AI & Gamification in marketing – the future at our fingertips

Oct 5th, 2023

Gamification is the use of game elements in non-game situations; in the context of marketing, this is the use of gameplay such as token or point systems, quizzes, and contests to drive campaigns, and influence user behaviour to encourage sales or conversions.

Having cropped up more frequently in marketing recently Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used to enhance gamification methods and increase campaign success.

While AI powered gamification marketing seems like a method of the future, many modern marketing campaigns are making use of the effectiveness of these combined techniques. With Mattel’s use of gamification leading up to the release of their record breaking movie Barbie, and the always-popular McDonalds Monopoly being the more notable uses, it is interesting to dissect their methods, and uncover the secrets of their success.

Elements of gamification that can be used in marketing campaigns include:

  • Contests
  • Quizzes
  • Competitive challenges
  • Leaderboards
  • Loyalty programmes or token/point systems

AI can be incorporated into gamification to ease time-consuming processes, and adapt the ‘gameplay’ to boost individual engagement.

Some of the more popular ways that AI has been incorporated into gamification includes:


Through an analysis of user data, such as individual preferences, performance, and behaviour, AI can adapt game elements to better personalise the campaign to the individual. This includes:

  • Changing the difficulty of the challenges depending on skill level
  • Adapting rewards or badges based on individual preferences or achievements
  • Ensuring gameplay is tailored to additional needs

Real-time adaptations

By monitoring user interactions AI can adapt the gameplay to align with an individual’s skill level and abilities. It can adjust the difficulty level, the time given to complete the tasks, and the contextual elements of the storyline to increase engagement and boost motivation.

AI generated feedback

Using AI, personalised feedback can be given to individual members or teams taking part in the gamification. This is done by analysing data, and providing recommendations on areas that can be improved, helping people learn and encouraging them to make progress.

Data analysis

Either following the completion or throughout the duration of a gamification campaign, AI algorithms can analyse the data to help inform decisions on future gamified projects, and identify areas of improvement, or success.


Using AI tasks that can often be time-consuming can be automated, to increase efficiency and free up human resources. Automated tasks include:

  • Tracking individual users
  • Monitoring progress
  • Evaluating performance
  • Identifying anomalies

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR), is a subcategory of AI that incorporates technical elements within the real world; one of the most famous examples of AR in recent times was Pokemon Go – where people could use their phones to track and capture Pokemon in real world locations. Augmented reality can be used in gamification by transforming their everyday environment into a real-world gameboard. Elements such as QR codes within campaign activity is a good example of using AR for gamification.

There is a lot of competition when marketing in the digital space, so having that captivating edge is vital for success. The engaging nature of applying game elements to the real world gives marketing campaigns this enticing detail that is necessary for captivating audiences. Using AI to streamline these processes, and tailor the experiences to individuals adds another level of attraction for your target audience. Some of the main benefits of AI powered gamification include:

  • The ability to personalise the gamified experience, and tailor challenges and awards to individual preferences. This includes personalised feedback to improve performance at a later date.
  • Easier data collection for intelligent insights throughout the campaign, to inform successes and identify problem areas in real-time
  • Generate content for the game elements that is individually tailored to users to encourage participation and conversion

When you take that further step to incorporate AR into these campaigns, it allows us to manipulate the world of our target audience in ways that were previously limited by their own imagination. Again, this further increases the captivating nature of the campaign, increasing the likelihood of engaging and converting your target audience.

As more companies move online and enter the world of digital marketing, brands need an edge to break through the noise, and stand out from the competition.

By intelligently combining the power of AI with the innovation of gamification we are able to produce marketing campaigns that incorporate both the engaging nature of game elements, and the adaptivity and analysis of AI. This adds another level of engagement to our marketing campaigns, and increases the likelihood your target audience will engage and convert.

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