SBC catches up with BETFUZE C0-Founder and CEO Paul McNea, to gain more insight into how his new platform is leveraging mobile and mass social data to create better engagement and value for the sports betting customer
Paul is a regular speaker and Sports and betting events around Europe and is a member of a number of industry steering groups helping to shape the future of the iGaming sector. Paul is a passionate advocate of the use of mobile and social media technology in sports betting and is focused on the further integration of social technology into the BETFUZE platform.
SBC: Hi Paul, great meeting you. Your team is fusing social intelligence with mobile sports betting, this seems a huge task! Can you summarize to our readers what BETFUZE does and how it is bringing innovation to the sports betting market?
Paul: BETFUZE is a mobile sports betting platform that aggregates sports betting content and data to give the customer access to the whole market from a single App. We have developed a range of innovative tools which is new to the sector and which will help engage users, increase new sign ups and generate more revenue.
Our bespoke technology such as the Sentimeter™ (social opinion betting prediction engine) is providing our users with an overview of crowd sourced opinion. The Sentimeter™ is one example of how we are developing new technology for the sector to help empower and engage users.
SBC: When combining Mobile development with Social intelligence to create BETFUZE what considerations and factors did you have to you have to study in order to have effective product development?
Paul: The two main factors we studied were customer acquisition through mobile devices and mobile betting engagement. We found a considerable gap in mobile customer acquisition through the affiliate channel versus the desktop channel, with all major bookmakers. Even though the desktop affiliate channel can drive up to 50% of new customer acquisition and mobile produces over 60% of betting turnover, less than 1% of new customer acquisition came through the mobile affiliate channel. That did not make any sense to us and addressed a massive opportunity in the market.
SBC: Many sports betting operators have had a tough time engaging social audiences to their products, with many pulling out of social campaigns and interaction to bring back the focus on existing acquisition channels such as PPC, Affiliates, SEO. Why do you feel this has been the case?
Paul: It seems that apart from Paddy Power, no bookmaker really made an effort to use social media how it was intended to be used; to be social, to interact and create meaningful conversations and create viral content. In our experience, most bookmakers focused on either on using their social media as a customer acquisition tool spamming their followers with bonus offers, or spent no constructive or creative resources at all and only focusing on protecting their brand and hunting down negative comments or people using their brand in a non-desirable way.
At BETFUZE, we interact with our followers in a conversational matter, but most of all we present all our users with aggregated opinions from all over the web for every football match through the Sentimeter™.
SBC: Your Company places a huge emphasis on knowledge and crowd sharing intelligence with regards to sports betting. However cant this gained knowledge be a hindrance to your operations as you may be providing a smarter customer?
Paul: It’s the opposite. The Sentimeter™ is not a betting prediction tool, it’s a powerful tool to gage popular opinion on any specific event. In effect, our users can compare their opinion with the crowd to see if they’re going with or against the grain. BETFUZE is an app that facilitates a more fun and engaging approach to mobile sports betting. We are not a licensed gambling operator; our goal is to help customers make more informed betting decisions to the extent possible based on social opinion, form statistics and news.
SBC: Social opinion is driven by sentiment which is a qualitative factor. How does your team gather this compile this complex data. And furthermore are social /crowd opinions the most accurate data to demonstrate with regards to sporting events.?
Paul: Although I’d love to say we have an army of people monitoring social media, the Sentimeter™ data is actually compiled using proprietary algorithm, not manually. We present social opinion to engage a betting discussion, combined with odds from the bookmakers, it makes a pretty good indication as to who is considered favourite in any game.
SBC: You are in a unique position of operating in mobile and social verticals for igaming. Do you feel that operators have to change their operations both internally and externally in order to utilise social intelligence and information to their full effects?
Paul: Absolutely, and part of the challenge they have is to refer to “social media” as an isolated channel, with an isolated customer group. It’s essential to understand the full attribution model of your customer acquisition machine. Bookmakers communicate with the same customer daily through different devices (mobile, tablet, desktop and TV) and different channels. Being that print, in betting shops, through affiliates, PPC and indeed social media. All of those channels represent a part of a brand umbrella that should send positive brand signals that when done with discipline and coordination drives both customer acquisition and retention.
Paul McNea – Co-Founder & CEO BETFUZE LTD