In-play marketing is one of the biggest buzzwords in the igaming sector, but it is also very much underused. Dorothy Creaven, co-founder and chief executive of Element Wave, explains how to optimise its potential during the Champions League.
Element Wave has managed mobile marketing campaigns across more than 17 countries and many languages, it has anonymised its data and incorporated its findings into this post.
It's 36 minutes into Bayern Munich against Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena Munich, during game one of the Champions League quarter final.
Lewandowski just missed a goal from the second corner of a dramatic first half. A push notification is delivered to mobile players who have a pre-match bet on the ‘Bayern to win’ market. “Can Lewandowski push it forward for Der FCB? Get 3.60 for him to score first for Bayern.”
A little later, Bayern scores and then scores again. It's a tough day for Real Madrid. An automated in-app message triggers on the second Bayern goal. It delivers to Real Madrid to win bettors offering a cashout and sympathy as Zidane's men appear to be staring defeat in the face.
Bayern is looking pretty secure of a place in May’s semi-finals. But, as with all sporting events, anything can happen.
Mobile betting is habitual and players love it. One of the things players love most about mobile is the variety and speed of in-play betting. In-play betting accounts for significant revenue across mobile and desktop for gaming operators.
Our data analysis reveals that between 70-90% of mobile bets are in-play. But 99% of mobile marketing delivers messages that focus on pre-match markets.
As far back as 2015, Bet365 announced that in-play bets made up 75% of turnover, and mobile betting was up 59% year-on-year.
In-play is an untapped opportunity for iGaming operators. Utilised correctly, in-play mobile marketing offers a distinct strategic advantage for betting and gaming businesses.
As part of a solid mobile communications strategy, in-play messaging drives bets, increases retention and ensures a valuable outcome for players and operators.
Tapping into the excitement of live sports, the player’s wants and habits and the live nature of devices, it’s no surprise that in-play is huge and set to get even bigger.
Leveraging in-play successfully requires nuance. Too many messages and players view it as spam. The app will be trashed. Too few messages or too little context can cause players to lose interest.
Anything that feels like a generic message feels awkward and out-of-place. Why would a player want a Champions League update when they’ve only ever bet on horse racing?
Like the normalisation of second-screening between social media and live events, mobile igaming players want to feel part of the action. They thrive on being first with a bet or getting something that other players might be missing out on.
That's where real-time engagement strategies come into their own.
For further insight into mobile technology strategies of operators see the iGaming Business Mobile Gaming & Tech Report 2016
The secret to getting real-time interactions right on mobile is to let your data do the talking. Using real-time context and triggers gives players a live app experience, driving engagement and loyalty.
Here are nine ways to grab every piece of betting action during Champions League.
Target players who place a pre-match bet with a real-time bet at half-time based on their betting preferences. We’ve seen this work well in La Liga examples, with 12 times as many in-play mobile bets, based on a half-time push delivered to players with a pre-match bet.
The pre-match bet provides context. The half-time call-to-action gives an urgency to bet now and an engagement made for the player. “It’s 1-0 in the Vicente Calderon. Odds now at 5/2 for Greizmann to score first in the second half. Only valid for ½ time.”
Incentivise with features
Got content rights to events? Ping mobile players who have a bet on the match with a reminder that it’s about to start and they can stream through the app. This is a quick win for in-play and gives extra context for players.
“See how your bet on Real Madrid performs. Champion’s League Streaming Live in-app now.”
Shared kick-off times are an opportunity
Matches that kick-off at the same time attract many of the same bettors. For example, in tonight's Atletico Madrid – Leicester and Bayern – Real Madrid, only 10-15% of mobile players will bet on both of them.
Use in-app messaging to cross-sell both games. Target players with a bet one match, with an in-app, that highlights the other match is starting too. It’s a good opportunity to hinge your acca cross-sell on the excitement of in-play.
“Get live odds of 4/1 for Atletico and Real Madrid both to win tonight”
Seduce players with a second chance
Reacting in real-time puts players at the very heart of the action. When a player loses their bet, in-app messaging steps in to cater to them and lessen the blow. Let’s look at Atletico Madrid – Leicester City.
Hardcore Leicester fans are still supporting the beleaguered team as they face a tough season of Champions League action.
In the first ten minutes of the match, Atletico are ahead by one. An in-app message goes to players who lost their ‘Leicester to win 1-0’ bet.
The in-app gives them live odds on ‘Leicester to draw against Atletico.’ It helps to encourage extra bets.
Incentivise to grab odds-cruisers
Grab the attention of players cruising various apps for odds, with an in-app message with an in-play offer.
By targeting players who often visit the app, but only bet one out of every three sessions, (or whatever restriction applies), mobile incentives can increase bet numbers.
Our data shows up to twice as many native app bets for boosted markets than non-boosted.
“Müller to score for Bayern before the end of half-time – boosted to 3.90.”
It's 20:15 and half-time is called. It's 1-0 in the Vicente Calderon.
Atletico Madrid to win bettors receive a price boost for Atletico to win the match, valid for half-time only. Leicester City bettors get an in-app message. It delivers a bet suggestion for a one-all result in the match.
Half-time boosted markets are a solid tactic to grab attention and gain extra bets away from competitors. These moments at half-time are lucrative.
Players are cruising competing apps, looking for the best odds for them.
Triggering an in-app during half-time with a mobile-exclusive offer is as effective for increasing bet numbers as it is for developing player loyalty.
Be faster than your competition
For in-play messaging to have an impact, campaigns need to be delivered with lightning speed. Being first with the message is the crucial (and obvious) point of success for in-play.
It’s live, it needs to be a live experience. Whether it’s a match score update, or a next goal-scorer message, being first on that screen makes you the likely winner.
Our platform is designed for speed and is the fastest on the planet. Triggers that work in real-time deliver messaging that gets to you players faster than competitors.
Play to team allegiances
Mobile app players are creatures of habit. They often bet on the same teams because of national pride as opposed to price.
We’ve seen other valuable behavioural patterns emerge, but that post is for another day. Take advantage of these preferences.
As both matches draw to a close, a push or in-app with odds on their team to win in the next leg is the perfect opportunity to keep bets rolling in.
“It’s 89 minutes in, Real Madrid is 3-0 up, click here for odds on them to win their second leg against Der FCB.”
Automation is a winner
Automating mobile marketing is the only realistic way of managing real-time interactions. In the time that it takes for a person to update odds or press send, the match result has already changed.
Automation makes in-play interactions endless. Eliminating latency with automation ensures your message is front-and-centre with players ahead of anyone else.