Playtech: Gamification, making Big Data work hard – Having fun!

Big Data and “having fun” aren’t concepts that we would normally associate closely with each other, but marketers in the lotteries and gaming world are turning more and more to a technique which is derived directly from the world of Big Data, and is most definitely concerned with “having fun”! I refer, of course, to the technique of Gamification – a methodology which uses data to identify the optimal time and place for interaction between a brand and its consumers, to the mutual benefit of both.

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!

“Zombies, Run!” app – save yourself! (And save some supplies while you’re at 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. 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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Gamification: Big Data arbeiten hart lassen - und dabei Spaß haben! Von Robin Bowler, Government Markets Director bei Playtech. Gamification ist der nächste logische Schritt bei der Verwendung von Big Data, um die Lotteriebeteiligung unter den Spielern aufzubauen, indem diese leistungsstarke Omni-Channel-Marketing-Technik benutzt wird. Programme zur Förderung eines rechtzeitigen und effektiven Engagements mit der Lotteriemarke können den Umsatz steigern und die Loyalität und Zufriedenheit sowohl bei Spieler- als auch bei Einzelhandelsgemeinschaften fördern. Vermarkter in den Lotterien und in der Spielewelt wenden sich immer mehr einer Technik zu, die direkt aus der Welt der Big Data abgeleitet wird. Gamification ist eine Methodik, die Daten verwendet, um die optimale Zeit und den Ort für die Interaktion zwischen einer Marke und ihren Verbrauchern zum gegenseitigen Nutzen von beiden zu identifizieren. Unsere Kunden nutzen die Kraft von Omni-Kanalsystemen, die von Playtech zur Verfügung gestellt werden, um das Verhalten ihrer Spieler zu verstehen und durch Gamification rechtzeitige Vorschläge zu machen, die auf die Präferenzen und Kaufgewohnheiten des Spielers zugeschnitten sind. Gamification funktioniert mit oder ohne Werbebelohnungen. Allerdings zeigt sich aus den Ergebnissen, die wir durch unsere Server und die BI-Berichte sehen, dass Gamification noch erfolgreicher ist, wenn Werbebelohnungen verwendet werden. Im Lotteriebereich stellt Gamification eine große Chance für die Betreiber dar, mit den Daten zu arbeiten, die generiert werden, um ganze Gemeinschaften von Spielern zu ermutigen, an Werbeprogrammen teilzunehmen, die sowohl Verhaltensänderungen fördern und im Gegenzug Belohnungen (virtuell oder real!) anbieten. Also, der traditionelle Lotteriespieler, der immer sein Ticket in seinem Geschäft vor Ort kauft, kann belohnt werden, wenn er sich registriert und Einkäufe online macht, während der „Millennials“-Style von jüngeren Spielern, die sich in der Regel nur selten zu ihrem Lotterie-Einzelhändler vor Ort wagen, dafür belohnt werden kann und sogar ein Portfolio von Einzelhandelsstandorten aufgebaut werden kann, über die Belohnungen angeboten werden. Bei der Gamification kommen Big Data und Gemeinschaften zusammen.

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