The iGaming SUPER Show marathon has almost come to a close, with two full days at the RAI behind us and two more parties remaining, the official networking party and tomorrow’s “wind down” session including a canal cruise.
Today kicked off with a quiet start as anticipated, but the buzz came back at the RAI towards the end of the day when people finally peeled themselves from bed and the alcohol was flowing throughout the expo hall. When the expo came to a close, people were still hanging around the bars and having fun, a sign that the organizers encouraged the right vibe for delegates and an excellent networking experience.
Bit8 was a SUPER Show exhibitor this year and we chatted with CEO Angelo Dalli about his impression of the conference. Dalli had nothing but good things to say about the event, pointing out that he was able to meet with existing and new clients, two distinct objectives of his for the SUPER Show this year.
What truly made today an exceptional experience was the quality and diversity of speakers that Michael Caselli invited to participate in the Player Acquisition Strategies Conference. The fact that Caselli brought in senior experts from other industries to speak at ours attracted a solid crowd that stuck around for the majority of the day. Caselli’s goal was to provide online gambling professionals with exposure to ideas and strategies from other industries and also to inspire us to do our jobs better.
The first Player Acquisition Strategies Conference speaker was Sasha Strauss, a well known brand strategist and one of the best speakers I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Strauss educated the audience on what he calls “The New Normal”, a fresh way of looking at brand strategy within your organization.
According to Strauss, the key to the “New Normal” is “giving your audience something they can cherish and celebrate” with a goal of creating a “long term emotional engagement” – this is something that cannot be beat by price. “If humans like something they will stick with it- they will advocate it, they will tell their friends and family”, he said.
I liked how Strauss put it, that “branding is a delivery mechanism, a casing around the medication” and there are two ways to effectively engage an audience:
1) Identify a common topic amongst members
2) Append a belief system to it.
Strauss said a “disruptive example” of this kind of engagement is found in religion, where the “common topic” would be the gods and the “belief system” would the religion itself.
He continued by explaining that businesses need to recognize the void that needs to be filled, identify the common topic and provide the belief system around that topic. According to Strauss, there are seven ways to do this:
1) Assume nothing. Do not make decisions unless you assume nothing about your competition.
2) Empathize- the consumer is not you. What matters is the audience you’re trying to engage. Speak in their language and according to their terms.
3) Advocate for your consumer- guide them. Celebrate who they are, do not tell them they are wrong.
4) Invest in the relationship. Consumers like brands they are comfortable with and can “have a relationship with”. Reach out to customers way beyond the first communication touch point.
5) Curate. Curate offerings based on the needs of the consumer- organize choices around their lifestyle rather than giving them every choice.
6) Teach. Don’t sell, just educate- consumers want to learn in the process of buying.
7) Care! Give away some of your time to non-profits, this will improve your work day, create long term employees who are proud to be with your company, people want to go to work.
“Give away one hour a year to a non-profit and I promise you that the internet will remember you for it”, Strauss left us with.
Another one of today’s outstanding speakers was Michael Leander of Michael Leander Company, a warm, high energy professional with over twenty years of experience in marketing and speaking. Today Leander talked on marketing automation, something that requires a solid plan and a lot of discipline.
Leander explained that there are three things a company must do well to get ROI on marketing automation:
1) Match content and offers to individuals
2) Personalize and customize content across all channels (email, landing pages)
3) Leverage behavioural, transactional and user input data in your communication
Leander emphasized that trust is extremely important to customers, especially within the online gambling industry. There is an incubation period from the time someone realizes they need something before they actually buy it and this period is getting longer. “People want the dating process these days, not sex on the first date”, he joked. “People need to see the message many more times than they did years ago”, he said.
Before signing off, Leander left the audience with four tips for their marketing automation strategy:
1) Understand buyer behaviour- what causes friction, delays and trust.
2) Understand and utilize your attribute, benefits objections and answers.
3) Plan for persona driving flows but implement event triggers based on specific actions.
4) Capture data everywhere and use the data you have.
And that’s a wrap for the iGaming SUPER Show 2014, an event that truly brought online gambling industry together and delivered on its creative sessions. Now its time to eat, drink, network and do whatever else you do in the glorious city of Amsterdam.