Thinking Small at the 2018 EL/WLA Marketing Seminar

EL WLA Marketing Seminar 2018

The Joint European Lotteries/World Lottery Association 2018 Marketing Seminar explored the assertion that “The Biggest Trend in Marketing is Small.” In opening the event, WLA President Jean-Luc Moner-Banet observed that many organizations are drowning in Big Data and are struggling to turn data into useful information. While last year’s Marketing Seminar was focused on Big Data, this year, Thinking Small offered a new perspective on that same issue. Thinking Small complements Thinking Big by providing better and more measurable experiences for consumers at an individual level. Marketing is becoming more personal every day, and businesses are building marketing campaigns around regional and local data. 

The seminar’s moderator, Karen Connell, warned against organizations becoming too big to respond to the “small but mighty” – those who are nimble enough to knock down the most powerful of brands. In her opening presentation she referenced the rise of ASOS, Airbnb, Uber, and Amazon, the industry disruptors who are now the biggest in the world in their fields. She urged that businesses realize the pace of marketing today means that marketing plans may be out of date as soon as they are written, and social media has the power to make or break brands in an instant. 

Jon Duschinsky, a Social Innovator, addressed the seminar twice. A former charitable fundraiser, he believes that stories are great ways to engage consumers, but to cut through and be noticed, they must be authentic and come from brands who know what they stand for. If a brand creates a strong enough platform, consumers will want to stand alongside them for change. 

Duschinsky challenged the lottery audience to consider what lotteries stand for – winning money – and ask whether this is relevant for today’s consumer. He believes that the “Me Me Me Generation” has become the “Me Too Generation,” and that the desire for personal legacy has become the desire for collective legacy; from a focus on the individual to the collective; to be for change or become irrelevant. 

Duschinsky left the audience with the challenge to define lotteries’ role and to have a purpose that is present in all levels of the organization and which drives its strategies and products. He believes that all businesses that survive in today’s economy have something in common: the pursuit of purpose alongside the pursuit of profit, and that a purpose mobilizes people in a way that pursuing profits alone never will. For lotteries to thrive, according to Duschinsky, they need to infuse its purpose in all that they do. 


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