THE FUTURE OF SPORTSBOOK PERSONALISATION
Exclusive interview for SBC News
Some of the leading suppliers to the sports betting industry offered their insights into the future for sportsbook personalisation based on automated customer segmentation, advanced behavioural analysis and predictive AI-driven models.
SBC: What role does pricing and risk have to play in the differentiation of a sportsbook offering?
AF: There is no doubt whatsoever that pricing and risk are key aspects in the differentiation of a sportsbook offering. With the player presented with a myriad of betting sites from which to choose to place his bet, operators must be able to deliver not only a comprehensive sportsbook offering, but more importantly one with distinct differentiation from the competition.
Larger sports-betting operators are well aware of this, and by offering bespoke pricing models they ensure they are providing their players with a more involving and engaging betting experience. Not only do they ensure that their offerings stand out from the crowded marketplace, but through this approach they also place their brand in an optimal position in terms of player acquisition and retention.
Price differentiation must be flexible, allowing operators to tackle single regions to offer boosted odds for any single particular event, even at a local level. By going this extra mile, bookies will be ensuring that they are distinguishing themselves from the competition.
However, this pricing flexibility must be matched with adequate risk management on a platform level, with operators having the choice to limit player activity according to different clusters or segments. This ultimately relies on the capabilities of the said platform to assimilate and process player data, and predict player activities on a real-time basis to optimize the whole risk management process.
SBC: How can operators build on their customer analytics to both enhance player experience and drive higher margins?
AF: Player experience and margins are two distinct yet deeply intertwined fields which operators, especially in the more mature and saturated markets such as Europe, nowadays simply cannot ignore. Luckily for them a lot of data is generated by players in different formats whenever they are active and eventually place a bet. Operators nowadays are in a position to be constantly fed with data streams about all aspects concerning each individual player’s activity.
Platforms have and are constantly evolving under this aspect, with the main aim to place bookmakers in the optimal position to deliver an augmented user experience, which in turn maximizes the player lifecycle, and which results in healthier and more profitable margins. This is the cycle that the most advanced sportsbook platforms on the market should be able to achieve in a seamless and holistic manner.
Our Neuron platforms are constantly feeding operators on a real-time basis with essential info regarding how their players interact, what their preferred content is, how long they play, and the amounts gambled, amongst a myriad of other things.
All this data, if used correctly, will enable operators to create a 360-degree profile for each and every player, with in-depth insights regarding the various characteristics that compile each profile. But it is essential for the operators to have at their disposal the right tools to process this information, and translate these data feeds in an environment where the individual player is placed at the heart of the whole UX, eventually resulting in better engagement, and subsequently more revenue.
SBC: How can AI and analytics be used to personalise and tailor the sports betting experience?
AF: There is no single and predefined character profile that fits an individual player. If this would be the case, this would totally preclude the whole concept of bettering the user experience through a tailored and personalized experience.
To truly realize the benefits of AI and analytics for sports betting you have to imagine a scenario where a gambler, on a typical Sunday, and using a smartphone device, with all the major football leagues’ events occurring within practically the same time window is attempting to place a betting ticket with no technology filtering and segmenting the offerings according to his preferences. The end result? A cacophony of information resulting in a chaotic user experience and poor engagement.
The solution to this is personalization, a hype-word which has been over-used in iGaming, but which still sees the industry lagging behind other entertainment industries. The tailoring of the player experience relies solely on the technological proficiency that the operator has at his disposal.
Because even though most platforms offer some form of customized user experience, only a select few offer the opportunity for advanced player segmentation based on his previous activities resulting in a highly augmented sports betting UX on an individual level.
A player can be classified as a live casino player, or fall under the segment of an avid football punter, whilst at the same time also being a potential daily racer. It all boils down to the platform’s technological impetus to assimilate and process all the data generated by the player on a real time basis, with the platform then able to predict a players betting pattern and recommend content accordingly.
SBC: A lot has been said recently about gamification, what can it do for sportsbook?
AF: Gamification is still relatively new in terms of sports betting, but there is no doubt that it is set to revolutionize the sports betting scene in the short to mid term period. Being able to offer an additional layer of entertainment to the usual betting approach will undoubtedly bolster player interaction, engagement and retention. Essentially it is a win-win situation for players and operators alike, with players receiving rewards for a predetermined bet or set of bets performed from their side, whilst ensuring operators continued player engagement.
Adding these classic gamification elements will augment the all-around entertaining experience, whilst increasing positive engagement between bookie and player even when a bet has been lost.
I dare say that whoever really hones and perfects the art of gamification in sports betting will eventually put himself apart from the competition.