Following the acquisition of Kumulos earlier in the year, Optimove voiced deep expectation that accelerated growth driven by this “natural fit” would take the group to the next stage.
At last month’s ICE London, Rony Vexelman, VP Marketing at Optimove, spoke of this crucial purchase, accelerating its message personalisation capabilities, the necessity of promoting safer gambling practices, and much more.
CasinoBeats: You recently detailed the purchase of Kumulos, how crucial was this in achieving your next stage of growth?
Rony Vexelman: Acquiring Kumulos is key to Optimove’s continued growth in the industry. Over the years we became the go-to CRM marketing platform for the gaming industry because of our ability to unify player data, make it available to CRM marketers, and provide them with tools to orchestrate campaigns across channels.
However, more and more, we are seeing requests to not only orchestrate but also execute the communications natively within our platform.
In the past we released a native email service and have seen nearly 70 per cent of customers adopt it. The next most used channels by gaming operators are mobile and web, so naturally it made sense for us to offer those.
We foresee existing clients will adopt the new offering at a similar rate while it also helping us win new business from operators looking for a true all-in one CRM marketing platform.
CB: How important was it to add such local messaging powers to the Optimove operation?
RV: This was extremely important for us as it helps us improve operator efficiency and messaging personalisation. The first thing is efficiency. At the end of the day, we as people want to be able to get our work done as easily as possible. This is even truer for our users, who historically have had to jump between a number of platforms to get their player journeys up and running.
Being able to offer them a one-stop-shop for all their CRM marketing needs is a huge step for their experience and effectiveness. By adding these native mobile and web messaging capabilities we are considerably reducing the time it takes an operator to launch a new campaign.
The second one is personalisation. By now owning the message delivery on additional channels, we can offer our customers greater control over their marketing messages. This means, for example, that they can now use any single data point within their unified player data to personalise, customise, and dynamically adapt mobile and web messages (in addition to pre-existing email capabilities).
CB: Building upon this last question, what importance do you believe personalised player communications play in ensuring retention and reducing churn?
RV: Personalisation is the be all, end all when it comes to ensuring retention and reducing churn. But those goals cannot be achieved just by adding a player’s first name to a message. In order to truly impact those metrics, personalisation has to be deep. This means leveraging all your player data to firstly create granular segments that represent player moments.
Everything from a first deposit to a big win or a series of losses. Secondly, using that data to determine the best message for each player at any given time, something that is humanly impossible to do at scale and for which successful operators are using Optimove today.
And only finally, its about using that data to personalise the message itself. Increased retention and reduced churn are only attainable by personalizing at those three stages.
CB: What safer gambling challenges does offering such messaging pose? How are these overcome?
RV: Although more messaging capabilities can pose a challenge to marketers who want to promote safer gambling practices, we believe that in the case the opposite will occur. By providing native mobile and web messaging capabilities, in addition to native email, we are giving operators more control over their player messages.
This means operators can now leverage Optimove’s smart orchestration to oversee all marketing communications in a compliant way. Operators can automatically suppress self-excluded players, re-route players who are displaying harmful behaviours from promotional to educational messages, and even be proactive by leveraging predictive models to anticipate harmful behaviour.
CB: In addition to offering free spins etc…can these communications also send safer gambling messages to players? How impactful do you expect these to be?
RV: Of course, as I mentioned, it is imperative these new messaging capabilities be used as part of a safe gambling strategy that ensures the wellbeing of each operator’s players. Examples could include leveraging in-app messaging to remind players to update their personal limits, sending push notifications for those who have not set their communication preferences, and as I outlined, suppressing promotional messages altogether for specific players as needed.
Our experience shows that players who are targeted with a cohesive and comprehensive (promotional and educational messages) have a longer relationship with the operator. As such, we encourage all our customers to create these comprehensive strategies and leverage our advanced orchestration framework to prioritise the wellbeing of their players.
CB: Once fully integrated, how will this enhanced solution reduce time wasted for operators and marketeers?
RV: By being able to perform all aspects of the marketing workflow within a single system, operators and marketers will see much faster time to value.
Marketers have a complex role, they have to go from analytical thinking when analysing their customer base and segmenting it, to creative thinking when crafting the message, they want to communicate to strategic thinking when deciding which channel to use. Imagine the time it would take to complete all those tasks across three or four different platforms.
With Optimove, operators and marketers can now do it all in a single place, gaining unprecedented speed. As a result of using our native email platform, we’ve seen Optimove clients reduce campaign launch times from 4.5 hours to 10 minutes. There is no reason to believe this won’t be the case once again now that they can create mobile marketing messages directly within Optimove.