Felix Geyr is responsible for managing the development of Sportradar’s Sports Media portfolio, which increase fan engagement for publishers and broadcasters using unique technology to empower the user experience. Felix also drives the company’s media portfolio into marketing inventory for betting operators to allow for better targeting and customer conversion.
Marketing forms a crucial part of the modern gaming industry, but the cost per acquisition is going up, the lifetime value of players is shortening and churn is increasing, making it a rocky road to success.
Facing a competitive marketplace, differentiation in sports betting marketing is crucial, as is regional focusing and efficient customer acquisition and retention. Finding the best way to do this effectively and efficiently is becoming a priority for sportsbook providers.
In light of the launch of their new data-driven automated marketplace ad:s, which is designed for sports betting operators, we spoke to Felix Geyr, MD of sports media at Sportradar to discuss some of the marketing challenges facing the industry, which is what led to the product’s development.
ad:s marketing solutions include UI/UX consulting, sponsorship consulting, SEO and SEA marketing, programmatic advertising, pop-under ad networks, digital traffic networks, ad products and affiliate marketing.
Geyr believes the product’s uniqueness lies in Sportradar’s understanding of the betting and Sports Media industries: “Having worked with a number of clients and partners across the betting and sports media space, we understand their pain points. ad:s is the result of the realisation that we could use our Sports Media solutions together with our knowledge of the bookmaking business to provide a really unique marketing service for operators.”
Wasted marketing spend
A fundamental difficulty any company can face, says Geyr, is that half of their marketing spend is typically wasted.
The problem then becomes identifying where your marketing spend is being wasted. This a difficult task, especially with TV and print, where there isn’t a lot of accurate knowledge on who is being engaged, for how long and what they do afterwards – let alone if they watch or read your advertisement at all.
Digital activities, however, are easier to track with accuracy with the help of analytics, audience targeting and tracking, with Geyr saying “Roughly a third of global marketing spend in marketing goes on TV and print, with the remainder spent on digital, affiliate and sponsorships.”
After conducting a series of interviews and research projects to test their hypothesis on the state of play in marketing for the gaming industry, Geyr and his team identified a need for a solution that works across the board, and so began the development of ad:s.
Acquisition vs. retention?
While acquisition is weighted to the early stages of business, with retention becoming the focus once you have an established customer base, both remain important in the lifecycle of a sportsbook.
Finding a way to do both and manage customer lifecycles is no easy feat, but Geyr says that’s exactly what ad:s aims to do: “Anyone can provide banners or audience synopsis’ – what we’re doing is, together with our other services, bringing everything into the one solution.”
He explains that when it comes to marketing in igaming, there are three audiences types – existing and regular players or punters, people who consume content but wouldn’t place a bet and those who might but have yet to be engaged. “This is where the majority of marketing spend is wasted,” he says.
As well as targeting existing and regular players, it’s important to know how to target the third type of customer, those who might play but have yet to be approached. This is another key functionality of ad:s, as Geyr says: “ad:s can ultimately help reach customers in a more personalised and timely way.”
He continues: “It can be used for more than just customer acquisition. It’s also a solution for customer retention. Lots of our clients face issues here.”
There will become a point where retention will be more cost effective than acquisition, which is something that happens across markets the world over, but Geyr says the value of ad:s is in its ability to play on both and managing the events that happen throughout a customer’s lifecycle, which is another area where clients say they have issues.
Carving out a new product
As consumer expectations continue to shift and new challenges arise, Geyr explains the focus for ad:s moving forwards will be on continuing to develop the product for other industries and markets.
He says: “We have a pretty strict roadmap that we need to stay focused on – when you’re carving out a new product, it has to be right.”
Additionally, he says, there is an opportunity to partner and aggregate with the platform: “Lots of companies have brilliant ideas for content tools and are trying to strike deals with publishers, but they don’t know how to monetise them. What we’ve done here is create a monetisation platform.”
This is one of Sportradar’s key focuses at ICE next week – meeting with clients to discuss their issues in such areas, with Geyr saying customer feedback is crucial to the company’s future developments.