The Gamifiers: making business fun
The Gamifiers participate in Dubai Lynx
We've all been there, dragging ourselves through another long day at work doing routine tasks that kill creativity and damage our performance.
This is where gamification steps in, merging tasks with games, and where entrepreneurs such as Sherif Dahan (see below) and Yehia El-Katib are building businesses.
They launched digital gamification agency The Gamifiers in 2013, which uses the engaging elements of gaming to design digital solutions for companies that want an edge.
"We launched our company to use gaming techniques to provide digital solutions for marketing campaigns, product development processes, customer service activities and others," Dahan, the startup’s CEO, told Wamda.
The Gamifiers offer a wide array of services from consulting and providing technical solutions, to developing games, programs and mobile apps.
Companies seeking to add a competitive edge to their customer loyalty programs are now using gamification tools to achieve higher customer interaction and create ‘addictive’ habits. This strategy is based on factors such as point scoring, competing with others, competitions and prizes, all of which can be applied in any industry.
In fact, gamification is used in some of the most influential websites worldwide, such as TripAdvisor, Linkedin, Nike, and the UAE government's official website, and in 2012 the consultancy PWC predicted the gamification market would be worth $2.8 billion by 2016.
In recent reports, global IT research and advisory firm Gartner predicted that by next year, marketing companies and international brands would be using gamification as an essential marketing tool to gain clients' trust.
A couple of Egyptian boys in Dubai
When asked about their choice of location, Dahan said that "we chose Dubai because it Is considered the heart of the gulf, especially when it comes to business".
"It's also the location of many digital agencies who benefit from the gamification technique. Asides from the fact that the UAE was the first to initiate an e-government idea, and, recently, a smart government initiative."
Indeed The Gamifier's location in Dubai was key to acquiring exclusive partnerships with several regional companies, as well as leading US business gamification company Badgeville.
The biggest challenge for the team was getting their initial product out into the market. A lot of time was invested in raising awareness around gamification as a concept and talking to potential clients.
"When our clients started seeing results, The Gamifiers had a surge of popularity through word of mouth," according to Dahan.
A potential employee who takes gaming seriously? (Image via Salesforce)
Giving back to the ecosystem
The founders want to give back to the startup ecosystem by building several channels for their upcoming service, an SME support platform that loosely translates as: "from entrepreneurs back and forth".
The team is focused on the analytics and results of their services, relying on periodical tracking of numbers and reports to improve their performance and reach their target goals.
"Gamification focuses on improving the psychological factor for employees, especially in circumstances where it's difficult for companies to provide monetary prizes," Dahan said. “For example, gain the title of fastest employee of the month, to create a competitive atmosphere in the company."
The company plans to expand to other countries in the region but won’t give specifics on which one will be next.
"Our expansion plans are divided into two segments," Dahan said. "The first is geographical, by taking [on] more locations in the region by next year, and the other is constant development of our services and targeting the largest possible number of international clients in order to achieve our highest goals, this in turn benefits the whole sector in the region."
As to whether The Gamifiers will find readiness and support in the business sector to change the face of marketing and transforming work productivity in the region, is a fact that remains to be seen.