Operators must reimagine bonuses as a core feature of long-term customer journeys rather than just use them as a short-term fix if they are to reap rewards in the increasingly data-driven world of online gaming.
That’s the view of Harel Falk, VP of sales & business development at Solitics, who will next week address the future of bonusing in a webinar presented in association with iGB – “Bonuses: a new age”. He will argue that operators who utilise real-time data to develop a personalised and enriched customer journey, which includes bonuses, can achieve those jackpot prizes of improved player satisfaction, engagement and, ultimately, retention.
In a session aiming to stimulate debate and be of interest to executives from across marketing, product and technology, Falk will look at how operators can overcome the challenges of developing bonus strategies in a changing landscape in terms of technology, public perception and regulation.
“The effectiveness of bonuses has been reduced,” Falk says. “Bonuses have been around for a long time, and initially they were a great way to attract new players. They were used to introduce players to products as well as offering them an incentive to play and stay.
“However, it has become such a widely used & common practice that it’s gone stale. Bonuses are, in general, poorly targeted and a viewed as a cheap tool when talking strategy.”
A new era
In an era in which operators are prioritising social responsibility, the notion of players being lured in by free spins and free bets seems an anachronistic reminder of what some might consider the bad old days.
The utilisation of rich data can address these social concerns, as well as improve the effectiveness of bonusing. Data can, of course, be used to deter people from gambling should they be identified as a risk, just as it can be used to inform a player of a new game they may enjoy.
This valuable data can help to build a more valuable relationship between customer and operator, with marketing teams and systems able to formulate a personalised customer journey. Individualised and relevant bonusing should fit into that long-term strategy.
A high-reward approach
So, what can operators do in a practical sense to start re-strategising their use of bonuses? Falk suggests that operators need to be rewarding more and bonusing less.
“By using real-time data, we can create a journey that is specific for each customer, with marketing strategies – including bonusing – putting the emphasis on players having fun, feeling welcome and feeling that their positive experience is designed for them.
“Rather than just sending out bonuses on a mass scale to encourage one-time customers, with real-time data you get the complete picture of the player and can react and plan accordingly.
By implementing a more targeted approach, Falk says: “You can make decisions based on the products the player likes, how long they tend to play for, how much they tend to deposit or spend and whether they have set limits.”
In the webinar, Falk will illustrate how Solitics’ partners have been positively impacted by the utilisation of all their data in real-time across their marketing strategies, including bonusing.
Those who have worked with the Israel-based data management and marketing automation platform that enables B2C brands to personalise customer experiences have seen an “incredible” uplift across the board, from rate of conversion to revenue, according to Falk.
“We believe in this industry, and we want to create solutions that help operators overcome the technological challenges they face through our tools, technology and education,” he says. “We want to give them a cutting edge and benefit from our real-time, data-driven approach.
“Using data effectively is a huge challenge, and while many are moving in that direction, it can be overwhelming. We can bring those ready-made solutions to the table. Operators don’t just have to rely on their own developers and in-house teams.”
To hear more from Solitics and our expert panel, register to join our upcoming iGB webinar, “Bonuses: A New Age” today.