Roman Bout: Russian bookmakers show great progress in marketing

Roman Bout: Russian bookmakers show great progress in marketing

Are Russian bookmakers ready to allocate huge budget for marketing and promote their products involving qualified marketers? Speaker of Betting Trends Forum, an expert on online marketing Roman Bout (CEO at Quintessence) is convinced that the industry is following the path of progress. The western colleagues are still well ahead of the local ones, although obvious changes to the best are visible. However, the betting sector in Russia has difficulties that impede effective promotion and sometimes lead to a difficult path. In an interview with the press service of Betting Trends Forum Roman Bout described both the advances and failures of Russian bookmakers in marketing.

Interviewer: Betting Trends Forum (BTF)
Speaker: Roman Bout (R.B.)

BTF: Roman, you’ve been working in marketing for several years now. How successful are Russian bookmakers in marketing today, in your opinion? How many of them use advanced strategies?

R.B.: In the past few years there has been noticeable progress. Bookmakers learned to find the right platforms and place their successful formats of creatives with a well-developed message. It can be said that real competition has started in the online sector, encouraging companies to improve the current methods of work and introduce new ones. I like the way bookmakers act to attract new customers.

At the same time, we are still very far behind the Western colleagues as for retaining the players. But this is absolutely normal, since marketing always begins with attraction, and later, when the cost of attracting new traffic becomes too high due to the constantly growing competition, bookmakers are beginning to understand that it is necessary to work actively to increase the average check and retain the client base in order to have the opportunity to pay more for new customers, while maintaining the usual level of the business marginality.

In Russia, there is an acute shortage of competent specialists in retention marketing, so it is not surprising that we are much weaker in this field compared to foreign companies.

BTF: What are the common problems faced by bookmakers when promoting their business?

R.B.: There are a lot of problems, but I’m competent in marketing, so I will cover them only. As I’ve mentioned above, this is a shortage of qualified specialists. The market itself is very small, and experts from other areas are not eager to work in the gambling business. We have to train our specialists, and it's always takes much time, money, and the result is unknown.

Other problems are, more likely, a consequence: due to the lack of brain-boxes, bookmakers cannot pay enough attention in order to accurately identify the problems of their products, the reasons for customers leaving, as well as to correct errors within a short time.

All this results in a low LTV index (how much the company earns on a customer for its life cycle) and a high churn rate.

BTF: Today Russia has restrictions on advertising for bookmakers. How do you think, do they affect negatively the industry development? Should the community seek to abolish these restrictions?

R.B.: Fortunately, recently there have been positive changes: restrictions became weaker. Now bookmakers can legally reach the target audience on thematic platforms. Of course, the restrictions don’t give a chance to implement retargeting in full. However, it is worth noting that during the years of severe restrictions bookmakers have learned how to get out and find opportunities to promote their product.

From my point of view, at this particular moment, restrictions on advertising are not the main problem. Undoubtedly, lifting of the restrictions would improve financial results, but the same goals can be achieved by other methods.

BTF: You specialize in increasing the average bookmaker’s check to 50%. Is it true that today every bookmaker in Russia can increase profit by 50%? Does the market provide possibilities for this?

R.B.: First of all, a little clarification, my project specializes in increasing LTV of customers to 50%. For ease of understanding, LTV is sometimes called the average check from a client, that is, how much profit the client will bring for the entire playing time.

Of course, to talk about every bookmaker is incorrect. In some companies, traditionally some companies have stronger teams of marketers, others – weaker. Nevertheless, a well-developed strategy for segmenting the audience with subsequent contacts, based on various triggers is quite a rare case. Most often, retention is limited to a calendar of template mailings with a pair of selected segments. It is not quite the thing players would like to receive.

BTF: At Betting Trends Forum, you will talk about online marketing on the eve of the World Cup. How universal is your advice? Are they applicable to other situations (for example, to other large sports events)?

R.B.: I believe that marketing is not a beautiful advertising during a large sports event; it is daily painstaking work. My recommendations will be primarily aimed at understanding how the interaction between bookmakers and players works. The World Cup is just an excellent newsworthy event, but it shouldn’t determine the company’s global marketing strategy. It is just a case when one should fix the roof before it starts to rain.

We will discuss several cases, figuring out how to increase the company’s profit and issues that should be taken into account for achieving high results in a short time.

Do you want to listen to practical advice on how to promote your company from an expert? Come to Betting Trends Forum!

Online registration and purchase of tickets are available on the website

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