Humby urges gaming sector to feed off customers' 'passion'

Humby urges gaming sector to feed off customers' 'passion'

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Totally Gaming

Clive Humby, a pioneer in customer retention, urged EiG 2014 attendees to ignore the “myth” about loyalty programmes and make the most of the “passion” in the gaming industry.

Humby, the co-founder of dunnhumby, was the chief architect of the Tesco Clubcard and segmentation programme, a hugely successful scheme at the supermarket giant.

During his presentation at Arena Berlin today (Tuesday), Humby explained how most companies that introduce loyalty programmes adopt the wrong focus from the start.

“There is a big myth about loyalty programmes that they are about making the customer more loyal to your organisation,” Humby said.

“In fact it is the other way round. It is about organisations being more loyal to the consumers and making sure your best offers are offered to your best customers.

“Most loyalty programmes are rubbish as they have been established with the premise that customers will become more loyal to your company, but it is actually about being really engaged with your customers.

“Good loyalty programmes should reward the customer for things that they like, rather than trying to incentivise them for things that they haven’t done.

“Trying to change behaviours radically doesn’t work. We wouldn’t push Pepsi offers to Coca-Cola buyers, but we would nudge the customer and make the retail store a better place to shop by grouping certain products together, for example.

Gaming companies that do utilise loyalty programmes have to strike the right balance between “cool and creepy” when it comes to finding out information about their customers. They also need to find out what is useful amongst the “data explosion” at their disposal.

“Data needs context to be useful,” Humby added.

“Those companies which are able to bring together data from multiple sources and not just focus on their own customers will have a real competitive advantage. However, you have to be trusted by the customer.

“Companies can think that loyalty programmes represent a magic bullet, but if anything it raises the expectations of the customers.”

The trick, according to Humby, is to look beyond the purchases and try to understand the reasons for the customers’ actions.

“We would be interested in whether the person knows how to cook, or whether they are trying to lose weight, for example, rather than the value of their shopping basket,” he added.

“Understanding the motivation is a big part of the process. For most brands, loyalty is the wrong concept – it’s about being relevant.

“Customer motivation is the key to unlocking value, and big data is not a panacea. To be useful, data needs to become actionable.”

Humby said that iGaming has a major advantage over some other industries as it is able to tap into a person’s passions.

“The future for brands is to engage with customers via their passions, and gaming is a passionate industry,” he added.

“Passions are much more extreme than straightforward transactional behaviour.

“When you start to understand what people care about and start to see what really matters to them, then it shifts from being a functional loyalty to emotional loyalty.”

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