Sotiris Sklavounos is the Senior Product Manager for Mobile Applications at INTRALOT. He is responsible for the native mobile apps strategy and product development. Prior to his current position, he held managerial positions in Vodafone in the area of applications, content and innovation.

Digital transformation will be one of the most significant drivers of business change for lotteries in the upcoming years. Specifically, with the proliferation of mobile technology and the inevitable launch of mobile products, lotteries should quickly embrace new business and marketing strategies focusing on customer experience, engagement and performance management.
Specifically for mobile applications the need for a digital marketing strategy that will drive engagement and conversion, while maintaining the optimum user experience, is mandatory. Consumer expectations have changed with mobile devices. The mobile users expect to get anything they want immediately and within the context they have requested it. The exploitation of these “mobile moments” as Forrester defines the points in time and place when a consumer pulls out a mobile to get the information he wants immediately and in context, are posing the biggest challenges in the operator’s marketing departments.
The most efficient mechanism to exploit mobile moments is with the use of messaging campaigns (using push notifications or in-app messages). A messaging campaign can interact with the app user at all stages of the customer journey and can be used to drive sales and engagement.
This digital messaging strategy however must be very carefully designed and orchestrated in order to have the appropriate results. In the customer’s mobile life, there is a very thin line between engagement and frustration and if this line is crossed, sadly there is no come back.
Operators should carefully consider the following key points that safeguard a successful messaging strategy:
• Design contact rules and stick to them at all times. The contact frequency should keep customers engaged but not lead them to uninstall the app due to frustration.
• Design an engaging and contextually correct message. The possibilities offered by HTML5 based messages are limitless, so there are really very few technical constraints in creating a rich and engaging experience for the customer. At the same time, the actual message should be in context with the player’s actions. There is no bigger fail than getting a Jackpot message while browsing live match market.
• Have a clear call to action that matches the possible next action of the user. Deep linking into the app should be widely used. A campaign message for a big jackpot or a favorable stake on a match should lead the users directly on the game play or match betting screen when they click on the action button.
• Segment the customers based on their dynamic behavior within the app (using analytics) and not only based on static information like Operating System and app version. Use this segmentation to tailor the messages content and call to action according to the audience.
• Use A/B testing in order to identify the proper message for each audience and optimize conversion.
• Utilize in-app messages in a clever way. These kind of messages can convey a very rich and powerful payload, and can be seen as a natural extension of the application flow. In addition, they bypass the user settings for notifications acceptance, since they are not actual notifications. However, an abuse or out-of context use of in-app messaging will alienate and eventually drive the customers away from the app.
Lotteries should invest on an appropriate campaign management and engagement platform that will enable them to successfully perform digital marketing campaigns.
INTRALOT offers a state of the art push notification management and engagement platform that significantly enhances operator’s abilities to connect, engage and retain customers. It supports text and rich media push notifications, advanced behavioral analytics, audience segmentation based on analytics and device types, CRM integration and enhanced reporting.
Customers have already used the Push Notification and Campaign Management platform, offered by INTRALOT, in order to create and execute successful digital marketing campaigns. More than 19 million push messages have been delivered in over 300 different campaigns that range from Jackpot announcements, social responsibility activations and complete interactive games, with impressive results in terms of customer engagement and brand enhancement.