Geert: “The lottery's result focused way of working and the dynamics suit me very well. We focus on sales, marketing and entertainment, but it all starts with our mission for a better world. Our enormous funding distribution can make a real difference to people and charities. I enjoy managing a large team. I like to offer people freedom and trust, set clear frameworks and help grow and develop team members by asking them what they want, facilitating and showing them the way.”
What's your most memorable marketing moment?
Marie-Claire: “January 1st, 2021, 2am. It was the final draw of the PostcodeKanjer, after a year of hard work, and in the middle of the pandemic. We had ended the year as a team, tired, but full of adrenaline and with an incredibly satisfied and proud feeling. The last calls, the opening of a bottle of champagne and knowing that we had managed to achieve a fantastic amount of funding for good causes and that later on that same day, a neighbourhood in the Netherlands was going to share millions of euros. I will never forget it.”
Julie: “When I joined in 2010 there were around 100,000 tickets in the draws, we now have over 4.6 million. Back in 2014, it was still early days in the market and we were challenging people’s perception of playing a lottery in this country. I decided to add direct mail into our marketing mix. This hadn’t been a successful marketing channel previously, but with our brand awareness rising, it felt as the right time to re-introduce it. I had a lot of convincing to do to secure the additional budget. The morning the campaign landed, I walked into our customer experience office, and was completely unprepared for the noise as I opened the door. All of the agents were on calls and there were more people waiting in the queues. The agents were buzzing, I got emotional, it had worked! I’ve never forgotten the day direct mail earned its place on the budget line.”
Mikael: “In Sweden we had a very strong Christmas campaign in 2020 which exceeded our sales targets. We got off to an incredibly good start with the entire campaign, all channels delivered very well, and our online sales reached an all-time high.”
Jessica: “In January 2022 our team created a great campaign that was integrated in the TV show Murmel Mania (Marble Mania). With a lot of team spirit we successfully handled the giant workload. We were able to hit lots of new records – ending up with more than 150,000 new subscriptions.”
Geert: “Before I started at the VriendenLoterij, I worked at the Nationale Postcode Loterij and at the Deutsche Postkodloterie. My most memorable marketing moment is the day that I saw the success meter exploding in Germany, after we made our first successful TV commercial.”
Edward: “There are many, but one of my first, was a campaign in 2007 to raise funds for building the cancer centre in Amsterdam. Together with the entire team, we created one of the biggest campaigns in a few months. It was a great success and I think a leading example of what the lottery stands for. Besides this one, the moment that we saw our handout to the charities on national television in Norway last year. A great result of a great team effort.”
We have recently celebrated our annual charity events, where we invite the charities to come together. The Postcode Lottery Group raised more funds than ever. How important is marketing in achieving this result and crucially, building on it?
Marie-Claire: “This can't be expressed in words. How to explain to people what €331.9 million means for charities, and that we were able to achieve all of this thanks to three million players in one year in the Netherlands alone? It’s a 24/7 marketing business, to keep our three million players excited, to surprise them and to make them feel special as winners. Our prize plan strategy is extremely important. To sell more tickets and raise more funds for good causes we are always testing and finding different ways to attract new players. Without tickets, we cannot raise funds for charities. So, you could say that without marketing, we could not raise funds for charities.
Julie: “The role of marketing is to acquire as many players as possible, at the lowest cost and to ensure our players remain loyal in order to consistently raise funds for charities. Brand and product innovation impact all areas of the business. I have first-hand examples of how every single department plays a crucial part in making sure we are consistently successful in achieving our goals.”
Mikael: “Marketing is extremely important. It builds brand awareness, generates sales, and builds a long-term relationship with our players. In Sweden, we also do marketing campaigns which talk about charities and their fantastic work. We can see in our brand tracking that these campaigns generate high engagement among the Swedish. All of which leads to selling tickets.”
Jessica: “It’s great to see that the Postcode Lottery Group raises so many funds for good causes. Therefore, marketing is crucial, as it is our aim to constantly increase our number of new players, keep our existing players, establish our brand in Germany, continuously innovate, always make our players happy – and all of this to scale up our contribution for charities.”
Geert: “It is obvious that marketing activities matter to the amount of funding raised. However, it’s important to mention that at VriendenLoterij our success is due to the solid relationships with our charities, which we call partners. This partnership approach provides us with three success factors: 1) we sell tens of thousands of lottery tickets each year at the entrance of our partners’ attractions, 2) with our partners we develop amazing prizes and experiences and 3) the VIP CARD, which gives our players free entrance at cultural attractions, helps ensure player retention.”
Edward: “The combination of having a chance of winning great prizes and supporting charities at the same time, is unique. I think marketing is key to the fact that our supported charities have received more funds than ever.”
How did your profession change over the course of years?
Marie-Claire: “Much has changed, but the most important one hasn’t, and that’s: to keep your eyes open. You must stay curious and motivated to learn, share knowledge and to explore new developments. We work to attract new talent and people that bring new energy and a fresh vision and who will encourage our teams to try new things with other companies and learn about other ways of working. In my view, that’s the only way to innovate.”
Julie: “I think the principles are still the same but the tools have evolved. I innovate by asking myself: What else? What next? How could that be better? And then usually, it’s when I’m driving, that ideas seem to come to me. I also listen to a few podcasts which help me keep a bigger picture perspective.”
Jessica: “I grew with the different phases of the lottery, which gave me the chance to take over responsibility at a young age. I drive innovation in Germany by giving everyone the chance to present their ideas, to learn from the successes of others, to continuously test new ideas, and think outside of the box to live our core value of being courageous.”
Mikael: “Marketing has become much more data-driven, which I appreciate. Customers use many more platforms nowadays, so it is important to keep track of customer behaviour and adapt on it. We exchange experiences with each other in the international marketing teams, for example, we saw in Sweden that door-to-door worked well in Norway, so we started it again and it has done very well so far. When it comes to digital, we also look at the best case from other successful companies. We hire young digital natives who come in with new perspectives. We dare to try new things and evaluate quickly whether it works or not.”