Milind Bharvirkar is a seasoned and successful entrepreneur. He was the founder and president of Global VR, a Silicon Valley-based gaming company. His products have grossed over $150 million in sales. Seven products were voted number one earning products by owner operators, and his PGA Tour product received a “best product of the year” award from the American Amusement Operator Association. He has been credited with being a pioneer in bridging the consumer video market with the worldwide coin-op industry. Milind has been featured on the cover of several industry publications such as Replay, Playmeter, and Intergame (as “The Games Master”).
Milind used his Global VR experience as a stepping stone to build a revolutionary new prize promotions company called Priatek. The firm specializes in innovative technology that has redefined the digital signage industry. Priatek’s flagship product – in2win – is a patented prize kiosk platform and social network that combines fun, rewards, and prizes.
Jamie: Tell me a little bit more about your background in the gaming industry.
Milind: I’ve been in the gaming industry for over 20 years. In that time, I’ve created and sold over 25,000 kiosks and sold them worldwide in over 40 countries. The game I’m best known for is a golf kiosk based off the game license from Electronic Arts called Tiger Woods PGA Tour. We sold over 10,000 cabinets in the US. We created online tournaments with these kiosks where we gave out over $3M dollars in three years. And the kiosks earned over $100 Million dollars in that time. We registered over 500,000 people. Whenever we created a new prize tournament, those 500,000 people rushed out to sports bars and restaurants to play. It was fascinating to watch this experience. We had a social network before Facebook even launched. But a different kind of social network that actually mobilized people to retail locations.
Around that time, a new word was created…. Gamification. Which is a fancy word for prize promotions. Today it is one of the hottest marketing trends. So, I started Priatek to capitalize on the power of prizes and games to connect brands with consumers.
Jamie: Tell us more about Priatek.
Milind: Well Priatek stands for Prize Advertising Technology and we have the first performance based digital signage. We do this through combining digital signage and Gamification. Digital signage is the indoor billboards you see in malls and airports. Those indoor signs cost anywhere between $4k to $15k a month in your average mall. If an advertiser is willing to give away a prize, we give them the display ad for free. We only charge the advertiser if someone comes up and plays to win their prize…proving that they were interested in their product. Every time a consumer plays they win the prize or a coupon or special offer off the product they chose. Since they are a qualified consumer with a discount in their hands, the chances of them redeeming that offer triples.
So as an example, I know a restaurant that spent $15,000 advertising on signage in the airport. The restaurant had no idea if that was working or not. With Priatek, that restaurant would have received 60,000 engagements from people with offers in their hands for the same investment. This would give the restaurant a way to measure results.
Marketing experts estimate that most Americans are exposed to 4k to 10k advertisements each day. We are overwhelmed and we do anything we can to block, ignore, or escape ads. Retailers are struggling to connect with their consumers. So at Priatek, we found a way to solve that problem by connecting retailers and brands with consumers through fun, prizes, and rewards.
Think about it this. Advertisers are spending billions of dollars in media that people are trying their hardest to avoid. Consumers are fast forwarding through commercials, paying for commercial free music, and throwing print away. What makes more sense is to engage consumers in a meaningful way and only pay for consumers who are interested in your product.
Advertisers are putting their money into three areas: traditional advertising, digital advertising, and social. All three have their problems.
Traditional is hard to measure.
Digital is annoying. Especially with pop up banner ads. Surveys say 66% of clicks are a mistake.
Social is tough to master. Most advertisers do not know how to make viral content that is fun to watch and share.
Priatek’s solution is to engage consumers on their terms. Engagement is much stronger when it’s voluntary. We capitalize on two very strong human drivers: prizes and discount off people’s favorite products. This creates voluntary engagement. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you are from….everyone loves winning and playing for prizes. We are even enamored with watching people play for prizes.
Advertising is measured in impressions and clicks today. Yet, the latest and hottest word in marketing is engagements. Engagements are deeper and more effective with consumers than a click.
Our engagements mean someone voluntarily engaged by choosing their product from a menu of other products, registered, answered a survey question, played a game and received an offer. That’s a true engagement. And it’s far more compelling than a click.
Another hot topic is experiences. Advertisers, Retailers, and brands are looking to create memorable experiences with their brands. Everything from Build a Bear, to Starbucks, to Under Armor’s newest store, and the hottest new trendy restaurant in town…it’s about experiences. People remember brands much more when there is an experience tied to it.
What we have learned about our games and prize promotions is it’s not just what people win, it’s about how they win that offer. If you give an offer to someone walking on the street, they might respond…but it’s much more effective when someone plays a game and wins that offer.
That’s why our company licensed Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Price is Right and Family Feud. These are today’s hottest television game shows. We are creating a real game show
feel and experience with real prizes. Wheel of Fortune is the hottest game show for 30 years, hottest slot machine, hottest lottery scratch ticket. It has over 30 million online fans. Everything it touches turns to gold.
The best part for the advertisers is they don’t have to go to Sony or Freemantle for the rights to use these game shows. Priatek handles the whole thing for them.
Priatek is performance based. We provide Priatek analytics that give advertisers what they want…results. We show advertisers how many people engaged with their product, how many offers
were given out, and how many people purchased. When they played the most, demographics, and much more.
Yet one of the best things we are most proud of is….. we build loyalty buckets for our advertisers. By measuring people engagements per product, purchasing history, if they shared us on social media,
how they answered their survey questions, if they watched product videos, or clicked in when they visited your location….we create badges that measures people’s brand loyalty. This is very important to brands. If you are a loyal Nike customer, and Adidas drops their price in half…will you still buy Nike? That’s the real definition of loyalty.
What we end up producing is a fan base for every brand. Our goal is to drive customers to become the highest level of brand loyalty by introducing them to new brand promotions, or introducing them to new product videos, social media sharing, etc…
The problem with brands is some of them have databases, but they don’t know how to re-engage their consumers. We build fan bases and we keep re-engaging your consumers through fun and prizes until people eventually convert to a sale.
Not everyone is ready to purchase on the first engagement. But if they keep engaged, they will eventually purchase.
In the next two months, we are launching a loyalty point system that is going to be ground breaking. There has never been an experience where people play to win a product, and if they don’t win, they are given a compelling discount and then they can apply their loyalty points to get the product for free. It’s like coupon stacking but better and more fun.
Jamie: How can you earn the points?
Milind: We give loyalty points out for playing for a promotion, redeeming a coupon, watching a product video, sharing on social media, clicking in when you are in a store or restaurant, or downloading a company’s mobile app. It’s pretty amazing. It has a very addictive quality to the design. But don’t worry, it’s entirely free for consumers.
We actually believe this will be a better experience than Groupon for consumers. and it’s much cheaper for restaurants, attractions, and other advertisers to use.
We created a mobile app called in2win. So people can play on the go. It’s been incredibly popular. 1 out of 6 people at the kiosk, download the mobile app and play on average 38 times a month. That’s an amazing statistic.
Mobile is a very tough for advertisers to reach people. People are trained to ignore brands on their phone, but we have actually created meaningful and valuable engagements on mobile.
You can currently win tickets for Daytona 500 from Halo Auto Sports, they also have a trip to Dallas to go to a real Nascar driving school and race around a professional track, we have vacations by Travel Katz, Diamond Rings by Continental Jewelers. Hungry Howie’s is giving out 4,000 pizzas next month, you could win an ATV, Clearwater Aquarium tickets, and tons of restaurant dinners.
You can download the app now, and start playing. It’s called in2win.
By the way, don’t worry about your Data.
in2win is about trust, fun, and value. We don’t sell names. We are always fun to play. and you instantly know if you won when you play. No waiting months to find out if you won or not.
Jamie: What’s your results been to date?
Milind: Since we launched in September of last year, we have registered over 32,000 people and have over 200,000 engagements to date. Those are incredible stats.
Jamie: Where are you currently?
Milind: You can find our in2win prize kiosks in 7 of the 8 local malls, such as Citrus Park, Countryside, Brandon, Tyrone, Premium, University and Westshore. You can also find us on St. Pete college campuses. We are offering advertisers and businesses over 3.5 million impressions monthly for free. They only have to pay for engagements and we have programs that fit any businesses’ budget.
Jamie: What’s next for Priatek?
Milind: We are launching in Orlando in March, and a few months later we will be launching in major cities such as New York, LA, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Soon we will be announcing a partnership with a top ten media company. We are very excited about our future.
Jamie: How can people get involved?
Milind: If you are a consumer, download the app in2win and start playing today.
If you are business, feel free to call Priatek in St. Pete. or go to our website PRIATEK.com….we will help you design and launch a promotion immediately.