Public Gaming International Magazine May June 2023

19 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • MAY/JUNE 2023 that goes with wondering what you would do if you won the lottery. Then your career took you directly into retailing with the third largest grocery retailer at the time, SuperValu (SVU). What insights were gleaned from the process of building out their “shopper marketing” competencies? And what can lottery do differently to enhance consumer/shopper awareness of our games? M. Pursley: I remember one of my rst “big” meetings in my initial role at SVU. I was working within a team to build a shopper marketing competency for the company, which entailed building a framework for vendors (e.g., CPG, food companies and brokers) to pay into for added point-of-sale, marketing, and advertising space. I stood in front of a group of SVU merchants who didn’t know me, and basically told them that they were leaving money on the table – which they heard as “not doing their jobs.” I was basically kicked out of the room, and I spent time guring out how to show the value of the goal di erently. Several years later, as the company was nishing up a re-structure and company acquisition, those same merchants were highly concerned about how they were going to maintain the shopper marketing program within their supply chain. ey came to recognize the value that I had worked to show them, and over time came to adopt new practices. I share this story because it feels similar to the path of our industry at times. We can be slow to change; slow to recognize incremental opportunities that can ultimately become game changers. We have to continue to nd ways to communicate more e ectively with stakeholders as we look for support to drive innovation. Lottery doesn’t have a traditional “consumer awareness” problem. But there is still headroom to promote the broader diversity and extent of all that we o er, even if it is just to remind consumers of all the ways to have fun playing the lottery – di erentiated prize structures, extended play games, varying price points, exciting jackpot games. While there are plenty of opportunities in front of those of us immersed in the innovation journey for retail, it’s also important that we push, every day, for incremental enhancement of the placement of our products and our marketing. Retail Marketing Programs that reward retailers for following merchandising standards and planograms, increasing points of access in the retail space, and providing incremental marketing opportunities in their stores and across retailers’ own social media channels should remain a key focus. is is the path that IGT Indiana carved out on behalf of the Hoosier Lottery. When we joined the Hoosier Lottery through the Lottery Management Agreement, the average access point per retailer was 23. Today it is 41. Total access points have grown by 79,000, which means there are 79,000 more options at retail for players across the state than there were 10 years ago. One of my expressions, gained from my retail experience, is “you can’t sell what you don’t have.” In Indiana, we developed a laser-focus on new game retailer activation and out-of-stock management. e program is called “Full and Available,” and the team runs about a 97-98% rate of availability at retail for instants. And retailers receiving an initial launch allocation shipment had an overall activation rate of 99.52% in the rst 48 hours after game launch in April 2023, which is a consistently strong KPI in Indiana. Walmart recognized Hoosier as Best-inClass partner during your tenure. What were some of the things you did that were special and earned you that recognition? M. Pursley: Walmart determined where machines would go and how they had to look in terms of height and width. IGT invested in innovation, research, and testing to package the mechanics into an award-winning unit, and our teams continue to focus on the logistics of implementation and promotion. In Indiana, we focused on the data. Where would we launch the machines rst, what stores would get multiple machines, what was the ideal 20-game planogram for this retailer? en enters the science and the art of gaining awareness among Walmart shoppers. We invested heavily in ambassador events, and the team leveraged the data to ensure Full and Available rates and the appropriate 20-game planogram. How does the operator perspective differ from the “partner” perspective? M. Pursley: Working on both the operator and technology-partner sides of the business has given me an appreciation for the many di erences of perspectives. I have found that operators are receptive to insights acquired from multiple sources, including the experiences and data gleaned from other markets, if we relate the research, data, and insights directly to their own experience. We know that the operator knows their business and brings a perspective that the technology partner may not have, and we expect them to challenge us to address their questions about the way research, data, or experience gleaned from other markets apply to their particular market. en, even when we get clear consensus on the objectives, the approach to getting there can vary widely based on our di erent experiences, our di erent functional areas of expertise, our di erent corporate or organizational cultures, etc. At the heart of IGT’s value proposition is the science of analyzing the countless attributes and variables that determine the success of an initiative, product, or promotion, and driving business performance and success for the bene t of lotteries and good causes. at’s what we do. Our global footprint gives us a unique perspective on the industry, a wealth of data that informs the whole process, and a diversity of real-world experience to draw upon. It’s our job, the job of the technology partner, to align what we o er with the will of the customer, the state lottery operator. ey are the ones who know their market, their priorities, their goals, their political landscape – and we are dedicated to helping them accomplish their mission. You are now leading IGT’s incredible brain-trust that provides marketing and business intelligence leadership. What are the top-of-mind issues your team is working on right now? M. Pursley: I am indeed very excited to be working alongside such talented folks. ere are three key areas that we’re focused on to help drive growth to the lottery industry: thought leadership, portfolio and product optimization, and retail sales execution and innovation. On the thought leadership side, it’s about driving research and insights to help drive leading practices. But it’s always about really helping customers identify those consumer and retailer needs and bringing to them the most forward-leaning success strategies our industry has to o er. Continued on page 41