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Here’s Why it’s Time to Make Realtime CRM Marketing a Strategic Initiative

While marketing teams in iGaming are often more tech-savvy than those in other fields, adopting realtime CRM marketing is facing some legacy challenges. But, with the business results existing technology helps achieve, and other motivations, there’s no way around it: making realtime a strategic marketing initiative is of an adapt-or-die importance

In many ways, the iGaming industry is at the forefront of technological adoption, especially when it comes to customer experience and marketing technology. It’s primarily due to the fact that plenty of iGaming brands were born straight into the digital sphere, with a digital product – making them a tech company in their own right.

Additionally, in iGaming, as opposed to fashion, for example, the brand plays a smaller role in attracting and retaining customers – so more emphasis must be placed on customer experience and funnel optimizations, from acquisition to CRM, and everything in between.

However, online real-money gaming industry – especially its legacy operators (many of which existed as land-based operations way before the internet came along) – is facing an inherent challenge in utilizing the best and most potent capabilities technology has to offer: Realtime.

This inherent challenge has everything to do with the space’s overly critical importance of, and extra sensitivity to, first-party player data. Again, as an industry where the brand plays a softer role, hard-earned proprietary data is a crucial differentiating factor versus competition.

Where There’s a Will

But the motivation to adopt realtime marketing in iGaming is vital – and it isn’t new. It was a Gartner press release from 2019 which claimed that “event-triggered and realtime marketing will have the biggest impact on marketing activities in the next five years.”

From the operator side, you can identify two main factors driving this motivation:

  1. The desire to manage player experiences while mitigating the bad and amplifying the good.
  2. The need to serve next-best-experiences that anticipate player desires – especially now, when this technology is available.

Then, there’s also the player side.

  1. With so many options available, players are gravitating toward visual experiences that are highly personalized.
  2. Increasing expectations of receiving contextually relevant interactions.

That last point, about customer expectations, is a cross-industry phenomenon, as the modern customer has very high expectations and sensitivity when it comes to receiving promotional content. A customer experience that isn’t relevant and personalized is a main factor in pushing customers away in all types of eCommerce and digital businesses.

At Optimove we see firsthand how many advanced, sophisticated marketing teams in gaming achieve fantastic results by deploying innovative realtime strategies. These teams mastered the understanding that to achieve that level of personalization, realtime data alone isn’t enough.

The best way to approach realtime marketing is to combine realtime data with historical player data. The predictive analysis layer these two enable powers truly CONTEXTUAL realtime marketing.

What results are we talking about? Here are a few recent examples:


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Some other things successful realtime marketing strategies in iGaming have in common are:

Optimove clients who follow these strategies are always among our top-performing ones and will continue to be as the competitive field is only getting more and more crowded, and players prioritize personalized experience over brand affinity.

Looking ahead, another primary “motivation” to do excellent realtime (mostly CRM) marketing in iGaming is gaining momentum – Responsible Gaming.

While in other parts of the world, mainly Europe, where the industry is heavily regulated, some developing iGaming markets are not there yet.

American market, we’re looking at you!

There are many reasons why gaming providers and operators should adopt responsible gaming strategies as soon as possible, before regulation takes hold. Of course, there’s the “responsibility” aspect. But it’s followed by plenty of purely-business sense, as well.

  1. “Problematic players” do not make for good customers in terms of overall customer lifetime value.
  2. At some certain points throughout their customer journey, and from a pure data angle, problematic players’ behavior carries similarities to that of “high rollers”/VIPs. Brands really don’t want to miss-identify and mix these types.
  3. Having strong, responsible gaming strategies in place can play a part in the operator’s branding and positioning.
  4. Regulations are coming. Providers and operators that will hit the ground running when regulations are enforced will guarantee a competitive advantage over those that did not prepare beforehand.

Here’s a suggested framework for implementing a Responsible Gaming strategy:

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There’s a lot to unpack here, especially from the more technical standpoint. For now, though, let us give you a glimpse of what deploying such strategy helped some Optimove clients achieve:

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Using realtime marketing to exceed players’ expectations, leveraging all data types to fuel AI-driven insights from predictive models, adopting an experimental culture, and running predictive analytics to guide Responsible Gaming are principles that should provide a solid backbone for such a move.

Looking to be proactive in terms of responsible gaming? Download our eBook here.

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Erik Holt

Erik is Optimove’s VP Partnerships Development. He has 20 yrs. of corporate / business development, product strategy, and management experience at leading enterprise technology and digital marketing companies. With a BA from Penn State and an MBA from Villanova University, Erik brings not only tons of business+tech experience but also some significant amounts of Philly into the Optimove DNA. This is where we spell E-A-G-L-E-S.