Selling Change

A large part of a marketing department’s job is to cause change. Whether that is bringing a new product to an existing market or luring in new customers to existing lines of products, marketers usually need to bring in new business based on causing consumers to break their existing habits.

I did some brief research in the online gaming community that deals with the proposition of change.Ace

Example: In the poker room section of World Sports Exchange, there are currently 478 players playing poker. On this site, the house does not take a rake (a percentage of each pot that is played). This is great for players because no money leaves the table unless it is won by another player. The casino, in this case its online, makes no money for hosting the poker game.

On PokerStars.com, there are over 60,000 people playing poker right now. PokerStars does take a rake, the amount varies depending on how high the stakes are. The highest rake that PokerStars takes is five percent ($1 out of a $20 pot.)

Judging by the product features, no rake vs. a rake, it seems that gamblers would flock World Sports Exchange to play onine poker. However, this hasn’t happened.

I understand that World Sports Exchange doesn’t gain revenue from its poker section. In fact, the company says that directly on the poker section of its Web site. I think this is a case where conducting focus groups of current online gamblers would work wonders for WSEX. The company could tap into
player’s thoughts, motives and find out exactly what players would need to make the switch. Then, the company would have increased traffic and be able to funnel users into other profitable segments of their business, such as sports betting.

The Big Deal: What are the barriers to change for consumers in your market? What causes people to change their habits? Is it price? Is it the experience they get from a product? Are there too many switching costs for certain products and services?   

These questions can and should be answered. If not by marketers, then who?

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