Navigating towards Digital Opportunities

“Diversity powers innovation”, “failure is a good thing”, “customer obsession is key” – Catherine Barba, pioneer of the digital revolution, eloquently presented some of her learnings after decades in the digital sphere.

A lesson from GAFA

During her keynote speech at the 2018 EL Industry Days, Catherine Barba urged participants to look at where GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) are investing. GAFA are incredibly successful at capturing our “digital time” – through establishing an emotional connection. This strong share of GAFA in our digital user journey arises through GAFA’s vision of looking at every person as a customer, whether or not they are a current user.

This “customer is king” mentality is what sets the GAFA apart from many digital companies, according to Ms Barba. Drawing on her personal experience of investing in a number of digital start-ups, she told participants that every company she has funded has had this “customer obsession”. Consumers now expect a “high utility digital experience which is fast and frictionless”. Further, this digital experience must not only be functional but also emotional. Ms Barba puts a premium on “high fidelity experiences” that are exclusive, personalised and immersive. Companies that can deliver on both the operational and emotional angles will be able to harness the digital opportunities available to European Lotteries.

Emotional shopping

Amazon Go’s supermarket in Seattle, Washington, is partially-automated using machine learning and AI and is checkout-free. Ultimately, shoppers use the app to enter, shop freely and watch as items are added to a virtual cart. The Just Walk Out Shopping experience uses deep learning algorithms, improving efficiencies and enabling customers to simply take what they want and go. According to Ms Barba, this is successful because it solves problems for the consumer, whilst creating an important emotional connection.

Ms Barba also touched on other innovative examples of tech companies using new technologies to improved the user’s digital journey. A number of companies are nowadays mission-driven, which is also an effective tool to create an emotional connection with consumers. Facebook’s mission is to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them”. This aim to change the world is powerful and people can connect with this. Similarly, French start-up Woodoo aims to “reinvent wood to make it the most performative material of the 21st century”. This sustainable mission-drive appeals to consumers, who understand the importance of cutting down on carbon emissions.

Be bold and innovate

Ms. Barba concluded that Lotteries need to actively invest, be bold and digitalise. “Watching the game won’t make you a great player”, she added. She urged participants to grow a garage mindset in their corporate body and build to learn. “If a new idea doesn’t scare you, it’s probably not very innovative”, she finished to a glowing reception.


Catherine Barba Chiaramonti, Pioneer of the digital revolution



Cap sur les opportunités numériques

Catherine Barba, pionnière de la révolution numérique, a prononcé un discours passionnant au cours duquel elle a présenté de manière éloquente certaines des leçons qu’elle a tirées de décennies passées dans le domaine du numérique. « La diversité alimente l’innovation », « l’échec est bénéfique », « l’obsession du client, voilà la clé », a-t-elle lancé. La mentalité des GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple), selon laquelle « le client est roi », les distingue de nombreuses entreprises numériques, selon Mme Barba. Forte de son expérience personnelle (elle a investi dans un certain nombre de start-up numériques), elle a déclaré aux participants que chaque entreprise qu’elle a financée avait « l’obsession du client ». De plus, elle a cité la technologie sans caisse d’Amazon Go, qui utilise l’apprentissage profond, comme un exemple de succès, car elle résout les problèmes pour le consommateur tout en créant un lien émotionnel important. C’est dans la création de ce lien émotionnel que les opérateurs de loteries doivent également chercher à innover, ce qui nécessite une réflexion audacieuse et originale.


Navegando hacia las oportunidades digitales

Catherine Barba, pionera en la revolución digital, ofreció un apasionado discurso de apertura en el que presentó con elocuencia algunas de las lecciones aprendidas tras décadas en el sector digital. Su charla comenzó con: “La diversidad impulsa la innovación”, “fracasar es bueno” y “la obsesión por el cliente es clave”. La mentalidad de “el cliente manda” de las empresas del grupo GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) es lo que las distingue de muchas otras empresas digitales, según la Sra. Barba. A partir de su propia experiencia personal invirtiendo en varias empresas emergentes digitales, indicó a los participantes que todas las empresas que ha financiado tenían esta “obsesión por el cliente”. También mencionó el éxito de la tecnología sin paso por caja de Amazon Go, que utiliza aprendizaje profundo y resuelve problemas para el consumidor a la vez que crea una importante conexión emocional. Es en la creación de esta conexión emocional donde las empresas de loterías deben innovar y eso requiere pensar de forma original, creativa y atrevida.


Digitale Gelegenheiten ausschöpfen

Catherine Barba, Pionierin der digitalen Revolution, gab eine leidenschaftliche Keynote-Rede, in der sie einige der Einsichten mit den Anwesenden teilte, die sie im Laufe ihrer jahrzehntelangen Erfahrung im digitalen Universum gesammelt hat. „Diversität fördert Innovation“, „Fehlschläge sind etwas Positives“ und „Besessenheit mit dem Kunden ist zentral“ – so der Auftakt ihrer Rede. Die Mentalität der GAFA-Unternehmen (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple), der „Kunde sei König“, unterscheide sie von vielen anderen digitalen Unternehmen, so Barba. Aus ihrer persönlichen Erfahrung mit der Finanzierung digitaler Startups berichtete sie, dass alle Unternehmen, in die sie investierte, eines gemeinsam hatten: eine wahre „Besessenheit mit dem Kunden“. Als weiteres Erfolgsbeispiel nannte sie die kassenlose Technologie von Amazon Go, die mithilfe von Deep Learning Probleme löst und gleichzeitig den Kunden emotional an das Unternehmen bindet. Diese emotionale Verbindung müssen auch Lotterien bei ihren Innovationen kanalisieren, wozu Mut und kreatives Denken nötig sei.

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