World Cup: And the winner is…

By Nana Obeng-Manu

Mark McGuinness asks what offers affiliates should promote to win the hearts, minds and wallets of World Cup punters

The pending World Cup is likely to usher in a whole host of marketing offers and gimmicks aimed at increasing market share and profits for sportsbooks. But what offers should affiliates promote to win the hearts, minds and share of wallets, asks Mark McGuinness.

BC. No, not before Jesus. I mean, “before bitcoin” and the decentralised internet and crypto-enabled powered sportsbooks. I’m talking about back in the days when our society had to wait for almost everything. A standard international cheque took weeks to send by snail-mail, never mind trying to cash it. Oh, and a wire transfer wasn't much faster. How did we survive those incongruous times and situations?

Fast-forward a few years, and the digital revolution brings with it the need for speed and immediate instant gratification, whereby we are tethered to our devices and enslaved to the necessary technology.

Just like our coffee, everything is about instant gratification and communication, for our always digitally connected and demanding society. This, of course, has had an equal and opposite reaction and has resulted in the goldfish effect or DAD – digital attentive disorder. It is affecting our willingness to be patient and, dare I say, wait in either a physical line or virtual one at the registration, deposit, betting and withdrawals pages.

Instant communication abounds, from messaging apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Telegram. Digital consumers now measure communication and customer fulfilment and/or satisfaction responses in seconds, not minutes, not hours or even days. With the likes of Uber, we track our taxi in minutes, with Tinder well we locate potential partners to date in half the time...

Time restraints Time, of course, is our mortal enemy, in the sense that we neither have enough of it nor can we buy more of it as a commodity, although perhaps Tesla will be selling it soon. In fact, if you are reading this article, some publishing platforms now suggest a time length in which to read.

Take the gambling industry and pending World Cup in Russia. Before Bitcoin was adopted as a payment method, players had to endure not only a tedious registration process but a limited means to deposit and bet. It was not a frictionless process.

Furthermore, if you won your bet you had to wait days before it hit your bank account, which varied considerably from operator to operator. And woe betide the player who hit the jackpot at the weekend or on a bank holiday – even longer waiting times.

In today’s digital economy, satisfaction, as we stated, is measured in the time it takes for a service provider [the sportsbook] to complete a player’s request.

Avoid promotional gimmicks Affiliates should avoid the promotional incentive gimmicks given the headwinds around this form of advertising, and they should focus on promoting operator brands that have the best fulfilment on accessing their winnings in the shortest time, as an example.  After all, it’s the players’ money and you should be able to access it as quickly as possible, right?

All digital businesses should make the time metric central to the customer experience charter and to customer satisfaction. And for those igaming operators that do not recognise time as a satisfaction or customer experience component –  well, they shall undoubtedly struggle to recruit and retain players in the digital gambling economy which ultimately affects the affiliates’ potential to convert and monetise its traffic funnel.

Only time will tell. But perhaps it will just be the affiliates that focus on the drivers of player behaviour and satisfaction –  as opposed to short-term promotions that really are just a race to the marketing bottom –  that will ultimately win out. Mark McGuinness has more than 22 years’ experience in digital marketing director roles with private and public igaming operators. He currently serves as the resident igaming futurologist and CMO of BetOlimp and is the founder of a resource for gamers and sports bettors who wish to start betting on esports.

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