19 May, 2021

Culture Club

To support player retention and reactivation for the growing igaming sector, Mikael Hansson set up Enteractive. As founder and CEO, he champions personalisation alongside responsible gambling measures for players and here discusses making inroads as Europe and North America join forces

Every week, we’re reading about new states in the US opening their doors to igaming and mobile sports betting, alongside high-profile partnerships between America’s biggest entertainment brands and leading European operators. The migration to igaming’s new world is already moving at full speed, with the quick and the wise cementing their position as founding fathers. But companies on both sides of the Pond should pay attention to lessons learned and experience gained in European markets.

Established European brands have honed their winning approach to igaming entertainment across numerous markets with different regulatory jurisdictions, and have become agile at navigating the fine details that govern our industry. Most importantly, they’ve developed various approaches for player engagement that apply to the many diverse segments that make up the entertainment audience.

In Europe, the logistics for expansion are well informed, with compliance best practices, licensing processes, responsible gambling protocols, and so on. But the most important area on which to focus should be obvious - the players. After all, they’re the ones who make it all possible, and they should be the number-one priority.

Operators new to the US Market should therefore hit the ground running, taking their experience from European markets to secure revenue streams from the moment new users join a platform. That means keeping a close eye on attrition as well as acquisition, since hard-won players who are lured to another brand will only represent a loss on the balance sheet.

Most operators define a customer as ‘churned’ after an inactive period of three to six months, but that’s a long time to be losing out on possible revenue, and generic email campaigns or other digital CRM activities just aren’t enough to prompt action by the player these days.

A survey from The American Society of Quality Control found that as many as 68% of customers leave companies because they feel they’re not cared about, and this is what Enteractive focuses on as a company: to make igaming players feel loved and valued again, and to enjoy their experience with operator brands on an ongoing basis.

For any brands expanding activities in North America, if you’re not communicating with your US players on a regular basis, then how can you know anything about this new market and what the audience wants? That’s what operators need to be asking themselves.

It’s all about the players and real personalisation. We’re not talking about data-mining campaigns with algorithms and marketing automation. Gartner Research reports that by 2025, “80% of marketers who have invested in personalisation will abandon their efforts due to lack of ROI, the perils of customer data management or both”. No, we’re talking about real two-way conversations that will breed both trust and loyalty with players.

We bring a human touch to taking care of players and make sure they feel valued and a part of the brand experience, so our operator partners can focus more on what they’re good at, and they can focus more on building their long term brand vision. It’s how to develop any market, but it’s even more important in the US given the expectations of the audience.

And while many might think that calling and engaging with players may feed gambling problems, it’s actually the other way around. When we talk to the players we can be more proactive about identifying any issues, and we’re able to pass that information directly to the operators, so we help our clients form a much closer relationship with their players. This is vital in times like these of global crisis and uncertainty.

In order to deliver a responsible approach to online gambling, our teams are all trained by G4 (Global Gambling Guidance Group) and because we’re making tens of thousands of calls each month to an operator’s customer base, we can identify players who might need help, ensuring that the gaming and entertainment remains fair, fun and safe. What this all amounts to is preparation for the opportunities that are already abundant in the US, which will only grow as time goes on. Take care of the players and any future retention problems will melt away before they become an issue.