The Strategy Interview: Tom Dawley Marketing Director of On-line Products for the Ontario Lottery Corporation

Tom Dawley is the marketing director of on-line products for the Ontario Lottery Corporation. Dawley is responsible for the strategic planning and product management of Lotto 6/49, Encore, Lottario, Wintario, Pick 3 and Super 7. Before joining olc, Dawley worked for...

Tom Dawley is the marketing director of on-line products for the Ontario Lottery Corporation. Dawley is responsible for the strategic planning and product management of Lotto 6/49, Encore, Lottario, Wintario, Pick 3 and Super 7. Before joining olc, Dawley worked for the Bank of Montreal and Molson Breweries. Last year, olc’s total sales were $1.88 billion. Profits were $562 million.

Q. How do you market something that began rather as a novelty and now has become a commonplace? How do you market against complacency?

A. The way we’ve got it set up right now is that each game that we have fills a specific market niche providing different product benefits, which is similar to any packaged goods segment.

We have got a range of games that go from [those] that provide good odds of winning, [and which provide] instantaneous gratification, to games that offer large jackpots.

Q. Can you break down by market segment who buys what in lottery tickets?

A. Lottario right now skews 45-plus. And it is a game that has been around for a number of years, has good odds of winning, and has a jackpot that rolls [over] when it’s not won.

That is a specific game aimed at a specific target, which is 45-plus. [The] 6/49, on the other hand, is pretty much a mass appeal product. The odds are not as good as Lottario’s, but, obviously, the jackpot potential is a lot larger.

Q. Who are you marketing your new game, Super 7, to?

A. Super 7 will be aimed at 6/49 players. The reason being is that 80% of the population has played 6/49 at one time [or another.] Super 7 is meant to be a broadscale product similar to 6/49.

Q. You’re not worried about cannibalizing 6/49?

A. I think there may be some cannibalization, but Super 7 has been designed so the two games can co-exist. Super 7 has a different price point at $2, and 6/49 has a price point of a dollar. You get three plays for $2 on Super 7 and one play with 6/49.

Q. How are you marketing the tickets against other forms of gambling that are available in the province? In Windsor, [Ont.,] for example, there’s a casino.

A. Our feeling is that there’s very little correlation between casinos and lottery games. Lottery games are a low-cost form of entertainment. It’s very different markets and very different products.

Q. Do you have a principal competitor for the dollars spent on lottery tickets?

A. Do we have competition? Not really. What we try to market against is putting the best possible games out there that appeal to players who ask for game benefits.

Q. What sorts of things on the game scene can consumers expect in the near future?

A. With the launch of Super 7, that’s where we’ve been for the last six months, trying to get that game off to a good start. Over time, [the introduction of new games] will be based on research, on what consumers’ views are. We really don’t have anything specific at this point.

Q. What was your approach with Super 7? How did you differentiate it from other lottery products?

A. That’s a good question. That’s something we looked at hard and long for quite a period of time. We have a campaign with 6/49 that has been around for a good four years now, and it’s worked extremely well for us.

It’s called ‘Imagine the Freedom.’ That campaign has been very strong for us. Our advertising agency that worked on Super 7 is Promanad Communications in Mississauga, [Ont.]

It came up with a positioning line of ‘The sky’s the limit.’ That, in some respects, was able to communicate all the elements of the game: the $2 1/2 million guaranteed jackpots that grow until they’re won; the better-than-one-in-six odds overall; an unprecedented seven prize categories.

This is a big game, and we wanted to portray it as a big game. Hence the positioning line.

We worked with Promanad and came up with a real example of marketing integration. tv was [advertising] the positioning line. [There was] the radio, the print. We’ve got outdoor point-of-sale. We did direct mail; delivered 3.8 million coupons with trial opportunities for Super 7. We’ve got consumer promotions in there. We had the media launch the week of May 30.

We also had a simulation theatre, which is a mobile unit very similar to types of rides or theatres at Disneyworld. It’s an interactive simulated ride in the cockpit of a high speed jet. We’ll be putting [the simulated jet flight] on the road for the summer.

Q. Are certain markets more important for you than others?

A. They’re all important markets. The way to categorize it is some brands perform better in different markets. Some markets are very strong for us. Toronto is a big market based on population.

Q. What are the best markets for Pick 3 and Lottario?

A. For Pick 3, our major market is Toronto. Lottario is pretty much stable across the province [and] similar to 6/49.