Dan Towse: Marathonbet – Trust fading as brands turn to influencers

Dan Towse, Head of Brand, Marathonbet

Marathonbet’s Head of Brand Marketing Dan Towse has warned that the use of influences as marketing tools is causing gaming brands to lose the trust of their audience, ahead of his appearance on the Advertising and Marketing Conference stream at ICE VOX.

The Head of Brand for the gambling company compared influencers to world-class sports stars in regards to driving a betting product, however, he stated that relevance and credibility need to be the reasons for enlisting an influencer. 

He commented:“Whilst I agree there is a place for them – we have to be mindful that they need to be relevant. Chris Hughes (Coral) whose popularity came from Love Island already had a deep affinity with horse racing and therefore has opinion/stories which are relevant & credible. 

“However, when other brands choose reality TV stars or influencers with reach, who clearly have no affinity to a sport and or an understanding of an event – it can come across as ‘forced’ and a freebie for the individual. In addition, I’d always question if their followers are the right target audience. Age? Possibly. Prospective gambling customers? Unlikely.”

Regarding the trust of an audience, Towse described it as subjective and stated that it very much depends on what the customers value and use. 

Towse discussed the methods in which those involved in the industry can build trust with their audience, concluding: “From a gaming perspective, it’s incredibly important – especially how saturated the market now is to ensure content is original and where required you build a conversation both in terms of engagement but also responding to customer queries in a timely manner.

“Consumers are savvier than I think the industry gives them credit for and to a degree, the need and want of today’s customer is probably further ahead than we are able to keep up with. However, when it comes to social I believe a high percentage of audiences still see ‘followers’ as a key number to help establish a perceived trust because of a brands ‘popularity’.”

Moreover, as well as discussing the use of influencers and the trust of audiences, Towse discussed the volume of editorial content within the industry, stating that there is too much as he compared betting brands to Sky Sports News due to the news feed esque systems they seemingly have adopted in regards to content. 

The Head of Brand concluded: “Whilst I do believe there is a place for editorial content – I still feel there is too much. With the recent announcement of Zlatan Ibrahimović returning to Italy – six bookmakers posted the same announcement within 30 minutes of each other. I understand, not everyone will follow all these brands like me. However, when I swipe through my feed, I have the same story and/or a variation of the same article from multiple operators and news outlets.”

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