Marketing is a huge part of business for any B2C organisation. Regardless of whether you’re making toys, selling books or even yourself, customers aren’t going to use or buy your product if they haven’t heard of it.
While the emergence of search engines has meant that websites can simply be released into the online world, if they are going to attract high volumes of traffic then marketing is going to have to be done.
Across the board, iGaming is undoubtedly a very large but crowded market. In order to grab your own share of this market, you have to raise the profile of your business.
As Simon Burridge, CEO of Virgin Games, said when he spoke to Becky Liggero earlier this month: “You need to market in this business.”
Having watched the interviews by Becky with Burridge and Andan Maslo of ComeOn! it becomes apparent that both global and local marketing strategies have their advantages and disadvantages. A large proportion of their potential to succeed depends on the operators themselves – somewhat of a horses for courses situation.
So once you’ve decided on whether you want to go global or stay local where do you go from there? What tactics will best fit into your grander plans?
In the iGaming industry, we’re blessed to have a vast array of marketing options available to us. So many that it’s not always clear which will be most effective, especially when they aren’t so easy to measure.
With this in mind, below is a quick run-down of four of the most commonly used marketing tactics in iGaming and whether they suit global or local strategies.
Affiliate marketing is an area that has prospered within the iGaming arena as it fits the framework of the industry perfectly. As a result there are many thousands of affiliates around the world be they small, medium or even super affiliates.
As well as coming in different sizes, affiliates also come from different locations and as a result can fit effectively into a local marketing strategy. By being featured on affiliate sites that target more specific geographic audiences are able to target specific geographic locations as well as niche audiences easily.
On the subject of targeted marketing, Maslow said: “Targeted marketing allows us to reach our target groups in specific ways and specific channels where we know they are.”
For an online casino for example, affiliate sites focusing on casino games in general and specific casino games can be an effective way of targeting your market.
Global or local? Local.
For the purposes of this article, the marketing methods in question are being dealt with fairly broadly and few are broader than sponsorship. Because of this, sponsorship could be classed as a global or local method depending on what you’re sponsoring.
As is evident in the Premier League, some iGaming brands are able to sponsor to a global market. Asian operators such as 188Bet, 12Bet and Bodog have and do sponsor in the league despite having little presence in the country in which the league is played.
On the other hand, small territories for which operators have a license for can be targeted using sponsorship. As mentioned above, the effect of some marketing strategies can be hard to measure and nowhere is this truer than with sponsorship.
The most common reason for sponsorship is to raise awareness of your brand while it is also commonly accepted that you need to pay more to sponsor more high profile events.
Global or local? Both but perhaps more suitable for global.
It goes without saying that an industry that operates online will primarily market online as well. Online marketing and social media marketing within that provide great opportunities to target customers. As Malso mentioned, this is a key factor and therefore allows digital advertising to lend itself very well to local marketing.
Having said that, the fact that any web page can be viewed anywhere in the world (within reason) means that there is plenty there for global marketing. This is where the selection of where you advertise and whether you set restrictions as to where your ads are delivered to come into play.
Google Adsense, for example, permits gambling ads to be shown only in regulated markets. However, within this you can target your ads more specifically so that they only reach a certain territory, the browser language being used, the browser and even the operating system being used by the viewer.
Obviously social media marketing is playing an ever increasing role in digital advertising but it doesn’t appear to be changing too much in terms of the possibilities for global and local marketing.
Global or local? Both.
Traditional Media Advertising
Advertising on television is something that many operators with considerable budgets have taken advantage of. It can of course be quite expensive but not only creates brand awareness but can have a direct effect on acquisitions when used with promotional offers.
However, given the nature of traditional media markets you would be very hard pushed to market on a global scale through one outlet. Print adverts, TV adverts and many others are likely to only circulate within one territory and sometimes don’t even reach that far.
Global or local? Local
These are by no means the only ways to market in the online gambling industry but are the ones that first sprung to mind. As is always the case, their potential for success and the methods themselves are completely open to individual interpretation.