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As the world, and more specifically, the gaming industry continues to transition to a digital landscape, the demand for quality customer service online is higher than ever. The challenge now is being able to successfully interact with your clients, at scale, whilst still keeping the human touch.
We recently spoke with James Riley, CEO of leading customer engagement tech provider, 2mee. He gave us his perspective on what he considers to be the keys to successful player engagement at scale and what it really takes to keep your interactions meaningful.
Is it tougher now than ever before for operators and brands to engage with their customers in a meaningful way? If so, why?
“It is and the main driving force behind this is compliance. Operators must ensure they are marketing within increasingly stringent rules at a time when players are more willing to switch between brands than ever before. This means operators are having to look for new ways to provide players with a compelling experience across their sportsbook, casino or bingo products while also developing a stand-out brand that engages new and existing players in an increasingly competitive market.
“Of course, achieving this breakthrough is only going to become more challenging in the UK market (and others) following the government’s review of the Gambling Act. Operators are already having to contend with new requirements when it comes to using brand ambassadors and I believe this will just be the starting point. This does present an opportunity for those that can connect with their target audiences while still playing by the rules and that is exactly what 2mee is here to help them do.”
How can operators use direct human messaging to engage players? What makes it so effective?
“Faces can say many things and for online gambling operators, this could be to push messaging for anything from compliance to bonuses and customer support. Direct human messaging allows operators to communicate across key channels and touchpoints with humour, trust, sincerity; with empathy. We are all instinctively drawn to a human face and have a desire to experience that unique bond between two people. Direct human messages allow operators to leverage this and use it to unlock engagement rates that are simply unrivalled. A recent campaign that we ran with RacingTV and its sportsbook partner BetVictor saw an average click-through rate of 46%. This makes direct human messaging a standout platform for communicating with consumers when compared with traditional channels.”
Can you tell us a little more about how your technology actually works? How does it integrate with an operator’s marketing platforms/processes?
“Our technology is a very powerful concept wrapped in a simple delivery mechanism. The platform has been developed to facilitate face-to-face communication between businesses and brands and their target audiences. This could be thousands of people as a CRM segment or a single user. It allows marketers to capture and transmit people as messages to generate an emotional connection with the end-user. This human touch and the empathy that it fosters is ultimately what allows operators to generate unprecedented engagement rates and CTRs from their campaigns.
“The platform itself is proven and extremely simple to integrate into existing workflows. It has been built in partnership with engineers at IBM and has a very simple and intuitive interface. To create a message, simply record the person delivering the communication from any setting using our proprietary app on a smartphone. The 2mee algorithms recognise the human form and cut out the surrounding clutter. The message can then be sent instantaneously to audience segments or on-demand, all controlled from our platform with detailed reporting and analysis in real-time.
“In addition to hologram messages, the platform also sends ‘standard’ text and rich media messaging so if there is a wish to create a cost-saving there is no need to duel platform. It also integrates seamlessly with CRM systems and to any website or app via a simple SDK installation.”
Does human hologram messaging throw up any issues with responsible marketing practices?
“The recent change to the way operators can use ambassadors in the UK market has had an impact on who can be the face of the hologram messages that gambling brands send via our platform. That being said, it is my belief that operators will continue to use celebrities and sports stars to engage bettors and players and foster a connection with their brand/brands – they will just need to be mindful of the personalities they use to do this. For example, one client has enjoyed huge success with hologram messages from tipsters – ultimately, it is not the cool, young celebrity that drives engagement, it’s the human hologram message itself.”
On the flip side, does it present opportunities to support responsible gambling initiatives?
“Absolutely. Human hologram messaging is the ultimate responsible marketing channel. Not only can it be used to push bonuses and promotions, but it can also be used to communicate with players about their levels of play if they have been flagged as being a cause for concern. Instead of a text message or chatbot checking in on them, customer support agents can send personalised hologram messages. Again, this is leveraging the empathy and engagement that face-to-face communication provides and will reflect a brand’s approach to responsibility.”
How does human hologram messaging fit within the future of the online gambling industry where blockchain, metaverses, NFTs, etc look the be the direction we are moving towards?
“Just how far the online gambling industry will move into the blockchain, metaverses and NFTs remains to be seen, but regardless operators and brands will still want to create personal relationships with their customers. In fact, you could argue this is even more important in these digital spaces where true human contact is even further away. But that is why holograms are perfect for these new online worlds – they allow brands to communicate with their players on a human level, in their own context and at a time of their choosing. This is a powerful ability and a hugely exciting proposition.”
As James mentioned, brand loyalty is at an all-time low and customers switch between brands frequently. In many cases, the only way to make a true impact and differentiate yourself is with elite levels of customer service.
In the UK market especially, operators are already having to contend with new requirements when it comes to using brand ambassadors and James believes this will only get worse. However, This presents an opportunity for those that can connect with their target audiences while still playing by the rules and that is exactly what forward-thinking solutions providers like 2mee are here to do.
Their direct human messaging technology allows operators to communicate across key channels and touchpoints with humour, trust, sincerity and most importantly, empathy.
We’re looking forward to seeing how operators across the globe can best leverage this technology and get closer to their customers than ever before..