Digital marketing in gaming – It's time to get aggressive
In World War II, the scourge of the Allied Fleet was the U-Boat. The Nazi submersible had a shot to hole rate that would make Tiger Woods jealous. There was very little reason that the Allies could not have afforded their counterparts the same punishment – they had perfectly good boats by 1940's standards), the same torpedo set up and crucially, they were defending an island – something that would have motivated any sailor to get happy on the triggers.
The reason there was such a disparity came down to briefing. The Admiralty ordered British submarines to defend the shipping channels against and undersea attack. A very British approach.
Whereas the German sea lord's command said something like: – "If it's not our wolfgang, sink ze bastard".
When it comes to your digital acquisition strategy, the comparison is straightforward: –
Do you want banners that 'float' on the surface and reactively promote your brand, or do you want 'predators' that take an aggressive stance and beat your competitors into waving a white flag of submission?
The analogy here is not about copy and offers leading the battle for new players. It's about the delivery opportunities available to target players in a personal, direct and more relevant manner.
The 'floating' banners refer to the standard Gif or Flash banner that has become to norm in any gaming marketer's toolkit. Safe, reliable and, until now, effective if placed in the right media, with the right frequency and with a temptation enough carrot to draw through new players. As marketing devices, they have become little more than wallpaper.
They are static, dull and entirely reliant on the audience to notice them and give them a click. As such, response rates have sunk dramatically in recent years.
'Predator' banners come in many shapes and forms. At the hardcore end of the scale would be the Phorm data driven experiment that BT just had its knuckles rapped for. Basically, by 'spying' on user habits, advertisers could tailor their offering specifically for an individual. However, there was a problem, as the venerable Sir Tim Berners-Lee pointed out last month.
He compared the kind of deep-packet inspection deployed by Phorm and others to reading people's letters. "It's opening the envelope and looking inside," he said. "It's the internet equivalent of wire tapping."
And as the gaming industry drives to maintain a squeaky clean image of self regulation, that does not sound like a viable option. On a less legally fragile tip would be live update banners. Using XML feeds you can show real time odds, jackpots, sign up bonuses – anything you like – all in the traditional banner space.
The great thing about live feed updates is that you can do it now. Immediately. This second. It's not 'next generation' technology, but technology you could implement within a week if you had a budget and a couple of email addresses.
For a poker room or a casino live banners are an incredibly effective means of displaying upcoming tournaments, prize funds, affiliate deals, bingo schedules and time specific sign up bonuses – all in real time.
For sports books, they are an essential. With the proliferation of in game betting, any sports book who can not display second by second odds updates within the online banner space will be left behind. Of that there is little question.