The gaming industry has been at the forefront of innovation since its inception. From the platforms, products and even the players, everything has become more complex, challenging and interactive, largely thanks to evolving tech advancements.
But now the focus has been turned onto artificial intelligence – with its development rocking the foundations of many industries across the globe. According to a report by Grand View Research, by 2030, the global AI market size is expected to reach over $1.8bn, showing a huge increase from $136.6bn in 2022 with a 37.3% CAGR.
With financial services, e-commerce, and retail at the forefront, gaming will inevitably be one of the industries largely impacted by the shake. From fraud prevention to safer gambling measures, AI has revolutionised the way we can utilise back-end data.
And now it’s tackling customer relationship management head-on. In such a fast-paced industry, staying on top of player management and query volume is a constant battle – It’s no longer a case of AI merely being the presence of a chatbot on your site. If deployed effectively it can now pioneer a new era of player loyalty and engagement.
So how can you use artificial intelligence to not only streamline your CRM, but boost every aspect of your business? Smartico has solved the secret formula to navigating the future of AI in gaming with its latest product.
Marrying gamification and CRM
Anyone in the Candy Crush generation, the Farmville phenomenon or the era of Sims, will have experienced the fun of earning points or coins and levelling up in gameplay. From game points, scoreboards, badges and bonuses – gamification spans anything that represents achievement and reinforces positive action towards a product or product suite. It’s already present across multiple gambling verticals, from slots to sports betting.
Now apply these gamification features to incentivise your customer to engage with your brand. You’ll build loyalty, keep your customers playing, and ultimately grow profits. Partnering this with the recent boom in the use of gamification, a market which is expected to reach $40 billion by 2024, it’s clear that it should be a style of marketing that every business has in their 2023 plan.
But gamification is just the first step. It increases user engagement tenfold, whilst growing brand awareness and loyalty, gathering insightful data, increasing conversion rates and educating the customer. Add AI to streamline these and you’ve suddenly got a product suite which is quicker and more efficient than ever.
Smartico’s current offering
Smartico already offers a host of products on its loyalty hub for players to choose from, including its Loyalty Wheel, which provides a variety of prizes for the player to win – varying from personalised discounts to free products and exclusive access. Alongside this, the Scratch & Catch function encourages customer interaction directly with the products via a series of mini-games that players can use to try and win discounts and prizes.
Tournaments encourage the competitive nature of gaming consumers, increasing motivation and influencing specific consumer actions, whilst Smartico’s Gamification Map feature enables customers to analyse and optimise the entire gaming process – from identification onboarding to guiding customers through their optimal customer journey. Add all this into the Marketplace and players have the opportunity to redeem prizes with their points. Ranging from gift cards and discounts to exclusive products, it is the one-stop shop for players.
As Mechoullam says, “our gamification services can be used to improve customer engagement, loyalty, and sales. We will help partners design and implement a gamification strategy that encourages their customers to take specific actions.”
CRM and the adoption of AI
Smartico’s latest project, set for release in 2023, will inject artificial intelligence into any CRM system. Championing personalised journeys, the team at Smartico already functions on the belief that every customer is unique. With this, they’ve created an AI-powered solution that creates user-specific gamification based on individual triggers for every moment from registration to game wins.
As Mechoullam says, “One way to avoid overwhelming customers is to personalise communications by analysing customer data and behaviour to understand their preferences. Timing is also critical, as businesses should avoid sending too many messages in a short time.”
Whilst Gamification pushes player loyalty and retention through the roof, Smarticos new product will be utilising AI to provide the necessary infrastructure to build these complex features and keep them engaging.
Smarticos new AI powered product
AI is a relatively new phenomenon and according to Grand View Research, it is projected to expand at a CAGR of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030. So how are the team at Smartico ensuring that the company keeps its products up to date with these technological advancements?
Mechoullam says it’s all about the geniuses behind the scenes. “We have recently teamed up with a group of mathematicians to build high-performance AI models with the most up-to-date machine-learning technologies to use through Smartico. This gives our clients the ability to act upon the different alerts and predictions of the AI models.”
With this expertise and knowledge, Smartico is set to release their latest AI-powered product to accompany the rest of its suite at the end of this year. And with the newest adaptation which promises to work in real-time to establish user trends and utilise this for an optimal player experience, the industry should be poised and ready to implement it.
Mechoullam said “We can’t reveal much about it yet, but it’s a powerful solution that uses machine learning to offer advanced marketing automation features to keep businesses ahead of the competition. By analysing patterns in data, our tech will help people make better decisions to improve their marketing strategies. The new software also simplifies the marketing processes, freeing up time for businesses to focus on strategic thinking and creativity instead of getting bogged down with busy work.”
“The result? Lower operational costs of human resources and fewer human errors. This all happens behind the scenes, so you can sit back, relax and let the tech do the rest.”
In an era of such change, it’s clear Smartico’s are committed to keeping up with tech advancements, and the new AI powerplay will be going one step further than its current offering, automating personalised promotions across multiple channels and enabling users to create compelling campaigns for their target audience – all whilst promising to eliminate guesswork.
“It will create predictions for lifetime value. Our most notable models include Churn Prediction, VIP Prediction, and LTV Prediction, and by using our CRM, you can easily act on those predictions and optimise your data.”
But Mechoullam says that they don’t believe automating everything is the answer. For the team at Smartico, the use of AI isn’t about replacing jobs, but rather, streamlining the small processes so those with the talent can focus on pushing their company, and its products, even further than before.
“We don’t think AI can replace a CRM manager in creating campaigns from scratch or deciding what to offer to players with the same efficiency. AI can help by optimising the processes and putting the focus on who receives what and when.
“AI-powered scheduling tools can help optimise message delivery. AI can also detect customer signals, such as betting behaviour and customer service interactions, to identify at-risk customers and proactively reach out to them with personalised communications or offers.”
Using AI in CRM gamification: Avoiding the pitfalls
From repetitive impersonal emails to pop-up blocks and questionnaires interrupting the user journey, everyone has encountered CRM gamification carried out poorly and it’s hardly surprising that leaving this in the hands of AI could prove challenging. In fact, failure to track and manage is a large reason why 80% of gamification projects fail in the short term.
Mechoullam agrees that whilst it can be extremely useful, when it’s conducted poorly, it can not only be expensive and time-consuming for businesses but also extremely irritating and off-putting to potential customers.
“CRM can be useful for businesses to build lasting relationships with their customers, but if it’s done poorly, yes – it can be extremely irritating.”
However, striking the perfect balance is where Smartico thrives. As Mechoullam says, the company is working at the forefront of innovation in the sector. “We love software – it’s our passion; it’s in our DNA. We’re committed to leading the market with the most high-end products and services.”
The future of AI and gamification is bright
Whether you’re a casino, or a sports betting or retail operator, supercharging your gamification CRM is essential to increasing gameplay, boosting engagement, maximising conversion and retention and ensuring customers come back time and time again.
According to Gartner, each year over 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity is saved globally via artificial intelligence. It’s no longer a case of using it to stay ahead. Rather, if you don’t use it, you will simply fall behind.
With Smartico ready to easily integrate its AI CRM and gamification product suite with your existing data sources in just a matter of days, fast-tracking your business suite to optimise more than it ever has before is simple. With the product launch set for the end of 2023, it’s not long before you can simply “sit back, relax, and let the tech do the rest.”
Yuval Mechoullam is the co-founder & chief business development at Smartico.ai leading the gamification, loyalty and marketing platform.
He has worked in the gaming industry for over a decade and has experience in consultancy, business development and marketing.