Marketing responsibly and using AI to unlock esports’ potential

Businesses the world over are facing unprecedented challenges and our industry is no different, writes Digitain Head of Sales Simon Westbury. 

Heading into a summer when an eagerly anticipated calendar of live sporting fixtures has been derailed, operators and suppliers alike are searching frantically for alternatives. 

Despite the extensive disruption to live sport, there remains a whole host of options available for players looking to get involved. Providing them with a range of responsible alternatives will be critical to our industry’s perseverance through these challenging times. 

This is especially the case for esports. With exponential year-on-year growth already, its rise has clearly been long in the making and has now been dramatically accelerated by the current crisis.

Indeed, alternative markets are hugely important. For operators, however, they are of limited use without the right tools to introduce them to customers. 

The biggest challenge this summer will not be the wealth of content you offer (although that’s important) – but how you offer it to the right players. Key here will be predictive AI-based modelling. Players want to know what else is out there, and when it comes to direct marketing, they need to be presented with the right options. 

The biggest winners in the months ahead (from a B2B perspective), are the ones that already have the CRM tools in place to provide for the ‘Netflix style’ AI tools that can deliver an alternative offering in line with the player’s demand for entertainment.

Having a toolkit that elevates the customer experience should have been at the top of every operators’ ICE shopping list, and those who didn’t take advantage of the latest tech are certainly missing out now.  

In principle, AI-based CRM harnesses deep data and analytics to ensure that gaming operators are able to maintain, not to mention grow, their market share and build customer lifetime value – an especially valuable proposition at a time like this. 

When it comes to delivery, Digitain can do this better than anyone. The foundation of our proprietary technology is unrivalled machine learning based modelling capabilities. We can ensure that when any given customer logs on, they receive a bespoke offering fully tailored to their own personal preferences. 

Providing such a high level of customisation ensures that users are introduced to a raft of new betting markets in line with their profile – whether it be in-house skill games, virtuals or esports – driving increased engagement and boosting incremental revenue for operators. 

Tie that in with a gamified experience, and when merged with the right customer segmentation – you’ll be able to drive players towards desired content at key times like never before. Combined with bonus rewards, competition against other players and other social elements, and operators will have an incredibly powerful tool for the months ahead.  

However, although we take immense pride in the quality of our products as well as the fantastic tools we provide to our customers, player protection always tops our priority list. As people spend more time at home, the need for our industry to act responsibly only grows stronger. 

Of course, we as an industry can help fill the void of sport with fun and creative ways to engage our partners’ customers, but it is imperative we do so with a principal focus on social responsibility, with revenue coming second. 

Online retains plenty of potential for capturing market share this summer, and done in the right way, can offer a wealth of opportunity for the brave few who are willing to get bold with their strategies. 

Under the watchful eye of regulators, the media and the general public, our actions during this difficult period will be remembered for a long time to come. Let’s set the kind of example that others can follow – and make sure we’re remembered for the right reasons. Responsible gaming has never been more important than it is now; and we need to make sure our collective reputation is spotless.

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