New Habits for 2016

When working through 2016 planning with clients I realised just like my annual gym membership (what I think of as a fat tax), they where repeating habits from previous years, some where good habits and a lot where bad. Without making it sound drastic, the bad habits where not malicious or wrong but ones I felt where just repeating things that have happened in the past.  So classic examples include add more casino games, add additional payment methods, don’t worry about Grand National until we get Cheltenham out of the way, I want to re-design the website and a whole host of others.


These have become habits because in every eGaming company there is a track record that when they have carried out these activities, they have made more money.  For me this triggered an easy counter-argument that just by being busy over the last 10 years your eGaming business was going to grow or as my physics teacher drummed into us correlation does not mean causation.


Our role was to challenge clients on their bad habits and help them build new better habits. But before we did we went and spoke with a number of experts on habits including psychologists, personal trainers, dieticians and addiction counselors. We discussed with all of them on why bad habits happen and how people form new better habits.


Interestingly none of them advised sheer willpower and just get on with it, they all advocated a multi-stage approach of using a trigger to start a new action and recognising the benefit, which can be summarised with a silly example:


·      Trigger: Brushing your teeth is a reminder to Floss

·      Action You Take: Floss your teeth

·      Benefit You Gain: Less lectures from your dentist (and healthier teeth)


A number of them also cited studies that repetition is key, so if you can create a new routine and maintain it for approximately seven to ten weeks it will become a habit.


We took this expert insight and modified it slightly to suit an annual planning process riddled with bad habits, let’s use two examples:


Trigger: We should add more casino games

What Does the Data Say?

·      Players typically only play a maximum of 5 games

·      Majority of games on site get no or little game play

What’s the Insight?

·      Game discovery on site is poor

·      Game choice is overwhelming

·      No favourite games list on site

What’s the Action to be Taken?

·      Help players discover their 5 favourite games

·      Make it easy to find these games on repeat visits.

Benefit you Gain: Players who have identified their favourite games have a longer lifetime value.


Trigger: We should re-negotiate affiliate terms

What Does the Data Say?

·      Bounce rate of affiliate traffic is 50%+

What’s the Insight?

·      Not converting as much of the traffic as we could be

·      Affiliates charging us more to compensate

What’s the Action to be Taken?

·      Focus on conversion optimization of affiliate traffic

Benefit you Gain: Increase conversion rates grows the business and can help us lower per player affiliate commissions.  



We then coupled this structure by bucketing projects into two categories labeled Urgent and Important. This helped management to really make sure they were allocating dedicated time, resources and budgets to the important projects so that by the end of 2016 through change and growth and takes place.


We helped clients kill a number of sacred cows and kick-start their business in 2016 with new good habits and focusing on what is important, hopefully this can help you do the same thing! 

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