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Start arrow Agenda arrow 22@Breakfast arrow Past Events arrow March 22@Update Breakfast
March 22@Update Breakfast
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GAMIFICATION, a new strategy for spreading information online

In recent years, social networks have consolidated their role as a tool for social and leisure communication. They have also become essential for companies, creating easy, dynamic links between products and clients. This innovative force of social networks, along with their more playful side, has given rise to new communication strategies related to games, Social Media Games. According to a study published in 2011 by Gartner Research, more than 50% of all organizations that manage innovation processes will “gamify” those processes, applying techniques and dynamics originally found in games, by 2025. This movement is called Gamification.

The guests invited to speak on this new strategy for spreading information online at the March 22@Update Breakfast were Pablo Lara, director of the UOC-Bdigital technology transfer center, and Adrián Martínez, head of Communication and Corporate Reputation at Sage.

The event was opened by Josep M. Vilà, president of the 22@Network, who reminded participants of the fruitful work being carried out in the 22@ district, exchanging experiences to benefit companies. Poblenou led the Industrial Revolution in Barcelona 150 years ago and it is now time for this area to spearhead the city’s technological development, explained Vilà.

Pablo Lara, director of the UOC-Bdigitaltechnology transfer center explained the meaning of the term Gamification and gave an overview of the possibilities this technique offers in areas like training or education, as well as its effectiveness in the field of advertising. Lara said that this new movement isn’t very well known yet but is opening market, a process that began with video and later continued on Facebook. Now, the network is opening up a new means of communication and promotion that adapts to the mechanisms of games. The concept of Gamification is just getting started. It isn’t even defined on Wikipedia yet, explained Pablo Lara.

Gamification applies game mechanics to non-game contexts and environments

Gamification applies game mechanics to non-game contexts and environments. Marketing is one area that can benefit from this new concept, but Gamification isn’t necessarily an advertisement for anything; it isn’t merely an advergaming. The idea is to make any experience into a game. The aim is to incentivize a specific behavior in the user, whether they are receiving information or carrying out some social, civic or private action.

Gamification means that we are moving towards a more recreational world. The group led by Pablo Lara explained some of the projects being carried out at UOC-Bdigital. The game of knowledge, for example, is carried out through a question/answer dynamic: if you respond correctly, you are rewarded with the knowledge you were seeking. At the UOC-Bdigital technology transfer center they are also developing a game to learn Spanish, Lost in La Mancha. This interactive game allows users to delve into a virtual world where they can put their language skills to the test. Gamification makes players choose where to go and interact in order to work as a team, online.

Adrián Martínez, head of Communication and Corporate Reputation for Sage, explained how his company has applied gaming strategies to promote their new products on social networks, and presented an example of this gamification: SageCity.

Sage, which has just recently moved into 22@, is a British company based in Newcastle. As Adrián Martínez explained, Sage Group is the global leader in software and services for companies and public administrations. They are present in 23 countries, with 13,400 employees and more than 6 million clients. In Spain, Sage has 1,400 employees and 354,000 clients. In Catalonia they employ 535 workers and have 85,449 clients.

“Markets are conversations”

Martínez explained that Sage is strongly committed to its clients. They offer extraordinary experiences that add value to any company. Sage is much more than management software, explained Adrián Martínez, it is a commitment to everything that surrounds it. One of their specialties is content-based marketing, which is where they apply the innovative concept of Gamification. “Markets are conversations” and the brand doesn’t just belong to the company, but to the public as a whole, to the social networks. It’s important to engage people on social networks and create a good reputation, as well as fostering user recommendations and loyalty on social networks. In 2.0, contents are king, added Adrián Martínez.

Sage Head of Communication and Corporate Reputation explained that Facebook is one of the most important search engines and has integrated Gamification to build community. This way, their services are more integrative and dynamic. By using this new concept of Gamification, Sage hopes to attract people through games, bringing more fun and motivating online applications to websites.

Adrián Martínez explained that ‘Sagecity’ is a virtual city that aims to project businesses as if they were toys. This virtual city has a mayor, residents and companies with a clear mission: to help real companies become more competitive. Martínez also said that he hopes to make SageCity a model for Smart Cities.

Through Gamification, Sage provides its clients with solutions for their products, services, training or consultancy needs. Games create solutions to these problems with imagination and creativity. SageCity was set in motion three months ago and in this time the number of fans has tripled. In the future, they expect to hold events and raise awareness of their clients’ businesses through games.

To finish off the event, Josep Miquel Piqué of the Barcelona City Council, explained that the results of the work done over these past years in the district is serving as a model for other cities in the world, highlighting visits from the mayors of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Taipei (Taiwan), who have come to get a first-hand look at how things are done in 22@. Moreover, on 22 March, Barcelona also hosted the Barcelona Creixement Board, the steering and monitoring body for the Barcelona Creixement program, which drives collective work carried out by the main economic stakeholders in the city in order to encourage economic growth. The sessions discussed, among other topics, a free-trade zone for the creators of mobile technology, facilitating an appropriate legal framework.

Josep Miquel Piqué reiterated 22@’s commitment to electric vehicles and to raising awareness of the values expressed in activities carried out in 22@, with the creation of itineraries to show off the district’s activities.

Josep Maria Vilà then announced a new initiative in the district that aims to attract Barcelona to 22@. It is called Àgora Barcelona and will schedule lunches with noteworthy figures from the world of technology that can contribute ideas. The first event will be held on 3 May and the guest of honor will be Mayor of Barcelona Xavier Trias.

Key ideas

-Right now, Gamification is trying to explain life in a more entertaining way. The Director of the UOC-Bdigital technology transfer center used the example of recycling to show how this concept can make boring, every-day activities more fun, leading to better results by motivating participants.

-Facebook is now one of the most important search engines and has integrated Gamification to build community. This way, their services are more integrative and dynamic.

Attendees speak

-This new concept of business communication, Gamification, is surprising. It can undoubtedly help us communicate with our clients; it’s a good way to break the ice and then to offer more detailed information on a product. Games bridge the gap but we have to offer quality contents to obtain high levels of loyalty.

-Even though I don’t want to, it’s true that we have to take social networks into account. It isn’t enough anymore to build a website with information about our company. Now we have to communicate the latest news constantly. We can't lose sight of our clients and they want answers immediately.


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