Gala Bingo are already the biggest brand in the UK when it comes to Bingo, both online and on the high street. They continue to impress me with the innovations they continue to bring to the game and its marketing. Recent examples of member emails with promotions to tempt online players in to the offline world – and promotions like this month’s Kerchingo prize have done much to target these different audiences for the real and virtual game.
No one else has yet tied to grab these different audiences so enthusiastically. Mecca Bingo would do well to learn from Gala’s approach – it’s well placed to be able to do similar things. It’s already innovating in the electronic arena, but so far it seems to be struggling to reach the same heights in the new media realm. Offline, Gala’s bring a friend nights and Nectar points have been other imaginative ways of racking up the new members as well. I’m yet to see Mecca do anything similar.
So, back to Kerchingo. The big prize game was played last night (and I missed it) and won by the member Polyanna7. More details are yet to emerge on the winner – but I’m sure in time we’ll learn a bit more about them. This whole Kerchingo promotion has been fun, and it will be interesting to see if Gala report it a success in terms of money spent promoting it and actual revenues generated by it.
Gala continue to do well though, given the current climate – a report in the Scotsman last week shows how Gala are actually continuing to grow their business and profits in the face of tough times. They’ve filed accounts for 2006 which include 6 months of the Scottish smoking ban. As well as increasing profits, they’ve also succeeded in growing their admissions. Despite some setbacks including a hot summer, the company’s turnover increased from £435.3m to £476.6m.
If the company keep doing the innovative things they’ve shown they can do, then there’s no reason why they won’t be doing the same this time next year – given the effects of the smoking ban. There’s also many more potential opportunities out there to be explored. I can think of several markets for new players and admissions that are yet to be tapped by the company. Corporate events, their Coral Betting user base and the male market are still there for further development. Let’s hope they put aside some of their profit to start developing more exciting ways of hitting these markets.