Right place, right time, right skills. Sometimes everything comes together.
The timing could not have been better for Amy Lipton to assume her current role as vice president of marketing for red-hot slot manufacturer WMS Gaming. During her 24 years at IBM, Lipton was involved in the marketing for IBM’s digital media and entertainment divisions. WMS, meanwhile, has been leading the charge of slot manufacturers into the digital world.
“I ran marketing for IBM’s media and entertainment vertical, and was global director of IBM’s digital media emerging business opportunity,” Lipton says. “This, as well as marketing for IBM’s wireless business, put me in position to be a leader for WMS in marketing. Today’s gaming market is about entertainment, and the creation of digital entertainment devices. WMS is at the vanguard of the gaming industry’s move into the world of networked gaming and interoperability.”
WMS has been moving toward the networked gaming floor with a parade of new products, from the “Immersive Gaming” platform that creates a virtual-reality style of play to “Adaptive Gaming,” which links games to a network which players can enter through log-ons to pick up games in progress, cashing in on bonuses earned on a prior visit.
The latest breakthrough is “Player’s Life,” a website that allows players to earn credits online at home that will unlock new bonuses on a game upon return to a casino—an incentive not only to return to a particular game, but to a particular casino. Casinos are already on board with links to the Player’s Life website on an increasing number of property websites.
“Player’s Life Web Services are an innovation that will drive value for our casino customers, and which brings new entertainment experiences to players to drive them back to the casino,” Lipton says. “Whether reaching new players or existing players, online is going to be the place to do it. Players will be able to continue to have the gaming experience after they’ve left the casino, so they become more valuable to the casino when they return. That’s the strategy we’re following.”
That strategy—demonstrated on 44 different titles at this year’s Global Gaming Expo—is only the beginning for WMS. “There are a number of new initiatives we’re working on, based on our rich history of innovation, world-class market research, and paying close attention to the player as well as our casino customers,” says Lipton. “This company has a long history of player-driven innovation, so we have a strong platform on which to build.”
Coming from a world-class technology background like that at IBM, Lipton will be well-equipped as the casino industry moves into the digital age. “As the connected player experience is moving forward, one of our core marketing pillars is to give our customers what they need to engage their players,” she says.
“The player is changing across the board. The new player is going to have a different profile, because the world has changed. The world of entertainment has changed—the world of social media, the channels and platforms, all have changed quite a bit. We have to evolve with them.”