IGT: Innovation and growth begin with player understanding
A global and comprehensive approach to understanding the player.
Foresight into consumer behavior can accelerate a lottery’s growth. IGT’s Insights360 team helps lottery customers harness actionable consumer and retail insights across all aspects of their businesses, enabling more efficient decision-making. The group and its partners uncover emerging trends that guide technology and game and product development with the goal of keeping lottery games and the transaction experience relevant and engaging.
The Insights360 team is comprised of dedicated market research professionals spread across the globe and across gaming disciplines—lottery, gaming and social. This cross-disciplinary interaction leverages gaming industry research assets, such as the Gaming Player Panel, and provides a richer view of players. With a global perspective, IGT leverages its worldwide experience, benchmarks, and best practices to tailor research protocols to local needs. This includes using the most appropriate and effective methodologies from varying technology, geographic, and psychographic perspectives, for example, fielding in-home interviews in less-developed markets and using online and mobile surveys in more developed markets while keeping core survey questions consistent.
IGT also has an arsenal of best-in-class independent market research partners, including a dozen firms with offices worldwide. Collaborating with research experts on a daily basis creates true partnerships that produce the most statistically robust and accurate methodologies and sample plans to the lottery and gaming industry.
During the 12 months ending December 31, 2016, IGT engaged more than 215,000 consumers and approximately 16,000 retailers in 66 cities worldwide. The resulting 291 research reports provided customers and IGT management with a robust database of market learnings that are used for benchmarking and deep understanding beyond single-study data.
Additionally, IGT hosts an annual research exchange that provides a forum for lottery research professionals from around the world to meet and share ideas. Started in 2009, lotteries discuss their research programs, methodologies and challenges; identify commonalities for better coordination; share insights into how to improve market research efforts; and are exposed to new methodologies by third parties. Last year’s exchange, attended by several European Lottery researchers, was held in the UK; the 2017 Exchange will take place at IGT’s Instant Ticket Printing facility in Florida.
Keeping on top of trends.
IGT’s partnership with Foresight Factory and ORC International keeps it on the forefront of consumer and technology trends. Synthesis of learnings from recent studies point to several trends, such as:
- “The Dream” still exists, albeit bigger in terms of jackpot and prize levels, particularly in mature
- The fast pace instilled by interactive devices has led to a growing desire for instant gratification and shortened attention spans—boding well for instant win
- Likewise, dwindling interest and participation in draw games, which require waiting “long periods” for results. Additionally, poor odds result in longer waiting periods for a “winning ”
- Technologically, many players, and particularly younger adults, want lottery with cashless payments and interactive gaming.
- Worrisome generational differences exist on attitudes and participation levels, with the average age of the lottery player getting older.
New approaches to research.
Although most of IGT’s research uses tried and true methodologies, 2016 was an exceptionally busy year for harnessing new research methodologies. Last year, Insights360 conducted several surveys delivered on mobile devices. This methodology works best for simple, quick surveys, and is perfect for researching interactive games played on mobile devices or websites. IGT also uses mobile phones to conduct ethnographies. Respondents are asked to text messages and take pictures and videos of themselves before, during, and after a lottery transaction. Since respondents provide feedback individually through their mobile devices, there is absolutely no group-generated bias and, thus, the feedback is remarkably in-depth and honest.
IGT also pioneered a product-testing method that dramatically heightens the experiential nature of what research participants do while they evaluate new game concepts. In the beta test, approximately 1,000 players were exposed to a new game concept over a 10-day period, experienced 40 lottery draws, and were subjected to losses, near wins, and wins based on actual odds. The resulting feedback is more relevant, since it is based on many experiences and not just seeing a concept only once.
While there have been developments in usability and biofeedback, the internet remains the most impactful change to research, with more and more surveys done online every year. This factor has expanded the sample base, made surveys less costly and faster to execute, and driven more market-based decision making. Online has created new methodologies like online focus groups, community blogs and digital ethnography, resulting in marketers’ ability to get closer to the time-strapped consumer while remaining grounded in sound research statistics and analytics techniques.
Understanding players’ motivations.
IGT continues extensive market research around the world into 2017. One of the most anticipated studies is “For the Win: A Global Study of Player Motivations,” fielded in 10 countries with more than 8,100 adult players and non-players. It will help lottery marketers and product managers gain a broader understanding of the primary emotions and need states that drive non-lottery and lottery gaming.
The first White Paper to come from this study, “Beyond Hope: Engaging Player Motivations” will be released in April 2017, and is designed to enable the lottery industry to evolve beyond the emotions of hopes and dreams to better understand consumers’ needs and emotions in order to responsibly attract more players. IGT is excited to share the learnings from these studies with its customers to identify player insights and new game concepts that can have a positive impact on Lottery Business Plans.
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