08 May, 2015

On Lottery and Technology

OLG Logo  Source: Wikipedia
I'll be joining many of my colleagues at OLG and our partner agencies in sharing insights and opinions as a speaker at the La Fleur's Lottery Forum in June.  Here is the summary of the event:

La Fleur’s 2015 Global Lottery Forum is our first educational conference to be held in Canada. TLF Publications, based in Rockville, Maryland and publisher of La Fleur’s Magazine, has been organizing lottery conferences since 1995—there have been a total of 39 lottery symposiums and lottery conclaves held.

OLG is the host jurisdiction of La Fleur’s 2015 Global Lottery Forum, which will be held in Toronto, from June 14-17, 2015 at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. A university setting is a new venue  style for a La Fleur’s conference which we believe will accentuate the opportunity for white paper presentations, academic discussion, networking and roundtable discussion. The Forum will also include the La Fleur’s Sustain- ability Awards competition for lottery organizations for the areas of corporate social responsibility, responsible gaming and the environment.

In addition, Canada is home to the best-run lotteries in the world. Our feeling is that the lottery world will come for the Forum’s cosmopolitan location and return home abuzz about the valuable content.

The Forum program will feature in-depth presentations by key lottery organizations invited to talk about topics key to the lottery industry’s growth, including future ready network, retail channel diversification, mobile ready, corporate social responsibility and changing consumer demographics.

In addition, the Forum will feature content streams featuring the La Fleur’s signature 15-minute speaker presentations on topics ranging from national scratcher strategies and hybrid draw game design to ilottery, lottery advertising/research and national game programming.

To promote interaction and discussion between attendees, the main program will end at 3 p.m. Attendees can choose between two 2.5 hour breakout sessions, such as draw games, scratch games, iLottery and retail sales expansion. Each evening will feature social networking opportunities for attendees to enjoy cosmopolitan Toronto. Opportunities are available for Education Program Partner, Hospitality Event Partner and Webinar Partner.

Make plans to join us and discover why we call her: “Toronto, the City That Works.”

I'll be speaking on the second day of the conference, with Geoff Lee from Olson Canada.  The summary of our talk, although vague, is as follows:

Mobile technology, multiscreen experiences, and the future of lottery and gaming.
Want a glimpse into the future of lottery and gaming? Join Andrew Kinnear (Senior Manager, Marketing Communications at Ontario Lottery & Gaming) and Geoff Lee (Group Creative Director at Olson Canada), the marketers behind OLG digital and mobile properties like “Group Play” and “Pro•Line”, as they share best-in-class examples and insights on how to take the gaming experience to the next level.
See what’s happening today, what’s coming down the pipe tomorrow, and what’s going to change the game forever.

We'll look at what understanding the customer can do for marketing, taking technology to the next level with mobile and other awesome stuff.  You should definitely come.


19 June, 2014

How to avoid blogging for over a year...

Answer: Change Jobs and have two babies.

In July of 2013 I joined the Lottery Marketing team at OLG in Toronto. I took on a dept with responsibility for all the owned and earned media, digital and traditional as well as all below the line marketing at OLG's over 10,000 authorized Lottery retailers. Change is good. After developing the team over the past 12 months, aligning strategy both for digital and traditional marketing, and getting plans and budgets approved for this year, we're off on an amazing journey that keeps getting better. 

Claire and I also had two boys. Monty and Eddy joined us in November and have been winning the hearts and minds of the nation ever since. or pooping-- whichever comes first.

It's amazing how busy you can get if you don't carve out time for a blog. Maybe I just never liked my previous jobs as much, or maybe with two boys there just isn't enough time in the day. Either way, I decided today that I should get a new post on here so I don't feel like such a liar when I read a bio that says Blogger, and my last post was in 2013.

Oh, and kitchen reno--- did I mention the kitchen reno? ~A

10 April, 2013

Responsive Design vs. Adaptive or 'Screen Specific' Design

We're trying to understand some of the nuances that marketers are taking into their decision making process when it comes to mobile design philosophy. What makes an organization, either from a build & deploy point of view or a 'customer experience first' point of view, choose what they choose when it comes to mobilizing their web properties.

This is not the Apps vs. Mobile Web debate. 

What we're discussing is Server vs. Browser decisions about the mobile presentation layer. There are roughly two schools of thought (though lots of versions and variations) when it comes to mobile design philosophy:

Responsive Design - This is where you build a site that adjusts itself in the browser based on how big it is. On a small mobile phone screen, you may have some navigation at the bottom, big easy to follow text titles and large fonts for easy reading. However as you scale up this same code into a tablet or desktop experience, the presentation layer is shifted at different 'break points' and nav may move around, fonts become more appropriate for a larger screen and images fall into place.

Responsive design is also primarily happening on the client side, with the work being done by the browser.

Adaptive or 'Screen Specific' Design - This is a different approach. Designing for each screen is about creating an experience specific to what a user may need. Depending on the industry, this usually manifests as 'mobile sites for specific purposes' trading copy and elaborate image-heavy design for simple buttons, location-based features, click-to-call functionality (since they're on a phone) and that sort of thing.

This is typically handled server-side, detecting a 'User Agent' (the thing that the site uses to determine what browser, resolution, version, etc) and then serving the correct site, be it a mobile site or tablet or desktop or even Smart TV.  For brands that want to control individual experiences differently, or simply strip away the web-chaff from the inter-wheat, approaching mobile design from this perspective makes sense.

So is there a right answer?  

Different brands have different needs.  Like any tactic, there is often a blend of both approaches depending on the user/audience, the product, vertical, as well as real business considerations like budget and speed to market.

Some brands simply let their customers decide. When Google says that 50% of searches are happening via smartphones, companies who pour millions into search marketing need to have an approach to acquisition through mobile.  When analytics tells you that 98% of your customers viewing your site from a mobile device are using Safari on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch-- this should inform your strategy in the short term at the very least.  Companies are still using giant Flash elements for promotions and even navigation on their sites.

So which factors are informing your decision making process?  You can help by telling the Canadian Marketing Association what you think:  http://4qr.me/cmamobile . It's a ONE QUESTION survey about your approach or philosophy when it comes to mobile design.

Andrew Kinnear is a member of the Canadian Marketing Association's Digital Council, and works at JPMorgan Chase managing digital strategy in Toronto. Follow him @andrewkinnear

13 March, 2013

Crowdfunding a Movie: Veronica Mars on Kickstarter!

So even though it's a little bit '90210' for someone in my demographic, I've been a fan of Veronica Mars since it/she appeared on the scene. It's sort of a Sherlock Holmes meets High School Drama kind of show, with episodic adventures but a season long mystery to solve. (Bus Crash anyone?).

 Anyway, years later, Kristen Bell and Rob Thomas are on board with the studio's blessing to try to fund a movie in a way that's never been done before on this scale. Basically, the more money they raise, the cooler the movie they can make. From Rob's Bio:

Rob Thomas is the creator and executive producer of VERONICA MARS. He is also one of the co-creators and executive producers of PARTY DOWN. This particular Rob Thomas never fronted Matchbox 20. He did, however, put 20 points up on Greg "Cadillac" Anderson in a high school basketball game in 1983.

 I Kickstarted this project, but beware that items won't ship to Canada... That's a feature of Kickstarter, not the project, so I opted to get a virtual reward-- though the movie will be reward enough.

What amazes me is the devotion and willingness of casual fans to spend literally more than what some DVD sets cost-- just to get a movie made. Not even to actually get the movie.  In this case though, some of the rewards are pretty awesome, including personal voicemail recordings by Kristen Bell, Red Carpet experiences, and even ROLES in the movie itself.

 NOTE: This project launched TODAY (March 13th) and at the time of this posting had raised over $1.2mil so far. They have 30 days. This is crazy.

04 March, 2013

Changing an organization--because of Facebook?

From the 2012 Facebook Best Practices Guide for Marketers

Isn't it interesting that certain changes in the world affect a marketing team, and others, though seemingly important, don't?

That's the approach I took with a recent blog post on the CMA Blog. As part of my work with the CMA's Digital Marketing Council, me and another awesome dude named Steve Mahoney took time out of our busy day to sit down with Facebook Canada's managing director in 2012. (Actually, he took time out to talk to us-- we weren't doing much other than waiting to get some quotes from him...) And quotes we did! ...get?

Jordan Banks, who is the Mark Zuckerburg of the Great White North, was happy to share some insights about how Facebook has affected marketing teams and brands in Canada:
In any given day on Facebook, there are 100 million connections being made between people and brands,” said Banks. “That's 100% YoY growth - so in 2011 that number was 50 million connections. So to me, that's really a proxy for the increased importance of brands in this thing we call the social graph.
What I liked most about speaking with Jordan Banks, and trying to understand the marketing world from Facebook's perspective, was that Facebook is something that is truly new and has never been possible before.  Even today, when you go to send a DM to your database or decide on some search terms for a paid-search campaign, you can't target based on who the potential customer IS, only what they've done, or what you see as their intent.  With Facebook, (and more recently other platforms) you can finally target that 18-35 demographic you so covet, not based on indicators that lead you to believe they are 18-35, but because they have said their birthday was in 1987. Exactly.  And you can wish them a happy birthday too.

To have a look at the full post with awesome perspective from Jordan Banks, as well as my attempt to write a blog post that was a little less conversational, check out the post here: Facebook's Impact on Business: Organizational Changes in Thinking.

Special thanks to Jordan for your time, Stacie and Carrie from High Road for setting it up, and the CMA for publishing.
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