SBC News Marcos Oliveira: Operators must think Clever about their Canadian campaigns

Marcos Oliveira: Operators must think Clever about their Canadian campaigns

Writing for SBC News, Marcos Oliveira, Chief Operations Officer at Clever Advertising, discusses the reasons why Canada presents a huge opportunity for the company, and how brands can best capitalise on major sports events in 2024.

Oh, Canada! Where do we even begin? Following the introduction of a regulated gambling framework in Ontario back in April 2022, it’s safe to say that this jurisdiction has been a golden opportunity for operators, suppliers and affiliates – especially for those who are looking to get their foot in the door of the North American gambling market. 

Of course, Clever Advertising has been no exception to this trend. Since entering, Ontario has been an incredibly strong market for us; we have been working alongside some of the largest brands in the market, and during that time, there have been a number of trends that we have noticed. 

The Canadian market, similar to its US cousin to the south, still has a strong affinity for the land-based sector. Players still enjoy going into a casino, sitting at the table games and soaking in that atmosphere of a brick-and-mortar venue. However, that is starting to change. 

As with most markets around the world, mobile gambling is starting to have a strong influence on player behaviours. And there are several reasons for that: convenience, speed and – with advances in technology – an increasingly social dynamic too. The opportunity to capitalise on that growth of online and mobile is, therefore, absolutely enormous. 

Let’s get personal

Canadian players are spending up to four hours a day scrolling through apps on their phone, and with that has come an increase in mobile activity. This, in itself, presents a huge opportunity for gambling operators to tap into this player base. 

With any new market entry, gambling companies should put localisation and personalisation front and centre of their marketing campaigns. As we all know, creating highly-targeted campaigns is much easier said than done. But fear no more. 

The bread and butter of advertising is to make sure that you are interacting with the right audience, and serving them the relevant campaigns. For Clever, this isn’t just a recommendation – it is an absolute necessity. If you can engage with the right audience, and then combine that with an ability to carry out high-precision geotargeting across the relevant channels for your audience, then you are on to a winner for the Canadian market.

At Clever Advertising, we strongly believe in the power of in-app advertising to redefine digital experiences. To achieve this, our AddApp solution aims to not only understand shifting market behaviours, but also comprehend changes in player preferences and regulations. 

By drawing on the extensive expertise of the Clever team, and tapping into technologies such as artificial intelligence, AddApp produces and serves unique and interactive video campaigns that enhance performance and make instant adjustments, ensuring our campaigns resonate with Canadian audiences.

What this then means is that we can tailor the adverts to make sure that they are not only engaging, but relevant to players. As integrated partners with Appsflyer and Adjust, two of the top three MMPs in the sector, it also means that we can very quickly pivot our marketing campaigns in accordance with changing regulations, ensuring that they are always compliant, quite literally with the click of a button. Clever, right?

Key to success

In a market as competitive as Ontario, this is highly important. From a marketing perspective, gambling operators are facing an uphill battle to gain market share and engage players with their brand. We’re seeing more companies continue to flood the market, and the battle for product differentiation continues to hot up – so sportsbooks and casinos need to find new ways to stand out from the crowd. We believe that advertising may well be the key to achieving this. 

International operators, such as bet365 and Betano, have done a great job at making their presence known in Ontario – and this has largely been driven by their ability to pivot their marketing efforts and deliver more personalised campaigns for each player. They understand what players want and, more importantly, how to deliver an experience that is personalised to each player. 

So how can other gambling companies perhaps emulate this success? Well … we all know that sports tournaments can be a major acquisition driver for operators, particularly sportsbooks. This year, soccer seems to dominate the sporting calendar – from the Euros kicking off last week, to the Copa América this week. 

Canada may not be traveling over to join the Euro action in Germany, however, they are taking part in the inaugural game for Copa América against Argentina. And what we’ve seen over the last few years is a growing enthusiasm for sports such as soccer. Operators would be remiss to look over such sports tournaments as a means of driving engagement with new and existing audiences.

The coverage made possible through Clever’s advertising span can give sportsbooks and casinos the ability to really take advantage of such events, and use this to drive player acquisition, engagement, retention in the long-term and even re-engagement. 

By using Clever’s digital, multi-channel coordination and tapping into our team’s wealth of knowledge – which includes areas such as media buying across desktop and in-app, as well as influencer marketing and search engine optimisation – operators can also continue to build brand awareness too.

Sports tournaments can, interestingly, also be a useful tool to cross-sell sports betting products to casino players. More game developers are creating sports-themed slots or using sports athletes as brand ambassadors.

If you know what team your player follows, or whether they prefer betting on an individual player, perhaps consider showing them casino products that feature their team or have been promoted by their favourite soccer player. As an industry, we have a huge opportunity to get ‘clever’ with our ad campaigns – let’s make the most of it! 

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