Since CalvinAyre.com’s call for innovators in the online gambling industry back in April, I’ve seen an influx of pitches for sports gambling startups and social startups, but the product offered by The Social Ad Group was something a little different.
The Social Ad Group’s mission is to revolutionize online advertising for the online gambling industry (and other industries) by using social media to drive bets. Having launched in August of 2013, the group has come a long way, already taking home a Sports Technology Award for the Best Use of Technology by a Bookmaker or Gaming Company.
I spoke with Fraser Dunk, Product Manager of the company’s Sport division, to learn more about their innovation and how it will benefit the online gambling industry.
As you would expect, it all started with an original idea.
“Three experts from the social, digital and gaming world came together with the idea of using social media to influence the way consumers act, be it purchasing a handbag or placing a bet,” Dunk said. And this is how Social Ad Group was born.
At the moment, Social Ad Group has integrated itself with Twitter, meaning the social content comes in the form of a tweet. In the future, the group plans to grow their social content pool to include platforms such as YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
The nitty-gritty details of how the technology works can get a bit complex, but Dunk described how it works in a way that most people can relate to.
“The technology, in its simplest form, reads the content on a website—be it about a team, a player a manager or a game. It then pulls in social content based on these keywords from industry influencers – pundits, statisticians, journalists and professionals. The third part of the technology, matches bets dynamically to these tweets and all this sits natively on the page in a 300×600 widget.”
What makes this product so disruptive is that it blows the banner ad concept right out of the water—its conversion rate has proven to be 8x higher than that of a banner ad.
“Banner blindness is an industry plague”, Dunk explained.“Users are exposed to 1700 banner ads a week and click on one. And the chances are that was an accident- [banner ads] are not acknowledged and they’re not engaging.”
On the other hand, recommendations and reviews coming from actual people have proven to have much more influence over the decision of a customer.
“Social media and social recommendations have proven to drive sales, across all industries. It’s logical, people trust people and not adverts. Harnessing this influential content and matching it to calls to action shortens the user journey and as such increases conversions,” said Dunk.
A perfect time to give this new technology a turbo charged run will be during the World Cup—an event that will capture the attention of countries around the world.
“The World Cup is tipped to be the most social event to date, with a global audience of 3.2bn there are hundreds of millions of tweets expected”, Dunk said. “Our technology will filter out the noise, find what is relevant and then dynamically match it to bets. It’s the perfect opportunity for us!”
The Social Ad Group is certainly on a path to success and all of it has been accomplished in such a short while. It hasn’t been easy, especially when it comes to hiring developers on a budget, but by making a plan and sticking to it, problems get solved and things happen.
“Commit to actions to implement your ideas,” Dunk advised. “If you have a date in the diary you will get the ball rolling. Ask yourself the question, how does nowsound?”