A study I recently read focused on teens using social media. The teens tent to put the settings on ‘private’, but they have a large network of so called friends with whom they still share their every move. Teens today are sharing far more information than 10 years ago. A possible cause for this, is the evolution of platforms. If a friend has a profile on, for example, Facebook, you definitely should create one too, right?!
There seems to be not much difference between boys and girls about sharing their information, except for sharing a phone number with Facebook. Girls are more hesitant to share their phone number, where boys seem to not really care and share it anyways. The study also showed that Facebook is more popular with teens, with an average of 300 friends. On Twitter, the average amount of followers is ‘only’ 79.
The teens indicate that they don’t have any concerns about third parties getting access to their data. They say that the privacy settings on Facebook are “not difficult at all” to use. May I question if they really know what they are doing? As a Facebook user myself, finding the privacy settings is easy. But managing all parties having access to my data on Facebook is a whole other story. By logging in to websites or apps, using my Facebook, the third party gets my information. What are they going to do with that information? I don’t know… What is Facebook doing with my information? Probably a lot that I don’t want to know (yes, I should care but I find it too scary to know what companies are doing with my information). The teens that say that they are confident that their information is save because of the “privacy settings” should look around in the media and listen to what Facebook, and other social media websites, are doing.
Your bank is probably playing a game with you. Game designers are attracted to give the feeling to customers that saving money is attractive. Customers, or players, can earn points by saving dollars, achieve milestones and many more. Banks use this technique to make personal finance fun. It is debatable if this is ethically appropriate. Banks are cross-selling more products because that will seem to help the customer to get more out of the game. Is this just playing dirty games with vulnerable people, or are banks doing something good by helping customers saving more money?
According to research by global marketing company Upstream, it is very effective to use games, or gamification in marketing techniques. By making a game out of the product which a company wants to sell, they get more attention from potential buyers. The company gets a better connection to the customers this way. But strangely, not many companies are using this technique. This is probably caused by the fact that 64% of the respondents in the study (all marketers) did not know what gamification is. Do you know what it entails? Let’s just give a definition by Wikipedia: “Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.” So this is exactly what the bank, as described earlier, is doing.
Aside from using gamification as a marketing technique, it can also be used as a teaching/learning method. Some teachers use it to tackle real world problems like climate change or poverty. The students are challenged through games to come up with possible solutions for long term problems. Gamification is used in education to motivate students to think about problems. It engages the student more to come up with ideas and it generates more creative ideas that might work even better than solutions found by scientists.
By highlighting the commercial side as well as the noncommercial side of gamification, I personally think that it is a good technique that can be used in many situations. Even though the first paragraph may be perceived as negative, I still think that gamification can bring a lot of positive things for consumers. As for banks, motivating people to save more money is still a good thing, notwithstanding the fact that the bank gets benefits from it too.