Playtech: Gamification, making Big Data work hard – Having fun!
For some time now, Playtech has been talking on the themes of omni-channel, player journey, personalisation and Big Data, and in our business, we see Gamification as the next logical step where Big Data can be used to great effect in our customers’ player engagement and sales revenue growth strategies. And we are passionate advocates of the technique because we have seen how effective it can be when implemented in concert with the rich data sets generated by our customers’ players, which are in turn captured and processed through Playtech’s market-leading player management and BI systems.
So what exactly is Gamification? Sebastian Deterding tells us that it (sic) “… is the use of game design elements in a non-game context…” that is to say, the introduction of mechanics which we normally associate with games i.e. competition, awards, progress stages, starts and finishes, into some of the everyday things we do in life – including the purchase of lottery tickets. It’s a sophisticated data-driven promotional tool which leverages fun to encourage reactions and involvement from a community of players – and it works.
We know Gamification works because we see it in many walks of life. Outside of the gaming world, examples of successful Gamification have included a stairwell in a shopping mall, painted as a piano-keyboard, which achieved 66% increased use relative to the escalator which was positioned right next to it. Similarly, the re-cycling bin with lights on top, which indicated simply which slot you should place your re-cyclables into – and received a 50% uplift in usage as a result! Further examples include the “Zombies! Run!” app from Nike, which makes you think you are being chased by Zombies – not quite a promotional reward, but a great incentive to run faster and longer! And the interesting point about these forms of Gamification, is that none of these are giving out tangible promotional rewards – they are simply for the fun of it!
Some of our customers are leveraging the power of the omni-channel systems provided by Playtech to understand their players’ behaviours and, through Gamification, are making timely propositions that are tailored to the player’s preferences and purchasing habits. Digital trophies and badges are often used to encourage participation and fun, but to great effect especially with the online community, without impacting marketing budgets.
At Playtech we know that Gamification works with, or without, promotional rewards. However, it is apparent from the results that we see going through our servers and the BI reports, that Gamification is even more successful with promotional rewards being used.
In the Lottery field, Gamification represents a great opportunity for operators to work with the data being generated to encourage entire communities of players to participate in promotional programmes which both encourage behavioural changes and offer rewards (virtual or real!) in return. So, the traditional lottery player who always buys their ticket in their local shop can be rewarded to register and make purchases online; while the “Millennials”-style of younger players, who generally rarely choose to venture into their local lottery retailer, can be rewarded for doing so, and even build up a portfolio of retail locations to visit, via the rewards being offered. And of course, players can then become linked to retailers, using no more than a mobile native app, which in turn brings the retailer community into the programme as well – thus providing even greater effect for the lottery operator, and the creation of a complete 360° involvement between the operator, its players, and its retailers.
As well as creating these communities, the programmes naturally work on an individual level as well. Engagement stages can be created to build loyalty and engagement over time e.g. players can be offered a reward if they buy 4 different scratch card games. Use of Big Data means the list of games can be personalised to the player’s specific preferences. Or retailers can be rewarded for building their own local community of players who are linked with their location. It all makes for greater engagement, more timely and effective communication, and therefore more brand interactions. And that communication is vital – with jackpot messages providing the ideal initial stimulus, while Gamification provides the theme to collaborate around.
It is therefore true to say that Gamification is where jackpots, Big Data and communities come together.
Author: Robin Bowler
This content is offered by Playtech. For more information, contact Robin Bowler, Government Markets Director at Playtech plc. firstname.lastname@example.org. Robin presented on the topic of “Boosting the 3 B’s with Gamification” at the recent European Lotteries Marketing Seminar in London.
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