SlotBeats Insight delves into the backgrounds of Evoplay Entertainment in a three part series taking a look at the creativity process in slot development.
‘Every game we create is the result of rigorous marketing insights that we work on with our development team to apply,’ noted Yanina Kaplya, head of marketing at Evoplay Entertainment, who explained the companies marketing insights into the development of slots.
In the third part of SlotBeats Insight, we spoke to Kaplya about how Evoplay Entertainment applies marketing disciplines into the creation of their slots, using trend analytics in slots, and a deeper look into the company’s in-house marketing process.
SlotBeats: When it comes to applying marketing insights to the development of your slots – how do you look to integrate your strategy?
Yanina Kaplya: For me, the best part of sharing marketing insights with our development team is that it’s almost like unveiling a codified secret, which can then be shared, discussed and integrated in a way that resonates with our global fanbase.
Being part of a company that has a truly differentiated portfolio with some really exciting gameplay experiences across slots, table and instant games enables us to set different strategies towards each of our products, along with a mission to disrupt the market and promote our brand in a way that we know our players will value.
Every game we create is the result of rigorous marketing insights that we work on with our development team to apply, and is borne out of a process that we have lovingly integrated to ensure that we have a product that can truly look and feel the way we want it to be, as well as creating a gaming experience that can be promoted and shared with our gaming fans across the world.
SB: As a marketing expert yourself, how can you recommend POs can look to apply such marketing disciplines into their own creation of slots?
YK: I’m a great believer in the ‘divide and conquer’ approach when it comes to the roles development and marketing can have in a truly integrated strategy. Marketing teams, as representatives of the commercial side of the gaming experience, are able to determine the demand that can be created with the right supply, as well as the identification of target audiences and the approach needed to enter new markets and win new partnerships.
What a truly immersive gaming experience can achieve in terms of a marketing and PO’s strategy cannot be underestimated – and the power of both teams working together can really create wonders. For example, when it comes to developing a slot, we always ask ‘how can we make a difference and what is the best way we can then promote it?’.
By setting the goal of what we are looking to achieve with the finished product and how we are going to get there ensures that we can create a vision and expectation for what we should be delivering. Once this is in place, we can then hand those insights over to our stellar development team to make the magic. After all, if you want a Michelin Star dish – it can only work if you give the chef the right ingredients!
From personal experience, my recommendation is to set a Formula 1 “pit stop crew” style mindset – where everyone knows what needs to be done, and when it comes to taking care of the product, every role is already set and each team member knows what to do automatically during the process.
SB: In terms of applying the latest trends, is there a way that this can be analysed/quantified to determine the best approach? Do you involve the likes of data analytics?
YK: Data analytics certainly have their use – and when you work with them enough, it becomes very easy to start identifying regression and variation of player behaviour which can then set the stage for dynamics that can really allow you to start setting a trend. We’ve seen this happen with the games in our portfolio countless times, and when using this approach, we’re able to really take a look at what can be achieved in terms of player resonance on a global scale.
For me, this is the great thing about looking to apply data analytics to the development process – there is never a blank canvas, and it’s the marketer’s job to identify those hints and likely trends and share it with the wider development team.
Alongside that is the prevalence of the smartphone era, and I’m always keeping an eye on what’s happening in terms of behavioural patterns in regard to how players interact with their devices, and with such insights we’re able to take a truly deep dive into the user journey and provide the experience we believe the player wants to have.
Get it right, and this will provide the foundation for your ‘backend’ and UX – as well as the groundwork for a slot that can truly capture your audience’s attention. Dive further into what’s trending in the visual and entertainment space and you can start seeing the future of your design, thematic and mechanic development strategies. Of course, this is the result of a complex process that requires plenty of fine-tuning to work properly for your team, but I cannot recommend it enough.
SB: What kind of insights can be applied from your research, and how do you look to draw your conclusions via research and evaluation? Is it more a case of a ‘gut feeling’ than anything else?
YK: In my opinion, the best approach is always going to be the one that you feel is truly going to work for your specific brand and product. Of course, if you’re running your own marketing team for slots, you’re going to have to trust your instincts and decide if it reflects your brand’s messaging and product vision.
It goes without saying that this can only be gained from on-the-job experience, and the more you do it, the more I can promise you that your ‘gut feeling’ will be able to rely on a real methodological background.
From personal experience, I always try to look to determine global trends from the ‘Big four’ in the tech world – Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft. Understanding what they’re doing and also what they’re looking to do in terms of engaging multiple demographics is an approach that our industry would do well to learn from. It’s exactly this synergy towards entertainment, combined with targeted business objectives, that can then be deployed as an expansive marketing strategy that can encompass an entire series of themes that can then be worked on with your development teams.
SB: And last but not least, how do the Evoplay Entertainment development and marketing teams collaborate to develop a slot? Take us through your in-house process.
YK: That’s something we take very seriously here! We’ve really made a name for ourselves globally as one of the industry’s most disruptive slot suppliers precisely because our marketing and development teams collaborate in a way that many others wouldn’t make the effort to do. We love our work and we’re passionate about what we create.
From the very beginning, any marketer who joins our company goes through a complex onboarding process with all product owners to dive deep into different types of products, directions and visions applied to building our product roadmap strategy.
As Head of Marketing, I’m constantly looking to establish joint sessions on every step of the product development cycle, starting from market and trend research, to ideation, branding, prototyping, copywriting and planning the game’s promotion.
All of this is a shared process between our departments – and one that I wouldn’t have in any other way. I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the three years we’ve been on the market. At every stage we look to collaborate together as a team and share what works and what doesn’t – as well as discussing the differentiation of B2B and B2C marketing campaigns based on how our product evolves. After all, it’s our amazing fanbase and streamer partners who have made us into who we are today, and we’d never want to let them down with an inferior product.