The gambling industry is left with no option than to change its marketing efforts to remain in business as regulators keep mounting pressure on them. According to FC Bologna’s Commercial and Marketing Director, Christoph Winterling, the pressure was a shock for the online gaming community.
Whilst this hasn’t come as much of a surprise to the United Kingdom, who in April of last year saw the dismissal of using credit cards in online casinos and betting sites online. Despite everything that’s happened over the extraordinary last year we’ve had, some casinos have re-emerged in the UK market and even became amongst the top brands of December 2020 with plenty of players.
However, after explaining the impact of the ad ban introduced into the Italian league last year, the Serie A side’s Director added that the league was losing money at the time as it lost some clients to some circumstances beyond their control. Thus, the club had to look for new opportunities to offer betting bands a chance to leverage the company’s global visibility for betting companies outside the country.
Virtual advertising rose to the occasion with on-screen and LED technology-based marketing. These marketing tools were displayed behind the goalposts, providing a platform for their betting partners in Asia to market their services on regional broadcasts.
This is a typical example of the technique used by the gambling sector and its business partners to find a way around the new policies introduced into the sector across Europe. The gambling authorities’ response to the global health crisis, especially in Europe, has changed some of these policies.
In Spain, Italy and some key territories, some measures have been put in place to ban or limit direct advertising. This further imposes more restriction on every other marketing form previously adopted by the gambling industry in Europe.
In the UK , a voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban was already in place before the ban. In this European country, the anti-gambling industry proposed a complete ban on sports sponsorship and TV gambling ads.
Nevertheless, according to experts at Regulus Partners, the measures adopted by some European countries such as Belgium, Sweden, and Spain for establishing bonus and deposit limits will also have a massive negative impact on marketing efforts in those countries.
The team added that online casinos have been in the game of setting deposit limits for long. However, the policy has become more popular in recent times due to the global condition.
The Global Director for Advertising Sales for Sportradar, Florian Geheeb, considers the policy change as a reality that operators have learned to deal with by making necessary adjustments to comply with the new policy. This depends on the specific regulation, though.
In response to the new regulations, online casinos are replacing above-the-line marketing and advertising with digital marketing techniques. In their support for the new advertising strategy, XLMedia, an affiliate marketing firm, noted that online casinos have turned to modern marketing technologies to target their audience and sustain their interest.
The marketing firm went further to stress the importance of using proprietary data and new marketing techniques to deliver personalized advertising for improved efficiency through its Chief Executive, Stuart Simms, in a chat with the company’s investors. This new marketing technique is believed to improve the company’s site’s productivity considerably.
Simms added that the company needs to analyze its audience and understand their behaviors. The goal is to help the company to maximize its tail revenues that the company has paid little attention to for years. The focus is obviously on marketing areas such as programmatic and ad-tech advertising that were hitherto underexplored by the gambling sector to help them resuscitate their dying marketing sector.
Geheeb believes that there is enough technology for the sector to take advantage of and turn things around for the overall benefit of the gambling industry. He explained further that creative messaging is the foundation of marketing but who forms the target audience and when to deliver the marketing message to them should be based on facts and data.
Over the past decade, there has been a significant development in ad-tech and the loyal fans of this technology would have experienced its attendant bumpy ride. However, its targeting ability has also developed, a welcome development for casino owners.
Thus, the gambling sector can leverage the development, considering that the cost of customer acquisition in the sector in recent years is a bit higher than it was a couple of years ago, as suggested by Geheeb.
He added that the gambling industry has been profitable and may not necessarily need AdTech’s efficient capabilities. In his words, the sector isn’t under any pressure to spend every marketing budget judiciously.
The tighter regulation and attendant taxation have changed the dynamic. There has been a shift in the facets, going by Geheeb’s words.
In the gambling community, there is an abundance of data in the hands of affiliates and operators. Simms considers this data as nothing but a pot of gold. With the aid of the data, gaming sites can understand player behaviors better and tailor their marketing efforts to suit them.
XLMedia considers this to mean that sites’ inventories will naturally become more dynamic by increasing the number of personalized consumer journeys it drives.
In his contribution, Geheeb highlighted the importance of understanding players’ behavior. He believes the better understanding will help gaming sites to focus on player retention more. He pointed out that it will also help casinos to understand their customers better and find a way to get their attention and sustain it.
Thus, if they can leverage the information at their disposal, they will be better placed to engage their players constantly and get better value from them. More so, casinos can use the knowledge to avoid targeting the wrong audience and thus avoid a waste of time and resources.
He explained that with the help of AdTech, casinos can identify a specific element of their audience and focus on it. The effort will come in handy in answering consumers’ concerns and regulators’ fears. Gambling advertising has done more harm than good for consumers, hence, their concerns.
FC Bologna’s Winterling’s assertion shows the danger of blanket bans. It servers two negative purposes – it restricts gambling operators and simultaneously hurts the sport. Hopefully, the sector should be smart enough to leverage available opportunities to thrive, the new structure notwithstanding.