Gamification for law firms – FTW!

I won a prize for tweeting at an event! See for yourself:

The event was One North Interactive’s Experience Lab – a thought-provoking day of conversation about the future of digital marketing in law firms – sure to inform many of my future posts. The challenge was to use the event hashtag #1NLab12 to achieve the highest outreach and/or influence.

The One North team used a Kred Leaderboard to track the hashtag and tweeples throughout the day. Here is a grab of the leaderboard from the end of the day, showing me as the winner in “outreach.” That means I tweeted and retweeted the most 🙂

Click for full size

As the day progressed, Candace Graham @candygram16 posted updates on who was winning – here’s an example.

It dovetailed very nicely with Candace’s talk entitled “Marketing Under the Influence” which dealt with the future of “influence” in legal marketing.

Google+ Profile Completion Meter

Google+ Profile Completion Meter

The Kred leaderboard is an example of gamification – “the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-game contexts.” Gamification increases engagement by giving rewards and tapping our natural competitive tendencies.  It certainly worked on me. As soon as I heard about the challenge, I wanted to win! The leaderboard and hashtag kept me engaged throughout the day as well, not only in the content of the program, but virtually and in real life, with the other attendees.  

Gamification is pervasive in social media, from Foursquare’s check in badges to LinkedIn’s profile completion meter.  In fact, Google+ just added a profile completion meter to inspire users to add more personal information.  Gamification is going mainstream too. Gartner predicts that  more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application by 2014. To learn about the four principle means of driving engagement via gamification, read the recent Gartner study.

Dutch law firm Houthoff Buruma has used gamification in an app targeted toward students and recruits that simulates what it’s like to work as a lawyer in their firm.  It caused quite a sensation in legal marketing circles on its release in 2011 – and the firm continues to update it by adding new challenges. From their app store page:

Houthoff Buruma App

An irate client gives you an assignment. Will you succeed?

 The game in HB The App is mission-based and for each completed mission you can compare your scores with other students around the world…You will enter a 360 degree world in which you can navigate around and encounter real people. At the onset, you will be presented with a task which needs to be solved within a certain time frame. There are several business dilemmas attached to this task and the client is waiting in the boardroom for your solutions. Along the way you will have to solve problems and talk to people in order to unlock what you need to complete your mission. Only the quickest thinkers, keenest eyes and management savviest players will succeed and end up on the high score list!

Wonder if the game winners end up with a job at Houthoff Buruma? (H/T to Ichizu of Helios Design for the screen shot.)

For law firms, gamification holds the most promise for internal communications and team building.

For example, PeopleLinx – a social business integration product and consulting service – uses many gamification techniques to engage internal teams in the use of  Linkedin. Built in leaderboards are a great way to leverage lawyers’ inherent competitiveness for the use of LinkedIn – for individual and firm marketing benefits.

And Ben Wightwick of HighQ (enterprise collaboration and publishing software) published a fantastic post on the promise of gamification with the legal industry earlier this year, focused primarily on the use of gamification for internal teams:

[Gamification] can provide shared vision and objectives for leaderless groups or groups spread across the globe. It will influence Legal IT vendors to design their software more intuitively and emphasise collaboration and ultimately humanise and empower staff. Generally when people think of gamification they think of achieving inconsequential ‘badges’ when tasks are complete, but it doesn’t have to be like that at all. Why not build out the concept of a virtual currency, which can be earned against a pre-defined set of tasks collected by a team or department, which in turn could be used against a corporate shopping list, whether that is a team lunch or a drinks trolley on a Friday evening?

Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Wightwick cautions that gamification is not a silver bullet – to that I say gamification FTW! (That’s “For The Win.”)

So, if 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application by 2014 – will your firm have one? At the very least, you should consider using Kred at your next live event.

Update: I found this blog post on the Economist via Ben Wightwick’s Twitter. Takes a dim view of gamification, but I agree with Ben’s assessment that “#gamification ‘lite’ can improve usability, encourage sharing & productivity.” It encouraged sharing at the One North event, that’s for sure.

written by 

Molly Porter on Twitter

Molly Porter on LinkedIn


  • Alberto Angeloni

    Great article Molly!

  • molly_porter

    Thanks Alberto!

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