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Gil Rotem of Bet365 discusses his brand's efforts to build a smarter CRM strategy, including customer acquisition and marketing optimization.

Video Transcript

I was in Bet365 just over 10 years, started building their gaming, gaming operations’ COO and then, the last three years, I was the board. And yeah, I think one of the main thing that was our success, especially on the CRM was that we tried to think different. I have 20 minutes to try to explain what we were doing, how to do, and how to build a strategy for your CRM.

It takes longer than 20 minutes, but let’s try. I’m sorry. So, we’ll go through acquisition, know your customer, not from the compliance point of view but so then, who are they, what to offer them, what to sell them, the offering, and when to contact.

Acquisition. I’m not going to go into too much details into acquisition here because every company do their acquisition different. It’s very, very important about what your brand is, where you position, what do you do? PPC, SEO, TV, radio, social, me too. Well, it works for them. Let’s do the same.

All work well. Just remember the one thing. The most important thing for you is your product. You need to get the product right and after that, try and go and sell it to the customers. And you want the customers as soon as they hit your site to see what you want them to see. I’ll give you a quick example, a lesson we learned on 365.

We had betting shops years ago before I joined. And one day, they put a sign on what to bet. And it was ridiculous odds, ridiculous bets. And that day, most of the people bet on what they had. Unfortunately, those results came up. So, it was very expensive lesson, but overall, it was right.

And the lesson is whatever you put in front of your customers, this is what they’re going to do. So, the other important thing for me is when you do your PPC, when you do your acquisition, make sure you know who you are. We were the best on in play. We were high turnover, relatively low margin. If we look at Paddy Power, they were the funny one.

Don’t want to upset anyone here. But if there are Ladbrokes here, Ladbrokes pople here, when they tried to do some funny things, it didn’t work the same. They’re not the funny guys. It’s very important that your customers will know what’s your message from the point of acquisition. Know your customer. Usually, it comes from compliance, from payment.

But for our marketing in CRM, it’s very, very important. If we look at the gaming one, you need to understand exactly, as soon as possible, two things, what’s profitable for you. Is it the slots? Is it the minigames, table games?

And then present it to the customers. Also, as soon as possible, to try and learn what the players are doing because this will reflect on your strategy on what is the point of contact, what will be the next point of contact, what you’re going to offer them. Ignore the fact that what you want to do. So, if we’re talking about cross-sell, it’s not the time at that point because when you try to cross-sell to another product, you basically offer them something they haven’t tried.

You can go and see what is the correlation between those who did these and those who done that. It doesn’t really matter for this one. If we look at retail, it is the same. Basically, I’m very familiar with Net-A-PORTER for some reason. I always tell my wife that we brought the money here for on the gambling and we spent it on NET-A-PORTER.

But basically, it’s very simple. If you choose on the site, when you browse on any retail and you put what’s your colors, your size, season, it’s always good to remember and to use it for the next time you browse, the next step, the next click. I’ll give you another example about it. We did something we used to call Player DNA.

Player DNA was…and it is on gaming and it’s a long, long process of learning. But every night, we used to run an algorithm to analyze what the players did the day before, and then just attach it and create like a DNA string to which only say what the player were doing.

Then we can build, on top of that, we can build patterns and try to look for patterns and activity. Someone will play only deposit without playing. Someone just playing when there is bonuses. Someone who only plays, let’s say, on Tuesdays. And when you look at the recent activity for example, it’s important to know what they do, when they do it, and what times, how many times.

The reason is a lot of the people will do their CRM and activation…let’s say, and reactivation every Monday. Now, every Monday, let’s say, it’s really good day to reactivate the players. But for some players, they always play on Wednesday or they always play towards the weekend. If you send them a reactivation email for example on Monday, then he might play in four or five days.

But actually, you should have sent it three days ago to this player. If you have a pattern and basically try to define what is the best day for the right offer for the player, you can send 10, 20, 30 templates every day for different customers, for example. And I said, emails.

Doesn’t have to be emails, any contact, or whatever because this is the right time to contact the player. It’s require to be a little bit more flexible, to have quite a lot of templates, quite a lot of algorithms to identify what to send, and when to send, and how to send it, or how to do the contact. But basically, don’t try to say, “Ah, today, we’re doing the CRM teams. Today, we’re doing this.Tomorrow, we’re doing that.”

Every day, you need to do everything, basically, because you need to be unique. One important thing that we learn is about lifetime value. How many of you using or use lifetime value when they evaluate players? Not many, which is good. Lifetime value means nothing. Lifetime value especially on gaming means that this player had, let’s say, 50,000 grand and we already paid them and spent it on on our site in the last six months, seven months, or whatever.

What’s more important it’s what they’re actually doing, and how they spend it. I think, especially on the gaming but not just the timing and the pattern of the player is very important. What the players are doing, especially on gaming, but also on retail, they will probably keep doing it as long as they have money, and as long as you can get the right triggers for the players.

How much they spend is always irrelevant, when you look in the past. What’s important is, what do you think you can get from them? And in order to do that, there’s various strategies. What’s the offering?

Try to tailor the offer per player and per the segment. And like I said, and I’ll give you an example, we had big player…if you’re a gaming companies. Big gaming companies, they probably know he always bet on five red. That was his bet. Very high number…very high amounts and this was the most important thing for him.

His pattern was, when five is coming, you cash out and he goes away. It can come in the first or second round, and then it can come on the after 20. It’s the same. The activity is exactly the same. When you try to contact them to contact him… If you just offer him big money on roulette, or big money on blackjack, or big money on slot, or whatever, it’s almost transparent because the only thing he’s cared about is five red.

What we used to do on different players, different patterns, you know, if they play a high-low, if they play a red or black, the contact was always specific to those players. So, for example, is it going to be, if we’re talking red or black, is it going to be red or black? We’re giving you £20, £50, £100.

The amount is specific to the player. The offer is exactly to him. The reason is when the players get the message, either on text, on email, on chat, or online if you are…?, they don’t have time to read it. They need to get something that said, “Oh yeah, I like it. This is what I want.”

I was talking with another company. They send email every week with a great story. Very, very entertaining to the one who writes it. And I said, “But nobody reads it.” When you give the offer, the user need to get it and say, “Yeah. This is what I like. This is what I want. Oh yeah, this is exactly what I’m looking for.”

Terms and conditions. I think the CMA now, especially in the UK, CMA make it much easier now for the operator in terms of there shouldn’t be any restrictions. But before that, the question is, what do you need to do in order to get that? And in the past, there was a lot of, “Yeah, do this. Get that.”

You need to jump through those hoops and then deposit, and then turnover, and then you get the money. And then once you need the turnover, we give you 20%, then you get 30%. That’s too much. The users are… If you give them the right offer and obviously, you give the right offer to the right users, it’s all gone. They will take it and they lose it.

Again, big numbers. What is the message? And this is really important for your brand and I think for me, this is one of the main thing that we always worked and helped us to keep our relatively high life player value. We worked on high turnover low margins and therefore, we were able to give quite a lot of bonuses to our players to encourage them.

But it’s important if you want to reward the player, the good players that you know, they will lose it anyway. Is it the sale, for example? And I see a lot of sales promotions especially on gaming. And sale makes it too cheap. We always try to avoid, you know, a sale because we’re not, you know, we’re the Chanels.

And there’s a place for both if you want on the retail. But the position of your brand is really important to what you offer to your players. What’s the message? I think when players come to 365, they don’t expect a bonus to be free.

They don’t always get the bonus. But when they do get it, they know it has value. I see, especially on a small one for reactivation, and I got the email like this, like this week, and I felt it to one, if someone, if Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool wins, and then at times, it just said, “Maximum bet, one pound.”

It’s… I think, you know, I think you missed the purpose because when someone reads it, he expect the value. When we tell him, “You can only bet one pound.” There’s nothing. If you go on a reactivation, the segmentation is very important. When we looked at the life cycle of a player, we always looked at 13 weeks active.

And 13 weeks active is basically 3 months. We always worked on weeks. After four weeks, you see a drop on reactivation. After another three, four weeks, you see another drop. So, the message need to be different because your chance to reactivate the players and the method need to be different on week two, on week four, on week eight.

You can be more aggressive, less aggressive but you always keep the offer to your players, to your segmentation as much as possible in terms of the game, in terms of how much is spent, what days they come. what was the last good experience. If they lost a lot of money, you’ll try to avoid it.

You don’t mention it. If they won a lot, then it’s a celebration. Sometimes, celebration don’t really work. We had a player who won, I think, £2.6 million on Christmas Eve. Though he was Scottish. So then, all the jokes about the Scottish were true.

We called him the next day, or the day after Christmas to celebrate to say, “Hey. Hey. Congratulation. Christmas Day. You won £2.6 million.” And he was just, “Don’t call me now. I’m on my way to the bank.” He hung up on us and we never heard again. So, the fact that he suddenly had £2.6 million in his bank didn’t matter. The player was only interested in playing 20p, 30p, so he was there.

Low-hanging fruit offer. Very, very easy for the players to get something they think or they know they can redeem. Your offer need to be something that will give the player the feeling of he did good business with you.

So, if you are on retail for example, again, I always hear that, you know, if there’s 30% off, then we save 30%. We didn’t spend 70%, we saved 30%. On the gaming, with the way we did it all the time, every offer was aimed to take about somewhere between 20% to 30%off the deposit.

So, at the end of the offer, the customers stay with, “Yeah, I almost.” He didn’t lose too much but he eventually, he lost a little bit. The money that he deposited, the money that he spent, or he already put into the system is money that he’s probably won’t take it out.

So, what he will do, he will continue to play. He will continue to play today, tomorrow, or the next time we’ll try to contact him without an offer because he has some balance. But the money is already you got it. The most important thing is to get the player the good experience when they play. Another thing that we did, I think when the offer is too much, you don’t want the players to browse, whether it’s retail, or whether it’s gaming.

It’s the same thing. When customers try to browse the site, you don’t know where they’re going to end. So, we built an algorithm that put the game code in and then spit another 12 games that are potential similar to that game. And it’s not other players play this because it doesn’t mean what other players are doing.

We took the volatility of the game, the RTP, the theme, whatever, about 30 properties, and as soon as the player clicked the game, we changed the background behind him and we push the other games that we thought are similar to him. So, imagine that if you look at REIT on retail, imagine that you come, and you come into the shop, and girl or guy that is the sale, they just stand there and basically do nothing.

They just look at you. You go, you browse, you check the shirt, you take the dress. They do nothing. Then, the next day, you get email. Let’s say, they can contact you. You get the email, “Ah, look we have this shirt to this one.” By being proactive and change everything in front of the customer, you basically tell him, “We do the browsing for you.”

The browsing is something good for you and good for them. And by getting it more achievable, and more easy to get, and to make the decision, there’s more chance they will take it. The when to contact. Today is very simple while the customer is online. And I think Optimove working on it and this is the time.

The sessions today are short but quite a lot of them. And if you have algorithms that you know what exactly you want to do with a customer, so as soon as… Assume that I’m a customer and I do one, two, three, if you can do it tonight when you run your algorithm, you should be able to do it while he play and then give him the offer while the customer is playing, where you just, is it sale?

Is it another product that you want to push? Different game, bonus, whatever? This is your chance when he’s playing and he has obviously, you know, with your parameters, this is the right time. You think this is the right time to contact him, pop-up, chat, random bonuses, every good feeling, a good feeling aspect, a good feeling experience, this is the right time to do it.

Real-time algorithms. I know it requires a lot of data, a data analysis. It require a lot of back office systems and a lot of integration with various suppliers especially if you want to work with different game suppliers. For example, on retail, it’s probably easier to contact.

But for me, this is the key. You don’t want to wait to contact the players when they’re gone. You want to contact them while they’re still online and you want to extend their session by a little, you know, 10%, 20%. On today’s days, it’s quite significant because they’re frequent.