Amir Askarov, co-founder and CEO of Blueribbon, says operators in newly regulated markets such as the USA should think out of the box when it comes to marketing and adopt new approaches.
One of the biggest challenges facing online gambling operators in markets around the world is differentiation, both in terms of product and marketing. If you look at the tier one brands across core European markets, it soon becomes clear that the majority of operators are powered by the same or similar platforms with the same capabilities, offering near identical game portfolios and indistinguishable bonuses and promotions.
This often means that the only way brand A can distinguish itself from brand B is in the design and the tone of voice used across the site. In highly competitive markets such as the likes of New Jersey, that’s going to make it tough for operators to claim the lion’s share of the market.
But how can operators stand out from their rivals and offer their players something different and unique when the same platforms, tools and services are available to anyone operating an online casino, poker, bingo or sportsbook site? More importantly, how can they do this in new and emerging markets such as the USA where they will not only be competing with familiar foes from home, but local household names and gambling giants?
The answer is a simple one; bespoke jackpots. Until now, jackpots have only been offered as part of a game, controlled by the content providers and not an intrinsic part of an operator’s proposition and marketing strategy. Because they have always been part of the game logic, they could not be used in a useful or effective way as a marketing tool which can be tailored to player behaviours and preferences.
This is a wasted opportunity; jackpots deliver anticipation and reward and can be applied across all verticals, games and events, and can be used according to the player preferences and behaviour.
THE JACKPOT EDGE FOR OPERATORS
In highly competitive, ring-fenced markets where there is no limit on the number of online casino and sportsbook brands permitted to operate in the state, operators will need to find new ways of delivering a superior experience to players. Again, jackpots can achieve this by offering unprecedented levels of excitement and reward.
Operators can tune the jackpot behavior such as volatility, contribution rate and average winning amounts to meet their player preferences and can decide to which content or vertical the jackpots will be applied to. Of course, different jackpots can be used to appeal to different player types. What’s more, operators can use jackpots to offer their players new and exciting bonuses and promotions.
This includes jackpot free spins, jackpot boosts and jackpot discounts. And because they are bespoke to each casino/poker/bingo/sportsbook brand, it is possible for operators to offer their players something different and tailored for them, even if their rivals also use jackpots.
THE JACKPOT THRILL FOR PLAYERS
Jackpots are undoubtedly exciting, and the thrill for players can be taken up a notch by giving operators the ability to fine tune the jackpots to their players’ preferences. Jackpots can be tuned to drop small wins regularly to ramp up anticipation and provide immediate gratification and satisfaction. Jackpots with the precise rhythm will also contribute to the player confidence and will help build a better relationship with the brand by offering achievable jackpots.
Indeed, jackpots should be seen as a powerful marketing tool and as an alternative to bonuses. In highly regulated markets such as the US, operators and marketers are going to have to tread very carefully when it comes to the promotions they run.
We are seeing a similar picture emerge in established markets with regulators coming down hard on operators who are offering “unfair” promotions, bonuses with ridiculous wagering requirements and terms and conditions that are as readable as a Latin novel.
What’s more, today’s players are super-savvy and a growing number are rejecting bonuses in favor of wagering with their own money. This provides a chance to use jackpots to deliver added value while also driving engagement and retention.
For operators, the differentiation challenge is only set to get tougher in the coming months and years as new markets open their digital doors for the first time, additional brands get in on the action, and regulators tighten the screw on bonuses and promotions. Jackpots don’t provide all the answers, but they are an efficient and effective way for operators to offer something innovative, unique and exciting to their players.