Aly Lalani is back to review BetRegal’s World Cup performance, including competing for punters for whom brand connection means more than price value, and leveraging tournament acquisition to kick start the new season.
It seems like just a few short weeks ago that I was sitting here, anxiously awaiting kick off at the World Cup. To be fair it wasn’t that long ago, nine weeks or so. The summertime sure does fly by.
As we sit here, on the verge of the kick off of the new football season (sorry Championship fans), it is a good time to reflect a little on the World Cup, and more importantly to discuss how we can directly leverage our World Cup performance to kick start the new season.
As enormous and exciting as the World Cup is when it comes around, when the dust settles it’s really not that long a time period. Nothing beats those first rounds where there is constant action throughout the day, yet 64 games in total is really not that many.
Towards the end, punters are definitely left wanting more and it’s crucial to bridge that World Cup fever through the start of the regular football campaign.
Let’s be clear. The World Cup for BetRegal was good. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad. It was good.
If you remember, I deliberated for a while on how to accurately forecast what to expect from the first major event for a new brand. So, it was something of a relief for me that when the stakeholders met to review performance, generally there was a feeling of optimism in the air.
Of course, there were areas where we need to improve, but generally there was more good than bad. We saw a better than expected average wager size, and generally were happy with where we ended up in terms of gross margin (save for a few tough results).
Where we didn’t perform as well as hoped was on the new funded customer acquisition side. Given that I sit at the head of the marketing table for BetRegal.com, that falls squarely on me. The main issue is that our acquisition sources are still very Europe-focused, and specifically very UK focused.
Essentially, we are competing in the most competitive market against the largest brands in the industry. By nature, the World Cup draws a much wider fan base, customers with personal connections to teams rather than punters looking for value in a line.
This is where we can struggle because our pricing differentiator doesn’t speak as strongly to a recreational punter, who is likely more swayed by the large scale marketing efforts of other brands.
That’s not to say we didn’t have some successes on the acquisition front. We did see strong performance from a couple of our main European affiliates, who were able to perform better than expected. We also ran an affiliate contest in South/Central America which yielded especially good results in terms of signups, but disappointed a little in terms of conversion.
What was regarded as underperformance just a couple of weeks ago, is now regarded as opportunity as we embark on the new season. It’s fundamentally important that the impact of the World Cup can (and should) be present much longer than the 64 games.
What we have been given is a small treasure chest of users who have generated data for us that we need to leverage. When the tap is only producing a small trickle, it’s important not to waste a drop.
Take all of those registrations that didn’t fund from our South American affiliate contest as an example. Well, the top Brazilian football league (Brasileiro Serie A) begins this week, so you had better believe all of those unfunded players will be receiving a special communication and conversion offer.
And what of all those users that came from an odds comparison site? Let’s make sure we highlight our first week odds to them, along with maybe a small extra incentive to wager this first week.
Any user that made any type of World Cup wager with us has presented us with a nugget of information that we need to use when we communicate to them about the launch of the new season.
What team did they wager on? What player(s) did they wager on? Which type of wager did they place? What was the wager result? What did they do after a win/loss? Any of these data points can be segmented multiple ways, and used as the basis for further communication.
At the end of the day, the name of the game is still growth. Growing our active customer base, growing our deposits, growing our product offering, etc. As we undertake this journey, and try and navigate our course amongst these industry giants, these fundamental principles of existing customer communication are especially important, both in terms of actually generating volume without complete reliance on new customer acquisition, but also in terms of setting good habits.
No matter how large (or small) we ever become, the core principle that ‘a warm lead is better than a cold lead’ will always ring true. The more information we have about a customer, the more personalised we can make the communication and offer, the more likely the customer will convert.
As we develop these good habits of existing customer segmentation and communication as it relates to the 2018 football season, the plan is that this type of program will scale right along as we increase our customer acquisition. The race for World Cup fallout glory is on.