Ethical Advertising: The Future of iGaming Acquisition? With James Burgess, Founder, Ethical Ad Group
As the iGaming universe continues to expand, acquisition strategies will need to evolve along with it. Finding the most efficient and compliant ways of reaching your target audience is a continual challenge, but with the leveraging of customer data, some believe this problem can be effectively overcome.
We spoke with James Burgess, Founder of Ethical Ad Group to get a better understanding of best practice for responsible advertising and how it can impact the future growth of our industry.
From a customer acquisition perspective, what was the most important lesson you learned last year and how will you use it to your benefit in the future?
“The response from regulators towards the pandemic demonstrated just how volatile regulated markets can be.
If operators rely solely on traditional means of player acquisition, such as bonusing, it can have a significant impact when these are prohibited.
Ensuring that a more diverse and data-driven approach to acquisition that isn’t over-reliant on customer bonuses would mitigate these risks.”
As demand for online products increases, due to the pandemic, this will of-course attract a new profile of customer. How can operators and affiliates work best together to ensure they are targeting the right demographic?
“During the pandemic, we saw a significant uplift in player acquisition. The profile of which was much more along the lines of the occasional or novice player.
Most operators and affiliates cater to experienced players and games are mostly promoted via a simple cartoon concept. I would like to see casinos catering more towards the novice player with explanations of game mechanics, such as RTP and volatility and how that is translated into gameplay.
This would lead to greater retention rates within the player category.”
Besides the obvious moral justifications, is there also a strong business case for ethical and responsible advertising? How can it help to improve the rate of FTD’s?
“The premise of our product at the Ethical Ad Group is based on performance and so by excluding audiences such as at-risk players and children we are able to focus marketing budgets toward the target audience. This leads to improved acquisition rates as we are cutting down the wastage.
We see our approach as being a win-win option as it improves sustainability credentials for the regulators, but without the cost normally associated with increased compliance.”
Many fear that gaming advertising regulation will increase to the same levels as the Tobacco industry. How can we work together as a sector to avoid this going forward and improve industry reputation?
“Restrictions towards marketing were significantly tightened during the pandemic.
As an industry, we are often too reactionary to regulation and by taking a more proactive approach utilising technology we can offer a far safer and sustainable environment for our players.
A more proactive approach would remove the motivation from regulators to implement greater restrictions, which can, unfortunately, lead to unintended consequences in player behaviour. This has been seen with the transitioning of players to unlicensed alternatives.”
Editor’s Note: From speaking with James, it’s clear that as an industry, to ensure future growth we need to cater more for the new types of player profiles entering the market.
James believes that novice players will be a key demographic to push growth for operators; the public image has never been so important.
Ethical advertising will be an increasing trend for the future as industry stakeholders make better use of the customer data and technology available. Helping to improve relationships with the regulator, lowering compliance-related costs while ensuring the customer experience is as fun as always, will be core factors.