Thursday, April 16, 2009

Obsessed with customers

The business of iGaming (= online money gaming and/or gambling) has changed forever. Internet is normalizing gaming for money and bringing new customers in. At the same time customers are more digital-savvy, expecting more and faster but also willing to take part in building the total experience in return for perceived value. The role of the consumer is being transformed from passive buyer to active co-creator.

The recognition of consumers as active players extends the locus of core competencies from companies inner knowhow to the enhanced network. According to IDC Global’s recent study, 75% of Retailers and 58% of consumer products manufacturers rank consumer centricity among top 3 keys to success. At the Indian Gaming 2009 conference one of the leading slot machine manufacturers, Bally highlighted that: “now more than ever innovations must be built on customer needs and on a solid foundation of dependable, scalable, and efficient technology backed up by strong professional, technical, and customer-support services”. Along the progression of social media business money gaming providers too have to realize that consumers expect more dynamic changes and possibilities to interact and participate than ever before. The huge rise of microblogging service Twitter or social networking service Facebook are good manifestations of this. People want to share, stand out from the crowd and have their opinion heard. In iGaming that is very crucial lesson to be learned. By the general development of the Internet the potential customer is now potentially anyone who finds (money) games interesting.

Competence is a function of the collective knowledge. Ways to make online money games’ interesting is to facilitate dialogue and consumer engagement among dynamic consumer communities and heterogeneous individuals--all eager, and some able, to co-create their own experiences. Consumers are moving toward instant gratification and getting used to the idea of an active dialogue with providers of products and services. Money gaming operators have to utilize that dialogue in design, marketing, consumer support and testing. Additional challenge is speed which is becoming even more central source of competitive advantage. Thing have to happen now, instantly and interactively with the customers.

To adapt and succeed in the current economic environment companies need to build a new set of capabilities: cross-platform innovation, real-time interactive communication channels with consumers, open collaboration and supporting digital processes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Adult gamers are boring

Just reading Nielsen report "The state of video gamer - PC game and video game console usage Q4/08". I found this figure interesting. Look at the "Usage min % and Age group. I have assumed that 360 and PS3 compete off the same target group but that is not the case according to Nielsen. Also it is quite surprising that the Wii target group is 6-11 yrs. After all Wii is the family-party-fitness-workplace console. Active user % is also surprisingly high for Wii.

  • Good portion of PlayStation 3 console usage occurs during the television prime time hours
  • Top games played by 25-54 year old (women or men) are BORING! Someone should help them to find better games from the web ;)
  • Most popular PC games are pre-installed Windows card games at the age group of 25-54
  • Chessmaster Challenge is getting closer to WoW nr. of unique users - BEWARE!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The shape of things to come - IA Inc. map of the net

New version (#4) of the Web Trend Map is out "mapping the 333 most influential web domains and the 111 most influential internet people". They are currently after comments for the draft. If you have something to say, better say it now!

Just some quick comments:
  • Pirate Bay has rather impressive building on the map!
  • There aren't that many microblogging, gadget/widget stuff on the map. Let's see if the picture will be different next time.
  • Additionally I was wondering aren't (teen) virtual worlds influental at all? At least I couldn't find them. Blizzard (WoW) and Disney (line of MMOGs amongst other services) on the map, but Sulake or Neopets/Nickelodeon isn't despite of their (obvious) influence to virtual communities and networking.
  • China and Japan are somewhat on the map but Korea isn't. Maybe some Koreans should correct that, after all Korea is the birthplace or capital of MMOGs and home of CyWorld and Baegsoo - both very impressive services.
  • Indeed WordPress is so much bigger than Blogger
  • Next time I also expect to see some Finnish services on the map (well - Dopplr has some Finns directing the service)
  • Barack Obama on the map?!
  • Newspapers seem to be pretty nicely on the map (go Aftonbladet!) but for how long... Also do newspapers have better web presence than tv-channels?