Generic bonusing: The future of platforms?
Bonusing is a key component of every (online) platform. There’s a growing number of platforms on the market and the majority offer some degree of capability in this area. More mature platforms offer a higher level of flexibility and analytics, which are vital, since bonusing has become an art form that includes segmentation, automation, and personalization, all towards the purpose of creating meaningful experiences for customers that attract them to play. Along with bonuses, rewards that are camouflaged into bonus games give the customers a chance to win their incentives, and function as one of the most effective retention tools.
When it comes to providing bonusing across multiple products, most platforms struggle. At first glance this is strange, since almost every operator offers a portfolio of products. In reality, operators are running several platforms for different products, making the operation inefficient. There are very few platforms that can run multiple products effectively, and also offer competitive sportsbook, poker, and casino bonuses. One of the main reasons for that is that every product has specific characteristics that need to be taken into account when considering bonus wagering requirements or qualification criteria.
Most platforms can handle casino bonuses better than other products. This is due to the fact that the majority were built around a casino as the core product. In addition, casino integrations to a third party platform’s wallet are very standardized, stable, and only the game server needs to be paired with the platform.
Sportsbook bonuses are rather more complex, as sports betting itself is more challenging due to an ever-growing set of events, markets, and frequent price changes.
On the top of that, sportsbook tools which are used by bookmakers are always additionally managed by an accompanying platform which is required to handle sportsbook bonuses, making the integration with another third party platform even more demanding. In general, sportsbook suppliers require greater support in order to achieve a high degree of sportsbook bonusing from a central platform. Then there is also the factor to consider that not all sportsbook providers support a seamless wallet integration, only a fund transfer to a sportsbook wallet. This makes sportsbook bonusing extremely difficult, but there are ways of automating it.
Technicalities aside, when a single platform manages multiple products and bonuses in real-time it makes a big difference. Operators can be innovative with their bonuses and use a platform packed with data for immediate cross-sell between products and channels. Holistic analysis is also a big advantage, as it helps the operator learn faster and feed the resulting new insights into future campaigns.
Such platforms are a pre-condition for the ultimate type of bonuses – generic bonuses. After registering or making a deposit, players get credited with a single bonus that can be freely used or wagered on any product to meet the required bonus wagering requirements, ensuring a cohesive experience. This is the foundation of a pleasant bonus experience for the customer.
From the operator’s point of view, generic bonuses represent an acquisition goldmine. They eliminate the need for tracking and painful identification of players’ favourite products that usually takes place during the registration or first deposit, in order to award a bonus for only one of the products.
As excellent as it may sound, the implementation of this type of bonusing first requires a change in mindset on behalf of the operator. Operators have to become purely customer-focused and uninfluenced by the existing organizational hierarchy. The majority of operators, especially those of larger scale, usually have a dedicated team or department that manages a specific product. This responsibility means they are tracking their own product, defining related bonuses, and presenting results to the management in order to justify their success. This type of mindset, which creates silos in the organization, is not aligned with the mindset of the customers.
Consequently, the promotions are separated and the departments replicate that structure with the websites and mobile apps. Such operators are just not ready to shift their focus towards the customer to provide generic bonuses, as this would put their organizational hierarchy at risk.
Platform suppliers need to strive towards such a customer experience, where bonuses are truly meaningful for the players, and at the same time help operators to embrace such a mindset. Only then will the customers respond and make the customer acquisition and retention process exciting.