IGT’s “For the Win: A Global Study of Player Motivations” began with a multi-stage, 10-country research protocol in November 2016 involving 8,000 adult players and non-players. The study was led by Gerard Caro, Senior Director of IGT’s Insights360 group. The research was conducted by YouGov.
“The study will help lottery marketers and product managers gain a deeper understanding of the primary emotions and need states that drive non-lottery and lottery gaming,” said Caro.
Playing the lottery and the dream of a better future are intrinsically linked. While it’s certainly entertaining for players to wish for a windfall, hope isn’t the only reason that people around the world are attracted to lottery games. Selling the possibility of an easy fortune is not only irresponsible, it is unsustainable, as it is easily abandoned once the final number is drawn or last ticket scratched.
“The first white paper in the series ‘Beyond Hope: Engaging Player Motivations’ is designed to enable the lottery industry to evolve beyond hope and the dream to better understand consumers’ needs and emotions in order to attract new players,” stated Caro.
This strategy is already used by top brands in industries such as health and wellness, entertainment and consumer packaged goods, and it can be applied to the lottery as well. By embracing this shift in focus, the lottery industry can find new and fertile ground in which to develop current customer relationships and attract new players.
“IGT, as a leader in lottery gaming, explored the emotional journey of lottery and non-lottery players alike, uncovered how the lottery can engage their positive emotions and identify opportunities to relate to players’ diverse need states. But it must be done responsibly, intelligently and with an intimate understanding of the unique moods and emotional states lottery players’ experience,” stressed Caro.
For lotteries to truly understand what motivates lottery purchases, they must first understand how their consumers fit into the larger ecosystem of all game players. IGT’s study is unique as it has identified the need states of both lottery and non-lottery game players. The research revealed that consumers play games to meet eight emotional needs:
The research found that players seek the following attributes in playing—exciting play (57%); fun even if for a short time (53%); relaxing (50%); restore good mood (47%); escape from routine (45%); energizing (43%); fun for long periods of time (41%); and, cure for boredom (40%).
“Lotteries need to develop games that focus on these drivers,” said Caro. “Rather than simplifying the emotional state into one feeling (hope), IGT is embracing the complexity and power of a range of emotions that people are seeking to achieve.”
The Emotional Journey
Two key opportunities present itself for lottery marketers.
Expand the Category: IGT’s research suggests the lottery’s value exists within the consumer’s mind as a mood augmentation mechanism. Designing media tactics around the consumer behavior and motivations may help lotteries connect with consumers previously unengaged with lottery.
Increase Access through Mobile: Digital games or digital features for retail lottery games provide instantaneous access to a range of experiences. This satisfies consumers’ top two needs: “Easy To Play” and “Fits My Mood.”
The trend toward on-demand or digital access is increasing—77% of respondents play their favorite games on a phone, tablet or PC at least once a week. In addition, the trend to purchase eTickets has increased from 12% in 2012 to 18% in 2016.
Lottery marketers can also unlock the emotional benefits for players by expanding the role of hope.
For example, games that increase the time and play experience amplify the pleasure. But it might be worthwhile to go beyond gameplay and explore ‘Owning Hope’ itself. This is similar to how FitBit sells more than devices which track fitness; they provide consumers with the satisfaction of accomplishing a goal (i.e. “Getting in my steps.”)
Lottery vs. non-lottery players also experience different emotions in the gameplay. The emotional peak for a non-lottery game occurs in the middle of the game, while the emotional journey for lottery games is U-shaped.
Players are motivated by their feeling of hope when they decide to purchase a game. The gameplay phase is characterized by the lowest level of emotional intensity, followed by the post-play phase, which is the most emotionally intense.
Even though the post-play phase includes feelings such as a sense of wasted time and money, it is also defined by a sense of anticipation towards the next gameplay experience. This reinforces the notion that lottery is viewed by players as more of a long-term mood management tool than an isolated, “all or nothing” experience.
There is also an opportunity to use consumers’ sense of hope for oneself and extend it to a shared belief in a better tomorrow for their community. The post-play phase can deliver on hope at a communal level (“I lost, but at least I know my money went to a good cause.”)
The study concludes with seven key takeaways to help lotteries better align with players’ emotional needs.
“IGT believes foresight into consumer behavior and retailer needs can accelerate lottery growth. Insights360 helps lottery customers harness actionable consumer and retail insights across all aspects of their businesses, enabling more efficient decision-making,” said Caro.
The white paper is available for download at www.IGT.com/LotteryBlog.