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How Gala Coral’s Chief Strategy Officer seeks innovation for consumers

innovation in gambling innovation in gambling
Photo credit:

Jason Mrachina 

As the gambling industry rapidly innovates to match a new breed of consumers, brands now require concrete strategies in order to remain relevant and stay atop of technology.

Technology as a market has grown so influential it now has the power to affect human behaviour.

We in the gaming industry are just starting to see, and utilize, this power to help digitize this sector; nothing has sped up innovation in gambling faster than the advent of the smartphone.

Five or six years ago, mobile usage wasn’t particularly high at all – for anything outside making calls that is – but suddenly it’s become the fundamental device in a consumer’s life that every sector now needs to optimize.

That draw means that, from an acquisition perspective, mobile is now the largest channel to be aware of, where over 50% of consumers now play, bet and engage with content via the small screen rather than desktops.

These have presented certain challenges, namely: screen size is smaller so you must be able to do more with less content available; and mobile’s streamlined process means that consumers are less patient with their play.

The remedy for these issues require immediate, reliable, sometimes simpler, but overall a more personalized, experience for the consumer in order for the content to be delivered and enjoyed effectively.

The key for innovation in gambling here is to develop maximum engagement from the customer using those tools; you must have relevant games and content for each player and be able to know and understand how they use your service or brand.

In short, that means content has to be innovative.

Innovation involves improving the quality of content. As it becomes easier and easier to reach services and consumers have more choice over where they can go, differentiation through quality is an effective strategy.

This method also allows you to be particularly creative when you consider which games are appropriate for who. There are traditional players who have stayed with the same game for years, who dislike too much change and aren’t too interested in new content, and players who are constantly seeking new thrills who are at risk of growing bored with your content.

In order to maximize innovation in gambling, this dynamic means a company is in constant flux whilst attempting to reconcile both types of consumers – as well as others – with content that contains the aforementioned qualities.

It’s a necessary progression of constant iteration, and while it’s by no means easy, it should be worth the effort.

And to fully understand how you can iterate, innovation in gambling needs to incorporate of data analytics.

Actively measuring engagement and gaming choices will allow you to be smarter with your strategies for acquiring and retaining customers, whilst also improving your customer’s journey along your brand. It’s a win-win scenario.

That journey, or product experience, is core to any business model, within gambling and out, and incorporates all of the elements discussed above.

If, or more likely, when, an issue appears, react fast. Apply the principles of relevance and personalization after knowing your customer well, and then repeat. This will ease up the pressures of acquisition and retention, freeing up your marketing spend to allow for more creativity in where, when and what you place.

It also frees up mental energy which allows you to engage with future ideas and principles to make sure you are ahead of innovation in gambling – mobile won’t be the primary medium forever.

One particular field I’m interested in is gamification, for example. It hasn’t been particularly successful with real money so far, but there is a lot of opportunity and it just requires the right moment and investment.

And the industry is not without its wider challenges.

Everybody – every industry – needs to continually balance legacy systems built maybe 5, 10, 15 years ago, and innovation in tools, products and services that will require a more robust and modern infrastructure to support them.

How they do that is dependant on the industry; innovation in gambling needs to recognize that although the above is important in remaining relevant now and in the future, the pace in which you move forward shouldn’t risk your existing business model.

The transformation of legacy systems are incredibly exciting, but also fraught with complications – has your system been designed to support increasing data volumes, or personalization of games, or communication with more users, all at the same time?

The answer is usually no.

And so, to remain competitive in this market and utilize innovation in gambling, a cycle of content specific iteration must run parallel to constant, but bitesize, upgrades to your overall business service and infrastructure.

In this way, a brand can utilize something as far reaching as innovation to sustain its growth and support its future, whilst being nimble enough to adopt current trends – like the advent of the smartphone – in order to reap the benefits of technology’s power.