Igaming & Data Management – The Black Box Relationship

Marc PedersenSBC’s Affiliate and Marketing  Correspondent Marc Pedersen asks why the industry is still so protective over player data that could be mutually beneficial.

Speaking at the May Betting on Football Conference, Better Collective’s Head of Marketing Andreas Phillipsen, eloquently described igaming’s current data distribution between operators and marketing partners as ‘black box relationships’. These three words combined expertly to explain what maybe one of igaming’s biggest marketing issues at this point in time – data management and data distribution.

Data management, analysis, mapping and optimisation has become popular rhetoric throughout marketing circles, in fact due to the daily coverage that this subject matter receives, we could label it as new testament.

Good gospel comes with good preachers, so we listen as marketing news casts details of effective data management and distribution which has helped increase sales in financial, travel and retail sectors. Furthermore we are also told that data management has revitalised strategic partnerships within these industries, optimising partnership traffic with pin point accuracy.

With regards to the igaming industry, the ‘black box’ description is a just definition, as igaming operators have tended to shy away from sharing data with outside parties. Key information that could help optimise marketing and improve player targeting and retention has been concealed to select parties within an igaming organisation.

Data flows within igaming marketing have now become cumbersome, with too many levels of corporate clearance needed. If we look at the workload needed to gather this information, clearance from line manager, clearance from product manager, clearance from third party networks, we get a clear understanding of the bottlenecks imposed on the subject matter. The process of gaining further information is simply too slow in a digital world that requires advertisers to be reactive to their customers habits.

As an igaming media partner, our team knows that we cannot ask for personal information regarding a player – his address, email, telephone number- yes, these are no go areas. However we would like details regarding our referred traffic and their igaming habits, information readily available such as game breakdown, time of play, number of sessions played, pages viewed on operators website etc…

This is vital as the information should serve as the proponents of how we target and message our player base regarding an operator and their promotions.

Having broached senior marketing managers on the matter, many have replied that the process of gathering the above information is simply too convoluted and too time consuming for marketing teams. By not revising their data management, igaming operators are proving to be big losers in digital and mobile marketing. A glance at retail, travel and finance sectors and we clearly see that advertisers are building smarter more responsive websites. Information and knowledge shared between the advertisers and their partners has led to reactive customer journeys serving optimal customised messaging.

Put simply the industry has fallen behind the curve. My fear is that Igaming operators may simply become nonchalant to the issue, accepting it as an industry norm. Operators may complain about the cost of marketing, however they appear not be helping themselves in marketing refinement matters.

Marc Pedersen is Head of Sales for Europe’s largest sports betting portal bettingexpert.com

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