You grew up with your betting system, and like an old pair of jeans, it’s gotten to a point where it’s become so comfortable – you just can’t imagine how another one can fit as perfectly. The beige interface, same reports with the good-old missing fields, list of KPIs nobody has ever used – it’s part of you, and the stuff your corporate culture is made of… pure nostalgia. And hey, you got yourself a pretty decent business going on without those crisp graphs anyway, right?
Meanwhile in another world, new ventures are being established and are basing their back-end on technologies that actually evolve with time and adapt to the modern needs of operators like you. Armed with the knowledge that these advanced tools might be giving the other guys a competitive advantage, is this the right time to remake the classic printer scene from “Office Space”?
If indeed it is, let’s list what you should be looking at while reviewing an iGaming platform:
Stock packaged systems work better. They behave better, with fewer flaws in between the modules. In most cases you could do without adding to the complexity of a project of this magnitude, so this would be the sensible choice (either if you are starting from scratch or completely renovating your infrastructure). And let’s face it, integration sucks; ask any programmer and you will hear exactly that. (Well, most likely you will get a very angry reply in Russian, but that’s the gist of it).
However, such systems tend to solve only the most common needs. If you have a certain niche that requires a more creative approach, anyway you will need a tailor-made solution – based on integration. Enjoy the moment, much like in pre-school, again you are truly special.
“…company’s sales come from two groups: new customers and repeat customers. One estimate is that attracting a new customer can cost 5 times as much as pleasing an existing one. And it might cost 16 times as much to bring a new customer to the same level of profitability as that of the lost customer. Customer retention is thus more important than customer attraction.” (Marketing Management by Philip Kotler, Univ. of Phoenix).
Player management is what this industry is all about. (That, and wild parties with affiliates, but that’s elementary…)
In any case, a back-end that would help you make more money from your existing database is what you are looking for. Strong segmentation capability is fundamental, along with reports building and a campaign manager that could deliver all of this, analyze and potentially even learn from previous promotions. On this aspect, you can’t really compromise and the more in-depth and sophisticated features that you can get, the more ammunition you’ll have in the wallet share battlefield.
True, in many cases this service is provided by a 3rd party. And that’s more than fine as long as they are deeply integrated into the player profiles, allowing you to track an accurate user journey from the very first click, all the way through to today’s results. Obviously a banner farm, affiliates access (& reporting) and marketing channels optimization tools should all be an integral part of this package.
As weird as it may sound, we are here to discuss these as well. Which games are the best? What products can earn more money in your markets? Of course, the more variety you have is better but you should go and research this thoroughly, and be ready with what you need before you go window shopping. After all, this is the base of your activity so you can’t really limit yourself in this regard.
Also, think about constant innovation and ask to see their games portfolio roadmap for the coming year. (And even better, check out their previous roadmap and see how many of the milestones were actually met.)
One piece of advice? There is this thing called mobile. It seems like in a decade or two people might even begin using it. Perhaps you should pay attention to a multi-device offering as well.
That’s about it.
As you have noticed, this post had nothing to do with all the boring issues such as payments, security, compliance and regulation. Yes, you must have those but they hardly have to do with the core activity of attracting players, allowing them to play and keeping them around. If you are not licensed correctly or can’t offer the right processing methods, you will not be able to conduct ANY operation at all. Hence, these are mandatory requirements, and this post is all about parameters that actually differ in between the various platforms.
But there is one more thing, and that’s flexibility. Picking a new a B2B partner is very much like marriage – don’t do it, unless you have to! You can plan yourself to death, but no one can ever guarantee how well the setup process will work out, so you should strike a deal ONLY with a firm that will remain committed to your needs even after they deliver the platform.
How can you tell in advance? Ask around, review case studies, benchmark and most importantly evaluate all potential offers and note how eager they are to have your brands on their system. Bottom line: although this is an IT project, the deal is signed between people, so make sure you really like them, as it’s very easy to clearly highlight those with whom you have a better chemistry with (in a strict businesslike manner, yes?).
Now all that’s left for you to do is negotiate the price and monthly royalties. Well, good luck with that ;)
Want to know more about this? The next EiG event is taking place in Berlin in just few weeks, and all the leading iGaming platforms will be there – waiting for you to find your match… Bis bald!