Having recently launched new specialist igaming marketing agency Access Digital Marketing, Team SBC caught up with Income Access CEO Nicky Senyard, to discuss new marketing values and practices entering the sector and upcoming plans for Income Access new agency.
An igaming industry veteran, Nicky Senyard has consulted the biggest names in igaming with regards to player acquisition, marketing strategy and development. Under her leadership Income Access has become the industry leader in marketing/acquisition and player tracking technology.
SBC: Hi Nicky great to catch up, Income Access recently launched igaming marketing agency ‘Access Digital Marketing”, can you summarise for our readers the services and competencies your new agency has to offer?
Nicky: Hi –it’s great to have a chance to speak with you. So, the way we’re approaching Access Digital Marketing (ADM) is that it’s an extension to the type of services we’ve been offering since 2002 when we launched Income Access. We’ve been very fortunate to have so much success with our affiliate software and affiliate management and have also seen a growing need in iGaming for digital marketing services.
We know the gaming audience really well, which puts us in a position to support small companies starting out and large companies looking to fine-tune their marketing strategies. By looking at our existing partnerships we’ve been able to identify what a comprehensive strategy should look like for different sized companies.
With ADM we’re focusing on the marketing ecosystem and improving digital “below-the-line” niche activities. This means using email, content, social engagement, SEM and PPC to support what properties are doing with their mass marketing.
SBC: How is igaming marketing and acquisition changing, and how is your agency set up to deal with new demands concerning regulations and operator margin control?
Nicky: This is another reason why our partnerships are so important. By listening to our partners and keeping up with what’s happening in the industry we’re able to stay ahead of a lot of changes, which allows us to better support our clients and add value to their operations. Compliance is such a big topic of conversation with the emergence of new markets like New Jersey, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be prepared.
One of our main goals is to remain well-versed in regulatory updates so that we can be a resource to the entire iGaming ecosystem, which keeps expanding in both Europe and North America. By making that our priority we’re able to remain flexible and better serve our partners. The same is true when it comes to margin control – we need to listen to and work with our partners to determine how we can best contribute to their business objectives through our services. As a tracking and analytics technology provider, we encourage our partners to make data-driven marketing decisions that help ensure budget is being allocated where it’s most impactful.
SBC: As igaming markets become saturated and player margins begin to be squeezed, what factors, values and competencies do you see becoming fundamentals for successful igaming marketing?
Nicky: That’s a great question. It’s also one we’re hoping to help address through ADM. Earlier I mentioned our focus on the marketing ecosystem and this highlights the reason why.
I think we’re going to see more of a focus on retention strategies instead of all-out acquisition campaigns. By identifying the right digital marketing strategies and making the most of tools like content, messaging and social engagement, operators can develop promotions that encourage players to return and maintain trust in the brand.
And not only is brand loyalty going to be increasingly important for established online operators but it’s going to be big with land based casinos moving online. The better those casinos can use their brand name to attract players and sell them on a unique online casino experience, the more success they’ll enjoy.
SBC: Your team has deep understanding of igaming technology and its complicated network structures, how will that knowledge aid your agency development?
Nicky: My hope is that the answer to that will evolve over time. At the moment the biggest advantage we have is our ability to collect data and look deeper at how it can advance marketing strategies.
Data is at once very simple and very complex. On one hand, numbers are numbers – you either have this much revenue or that many acquisitions. On the other, there are so many different ways to interpret data and segment information that you can really drill down to what works best, when it works best and why that’s the case.
Collecting data and translating that into transparent reporting is what we do best and it’s what we’ve been doing the longest, so we’ve really been able to fine-tune the system over time. That functionality extends to mobile gaming and mobile marketing efforts. With the development of our own mobile SDK we’re also able to perform in-app tracking.
When you put it all together the flexibility that we have for tracking and reporting is allowing us to understand the best ways to market across mobile, social platforms and support land- based casinos in understanding the value of their offline and online marketing campaigns.
SBC: Income Access is helping several brands enter the US igaming market. With multiple restrictions set on player marketing and targeting, how do you establish a firm basis for igaming marketing and acquisition in the region?
Nicky: Geo–targeting was really one of the most discussed challenges when states, particularly New Jersey, started passing legislation. The good news for operators was that the necessary technology was available very early on and will hopefully not pose a hurdle moving forward.
Beyond that, it really comes down to the most fundamental of marketing necessities that I mentioned earlier – knowing your audience. Doing this right requires a multi-pronged effort that includes sound marketing strategy, knowing where to find your players and building relationships with your customers and marketing partners focused on trust and retention.
When faced with restrictions unique to a market like the US, it’s important to understand the playing field and look at where you have the greatest flexibility and room to be creative. As long as the playing field is level, it really comes down to being the best at digging in, marketing your brand and playing to your strengths. Some of the key below-the-line digital activities that we like to emphasize include PPC, organic search, affiliate marketing and social engagement. This is where there is the greatest opportunity for growth and audience reach.
SBC: Finally you have worked with the majority of top level operators, what future changes in igaming value chain could help create value and growth?
Nicky: This is something that I’ve been talking about a lot in recent conversations with industry stakeholders. The question of “what’s next?”
From my perspective, the future of iGaming really comes down to five key sectors: horse racing, fantasy sports, social gaming, regulated gaming and simulated gaming. Another two I would include is lottery operators looking to make a move online, as well as financial trading platforms.
Among those there are two that are particularly interesting. The first is fantasy platforms that are emerging in response to market appetite, and the ability to be creative with the offering. The second is social operators in the US that have the opportunity to build player databases in anticipation of future real-money legislation. In the long-term it will also be interesting to see the monetization strategy applied to those databases.
Every operator should be finding ways to better understand what players want today and what they are likely to want tomorrow. Then they need to figure out what resources are needed to implement it as part of their brand strategy. It’s the exact same thing that we’ve been doing for the last 12 years to fulfil our role in the industry as software and affiliate marketing specialists.
Nicky Senyard – CEO Income Access Technology