Embrace change and invest in innovation

Published:  24 June, 2013

With a company mantra of ‘innovate or die’, Dianne Thompson, CEO of the Camelot Group of Companies, immediately caught the attention of delegates as she gave a thought provoking presentation on ‘Camelot and Innovation’.

In her speech, Ms Thompson explained how despite having a sales turnover of £6.998bn in 2012/13, the road has not always been smooth for Camelot with the company having its fair share of challenges.

While all lotteries generate huge excitement when they first launch, they tend to go into steep decline as the initial excitement wears off, Ms Thompson told delegates. So what has Camelot done to turn that on its head? “By continually finding new ways to keep the excitement going,” she said. “You have to constantly innovate and modernise new games, new ways to play and new marketing approaches to keep on growing, even when austerity makes it tough.”

Camelot has achieved this is by introducing new scratch card games and launching EuroMillions, which involves partnerships with other European markets. The company’s growth strategy has also involved moving to multi-channel with online sales and diversifying products. “We’ve moved our business online in a big way,” said Ms Thompson, with the company now having “the biggest online audience for lottery games.”

But while the online side of the business is of great importance to Camelot, high street retailers are still the key route to market, with the company investing in new locations for outlets and merchandising.

Eighteen years after Camelot was launched, the story of the company is still about continuous innovation, carried out with integrity and delivering substantial contributions to good causes - £30bn has been raised so far for over 400,000 UK charities.

But Camelot has no intention of taking this success for granted, as Ms Thompson explained: “There’s more that we can do and we’ll do it by building on the deep foundations we’ve put in place.”

She added: “In business you can’t stand still. It’s constantly changing and you have to embrace it. Innovation is the outcome of a business that embraces change from top to bottom.”

To read more from the BMF All-Industry Conference, look out for the full report in the July/August issue of BMN.

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