n the first part of this interview you referred to land-based casinos and marketing. From what you’ve experienced, can you recommend to a land-based casino an approach to marketing a digital gaming product?
First and foremost, land-based casinos must look at their customer database. By analysing and segmenting their customers, they can work out which customer segments are most profitable and which are less so.
This will give them actionable data when they establish their marketing goals. Where are they strong as a business, and where to they want to see more uplift?
Once they’ve established their marketing goals, they can begin developing their strategy. A broader two-phrase approach works well. In the initial phase, casinos can focus on customer engagement and retention by marketing their digital gaming product to their current database. Then in phase two, they can use their digital product as an acquisition tool to acquire new customers, while continuing to engage existing ones.
During their marketing campaigns, it’s important that casinos have full transparency on the performance and results of their different marketing channels. Through collecting clear data of offline, online and mobile efforts, they can identify the most impactful activities and gain greater understanding of the process by which property customers become online players and vice versa.
What other advantages does digital acquisition and marketing provide land-based casinos?
The main goal of each and every land-based casino is to increase revenue while simultaneously cutting costs. Effectively marketing a digital gaming product provides casinos with a new opportunity and approach to achieving this goal.
As mentioned, land-based casinos are in an optimal position because they have the infrastructure and resources in place already. By leveraging these current assets to encourage current customers to engage with the brand while they’re off-property, the property has the ability to engage with customers at no additional cost.
A cross-channel digital marketing strategy that continues to be streamlined allows casinos to minimize their expenses. If a marketing channel is under-performing, for instance, they can reallocate resources to channels that are achieving better results. The other advantage of digital is it allows A/B testing so that casinos can gain a better understanding of optimal content and messaging.
In terms of increasing casinos’ profits, an effectively marketed digital gaming product allows casinos to reach new digital-savvy customer segments. It also allows them to expand their customer database by using the digital gaming product as an acquisition tool – increasing property-related revenue.
Are there any other alternative opportunities for US-facing operators?
There are several that have been in operation for quite some time already. One of the major opportunities – and hot topics at the moment – is daily fantasy sports, which is absolutely huge in the US. There are over 2 million daily fantasy players in the States and the market is worth an estimated $11 billion. It looks certain to continue growing. FanDuel, the biggest operator in the US, announced revenue of $57 million for 2014 – their best annual results ever.
A major reason for daily fantasy’s growth is its wide acceptance in the vast majority of US states. Arizona, Iowa, Montana, Washington and Louisiana are the only states where it’s not permitted, and Louisiana is currently considering regulation.
When you consider the revenue potential for daily fantasy and its US regulatory environment, moving into this alternative vertical makes good sense for US-facing operators. Given the overlap in the player profiles of daily fantasy players with those of online sports-betting and poker players, it’s no surprise that real-money iGaming operator Amaya, who own PokerStars, recently announced the imminent launch of a daily fantasy product.
The other quite significant vertical in the US is online horse-racing wagering. Betting on horse-racing is hugely popular in the US – over $130 million is expected to be bet on the Kentucky Derby next month.
Like daily fantasy sports, online horse-racing wagering is also broadly regulated in the US. Thirty-seven out of 50 states allowing their residents to bet online on horse-races. Also in common with daily fantasy and social casino, the vertical allows operators to build databases and segment them ahead of the regulation of real-money iGaming in states like Pennsylvania, California and New York.