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The Medium is the Message


The Medium is the Message

In my last post, I discussed how adopting product relevancy and creating a purpose story around the lottery are two ways to appeal to Gen Y and Z. Today, I’m looking at another industry “elephant in the room” – which is the channel itself.

The channel is, without a doubt, a key angle to engaging these younger players and potential players. When we talk channel, we mean the sources of ticket purchases. At the highest level, this can be broken into digital avenues such as an owned registered website, and brick-and-mortar ones like gas station convenience stores. Both types of general channels can have more traditional approaches and newer ones.

But the channel can’t do it on its own. The complete experience and product need to have relevancy to its target users – but the channel is what provides access, and this is essential. The reality is that even the most relevant products sold in irrelevant locations will be meaningless.

Today, the lottery experience remains an overwhelmingly bricks-and-mortar one because customers still largely buy tickets in person which leads to a focus on this avenue for sales.

The challenge that the industry now faces is that this experience and process is counter to how Gen Y and Z operate. Gen Y and Z are accustomed to digital gaming and interactions with the world, making the lottery industry’s orientation to physical retail sales misaligned to their typical preferences.

Many of the lottery companies I work with have taken note of this and have actively begun to find new and innovative ways to leverage the digital world and drive sales online. Whether it’s through apps, accounts, or other digital formats, some lottery leaders have started to invest in digital channel access and experiences.

But there is much more to be done within the industry at large.

And while it won’t be easy, it represents a significant market opportunity. It’s been years since the typical lottery experience has been reimagined or considered in terms of what is possible against the full breadth of the physical and digital omnichannel experience. It’s exciting.

For those yet to adapt to digital channels, the key here is that it’s not about abandoning traditional bricks and mortar offerings.

Quite the contrary. All channels need to work together. Bricks-and-mortar access should also expand to the types of non-traditional lottery locations frequented by Gen Y and Z and, where possible, can leverage modern, digital means while doing so.

One example can be having pop-up access points at festivals, concerts or street fairs. The goal is to create channel relevancy and build these new relationships – whether it be digital or physical. The product needs to be in front of the right players in the right mediums.

It also is important to note that the core bricks and mortar channels that work for traditional lottery players aren’t threatened by the channel changes mentioned above. In fact, they may even be enhanced by it.

For those yet to adapt to digital channels or think more broadly about how to expand beyond their physical channels – now is the time to take stock.

Like other industries, the lottery sector must strike a balance in appealing to new customers and their tastes, without alienating the traditional ones.

To achieve this balance, the lottery industry should shift its focus from identifying differences to finding similarities – because there are more of these than might be expected.

The solutions shared in this series, from highlighting the purpose and positive impact of the lottery to reimagining the customer experience will likely appeal to both groups, particularly if each is contextualized appropriately.

After all, sometimes the issue isn’t the product but how it’s presented.


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