World Cup diary – BetRegal prepares to swim with the big fish, a new sportsbook created to provide its customers with the “highest possible value” in prices, is on the road to Russia for this summer’s FIFA World Cup.

I just asked Siri how many days there were until June 14th……66 was her response. That means 66 days until kick off at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

All over the world, bookmakers are sitting in their boardrooms going over marketing plans and promotional ideas to try and win a proportional share of the immense betting volume that is sure to greet and follow this World Cup. Yes, is one of those bookmakers.

I must admit it’s a different position than I have ever been in leading up to a World Cup. Working with Pinnacle, leading up to a big event like the World Cup we always had a large customer base, a sizeable marketing budget, an adequate number of resources and an established brand name we could hang our hat on.

As I look around I realize that has none of those things, or at least not to any comparative measure with any of the top tier established bookmakers out there.

So, what are we to do? A relatively small, new brand navigating an ocean with some pretty big fish. Sure, we’re growing, after all we’ve had 6K+ players come through the door, but we are swimming with sharks and whales that can do that with one wave of their fin.

Should we forget about acquisition and really focus on engaging the existing players that have already come through the door, including a specialized conversion funnel catered to unfunded and dormant accounts? Of course, we should see a natural acquisition spike just because of the event itself, but maybe we should instead engage our existing ‘warm’ contacts, not only with bonuses and free bets, but also with contests, challenges, increased odds and ‘cool’ content?

Sounds reasonable, but that little devil named ‘opportunity cost’ is sitting on my other shoulder whispering in my ear the opposite idea. He’s not saying to ignore our current customers, of course they are of premium importance, but he is saying that my focus needs to be on acquisition.

He is saying that although we can’t compete with the likes of bet365 and Unibet in terms of acquisition and brand clout, we have to be smarter. As Mr. Miyagi once told Daniel-san, we have to use their strength against them. Sure, they are bigger and more powerful, but we are small and nimble.

Let’s remember that a lot of customers already have betting accounts with bet365. One of the perils of the success of some of our whale-size friends is that their acquisition market potential is smaller, purely because of the size of their player base. Obviously, the number of punters is finite, so maybe our strategy not only needs to consider new accounts to the industry, but also category users who may have accounts with some of our competitors.

I think what the opportunity cost devil is trying to get across is let’s not be too hasty in saying ‘we can’t compete with the big boys in acquisition, so why try?’ There is opportunity out there, we just have to make a compelling enough case to the user to justify conversion to our brand.

The one thing that both sides of my shoulders can agree on is that resources are finite. If we had a 40-person marketing team, maybe this wouldn’t even be a conversation. We could just do both. We’re not there (yet) so this has to be a conversation of priority.

So, what’s a new brand to do? Well I think pretty much like every other conversation that involves the allocation of resources to one priority over another, this has to start with a couple of simple (but not always easy) questions: 1) What are we trying to accomplish with this task? And 2) What metric are we going to use to determine if we are successful or not?

I think once those two questions have produced agreed upon answers, the decision on which path to choose (hopefully) becomes pretty clear. Is this an exercise with the intent of maximizing our bet volume? Our active players? Our deposits? NGR? Clicks to the website? There are plenty of potential KPI’s we could try an optimize. We need to get that down to just a couple.

Fortunately, we’ve already had a lot of those conversations. While I can’t say that we are absolutely finalized with our World Cup promotional calendar, I can confidently say that we have a pretty good understanding of the direction we want to move in, so we are beginning to execute on that plan.

How many days was it until June 14th? 66 days? I know these weeks are going to fly by, and it’s not like we have an empty calendar before the big tournament.

With the Masters and French Open in April, Champions League and NBA playoffs in May, we’ve got enough to keep us on our toes. Managing short term priorities while maintain a long-term vision is going to be the challenge of the next couple of months.

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