Sabrina Soldà, BtoBet’s Chief Marketing Officer:
SIGMA Malta has been a jam-packed experience with iGaming professionals from all over the world gathering at Malta’s MFCC, sharing their views and insights on the way forward that the industry should undertake.
Regulation and compliance, new market frontiers such as Asia and the US, emerging realities like Latin America and Africa, payments and the advent of blockchain … These were some of the main topics that were discussed in depth during the various workshops and conferences that span throughout the three days of the event. But the major event that really got my attention was the CRM workshop, with key figures like Quickspin’s Thomas Jones, and iMovo’s Javier de Arriaga underlining the importance for any iGaming company to gain a 360 view of their customer, resulting in a better retention of their players.
And whilst there is no doubt that from a technological perspective the industry is considered to be at the forefront, I find it somehow disappointing to acknowledge the fact that generally speaking the betting scene is still lagging way behind other entertainment industries.
Almost every industry is experiencing fundamental change, and the iGaming industry is no different. Consumer expectations have shifted and the continuous introduction and integration of innovative digital technologies channels are constantly impacting and changing customer demands transforming the player journey in a highly volatile scenario hugely effecting player loyalty and retention outcomes. Yet even though aware of this, most of the big players in the industry tend to persist with the status quo, sticking to their current approach where their players have to adapt to their business strategies and not vice versa.
Who are my customers? What do they want and need? How do they behave? What is driving their behaviour? How is it possible to engage my players, increase customer loyalty and achieve a seamless and holistic user experience in the age of digital disruption?
These are the strategic questions that service providers and operators alike should be posing themselves in order to be able to improve and provide an augmented UX.
Netflix provides an excellent example of the power of a company with a simple, clear customer strategy and business model adapted for the digital age with their customers at the heart of their business operations. What started out as a home delivery service of popular DVDs has transformed into a global media powerhouse, redefining the concept of customer centricity through technological innovations by using customer insight data to refine and develop its proposition.
The Netflix example proves that recent fundamental changes to customer needs and behaviour, and the arrival of disruptive new competition, means that many businesses need to develop a new customer strategy. In laymen terms, when it comes to the iGaming industry the provision of a “standardised” omnichannel betting platform is simply not enough to provide and guarantee the kind of betting experience that is sought by the players themselves. Resulting ultimately in the bigger player churn rates characterising most markets.
It is becoming clearer by the day that players are asking for a betting ecosystem that simplifies their interaction with all available devices, channels and communicative mediums throughout the span of the day, be it social media platforms, smart speakers, and why not, TV.
Operators should be in a position where they focus entirely on and develop in the way they deem best their player journey, and providing the best possible customer experience for their target players. Reality is that most operators are restrained from delivering an augmented UX via the core platform technology provided to them by service providers. In most cases we are still witnessing a case of the operator delivering the platform provider’s distinct betting experience, with no possible way for intervention on their behalf to alter this betting journey.
Fact is that most operators are slowly but surely transforming themselves into franchises with no unique points of reference that make them stand out from the competition. This is why the development of iGaming platforms enabling a holistic betting ecosystem that morphs around the players’ needs and preferences no matter the device, place, and medium should be placed at the higher echelons of the industry’s agenda.
This is firmly what BtoBet believes in. This is what we are working on delivering to our partners and their target customers. And this is what we are set to unveil in the coming weeks.