By Alexis Tello, CEO and Founder of Tellotech*
A businessman/woman is the center of an organizational and entrepreneurial ecosystem. He/she makes strategic decisions, set goals and objectives, and accepts business and legal responsibilities. This structure is critical to success. However, an ‘innovative entrepreneur’ goes much further, and the relevant Austro-American economist Joseph Schumpeter’s theory of this executive establishes a revealing approach for current business leaders. This type of entrepreneur is highly related to his/her environment, to society. In the gaming industry, people (employees, customers, and the community) are at the core. Greatest industry entrepreneurs have always understood this dynamic. The takeover of the companies by ‘technocratic businessmen/women’ has led to forgetting that social interrelation, the human factor of the industry. But reality is that gaming is not isolated from society, nor can it be. It is essential to create links with environment. In that sense, to strengthen these links is that the concept of ‘social marketing’ can be implemented.
SOCIAL MARKETING IN GAMING
This idea is expressed in the book Social Marketing: Improving the quality of life (2002), by Philip Kotler, Ned Roberto and Nancy Lee. These authors describe a hundred examples of social marketing campaigns. Social marketing is applied both by companies and by organizations and Governments, with the aim of transforming habits of thought, attitudes and behaviors. In gaming, community acceptance is good for business, although it is not easy to achieve. The fact that the gaming industry is one of the last authorized to reopen halls in the post-pandemic proves minor bond with society today, which reflects communication problems and issues on attracting consumers’ interest.
Now, this crisis can be a great opportunity for each company in gaming to rethink how it is interacting with the community where it is present, in order to strengthen the connection. It is important to list a series of points that, within a company, can help to determine clear strategies to follow in order to face this context and resume operations in the best way possible.
1. The leader and his/her work within the company
After making an analysis of the environment and the need for adaptation and integration with the community, it will be a key to consider the principle formulated by the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong: “The revolutionary army must live like a fish in water.” We must be integrated with the community that surrounds us so that it feels that we are part of the process of recovery of the community’s economy, in order to return to daily life activities.
2. Knowing the goal
Members of the working team of a company must know the main goal and accept it as their own, joining together to achieve it. A way should be found for the communication between the leader and the team to flow directly, to avoid deviations of the information. For this, the creation of situational rooms in each operation can be proposed, reducing the use of physical structures to a minimum and simplifying corporate structures as well as bureaucratic procedures, to speed up the response to the client (similar to ‘battle tents’ organized by generals in the field).
3. Considering risks and benefits
Before taking it, it’s essential to analyze each action and to prevent the risks and advantages that will result from its implementation. The responsibility for these results does not depend only on the team members, but on the ability to make the most of positive situations and to know how to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Of course, this is not an easy task and requires experience, perseverance, serenity and strength from the leader, in addition to bravery and organization from the workers. Risks and investments can take time and resources. Therefore, the entire team must focus on the survival of the existing business. According to the philosophy of Chinese military Sun Tzu in The Art of War: “The one who excels in solving problems is the one who solves them before they appear.”
4. Resource management
The organization must occur at the level of human, material and economic resources. Regarding human resources, the skills of the workers will be taken into account to be able to assign them a task and, in this way, avoid overexertion and fatigue caused by little experience or skill in the matter. In addition, a company can make better use of time. The creation of a database with industry professionals, controlled by the human resources managers of each company, will help a lot to recover those troops dispersed by such a long time of separation from regular activities. On the other hand, that kind of habit of glorifying or execrating that the industry has on the whim of a group of managers will be avoided. This attitude is used as a recruiting method (managers are good or bad depending on the whim of a group in power). We could define this as a unified system of personnel from the gaming industry, with semi-annual evaluations and validations from human resources managers, and not from the operational or administrative personnel of each company, used to subjective or interested evaluations.
5. Return to normality or full recovery
In general, an internal evaluation of an organization is usually carried out with teams that address the interpretation of management behavior with respect to various offices or institutions at a given context. In this case, it happens with the reopening of gaming halls in a post-COVID-19 scene. In other words, its existence is contingent and its scope includes several offices. I am referring to establishing a situational social room of multi-ministerial competence or crisis cabinet (Administration, Marketing, Operation, Security). Of course, this room must be dissolved at the end of the crisis situation, with the return to pre-pandemic production. Human talents of an organization should also return to their functions.
6. The industry and its image in society
Social marketing is the key that will allow the return to the origins of gaming, with that innovative Schumpeterian businessman/woman who did understand the value of the environment and of workers themselves. Sooner or later, this attitude of openness and solidarity towards the inside and the outside pays off: employees will work in a positive business environment that will favor their proactivity, while the community will appreciate the contribution of the industry to its economy and the offering of attractive entertainment options.
*Current CEO and founder of Tellotech, Alexis Tello has an extensive professional career of over 16 years in the gaming industry. He served as Slots Manager, and also as Manager and IT Project Director in the main global companies in the sector. Besides, he was in charge of the daily management of more than 25 projects and units in 12 different countries in Latin America.