Real-time CRM, or the ability to identify and engage with individual players like VIPs, manage the in-game experience, and provide timely and personalised engagements triggered in real-time, is the nirvana which all Real Money Gaming (RMG) operators should be moving towards.
However, when it comes to making real-time CRM a reality, the RMG industry has historically been held back more than most by fragmented data – unlike retail apps and mobile games. This is because of the data-gap that often exists between the operator, which holds the CRM data, and the platform provider which holds the in-game player data.
While there are occasions where the platforms do share player data with the operators, the data is rarely complete and the operator is unable to integrate real-time CRM triggers, to activate live engagements. However, we are seeing an increasing appetite among game platforms and operators to share access to game data, and operators to vertically integrate game platforms through merger and acquisition.
Show me the data
At the moment however the situation is this: currently the platform providers mostly don’t make live player data available, so fewer processes have been developed to engage in real-time CRM marketing. This means many operators are actually missing out on marketing activities that are available with the data they possess.
Let’s face it, a lot of casino games are quite homogenous. If an operator were able to use game data in real-time to improve payer experiences, it would give them a huge point of differentiation.
While the single player view is the end game, achieving that goal needs to be done through incremental changes. There are three key stages that operators should be moving towards, even when they have limited data at their disposal.
Getting started with Account data
Email and push messaging is hugely effective for engaging and retaining players. Using account CRM data without game data, operators can still create powerful but simple segments to engage with players in a targeted way.
Using this data, you can segment players’ betting preferences based on their history of depositing, whether it be focused on a particular game or a sport.
You can start by directing small value depositors to low stake games, high spenders to higher stake games. You can identify your VIPs by spend and engage in rewarding and encouraging them as a segment. You can respond quickly to changes in depositing behaviour and try to re-engage players who have lapsed with gifts and offers. And most of all, you can stop irritating people who only bet on football with emails about horse racing!
Additional restricted access to game data
This is likely to include game data such as the bets a player makes or their interactions with the game, the length of time they spend on a game, when they play and how often they return.
With this, you can start to make your email and push notifications much more relevant, and more timely. For example, you should be able to identify not just the sport, but team affinities. You can evaluate pathways to becoming a VIP, and pre-cursors to lapsing, which can bring into play the potential of cross promoting games that lead players into greater levels of depositing, or that are successful at re-engaging lapsing players.
With just CRM data, you can see that a player may make sports bets or play slots, but by enhancing it with some game data, you can identify their favourite team and when they are most active on slots; targeting accordingly.
Complete access to game data for real-time CRM
With compete access to the game data, you can completely understand player journeys by analysing data sent from events set-up in the game. You can build funnels that show drop-off by stage during the first time user experience, enabling you to analyse churn by player segments, derived from data mining, to create and test highly targeted campaigns or personalised in-game sign-posting, to maximise retention.
You can create micro-segments within your existing VIP segments, and direct them to the experiences they’ll love, offering them rewards that you know they’ll engage with. You can start to provide multi-channel offers to enable betting on one game, to earn credits for another. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. In addition, more complex data management and engagement strategies can also come into play, such as managing problem gaming behaviours and detecting potential fraud in real-time.
Although the RMG industry has always been heavily focused on acquisition, having greater access to more complete data will enable operators to break this costly acquisition and player disposal cycle and focus on improving the player experience and extending lifetime values.
While the industry plays catch-up to other more advanced sectors, the incentive for operators and game platforms to better share and utilise player data is huge.