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Optimove: invest in connecting land-based and online data

By - 15 February 2022

Earlier this year, Optimove appointed Peter Miles as the company’s Director of Sales to oversee enterprise sales for the iGaming and iLottery markets.

During his 18-year iGaming career, Mr Miles has been responsible for developing and implementing the global business strategy of OpenBet and, most recently, SG Digital.

Through his roles as Commercial Director and subsequently VP of Business Development, Peter focused on driving sales across a number of sports betting and gaming operators including William Hill, Betfair, PMU, Coral, and Sportsbet.

In addition, he led the international growth into the digital sector of World Lottery Association operators such as Danske Spil, Nederlandse Loterij, Loto Quebec, and BCLC. 

G3 sits down with Peter to discuss the challenges facing him in his new role at Optimove, the evolution of CRM marketing and the ‘unequivocal’ need for brands to invest in connecting land-based data to online activity. In this respect, Peter believes the iGaming space has plenty to learn from other industries like aviation and retail.

What motivated you to join Optimove?

Quite simply, I was looking for a company on a profound growth trajectory with a market-leading product. Having seen the significant impact and value that Optimove has added to leading iGaming operators over the years, it was a natural place to start a conversation.

People and culture were equally as important to me, so having met more than ten ‘Optimovers’ and customers in the process, it was an easy choice to join the team.

Having worked in the iGaming and iLottery industries extensively in your previous roles, how has the approach to CRM marketing evolved in recent years?

Five-10 years ago, identical campaigns would run on all channels to all customers. There was no tracking of individual responses. This strategy was a one-size-fits-all, and success measured overall revenue uplift, if you were lucky, or worse, just on click-throughs.

Increased personalisation is now the norm, communicating to your players through the channel they want to engage with, at the time they want, with the frequency they respond to, with exactly the right product or campaign. We measure success now through many KPI’s – we base financial returns on data, not guesswork.

Why do operators require the tools Optimove offers?

Brands’ complete reliance on new, acquired customers without investment in retention is a recipe for failure. Acquisition is costly and is increasingly pricier, so if brands don’t retain existing customers, they’re looking at a problematic bottom line.

Proper retention at scale isn’t easy. It requires large data sets, and as consumers increasingly expect a more personalised experience, it isn’t something brands can do manually. Optimove helps brands generate, orchestrate and measure personalised CRM Marketing at scale and improve their bottom line.

How do you analyse the actual financial uplift generated by CRM beyond click and open rates?

Optimove helps brands move from vanity metrics like Opens and Click Rate by evaluating each campaign against Revenue Uplift. We also compare campaign performance to a control group, ensuring the results are statistically valid.

By the way, that’s why brands who work with Optimove did not lose any sleep when Apple announced iOS15 would not share open rate data. It just doesn’t matter either way. With Optimove, you launch the campaign and measure its impact against your bottom line.

We use that data to generate a metric called CRM Contribution, which allows management and marketing teams to review precisely what impact each action has had on retention rate and revenue.

Operators are increasingly adopting a mindset of hyper-personalisation at scale to target customers. How potent is a hyper-targeted and activity-triggered approach to campaigns?

In the iGaming space, there’s a relatively deep understanding of the strategic significance of CRM Marketing and Retention and the place of personalisation in that mix.

When it comes to real-time marketing, there are still “legacy” elements that might interfere with understanding its importance. However, compared to other industries, there’s no doubt that the iGaming space understands the critical importance of a metric like Customer Lifetime Value.

Do you recommend brands engage with churn and dormant segments of their database? If so, what is the most effective method?

Yes, absolutely. Operators’ customer base can be divided into different lifecycle categories, and each should get its share of attention. Suppose brands do this correctly, use their data properly, generate highly personalised data-driven campaigns, and measure them against uplift and control groups per segment.

In that case, they’ll find a way to make any subset of their audience engage more than ever before.

Gaming has one of the richest data sets of any industry, yet omnichannel somewhat muddies the water because operators don’t identify players in betting shops. Should this be a priority area of investment?

The answer is an unequivocal yes. That is a straight-up win-win situation. If brands collect and connect their land-based data to their online activity, they can create the top-notch personalised experience players increasingly expect and retain those players. It’s not a challenge-free endeavour.

In that respect, the iGaming space has plenty to learn from other industries like aviation or retail, where it’s more common to see a synergy between virtual and land base data touch points.

As gaming operators adopt a more socially responsible stance and regulators apply heavier scrutiny into CRM promotional practices, what technology solutions does Optimove provide to help operators put responsible gaming to the fore? Is enough being done by the wider industry to address these issues?

Optimove is a leader in responsible gaming and offers both a unique approach and actively and strategically supports Operators in improving that aspect of their activity.

Our ability to generate modules that predict and identify at-risk players and differentiate them from other, seemingly similar player-types, like high-roller or potential VIP type of player, makes it all the more critical for our customers.

The adoption of responsible gaming practices by Operators or the industry, in general, is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the adoption of the responsible approach as a critical ingredient in the success of a brand separates smaller operators from the big boys.

Not investing in an improved responsible gaming approach is not ideal for operators. Our data clearly shows that irresponsible players make bad clients, and players who feel safe with their operators will return and play again.

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