Last year EL launched a brand-new website with the web company Flink. Due to the pandemic, this was an interesting collaboration as it was 100% virtual. A first timer for both of the parties. Here we hear about how it went and what type of website EL was aiming for?
Interview by Aimée Verburgt, Marketer at Flink
Interview with Arjan van ‘t Veer, EL Secretary General and Lucy Lenaers-Mathieson - Communications Officer at EL.
What does The European Lotteries do?
Arjan: “The European Lotteries (EL) is the umbrella organisation of national lotteries operating games of chance for the public benefit. EL brings together state-owned and private operators, both profit and non-profit, who operate on behalf of the state. The Members of EL offer gambling and betting services in the jurisdictions in which they are licensed by the respective national government.”
How did you bump into Flink?
Arjan: “I knew Flink through my former job at the Nederlandse Staatsloterij. Based on my experiences, I figured that Flink would make a good fit to create the new website for EL, so we invited them and two other agencies to pitch ideas for the new website.”
What makes Flink such a great fit?
Arjan: “Flink won the pitch because the proposal showed us that you’re not only developing websites. You showed us a strategic approach when it comes to online presence, and that you are a solid digital partner.”
Lucy: “Flink's way of working was also a big plus for us. We were excited to be involved in the whole process. I had never worked according to the scrum methodology before, but I like the approach in which you (as a client) are involved from the start. It gives you the opportunity to give feedback right away, instead of at the end of a project.”
What goals did EL want to achieve with the new website?
Arjan: “The old website was static and fragmented, had an outdated design and wasn’t even mobile friendly. There were also some sub websites, so there was a lot of scattered information. We wanted to gather all this information in one clear platform, with a public function and a separate My EL-environment for our Members. The new website is making it a lot easier for us to communicate with our Members, Partners and also the outside world.”
How do you communicate with your Members through the platform?
Arjan: “We just had our General Assembly. There were also elections for the EL Executive Committee, including an announcement event on the 4th of June to present the outcome of the voting. Instead of using email as our main communication channel, we used the My EL-environment to communicate with our Members. It was the perfect solution to provide and receive information. We had the possibility to upload documents and everything that we needed to prepare for the formal meetings, which saved us a lot of time and work. We saw a lot of activity on the website during that period, like people downloading documents or watching videos. Our Members make good use of the website and it is clearer for everyone now that all information is in one place.”
Lucy: “We also use the My EL-environment to communicate after webinars and events. In the past we would send the presentations and recorded videos to the participants by email, now all of this can be found in the My-EL environment. Our communication is much more centered since the new website was created.”
What was Flink's role in the strategic process?
Lucy: “Flink helped us to think critically about our goals for the website, our target audience, instead of jumping into features. For example: we originally thought about integrating social media feeds in the new website, but we didn’t think critically about the value it would add. After discussing the suggested feature with the Flink team, we agreed that it would not contribute to the goals that we had set for the website. Flink dug a little deeper and came up with advice that suited the purposes of the website way better – for example content sections that allow us to publish content easily and in a user-friendly way. This is also giving more structure to our posts on social media.”
Arjan: “The strategic sessions with Flink helped us realise what is really important. We discussed our goals for the website, our target audience and we made a user journey together. During these sessions we often came across opportunities that we hadn't thought of before. This helped to align the website as closely as possible with our goals.”
The collaboration has been 100% virtual. How did this go?
Lucy: “At first we had planned that I would stay in The Hague for a few weeks to be present at every stand up, and to work with the team at the Flink office. Because of the lockdown this plan was off the table and we had to work together in an online setting. It worked out very well, actually! We used different tools like Whereby, Trello and Slack to communicate with each other and keep track of the project.”
Arjan: “Flink has a can-do mentality. This allowed us to continue with the plans for the new website. Solutions were immediately devised to make things work. It's nice to work with a company that has such a positive and proactive attitude.”
What are you most proud of when you look at the result of the new website?
Lucy: “That our new website makes everything easier for our Members, users as well as for ourselves. Less work and much more efficiency.”
Arjan: “From a value creation perspective, I am most proud of the My EL environment. It helps us to better serve our members.”
The nicest thing about working with Flink is…
Lucy: “The Flink team was extremely positive with a very calm and can-do approach. Always thinking in possibilities. Of course, sometimes we had questions or feedback and things we wanted to change. Flink was very willing to look into these. Despite the pandemic and working digitally, it almost felt like working at the Flink office.”
Arjan: “Maybe this is a bit of a Dutch approach, but Flink gives you value for money. Working with Flink also means looking forward and staying positive. It was a challenge to work in a new way during the pandemic, but smart solutions soon emerged to enable us to work together. I would recommend any other association to have a talk with Flink if they are in need of a new website.”