Dima Reiderman, Chief Operations Officer, BtoBet.

2020 was a unique and strange year for sports and the sports betting industry. Events were being called off or postponed due to the pandemic. Sports calendars were disrupted, retail shops were shuttered down, and the whole industry had to adapt and readjust itself to a new and unforeseen reality.

But whilst operators and suppliers alike scrambled to fill in the huge content gap that ensued, it became highly evident that the industry was in dire need of automation and implementation of workflow processes. Above all the need for operators to leverage player data in a bid to maintain engagement across alternative verticals emerged as a primary action point.

Acquisition vs Retention

For a long time operators were focusing primarily on acquisition, and it was only during the past years that focus has begun shifting to the retention side for a number of reasons, whether it was regulation or the rising cost of CPA.

It became persistently evident that efforts should not only be about attracting the traffic to your side, but increasingly more about retaining it. Long gone are the days where operators stick themselves in an ever costlier marketing loop to tackle the volume of traffic. SEO restrictions, and bans on advertisement have disrupted this approach and that’s why retention efforts have by far surpassed acquisition workflows.

Nonetheless retention does come as well with a number of shortfalls. And one of the main problematics operators face is differentiation. Different brands find it very difficult to differentiate themselves from one another in an industry where most of the retention efforts come down to daily campaigns focused primarily on the granting of bonuses. There is also a problem with the use of data in that area to create better personalisation, and give customers a tailored and bet stimulating different experience. Thus, in this whole context it is evident that there is the need for tools that create a more wholesome betting experience.

And this is something that for the past years we have looked into, developing and integrating innovative solutions into the whole product vision and not only in terms of certain elements of the business. From a B2B provider perspective the biggest challenge for operators is player acquisition costs and brand loyalty. To truly understand this one must understand how today’s players behave. Today’s punters have multiple accounts with different bookmakers.

They are constantly on the lookout for attractive promotions, continually comparing bookmaker odds for better margins… and all this makes it increasingly harder on the long run for bookmakers to create good player value. It is a well known fact that today’s average sports bettor can have 6 to 7 different accounts with different bookmakers. So the main question for bookmakers is “how will I stand out?”.

And eventually “How am I going to increase my share in the player wallet, getting them to deposit more money with me?” And this all comes down to retention, to having the right flows in place, and everaging real-time data allowing you to make more agile and more accurate decisions, and ultimately delivering a more personal betting experience.

Data is the solution

The design of the bookmakers’ sites are very similar to one another. So how do you differentiate yourself in that sense? It is about creating the whole experience, not just giving the bonuses, and not just adding more games. Whilst bonuses and a broader content portfolio is part of the product, it definitely is not the solution.

If operators really want to stand out in the crowd they must make their customers feel at home. And this is all about recommending to the player the best things that are available and match the UX with their personal experience and favourite games. If you use the player data in real-time and if you are able to interact with the customer at the right places when it matters and also create a seamless transition from the online to the offline, this will have a big impact in terms of player lifetime value.

“It’s not about giving the bonus, it’s about creating the whole customer experience and using the data.” – Dima Reiderman, BtoBet’s Chief Operations Officer, this is what we enable our customers to do today. So in terms of trying to stand out in an industry which is extremely competitive it’s all about the experience, and creating behaviours in customers that you can control and incentivise. It’s all about nurturing the customers on different levels and that’s where personalisation and automation comes in to be able to engage your players to the highest level.

Working with real-time data, which is the first thing that you want to do when you want to take a personalisation approach, opens up a whole new world of possibilities to interact with your players, in turn allowing you to create more sophisticated strategies and tactics.

Nowadays real-time data is crucial, allowing you amongst other aspects to detect high value players, and aid you in the decisions you take with them and how to incentivise them.And based on this data-leveraging approach today we enable our operators to respond almost immediately to any behaviour change of data no matter where that data comes from without having to spend huge budgets on that.

BtoBet’s data-based approach

Through in-depth data analytics based on a various elements – such as player betting behaviour, betting preferences, amounts deposited and staked amongst many other filters – operators would be able to increase the engagement of their players through a more personalised approach, recommending bets based on individual preferences or other trending events that would interest the player directly.

This data analysis also proves very hand in terms of protecting the operator against fraudulent behaviour, and the player himself by avoiding betting patterns that could lead to problem gambling. Ultimately through these data-based recommendations operators would be able to increase the Player-Lifetime-Value far more effectively.

Another interesting tool that will be launched with the new product add-on portfolio will be sportsbook gamification through tournaments. These could be either pre-defined by the operator himself, or created by the individual players and shared with their friends even on social media.

Another add-on tool that is expected to have a significant effect in terms of increased player engagement, retention and acquisition are free-to-play sports games and tournaments. Available for all the major sports and leagues, this tool is highly engaging and also determining from an acquisition perspective.

Last but not least important is the AI Writing tool that provides operators with the solution on how to automatically populate their site with in-depth sports news, based on statistics. This highly advanced tool allows operators to provide detailed news items covering any sport, in multiple languages, without the need to employ a legion of writers.