Some of the leading suppliers to the sports betting industry offered their insights into the future for sportsbook personalisation based on automated customer segmentation, advanced behavioural analysis and predictive AI-driven models. The fourth round table participant was Amelco, represented by Trading Director Sam Foulkes.
SBC: What role does pricing and risk have to play in the differentiation of a sportsbook offering?
SF: For operators, the actual prices of selections are of diminishing importance. At the moment, we’re seeing sportsbooks offer largely similar prices – as recreational bettors are often not price sensitive – and focus on attraction via a high-quality proposition.
Pricing more markets is also becoming a common strategy for differentiation; this demand has been the driver for Amelco’s delivery of new products such as Quantum Outrights. As a result, operator focus is shifting towards service-level quality – with the focus now on which markets are published and when they are published taking precedence over pricing.
Personalisation at this level means it is essential to keep things simple for the customer so that when they navigate towards your sportsbook, they are quickly presented with the markets that they are most interested in.
From a risk perspective, operators demand an easy life, so being vastly different on price is undesirable. Depending on territory and channel, Amelco aims to offer an optimised price; we try to be as competitive as possible for customers, while at the same time, keeping tight control on risk for our operators. We utilise third party price feeds to monitor the global market, giving our models knowledge of price competitiveness ahead of updating our own odds.
SBC: How can operators build on their customer analytics to both enhance player experience and drive higher margins?
SF: At Amelco, we leverage machine learning technology to segment players. When you consider the size of some of our customer databases, which is usually in excess of a million, having entirely automated segmentation is the only effective option.
The way this works is relatively simple. Throughout a customers’ life-cycle, they will display several behaviours which we use to predict their lifetime value. This information allows us to then deliver targeted promotions to that customer depending on which point they are in within that cycle. Trends within player demographics and their bet history are used to push content which we predict they are most likely to be interested in – and removing content that is unlikely to be of relevance.
This mechanic is replicated at scale to deliver a sophisticated segmentation engine. Output segments can be pushed to areas of the operator’s choice, including new and higher margin products, flagging responsible gaming protocols and VIP segmenting.
SBC: How can AI and analytics be used to personalise and tailor the sports betting experience?
SF: Our segmentation engine enables advanced personalised content. Once we have built a profile of players’ interests, we are then able to deliver the most relevant content and promotions that would be of interest – and in turn, improve their experience.
The nature of machine learning means that over time, as more data is captured, the more accurate our output analysis will become as the model will find patterns within player behaviour that would ordinarily not be picked up in a manually driven segmentation solution.
SBC: A lot has been said recently about gamification, what can it do for sportsbook?
SF: Gamification is, by far, the most powerful retention tool available to sportsbook. It has enormous potential, but its success will depend on how effectively it is combined with segmentation and strategised towards retention.
When it’s aligned with an advanced segmentation engine, gamified products can be used to steer customers to desired site content at key times. This strategy is currently being adopted industry wide, by driving mass engagement via free-to-play opportunities. Another area of growth we’re seeing is by incentivising customer navigation into desired products via achievement-based rewards.