The age of big data has enabled online marketers unparalleled insights into their customers. Never before has it been possible to record, track and process such significant volumes of data from every click, transaction and browsing session as it is now – and the results speak for themselves.
For the casino industry, big data has been a huge advance in both marketing and player retention for operators, allowing them to focus on the most important elements of performance to improve their metrics. At the same time, this has led to an ever-improving experience for gamers, who are more readily and accurately provided with the experience they desire.
Online casino revenues have enjoyed strong growth in recent years, at a time when the picture for offline casinos has looked a little more challenging, at least in some localised US markets. So it big data truly a casino’s best friend, and is its impact the difference for the industry, as it continues to charge and grow into new demographics?
So, what is big data? Big data is the term given to the vast swathes of user data that come from effective tracking and analytics. It’s never been easier to collect and distill vast data sets into meaningful conclusions, and it provides marketing departments with intelligence you simply struggle to find elsewhere. It’s the kind of inside information that money usually can’t buy – who your players are, what they are wagering on, how long they play for, and where they go, throughout your online casino.
At the same time, big data is useful for more than just tracking what players get up to. It’s also an essential tool for trialling different approaches, making it easy to split test different games, design elements, layouts, promotions, copy – virtually any variable can be plugged into the big data picture, and in real time, provide transparent feedback about what works well, and what doesn’t.
This allows casinos to embark on a never-ending journey towards perfection, responding to the data and tailoring their platforms specifically to the proven behavioural traits and characteristics of their audience. This is most helpful in two key areas – marketing and player retention, respectively, which allow casinos to work on building their customer base more efficiently. For example, many online casinos have a huge range of products including sports betting and bingo games and therefore big data can be used to help cross sell a product.
Big data can be used initially to identify demographics. For example, if a casino knows that the majority of its players are men between the ages of 18-35, they might tailor marketing efforts to other demographics, in order to achieve the growth in user numbers they seek. This might mean targeting advertising messages specifically at other demographics, or it might present opportunities for marketers to apply existing techniques to new geographical markets, for example. The difference here to most businesses is that online casinos have access to the facts and figures to back this up – all collected and processed automatically, thanks to the magic of big data.
Similarly, elements of the marketing offer can be tested effectively through data. One batch of players receives welcome bonus A, another receives welcome bonus B – which make for better customers? Which offer converts at a higher rate? Data points like these can be established to the point of statistical significance, where casinos can know with confidence that their future marketing will drive the desired results. For example, we have a generic welcome bonus for all new players and for existing players we can tailor bonuses dependant their play.
Retention is another key element of growth for any online casino. It’s no use attracting new customers if you’re losing them hand over fist elsewhere – indeed, that marketing spend could be money down the drain if the gaps in the funnel aren’t plugged. Big data allows casinos to get to the heart of what makes their customers tick, and that can be put to good use in boosting retention where problems are identified.
For many casinos, this manifests as an improved offering to specific layers of demographics, or new ongoing promotions and loyalty bonuses, specifically designed to reward certain elements of their ongoing player base. With big data making it easy to identify trends in both directions, casinos can leverage this to their advantage with tailor-made responses that get to the crux of the retention issues they are tackling.
Big data is here to stay, as one of the most effective tools available to the modern marketer. For the larger online casinos, who have access to volumes of internal data, it is possible to break down and interpret these findings in live-time, for virtually instant gains. Simultaneously, the ability to track the impact of your changes means that casinos spend less time and money focusing on stuff that doesn’t work, in favour of laser-targeting resources where it counts, whether it be targeting players who play slots games or players who like to play roulette.
While it needs to rest in the right hands to be effective, it’s no doubt that with benefits like these, big data can indeed be a casino marketer’s best friend.