Playtech: Small window, big potential – why real-time engagement matters

Robin Bowler, Government Markets Director at Playtech and Shelley Harding-Ban, Playtech’s Head of Engagement, share their thoughts on how to make a big impact during a small window of opportunity, how real-time engagement principles can be applied to the lottery environment – and why timing really is everything.

Robin Bowler, Government Markets Director at Playtech

Shelley Harding-Ban, Playtech’s Head of Engagement

The old adage ‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression’ could have been invented for the lottery and gaming industry. This is an industry where between 50 – 70% of players are one-timers. Even after they’ve chosen you over a range of competitors, taken the time to create an account, up to 70% of the players you’ve spent time and money attracting will play once and won’t come back. That’s quite a startling, even disheartening, statistic.

The traditional CRM approach to enticing these customers back has been scheduled mass communications, usually the day after the player’s last (and first) game, and heavily based around attractive bonus offers. But the day after is too late. And this brings us to another tough statistic – anything from 30 – 50% of players opt out of email and SMS marketing at sign-up. The players you want to tempt back can’t even be contacted. AND those who have agreed to receive marketing are already less than engaged thanks to their disappointing initial experience.

These figures paint the picture of an uphill battle. But what if you rethink when and how you go into battle? What if you could tackle poor player experience as it happens rather than after it happens?

In a competitive market, even your best offer isn’t good enough if the player experience is a disappointing one. When we look at the experience of one-time players in the casino space, one of the key common factors is that ‘return to player’ (RTP) is noticeably lower than for regular players. Players may feel they got poor value for money in terms of entertainment value or play time; they may even just decide that a particular casino isn’t ‘lucky’ for them. Translate that to lottery, where return to player is generally lower, and the level of disappointment is compounded.

What’s becoming increasingly clear is the need to connect with players while they’re playing; in the case of the first-day churn example, to take that moment of disappointment and turn it into the moment of connection. You don’t have long to make that connection, so it’s vital to take that window of opportunity and make it count. For example, we’ve recently partnered with Beehive to give our operator customers enhanced real-time engagement capabilities; access to a powerful and effective method of taking big data and using it to create an interaction that feels small and personal to the player. Those customers can identify whether it’s a player’s first visit, what channel they came from, what games they’ve played, their return to player level – and, crucially, whether they’re likely to be making their final bet soon based on their play pattern so far. This is the optimum moment of intervention – miss it, and you’re back to the challenge of re-engaging an already disengaged player.

So we’ve covered the when – what about the how? The obvious answer is to simply move your marketing plan forward; instead of next-day offers and bonuses, issue them in real-time instead. But the obvious answer isn’t the only answer. If you’re going to reassess the timing of customer engagement, it makes sense to test out different methods too. Back in Edition 54, we discussed the power and potential of gamification; of adding an element of challenge and competitivity to gambling games. Gamification can be a highly effective way of adding some excitement to what was previously a disappointing experience for the player. For example, if a player feels they didn’t get the entertainment value for money they expected first time around, the addition of a mission or challenge to complete can add a different, compelling dimension.

What we’re seeing where customers are using gamification techniques is a growth in player loyalty and engagement. We’ve partnered with Captain Up to give our customers access to a range of gamification tools such as level up bonuses and unlockable achievements – and, vitally, in-depth feedback on the value and success of these tools. Test and learn is a vital part of both real-time engagement and gamification strategies. Done properly, there’s massive potential for the player who engages with missions and challenges to be one of your most loyal, and therefore most valuable, players.

The examples we’ve covered so far may be from the casino space, but the principles of real-time engagement can be applied just as effectively to lottery play. Indeed, in a format where player wins are less frequent, making a connection before the player disengages is even more important. For example, a player checking their numbers online is an ideal engagement trigger point. The likelihood is they won’t have had a win to keep them interested – so interact with them at that point with something that will keep them interested.

We’ve also concentrated on first-day churn so far, but it’s important to remember that the principles of real-time engagement apply long-term too. A perfect example of this is a player reloading their wallet. Is it a while since they had a win? This could be the ideal time to reignite their interest with a promotional reward (depending on your jurisdiction) or an informational message – for example, a reminder of a particularly high jackpot, or the amount raised for good causes within the region to give a ‘feel-good’ angle. If promotional rewards aren’t an option, unlocking the potential of gamification is an ideal alternative.

One final thing to consider is the value of real-time engagement outside of marketing and customer retention. The same principles that apply to identifying and intervening in a disappointing player experience can also be applied to proactively tackling problem gambling. If you can message a player in-game with an offer, it stands to reason that you can use that same mechanism to remind a player how long they’ve been playing or suggest they take a break. Playtech’s recent acquisition of BetBuddy, pioneers in leveraging ‘big data’ to identify potentially harmful play patterns and address them as they appear, is a key part of our drive to proactively assess and address player risk.

Whether it’s taking action to retain the interest of a player, or helping to create a safe and entertaining playing environment for them, the value of real-time engagement and interaction is clear. The window may be a small one, but the size of the opportunity, and the potential to make a big difference, is something no operator can afford to ignore.

Related Articles

View all

Synopsis

Français

Playtech: Fenêtre réduite, fort potentiel : pourquoi l’engagement en temps réel est important

Robin Bowler, Directeur des marchés d’états, et Shelley Harding-Ban, Responsable de l’engagement client chez Playtech, partagent leurs réflexions sur les moyens d’être efficace durant une fenêtre d’opportunité réduite, et d’appliquer au secteur du jeu les principes de l’engagement en temps réel. Ils nous expliquent également pourquoi le timing est primordial.

Español

Playtech: oportunidad pequeña, gran potencial; por qué es importante el compromiso en tiempo real

Robin Bowler, director de mercados gubernamentales en Playtech, y Shelley Harding-Ban, jefa de captación de usuarios de Playtech, exponen sus ideas sobre cómo causar un gran impacto en un pequeño lapso de oportunidad, sobre cómo se pueden aplicar los principios de compromiso en tiempo real al entorno de la lotería y sobre por qué el momento lo es todo.

Deutsch

Playtech: Kleines Zeitfenster, großes Potential: die Bedeutung von Echtzeitinteraktionen

Robin Bowler, Government Markets Director bei Playtech, und Shelley Harding-Ban, Head of Engagement von Playtech, informieren uns, wie in einem kleinen Zeitfenster eine große Wirkung erzielt werden kann, wie die Prinzipien von Echtzeitinteraktionen im Lotteriegeschäft Anwendung finden können – und warum Timing wirklich alles ist.

 

Other Articles

View all

Successful EL/WLA seminar highlights value of responsibility

Hosted by EL Member Hrvaska Lutrija, this year’s successful seminar provided an excellent opportunity to hear from experts in RG and CSR, understand how other lotteries are implementing their progra......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

EL elects new Executive Committee & adopts Antwerp Resolution

Hansjörg Höltkemeier re-elected as EL President for the period 2019-2021 Re-elected EL President Hansjörg Höltkemeier (right) said, ‘‘We have had three fantastic days at the special 10th edi......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

EL publishes first-ever Annual Report

Looking back at a successful 2018, EL has presented its first ever Annual Report. The Annual Report provides an overview of activities from the past year, which would not have been achieved without the ongoing support of EL members. By continuing to provide best practices, content and enthusiasm, they pave the way for the work of the Association....

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

EL’s Responsible Gaming Certification continues to reap benefits for members

Peter Simoner, CEO of Loteria Kombetare received his Commitment certificate from EL President Hansjörg Höltkemeier Benefits of the Commitment Level Loteria Kombëtare in Albania was the first-eve......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

European Standard on reporting in support of online gambling supervision notes considerable progress

On 12 and 13 September the CEN Working Group drafting the Standard held its two-day meeting in Brussels. The Standard is expected to be put for public comment and a vote by the end of November 2019....

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

European Commission Sport Unit Breakfast welcomes EL

At the fourth European Commission Sport Unit Breakfast EL was invited to present how lotteries are supporting and using sport. EL President Hansjörg Höltkemeier highlighted the importance of promoting the values of sport and the sustainable financing from national lotteries....

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

2020 EL Innovation Awards are now open for submission!

For EL lottery members only, the awards are another key initiative led by the EL Innovation Working Group (ELIG), which was set up to inspire, connect and engage the EL community in innovation. The aw......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

EL organises Corporate University Modules for the second year running

The Induction Module, aimed at new entrants in the lottery world (up to 3 years experience), allowed for an extensive introduction to the sector and an insight into the many complex activities. Over t......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

First-ever EL seminar on Instant Games

In 2017 the overall sales of Instant Games (or sometimes called Scratch Cards) in Europe was 25.9 billion EUR. This made Instant Games the second most important game in the portfolio of EL members. Th......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

Upcoming EL Seminars & Events

8-10 October: EL/WLA Security & Integrity Seminar. 5-7 November: Innovation Seminar. 20-22 November: EL/WLA Sports Betting Seminar. 27-29 November: Legal and Regulatory Affairs....

Read more

New appointments for EL members

From left to right: Kerstin Kosanke, Managing Director, Lotto Brandenburg, Alexandru-Mircea Croitoru, General Manager, Loteria Romania, Bekir Yunus Uçar, General Director, Turkish National Lottery Administration & Gábor Czepek, CEO, Hungarian National Lottery...

Read more

10th EL Congress – Lotteries, democracy and the European political landscape

Brett Henning  Brett Henning, Co-founder and Director at Sortition Foundation analysed the results of the elections, looking closely at the rise in European populism. In the past months and years,......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

EL Congress Antwerp – Day 1: The Corporate Success of Chance

The Black Swan with keynote speaker: Mr. Nassim Nicholas Taleb  International bestselling author Nassim Nicholas Taleb focused his keynote presentation on the Black Swan, his book which looks at th......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

EL Congress Antwerp – Day 2: Give Chance a Chance

Talent Vs Luck After a lively performance by mentalist Gili, three inspiring keynote speakers highlighted the role of randomness in success and failure, bringing with them their own personal expertis......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

Call for global action as Macolin Convention enters into force

The Convention entered into force thanks to its ratification by Italy, Moldova, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and Ukraine. Another 32 countries, including Australia, have also signed it. Within 12 mon......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

New Managing Director at Germany’s Lotto Brandenburg

Kerstin Kosanke, Managing Director of Land Brandenburg Lotto GmbH After finishing her law studies in Potsdam, Ms. Kosanke worked for 15 years as an independent lawyer with a focus on tax law and man......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

Loteria Romania appoints new General Manager

Honoured in his new role Alexandru-Mircea Croitoru as General Manager, he will continue to work on the implementation of projects that will drive the development of the lottery. The Romanian Lottery is one of the oldest institutions in the country, established in 1906 in order to improve the health system, especially in rural areas....

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

Interview with Gábor Czepek, new CEO of the Hungarian National Lottery

Gábor Czepek, CEO, Hungarian National Lottery Szerencsejáték Zrt. is one of Hungary’s largest, dynamically developing state-owned enterprises: What were the most pressing tasks in this initial......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

Introduction to new General Director at the Turkish National Lottery Administration

Following a career in journalism, Bekir Yunus Uçar spent over 20 years in public service. He worked in several roles at Türk Telekom before joining the Turkish National Lottery Administration. He was appointed General Director by the Minister of Treasury and Finance....

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de

Chance is a part of Lotteries. Chance is a part of Success. Chance is also a part of Life.

Hansjörg Höltkemeier, EL President & Jannie Haek, CEO of the National Lottery Belgium open the Trade Show at the 10th EL Congress in Antwerp ‘‘The Success of Chance’’ was the theme for......

Read more Synopsis: fr / es / de