This blog deals with Online Gambling CRM from its practical and retention marketing aspect: player development. However it has to be kept in mind that CRM is also a buzzword within the IT world (all those guys named Vadim who secretly read your emails, much like Playboy, “for the articles”). Social CRM is a new trend, allowing us to execute our marketing adoptions of some enhanced new technological features. In this post we will not cover any branded software solutions (god forbid – we might actually earn something out of promoting such services!), but focus mainly on the strategic concept of being social. No Thomas, not social like that… and please cover yourself up – you are not a smurf, yet some parts of you are getting blue.
So what is this SCRM all about? The shortest way to explain the differences (we really do know our audience, eh?) between regular CRM and SCRM is by analyzing the approach: while before we focused on “Contact Management”, now we switch to “Community Management”. Big Deal? Indeed.
It’s not just the 1-on-1 interface changing to Many-on-1 (saw that movie too?), it’s the nature of the relationship and the medium of communication. For instance, until now, a player would have sent a mail asking for a bonus, get a sweet reply saying “the money was already credited to your balance”, wishing him “good luck at the tables” and reminding him about the x450 wagering requirements. These days a player can search in Facebook for “NoMoralValues Casino + bonus”, get a proactive chat from a representative monitoring your DB public players’ profiles, once awarded with the bonus, a relevant post is written on the player’s wall, for his friends’ amusement and potential LIKEs. Obviously, this is hardly unlikely for an online casino player to do, but the technology exists, and the integration is a no-brainer.
It’s not a send-mail-await-for-reply world anymore. Requests are out in the open, and more importantly for your brand’s image – Replies are out in the open as well. This is why you are facing a community: act wrongly, and get bashed on forums, YouTube, Twitter and all sort of tools used to share clips of dancing cats.
When the Watergate scandal blew up, Richard Nixon’s Vice President Spiro Agnew is quoted to have said: “The bastards changed the rules and didn’t tell me”. Well now we DO tell you – while engaged in your brand’s ho-so-unique-gaming-experience, your players also chat, text and exchange opinions about Kim Kardashian. So their feedback & feelings are well-communicated easily to their network of friends – the same ones you are trying so desperately to convince them to refer to you for a “cool 50 EUR bonus!!!!” Got the picture yet? It’s a marketing heaven out there, waiting to be tapped.
But are there any complications? Much like the same Kardashian’s ass: few of them, and they are quite big.
First of all, your service should be good excellent. Why? Because otherwise you have nothing to brag about, and as such, this entire post is irrelevant to you, the same way an alarm clock is irrelevant to an affiliate account manager (indeed, why bother?).
Second, and more important to us Excel freaks, is the segmentation: with so many players, you should focus on those “influencers” who can affect their “tribes”. Following on the social networking of the occasional bingo player with her 2 cats as the only friends she ever had on Facebook might be challenging, yet not so efficient as being focused in a player that goes by the Twitter handle of @CasinoBonusReview.
How to do it? Next week, we will continue this discussion. For now, the important thing is to comprehend that once your business has some kind of an online social activity in the motion; it can’t be used only for acquisition / brand awareness purposes. If your brand is out there, you should be communicating with your players using the same social media.
Operators sticking to the olden ways of communication with their players will simply become obsolete. No one ever does it like that anymore.
Customers are taking on a new avatar, that of being ‘Engaged’ and social media addresses their need of Participation, inclusion and Immediacy. Unfortunately most of the social media conversation turns out to be ‘Marketing Spin’.
Social media gives us the opportunity to create brand ambassadors that share opinions, information, educate others and help drive brand preference. But the only way they can do this is when they have something valuable to speak about the brand.
The question now rests with us – are we giving them something ‘Valuable’ to say about us.
Btw, your blogs are nice to read. Just curious who Thomas is ;)
Great comment, Bhopendra! To me it’s just another example to how in today’s modern world, there is no place for an amateur approach anymore. So even with a community facing communication, if a company has nothing bright to say – they should please shut up :) As said above: “First of all, your service should be excellent. Why? Because otherwise you have nothing to brag about, and as such, this entire post is irrelevant to you”.
PS – regarding Thomas: you should meet the guy… a real piece of work (although he hardly do any work whatsoever).
Good post! I’ve spent some time and work elaborating on what it takes to make this shift to happen. It’s easy to list a couple of SCRM tactics, but harder to genuinely make it work: http://www.joakimnilsson.com/strategy-and-organisation/what-makes-certain-companies-better-at-social-media-than-others/
Excellent article Joakim – HIGHLY recommended everyone!
(Joakim – we also have a concluding article focused at SCRM: https://igamingcrm.com/2012/01/16/social-crm-2-ngr-perspective/)