Chairman’s Summary Notes

Captain’s Log, Stardate 3.14159: The London conferences were absolutely amazing. The participants reminded me of young kids during a sugar rush attack, just running around, trying to make the right contacts and gain competitive advantage, with all means are justified (and yes Thomas, you were there alright, but you somehow wore that body paint in a slightly less tactful manner … oh, the humanity!).

Again, many thanks to all of you who joined us at our networking party. You made it a fantastic night to remember. I mean, those of you who decided to skip it might indeed remember whatever you were actually doing that night, but those who actually showed up at the pub … well, let’s just say that iGaming CRM is a drink-friendly profession. And we are all professionals, aren’t we?

In fact, the day after the party we had an unusual record-breaking number of visits to our blog, 7-7-7!

Early last month, we had a total of about 3,000 all-time views of our blog. Last week, we passed 5,000 and we’re now well above 6,000. Much like Cleveland, we rock.

Now back to the main course: The Annual Online Gambling CRM & Retention Conference. While urging the speakers to finish on time, share more details and discuss KPIs, I also managed to take some notes. Please be advised, some of the companies presented below are engaged in a commercial consultation agreement with Hybrid Interaction Ltd., and as such … oh, screw that:

Chairman’s opening remarks (Shahar Attias, Founder & CEO, Hybrid Interaction): Considering my grownup approach toward life, the universe and everything, it’s not surprising that I talked about the connection between CRM and Sesame Street.

Take-away: “Mr. Hooper paid attention to customer behavior even beyond their purchases to know how to adjust his stock. Would he have had birdseed milkshakes on the menu had he not listened to Big Bird? Certainly not.” (Quoting from a fantastic article by Christopher J. Bucholtz).

Retention is not enough – engagement is the key (Arnold Blueml, Head of Customer Value Management, bwin.party).

Take-away: “Cross-vertical players are MORE valuable than a single product player, and by several folds, even if we are taking about the most profitable vertical (casino).”

Anything on top? Trust me – he knows what he is talking about, and if he feels comfortable saying so out loud, you should request an urgent meeting with your marketing director right now. Oh, you are the marketing director… Looking for consultants?

Proving the value of a multi-channel offering: Keeping and growing customers across a brand portfolio (Oliver Watkins, Head of BI & CRM, Rank Interactive).

Take-away: “Mobile is not just another channel. It will provide the highest chunk of revenues in the very near future. One third of our online players are engaged in mobile as well, with a very easy cross-sell”. One of the CRM gurus of our time.

Anything on top? In the Spanish market, most of the players in Bingo games are male. No wonder they have developed the Siesta.

Getting a 360-degree view of the customer: Taking ownership of the customer and marketing intelligently to them (Dimiter Pantaleev, Global CRM Strategist, Unibet).

Take-away: “Responsive CRM is becoming obsolete. Because online operators own ALL the possible data, they should already have everything in place to respond to any player-initiated scenario, before the player even thinks about it.”

Anything on top? Seriously, can you imagine a more beautiful sentence? I mean, for us Excel geeks, this is, pretty much, the pure essence of sensuality.

{PANEL} Inside the mind of the online gamer: Optimizing customer insight and data mining to really understand your customers (Oliver Watkins, Head of BI & CRM, Rank Interactive ; Warren Eloff, Head of Products, Virgin Games).

Take-away:

  • 3%-5% of your players are the VIPs, generating up to 35%-40% of your NGR.
  • Operators should strive to increase engagement and simplicity: “Spend the money with me before spending it with others”.
  • Quickest ROI can come from your loyal low-level players.
  • For your future promotions: If you are after NGR, there is no point in inflating deposits.
  • Prize costs becoming too high? Offer rewards that suit your vertical and fit your players’ game play – award beer instead of champagne.
  • Gamify your loyalty program with options for creative points’ usage.
  • “Early VIP detection is easy. The question is the WHEN!”
  • Differences between markets can even up the competitiveness level (e.g. A fruit machine won’t be attractive for players in Spain – they have no idea what it is! Some operators can lose a clear advantage by not localizing thoroughly enough through the penetration phase).

Anything on top? “If you don’t know your players, who the hell do you market to?” Poetry.

Maximizing database value: Online Casino Products (Emma Tompkins, Director of Operations, WagerLogic).

Take-away:

  • RFM usage in iGaming Retention Marketing:

-   Focus spend

-   Player profiling

-   Laser-like targeting

-   Track and monitor campaigns

  • Try looking for a connection between your pre-acquisition keywords and the quality of those players in terms of second deposit and second-month churn rates.
  • “We’ve noticed a vast shift from blackjack to slots play amongst online casino players, and the crowd has become younger than the average age we used to see in the past; a side effect of this change is higher churn rates and lower LTV”.

Anything on top? Well, knowing the clear advantage the house has in Slots, if modern players prefer moving away from BJ, all I can say is that Shift Happens :)

Mobile CRM: from insight to customer delight (Tim Axon, CRM Director, International Mobile Sports Book).

Take-away:

Next-best offer is essential.

  • Publish results internally, especially to hear negative feedback and learn from it.
  • When dealing with SMS marketing in which every communication attempt carries a cost, identify and remove the non-responsive players because they become a financial burden.

Anything on top? “Say it with numbers, speak with results.” Brilliant.

Unlocking Social CRM for your company (Joakim Nilsson, Head of Social Media, BetClic).

Take-away:

  • Keys to unlocking social CRM:
  1. Listen
  2. Talk
  3. Support
  4. Energize
  5. Embrace
  • “Social CRM is a philosophy and a business strategy … It’s the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.” (Paul Greenberg)

Anything on top? “What would be a KPI parameter you should monitor when working in a social media-rich environment? A conversation relevance ratio.” Loving it. Live long and prosper.

{PANEL} Leveraging social network: an online gaming marketing strategy analysis (Joakim Nilsson, Head of Social Media, BetClic ; Nick Garner, Global Head of Search, Unibet ; Pantelis Kotopoulos, CRM Strategy Regional Alignment Manager, Unibet).

Take-away:

  •  75% of all players are engaged in some sort of social networking.
  • 50% of all new players arrive following a “word of mouth” recommendation.
  • Refer-a-Friend programs:

-   Best acquisition channel in terms of ROI

-   Some people are natural referrers

-   You should consider means to merchandise your program and offer some sort of revenue share in between the players

Anything on top? “Social media campaigns CAN go bad, so have a rescue plan in place even before you launch your first one.” Wise words.

 

Question to our readers: Is there any effect of regulation/taxation on the profitability of the “Refer-a-Friend” Programs? I mean, would you end up paying more for the new lead because you would need to tax your referrer bonuses?

 {PANEL} Building loyalty across offline and online gaming channels: Taking your players from offline to online and vice-versa (Francesco Parola, Product & Innovation Director, SISAL ; Oliver Watkins, Head of BI & CRM, Rank Interactive ; David Goldberg, Co-CEO, Federated Sports & Gambling ; Patrick Duffy, Managing Director, Palaces Bingo Clubs).

Take-away:

  • 75% of all players are engaged in some sort of social networking.
  • Should online and offline establishments follow the same KPIs? “Yes, on a high level, but the issue is with clarity” (i.e. offline establishments usually can track the required parameters, but the precision won’t be as high as for online operations).
  • Online migration: which vertical is the easiest to begin with? “Wherever you have the go-to clients”.
  •  What are the chances of cannibalism and what are the best ways to avoid it?

-   Offline shouldn’t be afraid of online AT ALL. On the contrary, due to the smoking ban in the UK (mainly applicable to Bingo operators), online activity was embraced in order to recover some of the lost profits.

-   We now see a higher level of willingness to integrate. Offline club owners are motivated to do so because adding online activity increases their overall bottom line by 20%.

-   One fifth of the offline players are playing online as well, but not necessarily with the same brand.

-   As for live dealers, customers are interested in winnings, not in sexy outfits.

Anything on top? “Best advice I can give when you switch from bricks and mortar to iGaming? Take the same personal approach online as you did with offline.” Sweet.

—————————–

That’s it. See you next January.  But before we part, I just wanted to say few words about the top quality of this year’s speakers – it was nothing short of spectacular. I really even felt something close to … being on the verge of … possibly sensing a bit of need to … remotely consider understanding the meaning of modesty, as I moderated this day with so many experts by my side. Of course, you know me and my highly developed moral values, so no chance this will ever happen. But still, this was an authentic CRM version of Star-Trekkin’. Shoot to kill.

About iGamingCRM Blog

Shahar Attias, CEO www.hybridinteraction.com "Care to Make it Interesting?"
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