How? This should be the main question in the industry today, given regulatory changes, compliance challenges with affiliates, and overall tightening conditions in core markets.
With UK and Sweden leading the way of stricter rules for online gambling in Europe, online casinos have a task to solve not only how to stay abreast of the competition, but more importantly - how to adapt to the new rules, and still keep the acquisition growing and the retention of the players stable. And to add to all of that, we are facing the changes in audience behaviour, that raises a new topic - is there still such thing as brand loyalty at all, and can casinos do anything to keep their customers coming back.
Regulatory changes are given and we have to follow every rule, but what about behavioural changes? Are we adapting our casino products and tools to avoid the negative impact it can bring?
While the industrial landscape is changing and evolving faster than ever, most of the companies are still stuck at the stage of reacting, instead of changing their actions in pursuance to adapt. We think that it is enough to increase marketing budgets, give - where it is still possible - better bonuses, or in other words - we are using the same old methods because it always worked, so why change it? Over the last year, discussing this topic across various conferences, surprisingly, I realised that most of the proposed solutions were to keep going the same way, strongly stating that this has always worked. But does it? Anyone can use expensive marketing service, or increase the marketing budget even more, but is your product good enough to make up for all the money spent in today’s market?
"The extensive amount of available data puts us in a school of thought that are we aware of the industrial demands and if yes, then are we adapting it in the right way"
It is not enough to bring traffic to the door; you have to make sure the doors are opened. And if your landing pages are not converting, the problem is almost surely not with the traffic - the worry is your landing page. Most of the online casinos are still slow to adapt to the new habits of the audiences. We are living in the age of brutal honesty and GDPR, and we do not have the luxury to use vanity metrics anymore to calm ourselves that page visits, impressions or registrations are looking good enough to keep us in the game.
Across the industry, the audiences are shifting not only to consuming everything online but also to getting extremely digestive information and experiences very fast. Thus the acquisition is very similar to Tinder these days - the attention span of the user is short, and you have to give great first impression followed by even greater experience. Consumer web giants created an environment where people don’t even have to think anymore, giving a new challenge to the online gambling industry as well in the way we have to attract and retain our customers. All the features have to be intuitive across the various platforms, and if you are not adapting to that as well, you will get user irritated and lose him.
How can online casinos adjust to this new environment that’s becoming a new normal in the online gambling industry? The answer is rather easy to say, but a bit harder to implement - the investments should shift to product and enhanced tools development instead of marketing spend, and it has to happen fast. Every online casino has a vast amount of data available in-house, but just a small part of the companies are using them to improve various aspects of the business. It is important to mention that I am not talking about the basic data related to our online sites, but about the one that is not used to our benefit and that is user behaviour describing data.
Analysis of behavioural data can easily turn around results for most of the online casinos and indicate the weak points in the product. The extensive amount of available data puts us in a school of thought that is we aware of the industrial demands and if yes, then are we adopting it in the right way. In the last couple of years, the emergence of new data analysis companies is very noticeable - if previously we had just a handful of services like these, today the selection is proliferating with extensive and enhanced portfolios that offers AI-based solutions and works with big data. Therefore, the only way forward is to either use in-house built, or third party solutions -, . Online casinos that have adopted this strategy are growing their BI departments and are way ahead of the game.
Get down to analyzing the vast amount of data you have and use it to elevate your product in the new era of consumer web. Analyze your users’ habits, work on developing your unique selling points - give users an opportunity to feel special and share that. This change in the product is a hit recipe for engagement and retention.
Data analysis and product development is not a one-time action, but a new habit that has to go hand-in-hand with all the other operations. Focus on the product and use experience, because the audience is ruthless today, and even the biggest marketing budget won’t help your business if you will ignore the data signals from your audience.