Navigating the new digital landscape is an exciting and continuous challenge for the iGaming industry. New products, new regulation and most importantly, new types of customer are all key factors that need to be carefully considered in a truly digital offering.
Jeremy Taylor, Co-Founder and MD of Liverbird Digital shared some of his thoughts with us on how we can best tackle the aforementioned challenges and sustain growth through 2021 and beyond.
What was one of the biggest lessons you learnt last year as an iGaming operator? How will you use this learning to your advantage moving forward?
“To be truly digital and to be agile. With Covid disrupting the world including how companies operate and customers behave, it really tests how digital you are as a business and how quickly you need to adapt.
Everything needs re-thinking from employee and communication and engagement, to product delivery/availability through to marketing communications both B2C and B2B. Within all that it’s important to stay responsible and ensure the customer experience is still the number 1 priority. It was a lot to deal with, especially losing our land-based casinos and dual play live casino offering. Fortunately, there was still a lot of other digital-only products to offer, responsibly.
I think most companies have learnt to adapt now and will use agility and digital operations as a core part of their DNA going forward – including remote working, of course, saving on office costs and providing digital conferences/exhibitions as just a few examples.”
Considering your experience in the live dealer market, what are your thoughts on the innovations and rise in consumer appetite for RNG games? Is this the future of online casino?
“I think the innovations coming through are fantastic and bring a new customer type to the Live Casino sector which has often been the more traditionalists.
There will always be those that want the real authentic experience of Live Casino be that in club or a live stream from a club or studio but the live casino customer base is now expanding as RNG features merge with Live Casino.
Products like Lightening Roulette, Monopoly, CrazyTime, Blaze, and the £100k Drop from Playtech are just a few examples. These vibrant, high energy gameshow formats that bring some RNG functionality into the Live Casino space are definitely attracting a more casual audience and those that may have been RNG/Slot only players before. This also helps cross-sell both ways with RNG players moving towards traditional Live Casino and vice versa.
I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the future of online casino as I think there will always be a demand for the traditional experiences but this kind of innovation is definitely helping grow live casino, and online casino overall so I only see more of this innovation coming through.
With the likes of 5G arriving in 2021, I think the opportunity to positively disrupt this space becomes even greater. More bandwidth means further enriched content and game features, less disruption including in busy crowds and on the move, and better multi-screen connectivity to name but a few. I can see content studios having a field day be that in iGaming or outside such as Netflix etc.
Exciting times ahead and with the regulatory gameplay restrictions coming in, the focus has to be even more on product innovation which for me can only be a good thing.”
How can operators ensure they maintain competitive levels of market exposure despite the increasing amount of industry regulation potentially limiting how the iGaming market advertises?
“First thing I would say, linked to my previous point, is that product innovation becomes again more important so word of mouth spreads. The better and more innovative the product, the less advertising money is required.
The second thing I would say links to my first point above and thinking truly digitally. On top of the product, it’s a battle for the digital Highstreet i.e. search engines and the better the website and brand experience across all devices the better your site will rank in Google. This means you are present at point of purchase so can ride on the back of other people’s ad spend/demand generation.
Of course, this alone isn’t enough–so good affiliate/partner marketing will remain important but the more direct traffic the better, so PR, Social, CRM, video, and content marketing is key.
You need to get brand awareness still and tell the story of why customers should play with you vs all the other competitors and you can do this these days without the need for above the line media like TV – if it is even allowed in the market!
I would always encourage bottom-up marketing starting with owned and earned channels first and then overlaying with paid media, where it’s permitted.
Think like a start-up and you will optimise marketing spend far more efficiently. You will also be ahead of the competition in these key areas should advertising get banned or restricted. Of course, if these are already in place and budget permits or you have market share to protect clearly TV is and will remain important.
So, in summary, ensure a strong Brand, Product and Customer experience (cross devices) and whatever marketing is allowed, will work that much harder for you.”
What innovations in the market are you most excited about that will help us, as an industry, take customer experience to the next level?
“5G as mentioned above. This will help product and customer experience across the board no matter the game type, device, geo-location, but of course especially mobile. It will also allow for more creative marketing communications both B2C and B2B. Content is already exploding when you think of computer games sector, or TV content like Netflix, etc and I can only see this driving the I-Gaming sector too, be that video, multi-screen, virtual or augmented reality as a few examples. Other than that, AI and data will continue to be critical.”
Editor’s note: From catching up with Jeremy it’s clear that customer experience, as with most things, is at the heart of being truly digital. New forms of entertainment bring new opportunities to attract a different type of customer through innovative games such as Crazy Time or £100k Drop from Playtech. Jeremy adds that novel games like this increase word of mouth, lessening the need for advertising spend! New technology such as 5G will also be very important, opening up a myriad of opportunities to truly digitalise the customer experience.