How Hoosier Lottery’s annualized process supports success in an expanding retail landscape
Need to produce 88 unique retail promotions in one year, spanning 524 weeks’ worth of overlapping activities? No sweat—or, at least, not as much as it used to take—if the teams involved are using the same focused, effective approach.
That’s how the Hoosier Lottery accomplished this feat in FY21, its busiest promotional year ever. “We’ve really shifted our process to be as integrated as possible,” said Brittany D’Haenens, Director of Marketing IGT Indiana on behalf of the Hoosier Lottery. “It doesn’t matter what type of promotion or retailer we’re working with—small format or large, grocery store or convenience store. The way our process has been set up allows for the intricate collaboration that’s needed between internal teams, including sales, digital and social media, the retailer partners, and our creative and media agency. We have everyone at the table, with different perspectives and different voices. The process is strong because of that integration and a focus on partnership-driven goals.”
Getting in Sync
The shift to the current process began with the recognition that Lottery and retailer goals could be even better supported by syncing up with the approach commonly used in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) world. Explained Tracy Butler, IGT Indiana Director of Corporate Accounts on behalf of the Hoosier Lottery, “Six years ago, we shifted from quarterly incentives for retailers and created a CPG-like model called the Retailer Marketing Program, which includes promotions as one of the pillars. We changed from planning events campaign by campaign—or launch by launch—to doing annual planning, as the CPG world does.”
Fast forward to today: This annual approach is now well-honed. The Lottery’s promotions are integrated into a larger strategy that includes an annualized media buy, and they’re launched with a consistent cadence. “As we begin to strategize for the upcoming fiscal year,” noted Butler, “we allocate our assigned budget, block out an annual calendar by account with estimated dates, layer in our objectives, and meet with our Key Account partners to better understand their priorities and how we might contribute or elevate the initiative.”
To continue growing its retailer partnerships, the Hoosier team is focused on gaining or maintaining merchandising, expanding the points of encounter on the customer journey, and layering in support for cohesive messaging through digital and social media as well as apps. “There are also occasions where we partner with a Key Account primarily to drive one of their programs with the ancillary benefit of strengthening our partnership for the future,” noted Butler. “Many of our promotions are tied to loyalty programs with a commitment to provide added value to the retailers’ customers and build the overall basket.”
Moving with Retail Changes
The retail landscape also shifted during those years. “We’re looking at the changes in what consumers and players are expecting now as they’re walking into a retail environment. We’ve changed our marketing approach,” said D’Haenens. “It’s much more than driving awareness. It’s about supporting KPIs, both on our end and the retailer’s end. There’s so much more that goes into marketing and promotions that didn’t exist years ago. Our touchpoints look different—there’s more digital, integrated marketing.”
“We have strong partnerships internally and with our retailers,” said Alison Baker, IGT Indiana Manager Retail and Advertising on behalf of the Hoosier Lottery. “It takes not just the Key Accounts team working really well with our retailers, as they do. It also takes that team working closely with the marketing department, and the marketing department executing and getting product and legal approvals, down to the lottery sales reps handling the point-of-sale materials at retailers, and the retailers who receive monthly kits. We have some fun promotional ideas, but success comes from this process of everyone collaborating together.”
Click here to watch “Marketing in the Retailer EcoSystem,” presented by Brittany D’Haenens at the La Fleur’s Conference May 23-25, and learn more about how IGT Indiana is rethinking the role of marketing to support KPIs for the Hoosier Lottery and retailers.