SBC sits down with Jenny Riley from 2mee to learn more about how sportsbook operators can use the latest marketing technologies to drive acquisition around major events such as this week’s Royal Ascot…
Online sportsbook operators will be looking to this week’s Royal Ascot to drive new customer acquisition at scale. As with all of the major racing – and indeed sporting – events that take place each year, marketers will open their war chests to outgun their rival brands.
The big bonus offers will be out in force, and so too will the striking TV ads and ubiquitous social media campaigns. But do these channels really allow operators to connect with bettors? Do they actually cut through the noise being made by the competition and allow a brand to be heard?
A growing number of operators are now looking to other channels to drive player engagement, deliver offers and ultimately encourage them to sign up and wager at their brands.
Recently, ITV7, the free-to-play pick-em game run by Sky Betting and Gaming on behalf of ITV, launched a hologram advertising campaign powered by 2mee as part of its customer acquisition activity around the Cheltenham Festival. To learn more about the campaign and how channels such as hologram messages can help operators find new ways of connecting with players, we sat down with Jenny Riley, Head of Customer Success at 2mee.
SBC: What opportunities do major racing events such as Cheltenham and Royal Ascot present sportsbooks when it comes to customer acquisition? Are they really that significant?
Jenny Riley: Major racing events often attract a large number of viewers and generate significant public interest. These events usually receive extensive media coverage, both through traditional media outlets and online platforms. This increased media coverage helps sportsbooks gain brand visibility and reach a much wider audience.
Sportsbooks will take advantage of this to advertise their offerings, attract new customers and encourage them to sign up and place bets. With the right marketing strategies and tailored offerings, sportsbooks can leverage these opportunities to acquire new customers at scale and enhance their customer base even once the event has finished.
SBC: What are the main challenges operators face when it comes to ensuring their brand stands out?
JR:The online gambling industry is highly competitive with operators all fighting for customer attention. This saturation can make it challenging for operators to differentiate their brands from competitors. Standing out requires adapting a unique selling proposition, providing exceptional customer experiences and offering innovative features and promotions.
In addition, establishing trust is crucial. Online gambling has faced scrutiny due to concerns about fairness, security, and responsible gambling practices. Operators must work diligently to build a solid reputation through transparent operations, secure platforms, fair gaming practices, prompt payouts and responsible gambling measures. Overcoming negative perceptions and building trust takes time and effort. Of course, marketing is a powerful way of doing this.
SBC: Are the traditional marketing methods working or do operators need to think outside the box? What does outside of the box look like?
JR: I think that traditional marketing methods have their place. Operators in the gambling industry often need to think outside the box and embrace innovative approaches to effectively stand out in what is a fiercely competitive market. Traditional marketing methods like TV ads, print media and radio can still be effective to some extent, but they may not be sufficient on their own. By being creative, innovative and willing to explore new ideas and approaches that break away from traditional marketing methods, operators can stand out, attract a wider audience and create a memorable brand experience.
SBC: What makes influencers delivered as holograms so effective? What makes these messages cut through?
JR: Influencers and brand ambassadors have a following based on their expertise and their followers trust their opinions and recommendations. Influencers can create a sense of personal connection with the audience in a way that other channels simply cannot. Even though they are virtual representations of the influencer, pundit or celebrity, the presence and interaction with the 2mee hologram influencer can feel more authentic compared to traditional advertisements. The ability to see and interact with the influencer in a realistic manner can enhance the sense of trust and credibility, making the message more persuasive and relatable.
SBC: How can operators maximise the potential they provide? Where should they be delivered for maximum impact? Which influencers work best?
JR: This really does depend on the target audience and campaign objectives. Factors to consider include the influencer’s credibility, relevance to the target audience, and alignment with the brand or product being promoted.
Micro-influencers who have a dedicated and engaged niche audience may work well for specific campaigns, while macro-influencers with a broader reach may be more suitable for wider brand awareness. Ultimately, operators should aim to strike a balance between the influencer’s appeal, the relevance of the content, and the targeted delivery to maximize the impact.
SBC: Can you share an example of a successful influencer HoloAd campaign and relevant stats to support it?
JR: We recently ran a campaign with ITV7, which is powered by Sky Betting and Gaming, and were tasked with delivering a standout campaign that would take player activation and growth to the next level. This was to be done by capturing attention through creative means and placements by integrating ITV7’s talent/influencers throughout the campaign to grow awareness of, and the volume of traffic to, its site.
By deploying 2mee’s HoloAdTM technology, ITV7 was able to record its brand ambassadors and deliver them to third-party publications like The Mirror with each influencer able to send personalised messages based on the day’s racing. Our HoloAd technology allowed ITV7 to change hologram recordings every few hours to keep people in the loop with the current promotion and deliver links to the upcoming promotion. The use of influencers/talent deployed across creative placements in mainstream publications provided a significant boost to participation in the campaign.
The 2mee HoloAds reached 2.8 million people across major national newspaper publications for the week of the Cheltenham Festival, with a strong overall CTR that represented a huge increase from the industry average of 0.47% for a digital banner ad.
Jenny Riley, Head of Customer Success at 2mee.