Cutting Through The Affiliate Noise, Interview with 2mee

The online gambling industry is fiercely competitive and no more so for operator brands looking to stand out from their rivals on affiliate sites packed with hundreds of other sportsbooks and casino. Traditionally, banner ads have been used as premium advertising space, but affiliate website pages are now so cluttered with these they are far less effective than they once were.

2mee is a company that has spotted an opportunity here and has recently launched a product that allows affiliates to extend their advertising real estate and allow operators partners to deliver brand ambassadors as hologram messages across their websites and apps. To learn more about the situation has emerged and why holograms could be the answer, we sat down with 2mee’s Product Manager, Dan Kersley.

Due to the competitive nature of the industry, is it hard for gambling brands to properly engage with consumers?

“Yes. Gambling has become a space where a multitude of companies are churning through customers day in and day out. Because of this, the ability to foster a real connection with a player has been lost. Most adverts are very stale and generic, offering free bets or sign-up promotions. No real empathy or love is put into these to directly target players and encourage them to sign up while also making them feel truly engaged throughout their journey on a sportsbook or casino brand’s website, or via an affiliate partner.”

What is making it so difficult for operators to be heard above the noise being made by their rivals?

“Currently, all operators are using the same methods of communication with only a couple of means of differentiation like banner ads, video advertisements and welcome offers. All of these can be altered in size and placement, but that still doesn’t break through the clutter of advertising. No operator is going beyond their means to try to deliver a real, personalised experience to their audience. I do believe if operators had new and innovative tools available to help them do this, they could differentiate how they communicate. This in turn would allow them to unlock new conversations and experiences with customers.”

What is it about banner ads in particular that prevent operators from connecting with audiences?

“Banner ads are very generic. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all! A user is bombarded with different ads every day with the average person seeing between 4,000 and 10,000 adverts. This proves exactly why it is so hard to connect with a customer via a banner ad. In short, there are just too many. That’s why operators and affiliates need to ask themselves: “how does a user engage with a brand if they don’t feel some kind of differentiation from it within its advertising?” If you look at the CTRs being achieved by banners, you can really see they are not working in terms of engagement – or ultimately conversions.”

What can operators do to overcome the challenges/limits of banner ads?  

“Operators need to start thinking about how they can interact more closely with customers by delivering personalised journeys throughout their lifecycle. A banner ad simply allows the customer to see it and then make a decision on whether they like what is being advertised or not. Due to this, it is difficult to have a real interaction with the customer to make them engage with an operator’s brand.

“This is why we have recently launched HoloAd, the industry’s first influencer advertising platform. It allows publishers to create new advertising real estate, unlock additional revenue streams and take audience engagement to the next level. They can offer this space to their operator partners, who in turn can use their brand ambassadors to send hologram messages that foster a true connection with players and take engagement to the next level.”

Why are hologram messages so effective in this regard?

“Hologram messages are great for getting users to engage with your adverts as people are hard-wired for face-to-face contact. We see a face, we look and interact with it. It’s that simple. By delivering a brand ambassador or influencer to your clients via a HoloAd, they get a feeling of interaction with the brand. The connection the user feels with the hologram drives up engagement which then delivers increased traffic to the target destination. In fact, HoloAds are achieving engagement rates that are 8x higher than with banner ads. In the case of affiliates and operators, it means more players are driven to partner brands with an increased likelihood of converting. This boosts revenues for both affiliate and operator.”

Do they spell the end of banner ads or can they work in tandem?

“I believe 2mee can work hand in hand with banner ads. A banner ad is very one-dimensional in the way it is used to deliver an offer to a client. Holograms, on the other hand, don’t specifically have to be used for advertising. It has a range of use cases from KYC, to offers, retention, account notifications, customer support and more. Each of these use cases come at different touchpoints throughout a user’s journey from sign-up to deposit. For 2mee, we have no reason to replace a banner ad although, from recent campaigns that we have run, HoloAd has delivered an 8x increase in engagement compared with a banner ad.”

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