


Tribe creates social competition.
The second stage of crowdsourced gamification is to create "horse races" within the tribe. Important to race apples against apples and not apples against bull dozers. Each player must feel as if they can accomplish their goals.

See Scoop.it community for this idea of segmented leaderboards handled perfectly.
Photo by nosha


Friendly competition creates community.
Nothing knits a community faster than a shared challenge as long as the challenge is a stretch but winning is possible. Slaughter only creates misery.

Slaughter with a hint of how to work out the problem, something video games do so well, is gamification genius.

Community needs challenge to knit together, create scale, refine advocacy and achieve reward.
Photo by wilderness140


Community creates fast feedback & pre-sale product acceptance.
Community born from ante providing gamers and welded with competition create fast feedback loops and speed product acceptance.


Scale rewards "early adopters". 
An early adopter must be confirmed frequently or the community can implode. One confirmation is SCALE.

This is whey a scale counter is a great idea especially if exponential growth is happening. Nothing makes online growth speed up more than the evidence of growth.
Photo by Leo Reynolds


Early adopters become brand advocates.
Play should be combined with "a job" or early adopters may leave after achieving initial objectives (FourSquare's Mayor or reward burned out since it was insufficient to maintain game play by itself).

The "job" for most early adopters is to become "brand advocates" and "hall monitors". Good idea to give real responsibility to early adopters as they transfer from game play to game monitors and UGC contributors.
Photo by rishibando


Games Create Acceptance, User Generated Content & More Play.
The not so hidden secret of great business gamification is the real goal is to heighten the desire for more game play. The risk is rewards will need to ramp in a way that can wreck a business P&L or be insufficient as "continue play" rewards.

Finding the balance between rewards, reward sequence and the mix between social and material reward is highly variable and based on things like why the game is being played in the first place (what psychological need is being met).
Photo by Leo Reynolds


Play Strengthens & Grows Community = More PLAY.
Play can be a constructive or destructive force. If more play weakens or implodes the reward system more play was harmful (except in tuning the system).

More play should always create greater circles of ante (advocacy, shares, cash). When in doubt give more and more of a game's framework over to early adopters who've moved into hall monitor and contributor roles.


Shared Goals lowers risks, increases success.
Any gamified crowdfuding should proceed faster and faster. If speed slows look for a wobble and test to tune it out.
Photo by John-Morgan


Product Development: Faster, Better, Less.
One of the hardest Internet marketing lessons is the product you THINK you are creating is secondary to your ability to create any online marketing. Online marketing is a complicated branching process that takes amazing timing, skills, experience and luck. The most valuable engine is not what most teams think they are creating - a website about something. The most valuable product is always a team capable of understanding the web well enough to create anything at all.
Photo by Ian A Kirk.


Products = "Creation Engine".
The real product is always YOU and your teammates.
Photo by terriem

Virtual Cycles

Each Engine Cycle = Better, Faster, Less.
Photo by Leo Reynolds

Martin W. Smith