SBC News Xtremepush and InclineBet: latest state of play in the dynamic US marketplace

Xtremepush and InclineBet: latest state of play in the dynamic US marketplace

SBC News Xtremepush and InclineBet: latest state of play in the dynamic US marketplace
Robbie Sexton – Xtremepush

As more states join the US sports betting and igaming fray, the market dynamics are evolving rapidly. Robbie Sexton, Director of Partnerships & Sports Betting & Gaming at Xtremepush, sat down for an interview with Oren Langburt, VP of Marketing at InclineBet to talk about the current state of play in the US. 

XP: Can you give us an overview of InclineBet; the services you deliver, and what you do in the company?

Oren Langburt, (VP of Marketing at InclineBet): InclineBet provides performance-driven digital marketing services to North American iGaming operators. Our partners include the likes of FanDuel, Delaware North, and Four Winds. We’re focused on digital marketing activities that deliver clear ROI. We acquire high-value casino and sports betting players for our partners and maximize LTV.  We also have a dedicated creative team who focus on industry creatives and have a library of more than 4,000 casino digital ads covering all of the major regulated slot providers.

XP: The US market has initially seen high CPA and changing LTVs. Can you give us an overview on the current state of the market and your thoughts on how it is today from a marketing perspective?

OL:  The current monthly levels of online casino ARPUs that we see are not only the highest in the world, but also significantly higher than the early projections. For sports, gross ARPUs are broadly in line with the plans we saw before launch, but where these have been depressed is because of bonus management – and in many cases, poor bonus management by operators who were keen to post higher gross revenues (while disregarding the net ARPUs)

TV is good for brand awareness on a large scale but may not be as effective in driving direct conversions. Digital channels excel in targeting capabilities. They allow for precise targeting based on demographics, behaviors, and interests. This leads to better conversion rates and a higher ROI. 

Digital platforms also provide robust analytics and measurement tools to evaluate the effectiveness of ad campaigns in real time. This allows for optimization and better allocation of ad spend, whereas TV can be more challenging. Digital advertising is also more cost-effective, especially for smaller operators. It allows for budget control and the ability to pause or adjust campaigns quickly based on performance.

One channel that bridges the gap between digital and traditional TV advertising is Connected TV. CTV offers the best of both worlds to some extent. It provides the broad reach and big-screen visibility of traditional TV while incorporating the targeting and measurement of digital advertising. 

XP: Branding, or performance marketing? Would you prioritize one over the other, particularly for new brands? 

OL: We don’t do any brand marketing. We are strictly performance-driven. Even our creativity is driven by performance. We always say we don’t judge creativity by how it looks, only by how it performs in the market. To no surprise, our most successful channel to date has been Facebook/Meta. From our perspective, if you do performance marketing well, you will naturally gain a brand advantage, but if you only do brand well, you won’t get the performance. This is something we talk to Facebook about in great detail; How we can leverage reach with performance-based campaigns.

Many of our casino clients are seeing a gross positive payback on a per player basis within six weeks. Sports is more challenging, however, if you’re focused on CRM and ensuring players aren’t coming in just for your welcome offer, then the LTV is there. The adoption of higher margin products like SGPs certainly helps as well. 

SBC News Xtremepush and InclineBet: latest state of play in the dynamic US marketplace
Oren Langburt – InclineBet

XP: Could you talk to us about some key elements of a good CRM strategy in the US you are seeing that drive success?

OL: Different players have different needs and preferences. Segmenting players based on their behavior and preferences is key. Offering a personalized gaming experience through tailored recommendations, personalized promotions, and custom profiles can significantly enhance player retention. Having a solid CDP partner like Xtremepush is a crucial weapon in any martech stack. We still hear stories of some operators using only a handful of segments to market to their player base. On any given day, we have 100+ lifecycle campaigns going out.   

XP: How mature do you think the SBG industry is in the US, particularly in personalizing the player experience?

OL: I think we still have a long way to go. Data is still fragmented, real-time data is rare, and integrations on white-label PAM solutions are often limited. Operations can sometimes be incredibly manual, limiting the scale and scope of marketing capabilities. CRM platforms like Xtremepush are able to support it all, but the PAMs are often the ones holding everything back. 

The right martech stack is crucial to success. You can have the greatest marketing ideas and staff in the world, but if you don’t have the technology to operate them, they aren’t worth much. We spend a significant amount of time and effort working with our partners and their providers, ensuring they have the best martech stack possible. 

XP: What are your thoughts on how the US is currently approaching Responsible Gaming and how will it evolve over the coming years?

OL: One of our clients is FanDuel, and I can tell you they are fully committed to RG. Not just from a customer-facing perspective but as an organization. As a leader in the industry, they know they need to be at the forefront of this topic, setting the example. With the continuous expansion of igaming, it’s just a matter of time until regulators will further enforce responsible gaming regulations like we currently see in the UK and other countries.

XP: In-house or 3rd party providers always seem to be a big topic. What are the pros and cons?

OL: It depends on the circumstances, but if you’re a smaller operator, third-party providers offer several advantages. Firstly, it allows for a quicker speed-to-market due to ready-made solutions, which is critical in this rapidly evolving industry. Secondly, it brings specialized expertise and established solutions that can significantly reduce the operational burden on the operators.  This allows operators to remain focused on core business activities while leveraging external expertise to enhance their offerings and stay competitive.  

XP: ‘Omnichannel’ is a bit of a buzzword but a very important element in the US due to the popularity of land-based casinos. Is the land-based online journey seamless, or is there still a long way to go? Any land-based operators who are doing this well, in your opinion?

OL: The journey towards a seamless transition between land-based and online casinos is underway with notable strides. MGM and Caesars have a rich loyalty program history and lead the way, particularly with how they leverage their rewards programs. MGM/BetMGM have also introduced a custom omni-channel slot game ‘MGM Riches’ that can be played both online and at MGM properties. 

There are payment solutions working on combining casino and online wagering accounts, along with casino loyalty programs, into a single digital payment wallet, enhancing the ease of transitioning between land-based and online. So progress is being made, but there is still quite a bit of room for further integration and improvement.

XP: What tips would you have for any operators entering the US?

OL: For any operators with their eyes set on the US market, I would advise the following as the right steps to achieving success:

  • Become laser-focused on ROI. 
  • Manage Bonus & Promotions spend like it is your own, real money (not fake bonus funds).
  • Get the martech that makes the most sense for your business objectives. It’ll be crucial for your success. 
  • Leverage AI where possible. 
  • Contact InclineBet to ensure the correct entrance into the US market.

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