“Evolution is Common for All Markets,” Interview with Roman Bout, Founder of Quints
“Overall, marketing is a very dynamic environment and iGaming even more so,” states Roman Bout, CEO and founder of Quints.
Quints startup was founded by a group of professionals with extensive experience in online gambling. Their main product is software for affiliate marketing and media marketing. Besides, by using machine learning algorithms, specialists of Quints can forecast the future LTV of players, probability of players leaving the website, and many other things. Together these services can help companies make marketing more efficient.
In the interview for the Russian Gaming Week, Roman told about the advantages of the artificial intelligence used in marketing services, characteristics of effective marketing in online gambling, and main trends that have formed in the field in 2019.
Interviewer:Russian Gaming Week (RGW)
Respondent: Roman Bout (R.B.)
RGW: You have decided to use machine learning in your service. Why have you chosen this tool?
R.B.: Machine learning was chosen as the most efficient tool to analyze big data sets, for example, related to the playing activity of customers, which is impossible to handle manually.
Tasks given to the marketing department include both making classifications (for example, when you solve the task of forecasting players leaving early) and the regression (for predicting the future LTV). Usually, the input data is the individual players’ transaction data, which is also impossible to analyze manually.
RGW: Are there specific examples of how machine learning can be used in iGaming?
R.B.:The most relevant case studies of using machine learning in iGaming is forecasting customer behavior, for example:
- forecasting when the customer stops playing on your website;
- forecasting the lifetime value of the customer;
- detecting VIP players at the early stage of their play;
- detecting fraud and bonus hunting through the analysis of player behavior in the game.
Forecasting these parameters allows marketers to prevent customer churn more efficiently, increase customer loyalty and average bill value of active players, and minimize expenditures on different kinds of fraud and abuse.
RGW: Some experts state that the fashion for affiliate programs in betting is already in the past. Do you agree with this statement?
R.B.: It just seems that the affiliate trend is outdated because a big part of the market belongs to major players, and affiliates are not a high-priority customer acquisition channel for them.
However, this is true onlyfor giants that invested millions in advertising. In such cases, affiliates find it convenient to piggyback on brand inquiries, as the traffic excellently converts without any efforts from their side. Organic growth is the best option for the operator in this case. Here I mean such companies as Fonbet, Winline, Liga Stavok, 1xstavka (in Russia), and Bet365or Paddy Power (globally). Things are good for them even without affiliates.
Nevertheless, these same giants are still present at such platforms as Sports.ruor BookmakersRating.ru, so affiliate traffic is to some extent important evenfor them.
For the rest of the participants, it is a rather important channel, and in some cases, building good relations with affiliates is a guarantee of survival for the business. If the operator is just launching and has no opportunity to invest millions in marketing for several years, he will not survive without affiliate programs. As the global experience shows, even such giants as Betsson, Betway, bwin actively collaborate with affiliates.
RGW: In your opinion, why can a player go to competitors?
R.B.: Firstly, every player has a lifecycle in the game, and it is restricted for every type of gambling. At casinos, it equals to around 8 months, in sports – years, but the demand in the game does not disappear. In other words, anything can happen with the player over this time: a big loss, rude customer support representative, deterioration in service quality, or lagging behind the market in general, I can talk about different reasons for hours.
Besides, if we take the sales funnel, less than 10% of people that make a deposit reach the stage of a “loyal customer”. In such a way, just in terms of math, it turns out that people are leaving for the other platform and you can do nothing about that.
Finally, I will mention the thing that is common for all markets – evolution. There is always someone cooler, with more pleasant marketing, with a new and adapted product. There has never been a single perpetual market leader, at least, in gambling.
RGW: In your opinion, what is the characteristic of efficient marketing in online gambling?
R.B.: It depends on what we are talking about – either the interior KPIof marketing or the so-called WOW effect.
Efficient marketing is the one that brings more money than you spend on it. The following proportion is considered a good one: when the customer acquisition cost (CAC) is at least two times lower than the lifetime value, as it is necessary to cover operational expenditures and make a profit.
Of course, there are many intermediary KPIcharacteristics such as conversion, churn, CAC, etc. It is important to monitor them and make a qualitative segmentation, work with both website visitors and playing users in order to increase the business marginality.
The more money you make on every customer, the more you can spend on acquisition maintaining acceptable profitability.
If the LTV of your players is bigger than of your competitors, you can easily spend more money on customer acquisition. By doing so, you will squeeze your opponents out from advertising platforms and get even more traffic. It is a snowball effect.
RGW: What marketing trends can you single out in the iGaming field?
R.B.: One of the key trends is the active promotion of apps. The minimum that all online platforms do in some way or another is creating a container of their sites and promoting the app. Today you will see a growing number of products not adapted for desktop, as the mobile traffic share is significantly bigger than the desktop.
Further, I would like to mention contextually targeted advertising through social media that is gaining momentum. The popularity of the advertising format that involves media people is growing – they create a cult of their personality on social media and streaming platforms.
Of course, there are many changes. Overall, marketing is a very dynamic environment and iGaming even more so. To make the story short I will mention just one more trend – the migration of the so-called spam traffic from email to push notifications.
The share of mobile traffic is growing, and the skill of avoiding spam filters has become a science not easy to understand. Those who do understand this science can attract fewer customers, as push notifications are easier and more large-scale. In terms of performance efficiency, push notifications outdo email marketing, which was considered the most efficient channel for many years.
RGW: What will you present to attendees of the exhibition area at Russian Gaming Week?
R.B.: We will present our flagship product intended for tracking and optimization of marketing. With Quints, you can streamline your traffic, monitor the KPI of any chosen segment, and use a wide range of tools that are much required today.
One of the tools is the constructor of postbacks, using which you can integrate almost with any advertising network (by the way, the affiliate traffic accounts for more than 50%of revenue in the global online gambling market today). API for affiliates will help to add the remains of the traffic that did not fall under the postback service.
Apart from qualitative expertise (our customers have enough of it), you need a good service that will help to bring together both customer acquisition tools and analytics up-to-the-mark. Our product is designed to solve this task.
Overall, we are trying to customize our tools and rely on what customers need at this specific moment and what will bring profits. Visit our booth and we will gladly show and tell you everything! See you at RGW!