Scientific Games aims to revolutionise the way operators learn more about player preferences and motivations with its new community-based market research solution, ONE Voice.
Imagine having unlimited, real-time access to players and non-players. Now, envision the benefits of 360-degree communication between these consumers and your marketing and product innovation teams. And finally, think about the countless, actionable insights you can glean from their conversations in order to develop better, more engaging games for lotteries and casinos.
Welcome to ONE Voice, a new market research online community (MROC) created by Scientific Games, offering a community of engaged consumers who are ready and willing to share their feedback. This online platform was developed to gather input and feedback from participants on a wide range of gaming topics and behaviours. It’s key to the company’s innovation when it comes to market research, and here’s why:
• Researchers can engage with consumers
• Consumers can engage with researchers
• Consumers can engage with other consumers
“ONE Voice is an advanced way of conducting research because it offers us three ways to learn from engaged consumers. With traditional research, it’s usually just one way, with researchers engaging with panelists,” explains Ambika Jack, director of Consumer Insights and Global Research for Scientific Games.
“These 360-degree, one-on-one interactions are very meaningful. Of course we are naturally interested in getting feedback from those who currently play lottery, casino and/or mobile games, but we are also hoping to get a better understanding of non-players,” says Jack. “By interacting directly with non-players, we can learn what new products might be developed to appeal to their interests and it helps us grow playership for our customers.”
Jack points out that the gaming industry has a long history of knowing who their players are, and having a deep understanding of their gaming preferences. The Consumer Insights team at Scientific Games wanted to leverage the experience of their gaming colleagues when they created ONE Voice.
“We use these learnings on a continuous basis to improve and refine first drafts of our games,” says Jack.
More on MROCs
Companies from a broad range of industries, including consumer packaged goods, fast food restaurants, beauty care, automotive and eCommerce have embraced MROCs to gather insights and co-create with their customers. These online communities continually help organisations address problems and provide solutions to their consumer base.
For example, luxury online shopping company Gilt Groupe engaged with their MROC to address a common challenge facing eCommerce solutions – shipping costs. Kraft Foods turned to one of their MROCs, The Consumer Channel, to gain consumer insight on health and wellness. Through meaningful dialogues, Kraft learned their consumers preferred to think in terms of portion control and snacks, rather than diet foods. Kraft then successfully launched its 100-calorie packs, and credits MROC members for the feedback that led to this new packaging.
The 2016 Greenbook Research Industry Trends report revealed that mobile surveys and MROCs are quickly becoming one of the most used forms of market research among companies. The interest and adaptation of MROCs to facilitate two-way customer discussions has increased by more than 40 percent since 2011.
MROCs enable companies to deepen their customer insights and their customer relations. For the lottery and gaming industry, this type of interactive platform helps answer the age-old question, “How do we develop games that attract new players; specifically younger generations of players?” It helps to accelerate and innovate games and technology that align with consumer preferences, aiding in customers’ sales performance.
“With MROCs like ONE Voice, consumer feedback is sought and given in real time, just like the digital, on-demand world we live in today,” explains Jack.
Players can access and provide feedback to the ONE Voice community using any type of device, such as a computer, tablet or smartphone via a password-protected responsive site. Players can also share video content as well as provide their feedback as picture messages.
Segmenting players by motivation
ONE Voice was created to execute on ONE, the industry’s first cross-jurisdictional, motivation-based player segmentation study of lottery and gaming players. Scientific Games conducted the study in 2014, segmenting lottery and gaming consumers by motivation – what drives them to play – rather than demographics. Segmentation research is used to define meaningful customer differences that affect how they buy, what they buy and how much they spend.
“When we segmented our players by motivation, we discovered that each segment included players of both genders, all ages and ethnicities. From this, we learned that success more often comes from products developed based on consumers’ motivations and needs, regardless of their age,” shares Jack.
From the company’s research, Scientific Games learned there is a high degree of crossover in lottery and gaming channels. Regardless of the type of game players preferred, the players’ core motivations remained the same.
Key findings from the ONE study include:
• 50 per cent of instant game players play slots
• 75 per cent of slots players play draw games
• 74 per cent of slots players play instant games
ONE Voice was then created to open a dialogue with players who represent the different segmentations. Scientific Games uses the platform to refine and tweak games and concepts they want to bring to lotteries to ensure a more engaging game experience. Lottery and gaming organisations can use this MROC to better understand their consumers and have a real-time pulse on their market. They can choose to geographically segment their ONE Voice community, or engage with the larger community.
“We’ve built a community large enough to offer quantitative insights but we’ve structured it as an online platform that enables us and our customers to gain rich and valuable qualitative insights directly from our consumer panelists,” says Jack.
An engaged community
To build its real community of more than 2,000 consumers, Scientific Games worked with different market research vendors to identify and invite them to participate in ONE Voice. Once they are participating, they can also extend online invitations to their friends.
ONE Voice is structured to enable 360-degree feedback, so Scientific Games and lotteries are able to let members know how the input they provide is guiding decision making. “Our panelists get excited when they see the feedback they’re giving us is being applied to the games we’re launching. It gives them a voice and empowers them,” continues Jack.
Participants are engaged in various ways to participate in the ongoing research and share their feedback, including polls, member discussions, moderator-led discussions, surveys and more. Dialogue among players on the platform is encouraged.
As ONE Voice members participate in various activities and socialise with each other, Scientific Games uses the platform’s back-end reports to monitor their participation, segment groups and incentives.
“The goal with ONE Voice is to obtain a holistic representation of the market that we can communicate with – grounded in our ONE Segmentation Study. This way, we can track participation to ensure that we’re hearing from the right proportion of players and non-players,” says Jack. “We also monitor participants’ incentives because we have to keep them engaged. Without their participation, we don’t have a panel community.”
Past, present and future
Since its inception in 1997, Scientific Games’ Consumer Insights team has worked on more than 1,800 research projects, utilising a broad range of methodologies and employing an exciting array of research tools. The team analyses demographics and psychographics from different regions and cultures all over the world, and can evaluate global performance trends from game launch through the entire life-cycle.
As Scientific Games continues to roll out ONE Voice throughout the US, state lotteries and gaming customers can opt to have their own ONE Voice community. The company plans to introduce the platform globally.
As ONE Voice continues to grow, Scientific Games envisions it will become an integral part of its lottery and gaming customers’ market research efforts for on-demand, real-time insights. Because real counts.