Marketing

Gamification in action

| By Elena Carruthers
As consumer trends evolve at an incredibly fast pace, how do operators keep up with their needs? iGB speaks with Sergey Kobitskiy to discuss the key features of a customer-oriented gaming experience…

Sergey Kobitskiy details some of the top innovations underway within real-time marketing and gamification. Founded in 2018, Smartico has built industry-leading platforms which help gaming operators globally to enhance UX, increase revenue and improve retention.

Recent times have challenged operators to shift their focus from acquisition and towards customer retention. 

Appealing to customers in itself comes with its own challenges. Creating loyal customers however, is an entirely different ball game.

At Smartico, a personalised experience is at the forefront of their real-time marketing and gamification solutions, helping operators to tailor to a wider audience. 

We spoke with CEO Sergey Kobitskiy to understand what underpins a successful retention and engagement strategy.

Personalisation is a luxury, but one that consumers are growing to expect. In the entertainment industry, platforms such as Netflix personalise the experience for users by showing ‘recently watched’ content and making tailored suggestions.

Kobitskiy says on gamification: “When planning real-time retention strategy, we’re trying to cover as many possible situations the player might be in.”

This makes financial sense, as personalised content within gaming platforms has been found by Smartico to increase engagement by up to 60%.

In a world that moves so fast, people’s capacity to get bored quickly is greater than ever. This means optimising gamification techniques while providing a steady stream of new content is key to long-term engagement.

Key touchpoints

With a number of high-profile partnerships with the likes of ProgressPlay and Delasport, Smartico’s marketing solutions are gaining momentum within the gaming industry.

As technology advances, so do the opportunities to enhance player engagement. 

The difficulty comes in maintaining this level of engagement. Encouraging consistent gameplay comes from comprehending different user needs.

Recognising the key touchpoints within the customer journey is what creates a truly personalised experience. As this will differ on an individual basis, fully integrated AI is critical in driving this process.

Kobitskiy explains the power of real-time marketing on the user and particularly its role in an esports context:

“We can take the sportsbook as example, automatically personalising the communication with the players based on their favourite league, or based on a game of their favourite team that is about to start, sending them notifications or offers for bets on their last team which they won with – or offering them a specific bonus on a specific game they love. ”

In this sense, real-time marketing is essential to draw in the player and shape their unique experience. 

Smartico recognises the points of interest for each user, sending them push notifications accordingly. 

The push notifications will not recur, meaning players will not feel overwhelmed or fatigued by repetitive messages. Rather, the AI will establish new opportunities to engage the user.

“Our strategy is to engage with personalised content and relevant information at the right time (and not to over engage) – this is a real boost in customer experience”, says Kobitskiy.

Working in real-time, personalised marketing promotes points of interest such as new games, bonuses and promotions, or notifications of low balance.

“Personalised marketing is a key feature nowadays when the market has such a variety of brands to offer to the player, and personalising messages not only with their first or last name is a good strategy in making your players feel special, but also get what they are looking for and in the right time”, he adds.

Building loyalty

With so many brands offering new and exciting games, acquisition is arguably the more straightforward part. People are likely to test the waters on a number of different games, but how do you ensure longevity?

Smartico’s gamification software improves retention by focusing on positive reinforcement. Achievements, progress, and comparison to other players are all features which motivate consistent play. 

This, paired with enough challenge to encourage a healthy sense of competitiveness, builds long-term users.

“They feel part of a community, where they can see their progress compared to other users. As they play more, complete achievements and earn badges, they climb up the levels until the perks and benefits are too high to miss out on”, says Smartico’s chief executive and co-founder.

When receiving points for various missions and achievements, customers feel gratified.  For operators, this maximises value for consumers and drives them to play more consistently.

Additionally, as users gain points throughout the game, the possibilities for how they spend these is up to the operator. This degree of flexibility allows commercial products to be highlighted, while enhancing UX by maintaining that level of personalisation.

“Through gamification, you can incentivise a specific behaviour and the operators can actually ‘guide’ the players to do what they want, or lead them to a certain game they want to push by creating missions or giving out badges for that game”, he adds.

In this way, operators can use these software solutions to enhance UX and increase commercial revenue.

For both users and operators alike, the journey moulds towards individual preferences and needs.

Committed to the ongoing development of marketing and gamification solutions, Smartico is paving the way for itself to become a recognised industry leader.

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