How to Deliver a Winning Experience Through Kiosk Promotions


The Dos and Donts of Kiosks – Beware the booby prize

I know what you’re thinking. Our customers may very well appreciate a booby prize.

I know you have inventory that you would love to get rid of. Too many keychains? Put it on the prize list. Extra boxes of baseball hats? Add it to the wheel. $5 Free Play? No sweat.

Having kiosks on the floor presents an amazing opportunity to set the odds to “You Win” based upon a real-time set of business rules that categorizes customers in ways we have yet to recognize.

The problem? We focus on weighting winning based upon slot math, not marketing math. We are giving away the booby prize without cringing in horror. In kiosk-based promotions, we get to derive the odds based upon how much we value the customer. Using slot math, we subject the player to odds far beyond the range of their experience. Which do you think the player would prefer?

Straight from the almighty Wikipedia:

“A booby prize is a joke prize usually given in recognition of a terrible performance or last-place finish. A person who finishes last, for example, may receive a booby prize such as a worthless coin … Booby prizes may also be given as consolation prizes to all non-placing participants of a competition.”

Promotions through the kiosk should never deliver consolation prizes.

“Booby” is derived from the Spanish word “bobo” meaning stupid or dunce. It’s the idiot’s prize. Knock it off, folks. No customer is bobo.

Follow me on my first day of play as a secret shopper. I enroll in the club. I swipe my card at the promotional kiosk. I enter a point challenge promotion. If I earn 200 points, I get to spin the wheel at the kiosk. Before kiosks, I would sweat to crest 200 points. I would spin the wheel at the club desk. I would walk away with a Barbie-sized notebook and pencil. That’s not loyalty, that’s an insult. I felt worse after the promotion than I did before.

The advent of rule-based promotions changes things.

No longer must the weighted list of prizes be predicated upon point earnings or ADT. Add some predictive value and behavioral analysis to the odds of who gets what and we can win loyalty by being more generous about what we deliver. What slot machines are the most profitable? What denominations generate the most Theo? After the first day of play, determine who gets what based on other factors like frequency or cumulative spend.

It’s time to rethink how we deliver a winning experience through kiosk promotions. Direct Mail reinvestment is heavily weighted upon ADT. So too, is Player Development. The kiosk provides an opportunity to use alternative valuation factors to deliver a win to highly frequent guests who do not win at the slot machine or through our existing forms of reinvestment.

(P.S. Don’t send an email telling me how much guests love t-shirts. You’re right. They do. Just don’t give a t-shirt or a free ice cream cone next to $200 in Free Play. The emotional gap between the two is a tough sell to someone who just followed your rules to participate in your promotion).

Nicole Barker