Gamification in Market Research

Engaging Beyond the Conventional

What do Pokémon Go, Candy Crush and market research have in common? Gamification. It’s the application of game mechanics to improve participation in just about anything by adding fun: to weight loss, customer loyalty, even household chores. Adelphi Research recognizes gamification’s power as a research tool, and is at the forefront of incorporating it into its market research offerings.

Adelphi’s gamified approaches motivate research participants. Unlike traditional methodologies, gamification captures respondents’ attention and keeps them focused as they take part in studies. When presenting research or during workshops, gamification keeps audiences engaged and helps them assimilate the findings so key points resonate. Incorporating games in day-to- day office interactions makes meetings more fun, fostering a collaborative and innovative culture.

Gamification has a proven track record for modifying behavior and engaging its users. A review of 12 controlled trials showed that patients using a gamified weight loss app had a significant reduction in weight and body mass index compared to control interventions (e.g., classes, counseling, reading material)1. Pharmaceutical companies use gamification strategies, as well. Genentech, in collaboration with HopeLab and Cigna, launched Remission—a game to help adolescent and young adult cancer patients. One study showed that Remission helped patients adhere better to their medication schedules2. Boehringer Ingelheim’s RespiPoints gives rewards, which can be used to redeem gift cards, when patients report taking their medication, reading educational information, and refilling prescriptions.


Use of gamification in our quantitative and qualitative market research methodologies is proving to be invaluable. One strategy brings the excitement of Las Vegas with an interface that looks like a slot machine. Another resembles the popular computer-based solitaire game3. These two “games” engage market research participants, your customers, as they select compelling product messages or attributes, producing a wealth of data for market research analysis. Qualitative research participants can invest in a stock market to assess a new product opportunity, beat opponents in a game called “Top This!” to test objections and rebuttals, or create a city block with Legos to determine product use.

In order to assess their validity, we have tested some of these new games compared with traditional methodologies. Overall, similar results are achieved; however, we found that gamified approaches offer numerous advantages: improved timing of completing questions (including fewer respondents who sped through and had to be replaced), longer and more thoughtful open- ended responses and more positive participant feedback. One study participant stated, “The slot machine was very unique and added a level of interest not usually present in these types of studies.”

Adelphi offers custom gamification training to our pharma market research and marketing clients. These gamification workshops showcase how to effectively incorporate gamification to improve internal and external customer interactions. The workshops run from one hour to a full day of content and include interactive, fun elements like brainstorming challenges, trading cards, and for one workshop, an improv performance. “It was one of the best trainings I ever attended,” an attendee proclaimed.

To stay ahead of the curve, Adelphi Research will continue to explore strategies to improve engagement of market research participants, clients and employees. We have formed partnerships with video game developers to continue to evolve our offerings. Adelphi hopes gamification will continue to be a game changer for everyone involved.

If you are interested in finding out more regarding the games listed in this article or interested in learning more about the gamification workshops please contact

1Flores Mateo G, Granado-Font E, Ferré-Grau C, Montaña-Carreras X. Mobile Phone Apps to Promote Weight Loss and Increase Physical Activity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Med Internet Res. 2015 Nov 10;17(11):e253.
2Kato PM, Cole SW, Bradlyn AS, Pollock BH. A video game improves behavioral outcomes in adolescents and young adults with cancer: a randomized trial. Pediatrics. 2008 Aug;122(2):e305-17

This article has been written by our colleagues in the Adelphi Research Global Team