Beyond marketing: The AI revolution in iGaming

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BetVictor’s launch of its Real-time Automated Marketing Platform (RAMP) this month came as no surprise. Its in-house, data-driven platform aims to enhance interaction by personalising campaigns and promotions through email, SMS, push notifications and other communication channels.

BetVictor is among the first iGaming operators to launch a tool of this kind. Compared to many sectors however, iGaming’s incumbents have been notoriously slow to adopt to adopt wider tech innovation and have been hit harder than most with negative media coverage. Better late than never of course. 

So, beyond general innovation, what’s the use-case for this launch? In one word; millennials. The iGaming world has changed drastically in the last five years as demographics have shifted. Gone are the days where middle-aged males are the target audience for gambling.

We’re now looking at a growing split between gender, and an emerging age bracket within their 20s and 30s. The emergence of this age group is changing the game and companies are having to react faster than they would like.

Millennials’ relationship with brands today is much more about the experience than the personal profits gained. They expect ease and simplicity of use and a product tailored to their own personal tastes and likes.

This is where the tech comes in. AI-driven marketing platforms are becoming essential: because without it, no operator can tailor their product to a million different people. 

To retain customer interaction with your brand across multiple demographics while also delivering each of them with what they want is the clearest use-case for AI in the iGaming industry. According to Microsoft the average consumer today has an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish (eight seconds vs. nine). Let that sink in. You have nine seconds to interact with, engage, and retain your customer.

Delivering tailored products powered by automated delivery is fast-becoming the only way to ensure customer acquisition and retention in this increasingly competitive world. Finding ways to deliver a customer what they want – almost before they know they want – is the way forward in almost every digital industry, particularly those that are solely reliant on interacting with customers by technological means.  

But enough about the marketing. The unifying core tenet of every tech revolution we have seen in the last few decades has fundamentally been about improving (and enriching) our lives: the dot.com revolution, smartphones, apps, you name it.  Yes, AI-delivered content is a facet of tech disruption; but to approach tech disruption in the iGaming sector as purely a benefit for the marketing department is short-sighted. 

Those who will truly succeed in bringing lasting change and innovation to iGaming will be the ones who fundamentally change the digital environment within which the customer interacts. Not just in the content that is tailored to them, but the way that they interact with brand. True tech innovation is about changing the way we interact with a product or brand forever; while improving the experience during the process. Automated content delivery is (and should only be) a part of that. 

Going beyond customer acquisition and retention, and instead focusing the development of algorithms and machine learning towards improving the gaming experiences of those interacting with gaming products is where we’ll see the most ground-breaking change. This, in turn, could well do more to change the way the iGaming industry is perceived by the outside world than ever before.

Take problem gambling: We’re already seeing software rolled out by some of the most innovative firms in the industry that can immediately spot problem gambling behaviours automatically. AI-powered systems are targeted specifically towards detecting, identifying and flagging ‘tell-tale’ signals that indicate that the users’ interaction with the brand are likely not to be in their best interests. There are several systems that can identify patterns of play that can signify and alert operators to players who could have problems in the future, before they have even happened.

The aim of course; should not be to block a user who exhibits such automatically detected signs. That would be counter intuitive to the principle of market interaction, and likely push the customer to other platforms that do not moderate user-behaviour. 

Instead, automatically triggered deposit limits can go a long way to creating a more responsible, sustainable customer experience for those who would do better to proceed with more moderation. By enabling customers to continue interacting with a process they enjoy, while also responsibly restraining their action to a more moderate level has been proven to offer players a better experience and operators more profitable and loyal players. 

This is just one example of using ‘tech for good’ applied to iGaming – using the principle of identifying ways to apply tech innovation to permanently change an environment for the better. Any real marketer worth their salt should know that innovation within a platform should go far beyond short-term wins, and instead look to build long-term retention. 

Using automated software to improve a customer’s experience of a brand beyond automated delivery of content is already being applied (and some are doing it very well), but it is yet to gain the headlines. 

The future looks positive however, once this becomes adopted by the BetVictors and others of this world and, as a counterbalance to the negative press we have seen of the iGaming industry in the past, I believe tech has the potential to change the image of the industry for good: Filtering out problem behaviours and negative interactions to create a better experience for all. 

Just as in every industry that looks to capitalise on technology, those that go beyond the short-term wins and permanently look for ways for tech to change and improve the environment within which a person interacts, will have a far greater chance of success. 

The iGaming sector has in the past been slower to adopt encompassing tech innovation than other sectors; but I, among others, am looking to change that … And I’m excited for the future. 

Sam Hobcraft, Founder of Omnia 

Image Credit: Michal Bednarek / Shutterstock