4 February 2014 | Will Green
Buyers are being urged to use “gamification” to drive compliance with travel policies.
Charlotte Blackwell, director of deal consulting and business services at American Express Global Business Travel, told a conference the same psychological elements that make games such as Angry Birds attractive could be harnessed to cut travel costs.
“Humans are wired for competition because that status and reward is really important to us and we are motivated by it,” she said.
Blackwell said the average profile of a social gamer was a 43-year-old woman and the fastest growing age group on Twitter was 55 to 64.
“Gamification is a rapidly emerging concept that’s designed to positively influence behaviour,” she said.
She told buyers at the Business Travel Show that on average travellers spent $2,881 (£1,768) more than they needed to, according to figures from the Global Business Travel Association. “Gamification views compliance through a lens of engagement and incentives,” she said.
Buyers heard that 70 per cent of Forbes Global 2000 firms were predicted to have a gamification app by the end of 2014 and there had been a 400 per cent growth in the practice between 2011 and 2012.
Examples of incentives included status rewards, extra leave days and savings generated by travel policy compliance being donated to charity.