Talk to anyone in the egaming industry, and they’ll tell you the same story – the golden days are over. Intense competition, responsible gambling scrutiny, aggressive taxes and ever spiralling acquisition costs are making it ever more difficult for operators.
At the same time, operators struggle to differentiate themselves – with the same product, with (sometimes) different colours and themes, and even identical promotions and specials – no wonder many have chosen to focus on acquisition where there is a chance of competing.
I find this paradoxical since, at the same time, consensus says that the greatest value can be gained from customer retention.
Our industry had a prosperous period that is being challenged right now. The competition has never been fiercer, taxes have never been higher, and acquisition is at its most expensive level right now.
Yet, everybody mostly continues in doing what they have done for many years, offer the same product (in slightly different colours), and put most efforts and budget in acquisition marketing.
Paradoxically, the consensus seems to be that retention is what is most important, however the two biggest drivers of loyalty, product and retention marketing, remain largely unappreciated.
We can do better
Retention is about loyalty, and the primary drivers for loyalty are a good product, brand identification and relevant marketing. For me, the answer to these three concerns is the same – gamification.
I love games – I love making them. I love playing them. I love talking about them. And I’ve been surprised how little game techniques have crossed into the operator’s main web sites. Let me share my vision for how operators can make the gaming experience central to their entire offering. The ultimate version for operators is where the brand proposition and user experience seamlessly transition into the casino games that the player is coming to play. The disconnect between site and games needs to be a thing of the past, both should contribute to a singular experience. Operators will create an additional layer of gameplay that marries both ends create a deeper enjoyment benefitting both player and operator.
So whats the spell for operator gamification magic? Easy:
Step 1: Game
If you haven’t spent hundreds of hours yourself playing slots and casino games, hire a team that have. The understanding of game mechanics – challenge, reward, incentivisation, rule construction – will drive better customer engagement. Once you’ve hired them, back them with time and budget to make it real. Don’t let gamification fall behind compliance and seasonal promotions – use gamification to solve these challenges.
Step 2: Technology
This is the easy bit. Yes, I know you’ve spent the last ten years battling with technology, and yes, what you have right now probably isn’t what you need. While you figure out what the long-term requirements are from a technical point of view, you can work together with your suppliers to make use of their retention tools in a way that is according to your style and values.
And you can cheat – while at Quickspin, I used CompetitionLabs to bridge the gaps we had in our platform. The CompetitionLabs platform between operator and gaming platform allowed us to build tools which offered the functionality we or the operator did not have. The fundamental advantage CL has is that all tools developed on the CL layer can then be used across all suppliers, simplifying integrations and improving product coherence.
Ultimately it all comes down to the question of how much you entertain the player through your website experience compared to the games that you offer. If the games that you offer are the only real advantage of your website then it is time to make changes. While you ramp up your operations to handle this internally, go out and speak to your suppliers. Everyone is stepping up their game to make your CRM easier and more fun for your players.