This update is in continuation with my earlier post. I would like to share an interesting case study from Autodesk on leveraging gamification to change user behavior. We can draw plenty of lessons for applying similar techniques in delivering learning content or training.
Let’s look at what Autodesk has done to increase trail downloads of 3ds Max, a product that is not as popularly known as AutoCAD. The challenge in this case was that people were not willing to try 3ds Max (in large enough numbers) even when offered as a free limited time evaluation copy. According to Dawn Wolfe, Sr. Manager of Integrated Marketing Programs at Autodesk, they tacked the challenge in two steps. One of the first things Autodesk did to rectify the situation was to offer additional information such as “how to use” videos, tutorials, access to user community in the sign-up page. This change alone increased the free evaluation subscription rates to go up by 14%.
Autodesk took this initiative to the next level, by applying the gamification model to the entire trial usage experience. The objective of this approach was to:
1. Increase engagement
2. Guide experience
3. Highlight features that sell the product
4. Make the value proposition visceral
5. Bring in an element of fun
All registered trail users find themselves playing a game that guides them through the product features, pushes them to take certain actions to unlock new parts of the game, and allows them to compete with one another in a game like environment. The concept also tied in very well with the usage context for Autodesk products like 3ds Max and the target demographics of potential 3ds Max customers.
The result of this exercise was a 40% increase in trial downloads for 3ds Max. The jury is still out on whether the increase in trail downloads increases sales conversions at the end of the trial period. But this is indeed a result that any marketer would die for.
From a training delivery point of view, one of the immediate challenges that we can tackle through gamification would be to increase online course completion rates. Many a times, companies struggle to get employees to go through mandatory online courses. Gamification could be a useful tool that can push employees to voluntarily take up such courses. Of course, this has to be done carefully by employing the right tool-set of motivational carrots, and the right set of challenges and competition to encourage healthy participation.