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IN-DEPTH 12 June 2017
Alessandro Fried: How to attract and retain the player
BtoBet Chairman Alessandro Fried shares his insights on today’s key tech marketing tools to attract, please and retain players
By Gambling Insider

Online and mobile gaming and betting are becoming very challenging in the iGaming business. Players are turning more tech-savvy and demanding, pushing firms towards effective strategies and technology to improve their service, boost player confidence and increase player lifetime values.

Professionals of the gambling industry, speaking during recent gaming conferences, highlighted the relevance of the combination of technology and entertainment to attract and retain players to a brand. Experts in technology and marketing also confirmed the key role of a clever omnichannel platform to provide operators with deep data analytics, automation and personalisation of offers while creating meaningful experiences for users that attract them to play.

Analysing the market, we had a clear perception of the players’ needs: attention, enjoyable gaming/betting experience and interaction. Now you might ask: “How can technology help the licensee retain his players and keep them loyal to his brand?” First of all, he needs to set the player at the centre of his business strategy. Secondly, he needs fitting tools to drive unprecedented tactics of retention and infinite personalised marketing campaigns.
Let’s gain some insight into these three new tech marketing tools:

Artificial intelligence - To better know the player and build behavioural marketing campaigns

Artificial intelligence meets the demands of any kind of operator by sustaining and guiding him to make the best decisions for the management, acquisition and retention of players. Nowadays, with improvements in technology and software being applied to big data analytics, the possibility of predicting users’ behaviour and players’ actions is a reality. A platform based on artificial intelligence can offer considerable benefits in acquiring, analysing, filtering and re-organising a huge quantity of players' data with the objective of managing automatically fraud and risk and a marketing campaign.

In fact, through algorithms, it provides an immeasurable amount of key player information, such as the player happiness level, type of player and what kind of segment he belongs to; it enables a dynamic segmentation of gamers according to their behaviour. All these functions allow operators to diversify the action on different types of users and to easily build the best strategies, specific promotional activities and more effective ad hoc marketing campaigns automatically, thus reducing costs.

The Recommendation Engine - An essential solution to retain players

In the sport betting industry and online casino, players are provided with a huge range of sports, events, bets and games. The selection of events and games must be quick and the customers need suggestions to access their preferred content, in a click. The Recommendation Engine (RE) completely fulfils this need, collecting and analysing large amounts of information on players' behaviour, activities, preferences, predicting what players would like to receive.

Today, there are few sportsbook operators that have developed a sports betting RE for their own company and even fewer software providers are offering a casino only B2B RE. The combination of both a casino games and sports betting recommendation engine is the key to providing a unique experience to the players. The AI, through its sophisticated algorithms, enables operators to track players’ behaviour whilst simultaneously using collaborative filtering to provide perfect suggestions, for the most appreciated games, odds and bets for each player or segment of players. Hybrid recommendation engines – such as BtoBet’s system - can provide more accurate recommendations than traditional approaches. The sports betting RE can control and suggest bets or events by analysing the bettor’s behaviour according to sport, category, tournament, competitors and market type preferences. The casino RE can recommend games by similarity, comparing attributes such as theme, volatility, games category and players' preferences.

New technology tool for mobile - Augmented reality to drive effective marketing strategies

AR is gaining a lot of attention and is one of the newer strategies adopted by big brand companies, delivering persuasive messages to a technological minded audience. It adds a sense of excitement to the process, which is appealing to a great number of customers. The gambling industry can take advantage of the opportunities AR offers by combining entertainment and technology for seamless marketing strategies. In fact, AR on mobile applications allows operators to open a direct and interactive communication with players, providing ultimate and peerless services (compared to retail) by driving offers which match the player’s interests, and creates attractive rewards and interactive experiences. Some examples of the new AR marketing tools are: virtual avatars which replace static communication, such as SMS and email; Bonus Hunting – apart from the one-to-one bonus delivery in augmented reality – is a powerful, unconventional marketing tool to attract new mobile and land-based players; and odds comparison, which can become an innovative instrument instead of expensive traditional media campaigns.

I firmly believe that any product and solution which will give players the best gaming experience, using social proof to engage visitors, will certainly succeed.

Alessandro Fried is BtoBet’s Chairman after being CEO for 2 years. He is widely recognized as a visionary in the iGaming sector and is frequently invited to speak at national and international igaming forums. He designed, developed and launched many successful products on the international market, and also obtained the first European license in remote gaming from Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). He pursues the strategy in BtoBet of setting the new standards for the iGaming industry, refusing to settle for quick fixes or half measures, striving to anticipate the future needs of our global audience, anticipating and meeting global industry needs
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