As the industry steps further forward into the post Pandemic era, opportunities for growth remain abundant. However, scaling up comes with its own set of marketing challenges and at times, can be a difficult landscape to navigate.
We caught up with Irakli Davarashvili, Chief Marketing Officer at adjarabet.com (Flutter Entertainment) to hear more on his experiences of scaling up from a marketing perspective and the importance of new technology adoption for company growth going forward.
Adjarabet were acquired by gaming giant, Flutter entertainment. How does the change in size and access to resources impact your marketing approach?
“We have been a partner and family member of Flutter entertainment for nearly 3 years. During this time, we’ve gained access to amazing marketing assets owned by the group. When we were acquired, we wasted no time in starting a marketing campaign that leveraged the Barcelona sponsorship as they were the global sponsor. We used it, but on a more local level in Armenia. As soon as we became a part of the Futter, we tried our best using all available assets, including a brilliant marketing campaign with Brazilian football legend, Rivaldo.
“It was quite beneficial for us, and it was a really outstanding move from our side in terms of standing out from the local competition.”
With so much new, innovative technology emerging in the market such as AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain-based products, operators can now almost fully automate their processes. Will the need for a human element in the future become irrelevant?
“The answer to this question is quite complicated. For big organizations like us, it’s inevitable that we will push some operations to be automated, but it’s still quite a new thing in the industry and so it needs more time for people to truly understand how it works and how it can make teams more efficient. This will be a long-term process. I don’t think this transition will happen any time soon, in five years’ time, there definitely won’t be only robots operating in businesses. But for sure, if it’s properly planned, with the correct objectives set in place, then I can’t see why businesses won’t be embracing this tech to help rid them of the more routine operations.
“Generally, in terms of machine learning and AI, I think it could be used more in terms of segmentation and analyzing the user behaviour, that’s what the market really needs. It will give the industry itself a more customer-centric approach, facilitating deeper Big Data analysis, raising the engagement rate and the loyalty of the customer exponentially. I’m pretty sure we will get to this point within the next 10 years’ time and there will be a machine carrying out the majority of the routine processes but even still, I think the human touch will always be needed in some way.”
Sports betting Sponsorships play a huge role in sports development. As advertising limitations continue to increase, how can operators still ensure their achieving market exposure whilst still contributing the community?
“Sponsorships are quite a big thing, especially in our case, we have many success cases and historically they’ve played a significant role in our ability to get maximum exposure for the brand. However, recently imposed regulatory limitations are having an impact, especially on the Georgian market, because from 1st of March almost every advertising channel will be banned. So, it’s a very challenging time and we’ll have to see how it’ll go.
“Sponsorships have traditionally been very important for the company and the sports sector in general. It was a core part of our brand strategy in terms of CSR. The smaller countries of Europe such as Armenia have always needed more financial support from the brands like ours to help fund new projects and grassroots sports development initiatives.
“During the last three years, our investments and our input in terms of developing the national sport infrastructure has given us a big presence with the supporters. Allowing everyone to benefit from this harmonious relationship. It’s really unfortunate that this sort of support is going to be severely limited now. I understand there must be regulation, but we need to work together better, as an industry, to find a better balance.”
Hearing Irakli’s perspective teaches us that scaling up and growing your market share, especially in smaller European markets, can be a challenging task.
Even with the backing of Flutter Entertainment and their myriad of influential marketing assets, Adjara Bet still has to contend with the increasingly limiting nature of industry regulation.
New technology such as AI and Machine Learning will play a huge roll in standardizing the market and allow operators the increased capacity to shift their focus to more creative and innovative projects. Which indirectly, will further help to grow the wider market. An exciting future is ahead!