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.

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