We Are Postmodern
Published 28th May 2015
“Wednesday are the best day for sending emails,” she said, “followed by Tuesdays and Thursdays.” You can see her, standing there, arms folded. Confident. She knows. Except that she’s wrong. When’s the best time to send an email to a player? When the player is most likely to be receptive to the particular message you want to give them… or, better, that they want to receive. Welcome to postmodern marketing. This isn’t about marketing to the masses; there are no masses in a postmodern world. If you haven’t segmented by predictive value, recency, frequency, platform, game choice, average bet, time zone, you’re effectively spamming, but now on multiple platforms instead of just email. Postmodern marketing goes far beyond the idea of “content” marketing. “Differentiation through information” has been the intelligent marketer’s tool for years, generations even. It’s not just about “contextual marketing,” although that’s arguably way more relevant in postmodern marketing. Of course, with “contextual,” you recognise what your prospect is doing, where they are, what the weather’s like where they are, time of day - maybe even mindset if you’ve thought deep enough - and serve creative appropriately. But please don’t think of “re-targeting” as a postmodern trick until the adservers figure out that, “Hey, I’ve already bought that flight, hotel, chair, trousers” and shut the hell up about it. That time has passed, your message is no longer relevant. You are out of context unless your retargeting efforts are contextual. In the world of player acquisition, you often need proxies as you don’t have sufficient data on the prospect to convert them properly.
Thankfully, players are creatures of habit, so that casino or bingo player that hits your site at 7pm, or 7am, is leaving at least a hint of the appropriate contact time (sports bettors are always in before the last minute before the game and poker players you can always poke, the fiends!). What else can you discern from their channel, on-site behaviour and registration data? How do they line up with existing players from a demographic (use that postcode!) and psychographic perspective? The answer is in the data. The more data you can gather, the better your targeting and messaging is, which for postmodern players, it needs to be! So your constant and persistent efforts to know your players better pays off not only for managing existing players (“how did you know I love roses?”, one ecstatic bingo VIP exclaimed, forgetting that we asked about her favourite flower, drink, meal, in a survey months ago) but also as a guide to your new prospects with minimal data. “Modern” marketing techniques persist of course, prime time TV ads shotgunning for players isn’t going to just stop (until you can target individual households courtesy of their Sky boxes), but the more personalised one-to-one feeling communications of proper postmodern marketing are far more cost-effective. Also core to postmodern marketing is the messaging itself. Every thirdparty, non-industry marketer looks at our combined effort and says “wtf ?!”. Same messages everywhere (“Free £10 bet” “Spend £10 get £50”) that speak only to the initiated. When you do see significant growth, you can be sure it’s the result of new product that appeals to a segment beyond the casino or bingo player; someone looking for a moment’s distraction but with content they have heard of (e.g. Coronation Street) and a brand that they can trust. As my clients look to tap into Facebook traffic, I have to break the years of habit of thinking that they are talking to “online casino players” and change their messaging. Why are they talking about live dealers to obvious slots players? What’s a 150% match bonus to someone who is used to playing for free, or the few who invest in social games with no expectation of return other than the experience? The messaging that made sense in modern marketing doesn’t apply if you’re looking to actually grow your player base in a postmodern world. Is postmodern marketing multi-channel, omni-channel, b2b, b2c, o2o? Yes.
You know postmodern players are on multiple devices (if everyone was still only on PCs downloading products to desktop, those modern marketing techniques that worked great for Casino-on-net in 1998 would still apply), used differently during the day. Identifying the best communications channel through those devices, at the best time, with the right message is the postmodern marketer’s challenge. Sound familiar? When direct marketing emerged as a force post-World War II, getting the right message to the right person was the goal. Now add at the right time on the right device and complexity is not doubled but increased exponentially. Thankfully, so is its effectiveness.