The conference rush continues with the recent SBC North America event. What many have described to be SBC’s best summit yet proved as much fun as it was insightful. The conference boasted community-led talks and panel discussions which spanned sports books, lottery as well as casino. Throughout the guided conversations, common threads came to light that served as pivotal insights for the iGaming industry and beyond. In case you missed the event in New Jersey, here’s a quick snapshot of our key takeaways and upcoming trends.
With Ontario’s market booming, the words on everyone's lips were most notably responsible gambling. The topic of discussion fluttered across perceived upcoming restrictions to more conceptual ideologies of their purpose, holding that, as an industry, we are unanimous in the hope of cultivating a safe space for entertainment. Many heads came together to push for the notion that self-imposed limits are what will lead to a sustainable, successful and safe industry so we must exercise responsibility ourselves in order to avoid external parties imposing them on us.
2.The future is social.
Whether in person or online, our generation of players is craving company. Co-viewing is gaining traction in other industries, social betting is picking up the pace while chat rooms are exploding! As we’ve experienced with our digital bingo offering as well as our experiences with streamers, people enjoy sharing their experiences and take pleasure in socialising while playing. From the early days of sports book outlets, horse tracks and slot machines, betting has had a social element at its core and research proves time and again that this flame continues to burn to this day; it’s time to explore new ways of socialising on the web while gaming!
3.Dopamine is the name of the game.
Another aspect of the industry which became apparent was that certain providers have lost sight of the fact that our industry exists first and foremost to entertain. In this day and age suppliers are focusing more on the money-making element and less on the scope of creating enjoyable, thrilling and light-hearted experiences. This is an area that Relax feels particularly strongly about, remaining in touch with players to ensure the end goal remains the feel-good factor. Providers must focus on creating a user journey that is fun, varied, and authentic in order to give our players their best value for money. If a game is built with the correct level of fairness and entertainment then we can succeed in positive experiences regardless of monetary outcomes. A good way of doing this is looking into the feedback loop of your content and acting on even the most basic criticisms to ensure their needs are being met. Check out Money Train 2, Iron Bank or Temple Tumble 2 Dream Drop for examples of this.
4.Inspired people inspire people!
Another aspect covered widely during the conference was that of brand building and its role in the gambling space. Taking a different perspective, Sharon Otterman, CMO of Caesars Digital veered away from lead-generating and player-centric campaigns commonly discussed and instead drove a more intrinsic point home - that great brands must live on the inside before they live on the outside, a notion that resonated with us and truly reflects Relax’s internal philosophy. Investing in people, technology, and content will create a team culture where where members live and breathe the brand, this will undeniably spill over into their work and audiences, which in turn can generate phenomenal results. Could this be the key to attracting legal-aged Gen Z?
5.It’s all about speed and simplicity.
This is not news, but perhaps many of us are unaware of the magnitude of this statement. In a recent report published by Google, 53% of mobile website visitors were observed to ’bounce’ away from a webpage that took more than just 3 seconds to load. To boot, (legal-aged) Gen Z were discovered to have increasingly low attention spans, and their behaviour involves multiple mental stimulants acting at once, such as gambling while their favourite series is running or while online shopping. This sheds light on many different aspects of the entertainment client journey. We must be mindful of the fact that this segment of our audience is no longer giving our content their undivided attention, therefore their journey must entail the least clicks possible. We’ve seen this first hand at Relax where our mobile optimisation methods saw almost instant retention results in relation to slots, bingo and especially poker. Tech, speed and simplicity have never been more crucial.
6.Meet players were they are.
The marketing floor has opened up even wider than ever before, with Tiktok, Instagram, podcasts, influencers, and so many more audio-visual platforms joining the arena. In fact, despite their smaller network, niche influencers are found to be generating better results and delivering much more value than mass influencers or affiliates in most cases. Leading back to the common denominator of authenticity, credibility and familiarity these personalities add an edge that the original marketing mix cannot satisfy. Tailoring game elements to occasions, gender differences, and being human across all platforms play a key part in today’s market. At Relax, we like to use Instagram stories on the fly, speaking to our colleagues about topics of interest, recording exciting happenings at events and daily at our offices. Promotional efforts must go beyond the demographics we once knew and the platforms we’re used to, genuine marketing and real-time excitement are definitely on the cards for the future of marketing in the gaming industry.
There you have it, our top 6 takeaways from SBC Summit North America, we hope you’ll find them as insightful and interesting as we did. Drop us a line to share some of your own tips or talk takeaways, until then, we’ll see you at SBC Barcelona!