Lee Davy interviews Gwen Andrieux, CEO of digital marketing agency Dice London.
Lee Davy sits down the Frenchman Gwen Andrieux to talk about his new company Dice London, a digital marketing agency that specializes in the gambling industry.
We talk about Gwen’s history in the industry, his views on marketing, why experience makes Dice London stand out from the crowd and much more.
Who is Gwenole Andrieux?
“I’ve been in the gaming industry for the past 10-years. I started in 2006, working in London, with Betfair. I have to say I got into this by luck. I had finished my studies in France, but couldn’t find a job, so I decided to go to London and try my luck. Three weeks later I found my first job at Betfair. It was perfect for me: a mix of marketing and sports, so I was very happy with that.
“Moving on from there, I joined Full Tilt Poker, helping them with their international marketing, which was also a great experience for me. Then I went on to work on some projects in Asia, some poker related projects and some non-poker related projects. I ended up my activities there at the end of July last year, and that’s when I had the idea to have my own business. I thought it would be great to run a marketing agency, so I took steps to do that and here we are.”
Where did this love for marketing come from?
“I don’t know if it’s a love of marketing. I think it’s a very interesting industry to work in. I was very unfamiliar with it at the beginning. What I really enjoy is the fact that it’s not all about creative communication – even though it plays a very important part – but particularly for the gaming industry, you also need to have a very strong understanding of the specific KPI’s, which I also find very interesting. The fact that finalizing what you’re doing, looking at the data, and digging in and finding solutions to your problem to better market to your customer is really something we enjoy doing. That’s what we do at Dice, where I think we have both sides of the equation. My business partner has 20-years experience in the broadcasting industry, the last ten spent developing and producing poker shows, and I’ve been more on the analytical side, with a data driven approach, we think that makes for a great combination.”
What value does Dice London offer its customers?
“The industry has changed a lot over the past 10 or 15 years, and you see a lot of consolidation in the market. You see that player behavior is progressively changing. Having sat on the client side, where I was managing agencies in the past, (and quite a lot of them around the world!), I often saw them missing the specificities of the gaming industry. I don’t think marketing gambling is the same as marketing, say, washing powder or chicken nuggets. It’s very different. It’s got it’s own peculiarities and communication needs to reflect that mind-set – it’s also a form of entertainment for millions of people, sometimes marketing seems to forget that!”
“I know there are plenty of very large agencies with very big accounts, but sometimes there seems to be a lack of understanding there, regarding the industry. We have tried to create something different, more of a boutique operation and we focus on gaming because that’s where our experience lies.
“It’s all about entertainment. If the industry wants to attract new players, it will need to really understand that. The industry is competing with other types of entertainment: movies, games and other social media games.”
There is a quote from Seth Godin on the front of your site. It reads:
“In a crowded marketplace fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”
How do you help your customers stand out?
“Content marketing is a very important part of what operators in the real gaming industry should be doing. We have been looking at the environment quite extensively in the past six months and we don’t think video is used enough. We think it can really help a business stand out and create more value for customers.
“Pushing value to your customers, is a huge part of the mix and very important because it is an important call to action. But the millenials will need more than that. As part of our service we look at less traditional ways of interacting with customers.
“The millenials are less attached to a brand and more attached to their experience. So we need to give them a great experience at the first touch point. Instead of always pushing the brands, it’s time to push the games. The casino industry has traditionally focused on the brand. It has been an important part of establishing the trust of customers to focus on the heritage, the technology or the licensing requirements but as the industry has evolved it’s time to move the conversation on, sure, Brand is important still, but we think there is some interesting space to talk about the offering, particularly the games.”
“The industry is evolving as you would expect, but we should always try and improve what we do. The new customers coming through the door behave differently, and consume their media differently from 5-10 years ago.
“What is interesting is a lot of people don’t read online anymore, they watch videos instead if they are searching for information. Take a look at the video gamer’s YouTube channels, they have millions of followers. Networks like Twitch are getting more than 100 million visits a month. I am not saying that the two industries are the same, but we can definitely learn from their experience, drawing off some of the good ideas and implementing them in the gambling business.”
PokerStars hire brands like Cristiano Ronaldo and Rafael Nadal to help promote their products. What can the smaller companies do, to improve their visibility, who don’t have that kind of budgetary firepower
“We recently worked on a project that I can’t talk about a lot here, but the client didn’t have an enormous budget and we therefore decided to take a direction that was completely different than just pushing an offer directly to a customer. It was about doing something fun, entertaining and memorable instead, it’s also about following up with a supporting digital campaign that gives more miles to your original creative concept.
“Developing a considered content plan and content strategy is key. You can do something very advanced in terms of video production, or less advanced according to budget. In terms of the core of the idea, and direction you want to take, entertainment and worthwhile information, (whilst retaining the prime attractor of solid bonus offers), is key here. You will always have an angle to solve a particular problem, money or lack of it, need not be a barrier to creativity, you just need to think smarter.”
So having a deep relationship with your customer is critical?
“Yes…getting into that conversation is critical. Social networks have been increasingly part of the acquisition strategy of many casinos and sports betting companies, but often they are just posting an offer. When you look closer at their social media feeds you can see they are missing an opportunity because there is no conversation. Paddy Power, on the other hand, are constantly talking to their customers on their social media channels. It’s a pleasure to watch how they interact with their customers”
What makes Dice London stand out from your competitors?
“It’s the combination of skills and experience in the industry. I’ve been in it for a decade and I have a very good understanding of being on the client’s side of things. I also have a good understanding of the analytical side. It’s about conversion and ROI. On the other hand my partner has had this amazing broadcasting experience over the past 20-years, specializing in making popular documentary television series about complex subjects for clients world-wide and latterly bringing that experience to televising tournament poker (which is how we met) He has produced the Aussie Millions and other marquee shows in Europe, Asia and the USA. I think that mix of skills (which is unique as far as I know) makes us a strong candidate to help people with their real money gambling products – we understand the industry from the inside out, and the outside in.”