18 May, 2021

99 problems but B&M ain't one

Igaming CRM consultant Shahar Attias speaks about geo-marketing and how proximity dictates gravitational pull.

There's an old saying in real-estate that the three most important words are: "Stay dressed, please". But the naked truth is that reality is even simpler: it's all about location. Now why would an igaming CRM consultant even be remotely interested in anything outside the internet? To me, location, location, location simply means that I hold a workshop in a different country, three times a month. Well, you may have heard about this COVID thing? It's even been on the news, a couple of times.

Although I mostly work with online gambling operations, some of my clients also have an offline presence, mainly in the regulated markets. Clearly, 2020 was a stellar year for anything that's digital, but the brick-and-mortar aspect of any omni-channel activity has dramatically declined, if not completely halted, throughout the vast majority of the previous year or so.

Fast-forward to Q2 2021, and as the world is learning to slowly beat that damn pandemic and trust the scientific community, the need came to start driving traffic back to the casino halls. It doesn't seem right to send players away from their gaming devices just so they can sit in front of masked dealers. But it's a fact that players who are active on several verticals/venues are more loyal, and internal cross-sell increases wallet size, rather than generates product cannibalism. We CRM people aim to do exactly that. If you've got something that can somehow contribute to lifetime value, we won't ask questions and we'll do it. Even if in this specific case what we've got here is a user journey from the upside-down dimension.

The case in question is within a single US state in which nearly all players are using native apps rather than Web/HTML5, and the regulator requirement is that each user will also install a third-party GPS tracking app that allows location monitoring in order to prevent unlawful play from across designated borders. Again, the request from CRM was to come up with a personalised campaign for existing users, and help push players back to visit the resort itself, specifically during off-peak (mid-week) days, and the main communication channel is going to be the push notification capability embedded within the official gaming app.

What are the "stay dressed, please" when it comes to geo-marketing? Here are my three Ps:


Location is dynamic, at least with other people who actually lead some kind of social lives. As such, we can't treat all users the same without first considering their whereabouts. So let's build hoops around the final destination: half mile, three miles and 10 miles. The entry point can't be too far away, otherwise our messages will lose their relevancy. Speaking of which, now we need to create different messages to be served according to the various hoops the user is breaching, or changing the tone according to their (hopefully) shrinking distance, since content should differ between 10 miles away as opposed to walking distance. It's simply a matter of jumping through different hoops.


The key would be to be able to personalise the communication and make it more attractive based on the relevant info that we already have stored under their profile. It doesn't have to be super segmented or advanced, but if we could have different sets based on male or female, big or casual spender and maybe even preference towards slots or table games play, it will help us to boost the conversion ratio. Again, in this weird marketing funnel, the stages are based on distance and the target is reached once the player is seated next to an old lady who plays Buffalo Slots. Much like the online experience, in which we alter the messages according to the time passed since the users' registration combined with additional factors like logged-in right now vs. offline, demo game session result, failed deposit attempt and KYC status, this extra layer of personalisation allows us further flexibility with the content we create.


In order to remain effective, we have to apply certain rules, like 'no further communications for a certain amount of time and within certain hours.' We have to keep it fresh. Since we're now outside the virtual domain, we need to remember that some rude people may go through our hoops on their way to work, the supermarket, a yoga class or some other activities that non-gaming humans occasionally do. Unless of course, your players are yoga instructors with day jobs as cashiers in the supermarket that could somewhat skew the analysis process. Anyway, we want the message to arrive not only to the right player, but, obviously, at the right time.

To summarise, we should keep it fresh, relevant and interesting. Our user journeys are now based on different messages according to how far the players are from the property, who they are, and ensuring the send-out times fit the segment habits.

• 10 miles away: "Missing some reels activity? Every Tuesday we run tournaments with thousands of dollars in giveaways"
• 3 miles away: "Easiest 20 free spins you have ever had - join our Tuesday Slots Tournament tonight"
• Half-mile away: "We are just few walking minutes away. Come and claim what's rightfully yours"

Tweaking the parameters:

• Adopting the content according to the day and time (late evening communications, for instance, can even be more adult oriented.) • Focusing on roulette or blackjack instead of slots, and adjust the "Start at as little as…" with recorded gaming history • Labeling it as "Ladies Night" instead of a Tournament or as a group discount offer on drinks
Such a campaign is quite heavy on resources and there are many different options in order to fit the exact time and positioning. To begin with, there's also a need to access a player's device GPS and trigger movement through hoops as part of a hyper real-time journey. It's not just big data, it's huge. The key problem is not even with data storage but with the way you can "weaponise" the connection between the different bits of info, which has different kinds of meaning according to the users' dynamic location.

To conclude: the above is a very good way to begin to unlock a new aspect in our already super sexy & vibrant lifestyle as CRM experts, by paying attention to an additional parameter we tend to otherwise disregard: Life.

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