EEGReport Magazine: Just to get things started in the right matter. Nicolas, do you see in the future? What are key developments that are going to be implemented this year in gamification that you are looking for to?
Nicolas Levi: Let me check my crystal ball. The gamification market is rising sharply. It will grow at 50% rate year on year until 2018-2019, becoming a multi billion dollar market. It’s pretty exciting: in 2010 nobody knew what it was. In 2012 people started to ask if it was for them, if it worked. Now everyone wants in.
The difficulty is to implement gamification correctly. To gain an advantage you have to put in the effort. In a nutshell, you’re designing a game and have to approach it from a player’s motivation. If the game is not a good fit, your gamification will fail. There is no half-measures and people who try to add a badge or two or don’t account for their user’s specific motivations fail.
In 2016 more companies will identify gamification as a strategic priority for engagement and we’ll see less mediocre attempts and more well designed and successful gamification implementations.
EEGReport Magazine: From poker player to entrepreneur. What was your motivation to join one of the largest online poker communities and creating this accurate poker tournament database and social network? And what is the outcome now, in 2016, after being part of the team for almost 4 years?
Nicolas Levi: We cofounded RankingHero because we believe communities should not stop at forums, often elitists, or Facebook, too mainstream for niche. As poker is our passion, we naturally began there. First we needed to give players a sense of accomplishment, something to strive for. The database of results enables the social rankings, who enable gamification that rewards positive behaviour. This in turns fosters positive conversation, something much needed in an otherwise elitist industry.
We’re growing at a good pace. In 2015 there were over 50,000 messages posted by our users, who gave us a Net Promoter Score of 51. We have a mix of top pros and fans that collectively earned $270 Million in live poker events. Our social ranking, HeroScore, is shortlisted for innovation of the year at the IGB Awards.
While everyone is enthusiastic about the technology, we discovered that working on engagement for poker is an uphill battle. It’s tough just getting operators to share the data needed to measure the value created together. Meanwhile the advertisement opportunities are in recession and we quickly realised that our social engagement platform would need to diversify so we can keep growing.
EEGReport Magazine: As we understand RankingHero will go beyond poker this year, could you share some of the recent info and maybe some preview of what is to be expected in 2016?
Nicolas Levi: We’re proud of what we’ve done with RankingHero and it’s time to explore the potential of our design and technology in over verticals. We’re rebranding as Trixir.com and will be reinventing the way companies connect with their tribes.
Our gamified platform is ideal to build conversation around content. iGaming has always been an agent change in as Trixir, we’re ideally positionned to lead this movement. In 2016 we’re going to white-label conversation platform to innovators in eSports, trading, and sports. Come see us at Pitch ICE where we’ll announce the first partnerships
EEGReport Magazine: RankingHero is especially based on community and based on social interaction. Do you feel that the future will bring more brands to focus even more on creating these custom made online social communities to keep their customers happy and help them interact?
Nicolas Levi: Most brands have “social reach” and “user generated content” on their agenda. The problem is, Facebook reach has been more than halved in the last 2 years, as brands fight for attention and facebook monetizes this fight. Moreover connecting facebook reach to actual sales is tricky. How much is a share worth?
We’re reaching a turning point in social media where brands are realising that the fans they thought they were buying on Facebook are actually rented, and they have to keep paying to reach them. The answer is a new wave of branded communities. This fits in perfectly with brands content marketing strategy, as user generated content is the ultimate graal for SEO and trust building.
Forums are a bit daunting for newcomers and the risk of trolls wasting everyone’s onboarding fun and the brand reputation is high. That’s where Trixir comes in, a community building tool designed for generating positive conversations and measuring performance. We’re far from the only tool and mainstream competitors are receiving funding from companies like Salesforce, Microsoft or Oracle.
Social & gamification at the service of marketing and CRM have a bright future ahead.