Trying to Keep the Customer Satisfied

Walter Bugno, President and chief executive of GTech G2, talks to iGaming Business about the convergence of the SPIELO and GTECH G2 brands, the challenges of driving down acquisition costs, improving lifetime player values and creating an immersive consumer experience. 

iGaming Business: Firstly, as chief  executive of such a major business, what are the specific challenges of leading the strategic identity of an igaming brand in today’s evolving industry?
Walter Bugno:
There are several. The first is to ensure that you have a clear positioning and understanding of what you stand for in the eyes of your customers; clearly defining and encapsulating who you are, what makes you different and what makes you stand out. The second area of focus for me is relevance – ensuring that your offering serves the needs of the consumer and is in-line with changing industry trends both in terms of player behaviour and technology. Finally, it’s about agility – the ability to move your business model to adapt to changes in the environment, regulation and player needs.

IGB: Does your experience in leading Spielo help steer the GTech G2 vision for the future?
Our vision for the future is driven by player needs and preferences, not by the singular experience of any one of our employees. The combining of GTech G2 and Spielo International is backed by our belief that by bringing the two organisations together, we can leverage the skills and resources of both entities to build a bigger and better organisation that will allow us to serve the needs of the most important person of all: the player.

IGB: What is the long-term corporate vision as a full service provider and how does the rebrand help to achieve that?
Our focus as an organisation is to be driven by the needs of the player across both GTech G2 and Spielo International. As a result, our long-term vision is simple: more players playing our games than ever before – anytime, anywhere, on anything. The rebranding itself does not achieve that but the fusion of our resources and a dedicated focus on serving the needs of the player allows us to channel our energies into achieving that vision.

IGB: Is strategy compromised by the current economic malaise and the regulating marketplace – how do these forces impact on the company’s current and forward planning?
I would not say that strategy is compromised by the current economic conditions but our initiatives and plans need to take into consideration the current conditions and changing regulations.

IGB: What are the challenges of driving down the cost of acquisition and improving lifetime player values?
Lowering the cost of acquisition and increasing lifetime player values are two of the key success factors to any igaming organisation. There are many challenges as the market continues to develop; players become more sophisticated and the market becomes more competitive. We understand that you need to attract players to your site through effective and innovative marketing campaigns but also to convert them into an active player, through an unrivalled experience from the moment they interact with a site. To enable us to do this and increase lifetime player values means providing players with a playing experience that they want to return to, time and time again. This can be done through providing great content and games but also through enhancing the player experience with great promotions and bonuses, easy-to-navigate registration and creating a community that players feel at home in.

IGB: What would be your assessment of the future role of lotteries in the North American market and what is your specific intention for that market?
For both the SPIELO International and GTECH G2 organisations, the world lottery market is and will continue to be a very important segment of our business. In regard to the question of the North American market we are, naturally, keeping a close eye on the developments and possible regulations surrounding online gaming. In the event of any development in regulation and legislation we will, of course, be treating this as a key market.

IGB: Returning to your management of Spielo, explain a little about the convergence of the brands and how that will affect GTech G2 considering its recent rebranding.
The decision to merge the two organisations was all about putting our customers first; it’s about being more responsive, more agile and faster to market. We have seen the increased convergence between the land-based and online gaming industry both from a supplier and a player perspective and we need to have the flexibility and agility to provide a cross channel or multimedia approach for players to enable our customers to deliver the best playing experience.

We are driven by one simple aim: the desire to have more people playing our games than ever before. Across every channel, players are being given more choice, we want to make sure that we are able to offer them games and products that excite them, whenever and wherever they choose to play. With regards to rebranding, it is our intention to announce a unified brand in early 2012 which will bring together our products and market segments into one seamless player driven gaming organisation.