The Lotto game, developed in the middle of the 20th century, was a big improvement over earlier games, but needed the scale that only government monopolies could at that time provide. Now, state lotteries offer big and small versions of Lotto under a variety of names. When people call us “the Lotto”, they may be recognizing that this is our particular franchise -not a bad thing, I suggest. NASPL Insights April 2016
In my continuing discussion with Veronique, Jade, and their colleagues at the ad agency, Jade emerged as the champion of the view that the end-effect of actual sales is likely the most sensitive measure for demonstrating the combined effects of all kinds of lottery advertising and promotions. Advertising efforts may aim to influence sentiment, and they may be effective, but the player is more likely to express this by spending an extra dollar, rather than by changing the way she responds to a survey question. Further, although our efforts may be focused on a particular game at a particular time, we hope the effect of these efforts is more diffuse and longer-lasting. This suggests a measurement strategy aimed at detecting improvements across the portfolio, which I am glad to implement as the Dashboard According to Jade.
Math modeling can seem arcane, but I believe it is most effective when it incorporates intuitive or common-sense features. In describing the way people play the big jackpot games, for instance, we intuitively recognize that there are some people who play nearly all the time, and others who rush in when the jackpot gets to a certain size. I reassured Veronique’s agency that a well-crafted model can incorporate these features, in NASPL Insights August 2014.
The methods of hypothesis testing I learned as a scientist are applicable to many situations, including testing the effectiveness of advertising. The “null hypothesis” – the assertion that nothing has changed – is central to the method. This has the effect of putting me (the testing expert) in a position that feels adversarial, to those who are trying to show an effect of their work. In NASPL Insights June 2014 I recount how my first encounter with a client exposed both my methods, and their feelings.