Alphameric Solutions, a Scala Certified Partner in the UK, has developed a sophisticated dual-channel dynamic digital signage system promoting betting events in real time to customers both in-store and on the street to generate increased gaming revenue from existing and new customers.
Historically, betting shops in the UK were smoky and reasonably unattractive venues for all but the committed gambler, or “punter.” A combination of the Gambling Act 2005 and the UK-wide ban on smoking in retail establishments, which both went into effect in 2007, provided a reason for many betting brands to refresh their stores and make them more appealing to existing and potential customers.
One of the biggest barriers to engaging new customers in the past had been the storefronts, which traditionally were cluttered with hand-written signage, posters and other generic materials which lacked visual presence and a uniform, branded approach. Rarely could a passerby see into the shop which made it uninviting, and often information on upcoming events was inaccurate. Event-specific promotions would often not include any odds information and would rely on shop staff to manually update pricing. Consequently, prime marketing window space was underused, which had a direct effect on the bookmaker’s ability to bring in new customers off the street.
In order to widen customer reach and promote betting opportunities to the widest possible audience, Alphameric recognized that it was necessary for bookmakers to reach out and engage passersby more effectively and to enhance engagement with customers already in the shop.
Consequently, Alphameric developed a dynamic digital signage package to provide a more immediate, visually impactful and tailored solution to enhance the promotion of betting opportunities taking place “now and next” to existing and new customers and replace paper signage. The approach also offers bookmakers a broadcast sports news service and an ability for shop managers to upload their own marketing messages and promotions locally or remotely to their screens (via Alphamerics network operations center) to enhance local marketing and promotional support without the need for paper, posters or staff intervention.
Clare Barber, Director of Marketing for Alphameric Solutions said, “In today’s shopping environment, the ability to capture a customer’s attention is an important part of remaining competitive, and bookmakers can now take advantage of the same marketing tools used by other businesses. Digital signage is a highly flexible marketing tool providing major benefits over traditional posters used in the past. Up-to-the-minute targeted messaging content can be instantly updated with minimal effort, and the dynamic graphics, vibrant video and animated content deliver high-impact messaging to grab a customer's attention and influence their purchasing decisions.”
The physical components of the dual-channel network package are a 42” daylight-readable plasma screen installed into the storefront and an additional 42” plasma screen installed in the shop in a position that ensures store-wide coverage.
The storefront channel provides an attention-grabbing combination of real-time odds with appropriate high-impact visuals (animation and video) on selected events plus promotions for other games and services available inside.
The in-store channel provides a variant of the storefront channel, a key difference being the duration of the overall program and content items to take advantage of the fact that customers spend time in-store and have a longer viewing time than passersby. For example, sports news and marketing messages feature more heavily on the inside channel than on the storefront due to increased viewing time.
Alphameric partnered with Scala which provided both initial consultancy and the Scala5 Content Management System. Alphameric’s decision to use Scala was due to its ability to provide a centralized, managed solution from which Alphameric is able to offer its clients a full service from the display of bespoke odds to promotional content creation and management of content assets (images, video, text and odds data). For example, Scala5 is able to work with Alphameric’s ALBOS system to display odds information created by ALBOS and update them in real time.
The capability of the Scala software to interact with live data from Alphameric’s ALBOS system enables bookmakers to promote events and odds to punters in real time. This relationship provides exciting opportunities to use the screen network to promote betting via methods that use time to enforce a reason to play, including “countdowns,” “coming next” and other mechanisms where the placing of a bet may be related to the immediacy of the opportunity rather than a customer’s more traditional or planned betting habits.
Furthermore, Scala provides the opportunity to create a suite of branded templates which allow bookmakers to create high-impact animated promotions for the storefront or in-store channels quickly and easily, integrating live feeds (odds and news) for display in a pre-defined, managed and updatable manner customized to each brand and to each type of implementation, whether storefront or in-store.
Commenting on the development, Alan Morcombe, Chief Executive of Alphameric Solutions, said, “We are delighted that we can offer independent bookmakers this solution in a single cost-effective package. In a high-traffic shopping environment, the ability to quickly change the marketing information displayed in the window and in the shop means that managed dynamic digital signage offers the perfect solution for bookmakers, who are constantly revising content and prices displayed to their customers.”
Mr. Morcombe added, “Uniquely to Alphameric, we have ensured that prices within ALBOS, our market-leading text display system, and prices within the Scala digital signage solution are jointly updated in real time. This enables our customers to concentrate on running their businesses with the knowledge that their signage solution is working hard to attract new customers and promote further revenue opportunities.”
By using this system, bookmakers can demonstrate immediate modernity and customer value by presenting a retail proposition that is visually exciting and where betting opportunities are relevant and offers are timely. Composed in a branded environment that is considerably more appealing and enticing than previous incarnations, these enhancements will increase traffic into the shop.
For customers who visit the shop, the second channel provides a relevant, timely and compelling reason to stay and play by promoting the next event or games through linking dynamic content with dynamic odds, helping to make the experience much more about the here and now by providing immediate betting opportunities across a much greater range of different sports and events than ever before.
In both instances, opportunities exist for bookmakers to cross-promote other games and betting channels such as fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), tele-betting and Internet, and in doing so provide customers with a choice of how, when and where they play using the various branded channels run by that bookmaker rather than a competitor.
“The ability to update live event and betting information remotely and in a managed way is a perfect example of the flexibility and functionality that dynamic digital signage offers retailers. In creating their digital signage proposition, Alphameric has overcome problems associated with traditional media and has given bookmakers an opportunity to generate more income from their core business. I am delighted that Scala5 was chosen to enable this innovation and look forward to working with Alphameric in the future to develop this proposition further,” said Oscar Elizaga, VP EMEA, Scala.
About Alphameric Solutions
Alphameric Solutions Ltd (alphameric.com) is the leading technology provider to the bookmaking marketplace in the United Kingdom and Ireland. With three decades of successful innovation in the provision of integrated software and hardware to major bookmakers and independent bookmakers, our comprehensive range of market-leading solutions supports over 8,700 betting shops.
Alphameric Solutions’ unique experience in the bookmaking marketplace enables Alphameric to set the standard for betting shop technology. Product innovation and ongoing research and development ensure that retailers benefit from cutting-edge technology designed to support and enhance betting businesses, maximizing betting revenue and profit, and promoting more betting opportunities, speed of service and increased customer visits. Alphameric Solutions is headquartered in Guildford Surrey with a 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Hampshire.
About Scala, Inc.
Driving more than 200,000 screens worldwide, Scala (scala.com) is a leading global provider of digital signage and advertising management solutions. Scala is the world’s first connected signage company, offering the leading platform for content creation, management and distribution in digital signage networks and the first unified platform for advertising management of both traditional and digital signage networks. The company's digital signage customers include Rabobank, IKEA®, Burger King, T-Mobile, Virgin MegaStore, Warner Brothers, The Life Channel, Rikstoto, Repsol, NorgesGruppen and thousands more. Advertising management customers include CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and Magic Media, among others. Scala is headquartered near Philadelphia, USA, and has subsidiaries in Canada, Netherlands, France, Norway and Japan, as well as more than 450 partners in more than 60 countries.