SBC News Automating player engagement: the next big thing?

Automating player engagement: the next big thing?

Engaging new players has become a big focus for many gambling operators, especially at a time when the industry has become increasingly competitive. But quite often, building and implementing a player engagement strategy can come with its own set of challenges. 

So what role can automation play in player engagement?

Malou Neguembor, Head of Client Success at Flows, was joined by Andrew Micallef, Chief Product Officer at High Roller, to discuss their ongoing partnership and the importance of automation in building an effective player engagement strategy.

SBC: Andrew, can you begin by telling us why High Roller initially chose to partner with Flows?  

AM: Flows lets us do things that usually take days, weeks, if not months of development. So we save time and resources and deliver faster. It’s really a no brainer. And when I say things, I mean a lot of things, from simple alerts to segmentation, pushing data to third parties, gamification, etc.

SBC: And how has partnering with Flows enabled you to streamline your player engagement strategy? Has it changed the way you approach player engagement at all? 

AM: We use multiple tools for player engagement; some are real-time, and some are not. With Flows we are able to push real-time events at the same time to all of these tools, hence we can then have campaigns in the different tools based on their objective. 

The one major change is that with Flows we focus a lot more on real-time engagement and we can easily adapt and create new “triggers”.

SBC: What are both of your key aims for this collaboration going forward? 

Malou Neguembor, Head of Client Success at Flows
Malou Neguembor, Head of Client Success at Flows

MN: At Flows, our primary aim for this collaboration is to foster a symbiotic relationship where both parties thrive. We aim to continuously enhance High Roller’s player engagement through our advanced automation capabilities, driving increased player loyalty and revenue. By staying at the forefront of technological advancements and understanding the evolving needs of the igaming industry, we aspire to be a pivotal partner for High Roller.

AM: We want to be able to rely more on Flows without needing more third-party integrations. This will help both parties up their game in the industry and become more competitive with an evolved product.

SBC: Malou, From your experience, what are some of the biggest mistakes that igaming companies make when it comes to automating different processes? And how can Flows alleviate some of those headaches? 

MN: Igaming companies often make the mistake of implementing automation without a clear understanding of their players’ preferences and behaviours. This can lead to impersonal and ineffective engagement strategies. Another common mistake is relying solely on automation without integrating human touchpoints, which can make players feel undervalued. 

Flows, with its advanced automation capabilities, ensures that engagement is personalised and relevant. By integrating and analysing player data in real-time, Flows helps igaming companies tailor their engagement strategies, ensuring that players receive timely and relevant content and enhancing their gaming experience.

SBC: How does automation enable your partners to reach out to more players without sacrificing quality or personalisation?

MN: Automation, when done right, allows for scalability. With Flows, our partners can segment their player base in real-time using data from many different sources and deliver personalised content based on individual player preferences and behaviours. This ensures that even as the number of players increases, each player still receives a tailored experience, enhancing engagement and loyalty.

SBC: How important is the ‘personalisation’ element of engagement? How do you ensure you deliver highly tailored content while showing players new products?

MN: Personalisation is at the heart of effective player engagement. In today’s digital age, players expect experiences tailored to their preferences. With Flows, our clients, like High Roller, can easily leverage data from all sources to deeply understand each player’s behaviour and preferences. This enables them to deliver content and recommend new products that resonate with individual players. 

AM: I truly believe in personalisation in everything, not just online casinos. So it is an integral part of our strategy at  High Roller. With personalisation, we believe we can increase player loyalty and revenue. New products will always be available and we will still push these. In the future I hope we can have some AI that keeps learning and suggesting which content to keep pushing or not.

SBC: Andrew, what impact has automation had on retention, particularly across your VIP player base at High Roller?

AM: With Flows we are able to create segments of players using any criteria available, which makes this super dynamic and gives us lots of room for more in-depth segmentation, not just the classic segmentation based on deposits. We can create segments of players that like playing certain games, players who like certain promotions etc. 

Andrew Micallef, Chief Product Officer at High Roller
Andrew Micallef, Chief Product Officer at High Roller

SBC: With the help of Flows’ automation, have you observed any shifts in player behaviour or preferences that have surprised you, and how have you adapted your strategies to accommodate these changes?

AM: Not necessarily shifts in player behaviour but more visibility from Flows on what’s happening. Obviously, we do see certain shifts as with real-time triggers and real-time interaction with players, we get different behaviour in comparison to no real-time interaction with players, but this was not a surprise; it’s pretty much widely known today that real-time marketing and real-time interaction with players have positive effects.

SBC: Malou, many have estimated that the cost of player engagement and acquisition is now several hundreds, if not thousands, of euros. What would be your advice to those looking to increase the LTV of their customers? How can automation help your partners to achieve this?

MN: To increase the LTV of customers, igaming companies should focus on building strong, long-term relationships with their players. Automation can assist in this by ensuring consistent, instant and personalised engagement. Flows can help companies identify high-value players and tailor engagement strategies to enhance their experience, leading to increased retention and spending.

SBC: As the Head of Client Success at Flows, what strategies or best practices do you recommend to igaming companies to effectively integrate and maximise the benefits of automation in their player engagement efforts?

MN: To effectively integrate and maximise the benefits of automation in player engagement, I recommend the following strategies and best practices:

Deep player analysis: Understand player preferences and behaviours through comprehensive data analytics. This data forms the foundation upon which your automated engagement strategies will be built. Here, it’s important to analyse everything from playing frequency and game preferences to spending patterns and engagement history.

Segmentation: Categorise players based on their behaviour patterns. This segmentation enables you to customise and target your automation efforts to resonate with each specific player group. Personalisation is key in engaging players effectively.

Personalised content: Use automation to craft personalised gaming experiences for individual players. Use player data to recommend games, offer tailored bonuses, or send messages that are highly relevant to each player.

Feedback loops: Implement automated feedback mechanisms such as surveys or in-game feedback prompts. Collect player opinions and insights to refine and optimise your automation strategies continually. Player feedback is invaluable for ensuring your engagement efforts align with player expectations.

Seamless Integration: Select third-party tools, such as CRM and analytics systems, that offer robust real-time integration capabilities. This ensures a cohesive approach to player engagement, with data and insights flowing seamlessly across platforms. A unified system streamlines decision-making and response times.

Continuous testing: Embrace a culture of continuous improvement by regularly testing and optimising your engagement strategies. Conduct A/B testing to determine which automated approaches yield the best results. Make data-driven adjustments to enhance player engagement over time.

Proactive engagement: Utilise automation to proactively engage with players who may be at risk of churning. Identify players showing signs of reduced activity or disengagement and initiate targeted interventions through automated messages, bonuses, or personalised incentives to reignite their interest.

Strategy review: Periodically revisit and update your automation strategies to stay aligned with evolving industry trends and player expectations. The gaming landscape is dynamic, so staying responsive and adaptable is crucial for long-term success in player engagement.

Prioritising Efficiency: A common paradox many companies face is the catch-22 of automation. Often, teams are so swamped with tasks that they feel they don’t have the time to invest in automation, even though automation is precisely what could alleviate their workload. This mindset can hinder progress and efficiency. 

Automation not only speeds up processes but also enhances user experience by offering faster and more consistent results than manual tasks. For companies hesitant to dive into automation, a practical approach is to identify pain points where they struggle with repetitive manual tasks or face limitations due to system constraints. 

By automating these specific areas first, they can immediately free up valuable time. This newfound time can be channelled into devising improved strategies and further automation efforts, creating a positive feedback loop of efficiency and innovation.

SBC: One final question for you both.  Malou, can you tell us about the level of support and collaboration that Flows provides to ensure seamless integration and ongoing optimisation of automation solutions for High Roller? And Andrew, can you elaborate on how you maintain strong communication and collaboration to ensure that Flows’ solutions align with High Roller’s evolving goals and needs in the long term?

MN: Collaboration is the cornerstone of our partnership with High Roller. At Flows, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive support throughout the integration process, ensuring that our platform is seamlessly embedded with High Roller’s systems. But our commitment doesn’t end at integration. 

We engage in regular dialogue with High Roller to understand their evolving needs and challenges. This continuous feedback loop allows us to optimise our product, and our dedicated client success team maintains open channels of communication, ensuring that any challenges are addressed promptly and that we are always in sync with High Roller’s long-term vision and goals.

AM: Firstly, I must say that whenever we needed urgent support, Flows were immediately available and a solution was applied very very quickly. This is something that you don’t get with every technology provider. 

The team at Flows shows that they have worked in an operator-facing environment or worked closely with B2C clients for a long time, because their assessment of how urgent something could be, is spot on. On the other hand when we come up with ideas at HighRoller, we discuss with Flows immediately, we have open channels of communication so we can address anything at any time, and this help us keep each other in sync

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