SBC News Samba Digital: Media and user acquisition in Brazil’s transforming igaming market
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Samba Digital: Media and user acquisition in Brazil’s transforming igaming market

Brazil faces constant alterations to igaming regulations until the rules of the market finally settle. Against this backdrop, Samba Digital, a sports marketing and media agency based in the South American country, is continuously testing various sources of online user acquisition to find the right audiences.

Camila Cunha, the company’s Igaming Manager, and Yuri Campos, Growth and Media Director, write for SBC News from experience in navigating such emerging markets.

The consumer and player behaviours in Brazil have been changing, and one of the main reasons for that change is the progress in the legislative process, along with the acceptance and understanding of sports betting and casino products by both authorities and the local audience.

Initially, igaming media activations and acquisition strategies made use of informal ways, primarily anchored by influencers, live marketing and other alternatives that offered commercial possibilities without being linked to local advertising legislations. 

SBC News Samba Digital: Media and user acquisition in Brazil’s transforming igaming market
Camila Cunha

As public debate about the regulation started, the media platforms and igaming operators began to work under a ´self-regulation mode´ where, for example, each media platform presented their own requirements to work with igaming brands. At that stage, price parameters and media requirements were implemented and modified very quickly, giving the impression that the business environment had changed abruptly, in other words, a period of extreme volatility. 

Talking about the current scenario, the first trend to highlight is the guidance and flexibility of the companies called “Big Techs”, in terms of advertising gambling content. Google, Meta, Twitter and Spotify adopted instructions that mix each country’s government rules related to gambling and a ´self regulation´ to cover topics that are often in a grey area, and the process in Brazil followed the pattern. 

As a consequence, access to igaming platforms via search engines and social networks became an important source of traffic, and operators have been dedicating a relevant part of their budget to invest on these media channels nowadays. 

Based on our experience coordinating media and performance campaigns in some relevant emerging markets, such as Brazil and Mexico, it’s very important to test and try different sources of online user acquisition, global and local ones, having in mind what is allowed in each country and a local perspective in terms of what is important and relevant for the audience.

SBC News Samba Digital: Media and user acquisition in Brazil’s transforming igaming market
Yuri Campos

The entertainment and sports worlds are even more connected when we see the progress of the igaming media and communication campaigns, leading to a diversification of the creative possibilities and consecutively in the way of converting players. In a content consumption culture, where everything is “gamified” – just to mention a few examples, for learning a new language, the leading platform in this field, Duolingo, turns readings and lessons into interactive games. Various investment apps transform investments into charts and playful elements to attract more investors, and the igaming industry has strongly embraced this practice; the operators have opened markets even for political elections, for example. 

Awards like the Oscars, Grammys, predictions of reality show winners, among other entertainment programs, have become targets for monetizing the igaming industry, further justifying the need for media and consumption habits to seek broader connections with the end user.

In Brazil, we just saw some significant new requirements from the government (published on the 18 April by the ministry of finance), which have a relevant impact in the way the igaming brands communicate their promotional campaigns: The operators won´t be allowed to offer early bonuses for players anymore (one popular example is the welcome bonus); the payment methods will be more controlled as well (credit cards won’t be allowed, only debit, pix and other electronic options). 

These changes will also impact the way operators promote themselves, and some factors such as product, platform and UX will be even more important in terms of user acquisition and retention.

Concluding, in terms of growth/media and content possibilities, the Brazilian market is in a “beta” business model, where we can see constant modifications until all the rules are settled. All of this implies close follow-up from both operators and companies specialised in the development of such businesses, like Samba Digital.

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