Some people like changes, some of them do not. One thing is certain – transitions are never easy and (un)fortunately inevitable. When done well, though, they ought to surprise with very successful outcomes.
Let’s talk about a former Tech Lead who now operates an unusual business project, shall we?
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of them. That is what we have been told, and it has some truth in it. If you happen to have multi-skilled, talented people on your team – use them. Put some faith in them and let them thrive in unexpected directions.
Why is it a good idea? Because sometimes when in need of the right person, it is better to choose someone who complements the role, rather than fills it in.
Who Is a Tech Lead?
In a team, a Tech Lead is responsible for the technical growth of the team and the used system. It is a software engineering position, which puts focus on technical direction and should be able to provide a technical vision, as well as have the knowledge needed to resolve any technical disagreements.
Now, imagine a former Tech Lead leading a business/marketing project. To spice things up, not just any project, but an online casino – Kosmonaut Casino. We designed a completely new brand and guide its launch, what you can read here.
How did it happen, and why? Ola Kucharska, our Gambling Queen, knows the answers and she is ready to share them with us.
In the past few years, marketing has taken a major shift. It began relying heavily upon technology and became a mush-up industry.
Nowadays, it is incredibly difficult to control the amount of data companies are gathering and producing. Such a task is impossible for a single marketing department.
The intersection between marketing and IT has become crucial for staying up-to-date with customer needs, and that is why, now, the lines between the two industries are blurred, and their forces must be aligned.
Isaac Cheifetz states:
“Marketing is taking over the business,” but also “Technology is taking over marketing”.
To find a professional who can do it all, and who has both knowledge about the IT industry, as well as knows how to navigate the marketing scene, is to find a true gem.
Here, at HeroDOT/TISA, we have Ola.
“The entire transition was very smooth. The project, which moved from the implementation phase, where technical skills were needed on many levels, suddenly turned into a maintenance project in December, and the product, the casino, began to live its regular life. Of course, the technical skill set is still needed, but it quickly turned out that the space in which the casino operates requires a more dynamic and creative approach than the software projects I have worked on so far.
I already had experience in the gambling industry, but the reality of the game provider is completely different from that of an operating casino”.Ola Kucharska, Casino Operations Team Leader at HeroDOT & TISA
Soft, but Not Irrelevant
It all has to do with so-called soft components. They are skills and attributes, which influence business decisions and speed up project progress.
Think about communication skill. At first thought, it seems basic, but these days, the number of choices a regular customer has is overwhelming. It is up to the customer service and their communication skills, whether the buyer/investor etc. will choose their business.
When to think about it, the greater the use of technology, the higher will be the demand for employees with soft component skills because to some extent, they are irreplaceable.
According to the World Economic Forum and their Future of Jobs report, by 2025 most relevant skills (among others) will be:
- Complex Problem Solving
- People Management
- Critical Thinking
- Judgement and Decision Making
The ability to use these components is and will be a vital factor in a business’s success.
The Right Approach
Yes, there is such a thing as the right approach and it is the business-first approach. What is it?
Picture this –
You got yourself a new car, let’s say a Lamborghini, but you do not drive faster than 20 km per hour. Meaning, you are not using the potential that is in your possession.
That is what the business-first approach is all about. We live in times when technology has become a necessary tool in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. We know it is tempting to buy every new goodie, which comes out with a promise of colossal success, but in reality, technology (in business) should remain just a tool.
What business is made of are the people, the customers, products and processes, so naturally, the solutions ought to focus first on the marketing, not the technology.
“If I were to bet, I would say that the best results so far are achieved by trying to balance the expectations of investors and users. Our players, as the players of any online casino, are somewhat unpredictable. Of course, we try to determine their motivations with tools and analysis, but ultimately something always happens that makes us learn them all over again.
Certainly, our consultants who actively support us, especially in the area of long-term strategic planning, are of great help in this matter”.Ola Kucharska, Casino Operations Team Leader at HeroDOT & TISA
To create a union between the business goals and the technology is to figure out what you want to accomplish on the organisational level and then try to see how technology can help you get there.
Determine what are the essential needs and goals for your business by asking, “What does my business have to address (a problem / an opportunity)?” Every technology that is acquired should apply to a particular business case.
You can begin with writing down your business’s key points and then ask yourself whether a given technology will be relevant to them or not.
Kosmonaut Casino Case
Kosmonaut Casino is an online gambling website (initially) certified in CIS countries. It compromises establishments by providing and rendering gambling facilities such as slot machines (slots) or table games: roulette, baccarat, blackjack and poker.
It operates on affiliate marketing – an occurrence when an affiliate earns a commission for advertising someone else’s or some other company’s product (in our case; the casino is the product).
“[…] one of the most important aspects of the casino’s operation is the affiliate program. In the beginning, we assumed that we would want to focus on promoting the casino directly with the help of streamers and influencers. However, it soon turned out that the good old affiliate program still counts in this industry.
Players, despite the fact that they watch streams, follow Telegram channels or follow Instagram profiles, ultimately rely on the opinion of affiliates when it comes to choosing and assessing the reliability of a casino.
I wouldn’t say the reality has brutally changed our approach, but it certainly made us rethink our approach to promoting the casino”.Ola Kucharska, Casino Operations Team Leader at HeroDOT & TISA
It is simple. Affiliate ads & games are designed to encourage click-through behaviour. They use a specific page placement, a very particular, attention-grabbing design (check out our blog post on that topic → Kosmonaut Online Casino Brand Identity Design), and tempting offers.
How does it work?
There is a place for a (former) Tech Lead in business, as well as for a (former) Marketer in the IT industry.
“The change of approach requires some mental gymnastics, which might be hard to adapt to at first, but it quickly turns out that the operating and marketing world combined can be very rewarding”.Ola Kucharska, Casino Operations Team Leader at HeroDOT & TISA
It takes will and determination to go through the trial-and-error process, but in the end, it works out just fine.