Social media marketing has been around for long enough now (Twitter since 2006) to be an integral and strategic necessity for all online marketers, whether it’s an affiliate working from his couch or a media buyer working in a shining London office tower. In fact, a website isn’t really a website until its social graph is in place and its social sharing widgets are dominantly displayed at the top and bottom of every page. For years, digital marketers have utilised one or often several of the many business softwares on the market to help them more easily deploy, manage and monitor their social media marketing campaigns. Equipped with tools and fancy dashboards, digital marketers (including me not long ago) watched the volume of social traffic on their overall stats grow without really knowing the exact impact of a tweet or social share on our businesses.
Brands and the boundaries of virality
And yet, most digital marketers are missing or just overlooking one tiny insignificant detail of the equation: one can never predict how far their tweet or social share will go. And while crossing oceans might make you look bright and smart in front of your peers, the heavy regulation to which the gaming industry must comply not only has a direct financial/fiscal cost, but it will inevitably lead you to waste valuable traffic. Indeed, a tweeted promotion targeting the UK via a funny image or message may also be viewed in several jurisdictions including those in South America or Africa. The further the better you may say… The downside of your viral success is the simple fact that some brands will simply not accept visitors or bets from certain jurisdictions. While the tweet has been entertaining for the visitor, that entertaining moment will fade away with the annoying message popping up on his screen saying: “Sorry, we don’t accept players from your country”. It’s frustrating to say the least, both for the user and for you the marketer, despite the total viral reach of your campaign. So no matter how talented and creative a media buyer you are, you’re forced to suck it up as a cost of doing business and live with the fact that a portion of your traffic will just go to waste!
From trash to cash
It does however depend on which side of the fence you sit. Media buyers can cry over these imaginary lost players, but if you’re an agency or an affiliate, you live by different rules. You didn’t swear allegiance to any particular brand or jurisdiction and can actually do something about it. Your hands are free to act according to your best financial interests. Like mercenaries you can, and surely should, find ways to squeeze additional revenues, regardless of the regulations or rules in place. Knowing how much general and particularly social traffic is simply wasted isn’t that hard to find out. You just have to turn on your Google Analytics and open your acquisition reports. Breaking it down by country will open a world of untapped opportunities. The opportunity is a simple equation: If a click is from Jurisdiction A and “Brand X” doesn’t have a licence to accept bets from Jurisdiction A, then redirect traffic to “Brand Y” or “Brand B” or “Brand C”, which do. Operators can’t do this – but as independent marketers or affiliates, you are not operators subject to their regulations – so why not? It’s true that the player might think: “Strange, I clicked on a “Brand X” banner and reached “Brand Y”…. Yet, isn’t the user experience far more rich when they don’t experience rejection and get what they want?? While some will find reasons and valid points to argue with this method, everyone in the gaming industry food chain gains from better tracking and optimized traffic management so why not happily live with this little compromise?
Back to my point – data-driven marketing doesn’t necessarily have to be a scary concept involving geeks, big data and huge data centres. In fact, the most basic datadriven marketing tactics are at your finger tips and can be implemented quickly and efficiently, via free or inexpensive cloud based applications (SaaS). Just take a step back, understand the granularities of your traffic, and funnel it to the most suitable landing pages to optimize user engagement, conversions and revenues. While it sounds like a huge mission, you should know that beyond Google Analytics, other business apps allow you to collect, store and analyze data. Some even allow you to program certain messages to be triggered if and when visitors perform a certain action or are identified by a certain attribute. Data is everywhere. No matter what you do, how you do it and when you do it, data points are being hit and data is being collected. This data is very valuable, if and only if, you can apply marketing processes to achieve more. If 10 years, ago, we were downloading data into Excel and building pivot tables to find correlations and have our analysts come up with conclusions, nowadays, we have the ability to process this data in real-time and trigger personalized marketing messages – whether via email, SMS, calls or display advertising – that a particular player or segment of player will receive at the right moment and on the right device.
Imagine the case where one of your UK players is traveling. Since you do not accept traffic in the jurisdiction of the traveler, it is very likely that your website will deny the player access and probable that the wallet won’t allow deposits. Since you’re not violating any laws, you should be able to facilitate access to this player and not lose revenues. First of all, cookies are still very useful to identify and personalize your web application based on user behavior. So if a UK user is identified as trying to connect from the same computer/browser/session but from elsewhere, you can and should automatically trigger your system to allow its connection, bets and deposits. While cookies are good, you can also identify from which locations this particular user is opening the promotional email you just sent. And while you’re at it, why not trigger a personalized message saying: “Hope you’re enjoying your trip, and don’t forget you can play on our mobile app on the go!” As you realize, there are many different ways data can be used to improve your bottom line. It’s just a matter of collecting the right data and integrating it with the applications that will allow you to better serve your customers and eventually improve your bottom line! Without going that far, and while the first steps are the hardest to take, it would be “criminal” not to implement advanced, or even basic, rule-based traffic management processes. After all, you owe it to yourself, your company and your employees to prevent wasted clicks, allow maximum conversions and grow revenues. Nuff said.
“It’s true that the player might think: ‘Strange, I clicked on a Brand X banner and reached Brand Y’. Yet, isn’t the user experience far richer when they don’t experience rejection and get what they want??”
“The most basic data-driven marketing tactics are at your finger tips and can be implemented quickly and efficiently, via free or inexpensive cloud based applications (SaaS).”