ICE and Marketing Seminar- London 2019

Last week thousands of industry professionals descended onto the wonderful city of London to participate in both ICE and the EL/WLA Marketing Seminar.  Some more seasoned, and others, like myself, a complete newbie.

ICE was as gigantic and overwhelming as described. Everything you could imagine in the gaming market, all under one roof. Massive spaces, lots of exhibitors and a great opportunity to meet vendors and operators.

The EL/WLA Marketing Seminar offered a completely different experience.  Nestled in a downtown hotel in the heart of the city, we saw a variety of informational sessions that addressed the challenges the lottery industry faced when it came to marketing (or in general really).  Due largely to legislation, the lotteries vary wildly in how they can execute campaigns.

The first keynote speaker was Martin D. Adams, who spoke about how to combine Artificial Intelligence with traditional marketing to build a better brand and tell better stories. His platform Codec is an attention-based segmentation and insights platform that helps brands be relevant in culture by mapping culture and audiences online. We will focus on his presentation since it was a topic that was extremely interesting to most participants, but many were unsure of how they should implement AI in their business. Here is how he said this should be done.

Determine Tribes and Speak to Them

A Tribe is a group of people with a shared interest and a way to communicate.

The talk described how we need rethink our approach from demographics to ‘tribes’. Demographics don’t help us identify passion or track it.  It worked sufficiently when that’s all we had and the mediums we interacted with were minimal.  We have seen the effectiveness of content marketing decreasing since 2012.  It’s getting hard to secure attention, both in interest (ad blindness) and ad block adoption.

The solution is to identify, track and target the areas where attention already exists. Make valuable things based on what tribes already care about.  Tribes are attention networks- if you give them something of value, they will share it with their like minded peers. When you target tribes, rather than individuals, you leverage their networks.

As an example, where Eve Mattress’ used the Codec AI platform to learn more about their London-based target audience (tribe).  What they discovered is that they tend to commute via the subway, making the public transit an ideal place to promote its brand. Even more interesting is the finding that the tribe favoured long-form written content rather than the short form widely favoured by advertisers today. They also discovered there was a significant demand for content on leadership, self-improvement and spiritual wellness. So, Eve Mattress put up posters on train platforms that carried long-form written content (as well as short form for the purpose of A/B testing) and produced videos featuring yogis on their mattresses. The campaign resulted in 148% increase in monthly transactions and 157% increase in monthly revenue. The A/B testing with short-form test also confirmed the theory that long-form was preferred.

Understanding Culture

Many companies are not investing enough in emotional engagement with consumers. Everyone was focused on getting attention, but not the messaging.  We failed to connect with audiences in culture. AI is the most powerful tool to understand culture.  It puts audiences first by understanding what they value.  Buying attention has become the norm, which is expensive, inefficient, and does not offer end user value.  To build a brand and tell better stories, understanding the demand side of the market is fundamental.

Use Netflix, for example, not only do they look at what you like to make recommendations, but they also do this to create shows (i.e. House of cards) and the marketing around those shows (colours, imagery, etc).

How to Cater to the Tribe

Some things that will need to be revised to appeal to the tribe:

Tone of Voice and Personality– using tools like IBM Watson can help with this
Image Types, Colour and Framing– colour palette, filter, landscape or portrait?  There is a preference.  As mentioned above, House of Cards had success by setting the show to a certain hue that was preferred by its target audience.
Platforms and Audience– What influencers do they follow? What Platforms do they use?

Some additional takeaways from the presentation:

  • Build the right segments early and consequently every decision that follows will be more effective and efficient.
  • Use AI to optimize technical marketing goals, not to pivot your brand purpose.
  • Use your intuition as well, don’t just rely on data.

There was a tremendous amount of talent on the stage presenting and far too much great content to fit in an article. Some points of advice that stood out (paraphrased):

– Hire a strong team of digital marketeers to execute your online campaigns.

– Mobile, mobile, mobile.  Be where your target market is.

– Get ahead of legislation.  Don’t wait for the government to put sanctions on your business and respond with a reactive approach.  See what potential issues lie ahead and be proactive about finding solutions.  You’ll turn your enemies into your allies.

Genera had a great time at both events and looks forward to what next year will bring. To a successful 2019 for all of our partners, vendors and industry friends!

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