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Steve is CEO of Pug Interactive, a technology & design leader in engagement, retention, and community activation. He has 17+ years of direct experience in the video game industry, having designed and produced several AAA games for Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts, Sega and Ubisoft that have generated sales in excess of $650 million. He is frequently sought as a speaker, having spoken at Game Developer’s Conference, South by Southwest, SIGGRAPH, Banff New Media Festival, GameON Finance, nextMEDIA and several others. He also has enjoyed an amazing Lebanese dinner with an actual Canadian Astronaut.
Steve is back on Professor Game (listen to his first time on episode 68) because he will be offering a free webinar on Wednesday, January 22, 2020! For some reason, we went several times into discussing Tolkien. We’ll leave it up to you to have some fun with it, however, the main topic was on the use of the data that can be drawn from large communities. From his observation and especially on large organizations, there is an underuse of the power of data that comes from these communities, and its potential for the right level of engagement. He even argues that this is not only a potential differentiator but that if ignored, it might start driving them off business!
We went on into what does providing something for free can mean in today’s era. Which led us to a core of this conversation and has to do with the view of the traditional customer pyramid since it is very focused on the transactions. The world has evolved in the past twenty years and there are updates to make to this whole notion. The whole notion of creating solutions in ways that few to none are doing this in the market, is what they are looking to very openly show during the webinar and how it can and has been applied!
In this whole situation there is a lot going on as far as gamification. Any complex game system always has that segmentation from the moment you get in the door (or game) to lead you into the best next step. The key here is understanding that the different players will have different playing levels and engagement, which also happens in business, where you want to know what is the next best step for your customer that also corresponds to a reward that is relevant within the context to re-engage within the system so there are more things for them to do. This also brought us back to the NES that was explained during episode 68 and especially during Gamification Europe, where there is a right level of engagement which is certainly not too little but also not too much. This is because it can become a distraction from the objectives that are determined in the original design and that are the reason for this experience to even be created.
The last question is actually coming from the audience, so click play if you haven’t and find out!
Finally, here’s an overview of what will be on Steve’s webinar (taken from the web):
“The world’s most successful brands today are adopting strategies to fully leverage their customer touchpoints, moving their customers ‘up the customer pyramid’ towards greater loyalty and engagement. This highly informative 45-minute session will explore why these strategies are so important and will uncover the secret techniques and leading-edge technologies that can promote your customers to higher tiers of participation and maximize loyalty, profitability, and marketing effectiveness.
A tremendous opportunity exists right now for big brands looking to take advantage of the potential for multi-channel customer engagement in our ‘Pokemon Go’ world, where young and old users alike are increasingly willing to interact with brands online in fun and interesting new ways. Oversimplified approaches like badges-and-points mechanics or loyalty programs alone can’t magically resuscitate a disengaged customer. It requires a unique perspective and customer engagement hub technologies capable of delivering proven engagement and advanced gamification mechanics such as questing, collaboration, competition, and customization. This session will cover all of these topics and present real-world examples of proven solutions and strategies.
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