Epom: analysing the top gambling market trends for 2023-2024

Andryi Liulko, Chief Sales Officer at Epom, takes an in-depth look at some of the best practices that operators should be adopting when building brand loyalty through advertising over the next 12 months. 

Though necessary to reach local player bases, celebrity endorsement deals can be expensive endeavours that may not always yield strong brand loyalty. How should operators activate celebrity brand deals without busting the bank and creating a huge churn of players?

The first factor of efficiency is the operators’ strategic plans. Based on our customers’ experience, operators enter the market for a long time and have a strategic interest in developing their brand locally. Despite not having instant results, such brand-building activities exert a lasting positive influence.  

Consider local influencers who may strongly impact the target audience without the hefty celebrity price tag. For instance, former professional footballers of the Didier Drogba type have excellent recognition in Côte d’Ivoire, do not require huge budgets, and at the same time, significantly strengthen the PremierBet betting brand.

But using digital platforms and social media for celebrity campaign endorsements is crucial. This can be a cost-effective way to reach a broad audience without extensive traditional advertising. Implementing cross-channel campaigns enhances user experience, providing a positive and enjoyable interaction with ads across various platforms. A unified and integrated approach enhances brand visibility and ensures consistent messaging. Responsible ad placements ensure that users are not overwhelmed or negatively impacted by excessive exposure. 

What is the best method for operators to run a cost-effective campaign when profitability is so key heading into 2024?

From my experience, running a cost-effective campaign in the igaming industry requires a holistic and dynamic approach. When talking about cost-effectiveness, I always recommend Epom’s clients to focus on three aspects. 

  • The first and the main one is following advertising compliance rules and regulations in every country. Especially in the igaming industry, it is very important. Responsible advertising helps meet the legal requirements, so you, as an operator, don’t face any fines or penalties. It saves your ad budget and also helps us keep a good reputation and be a brand that people can trust. 
  • Second, create highly segmented ad campaigns for targeting. Ensuring that ads are relevant to specific demographics and comply with regional rules and regulations also helps to optimise the ad budget. And, of course, retargeting is critical to accumulate users who show potential interest in the service, so I’d advise targeting them with special offers, etc. It also saves the budget and shows a high conversion rate because, as our experience shows, there are no former gambling and betting fans.     
  • Third, strategically allocate budgets based on different channels and campaign performance. Regularly review and adjust budget allocation to maximise return on investment.  Epom’s ad server provides tools for efficient budget spending, allowing operators to make informed decisions on resource distribution and optimise their advertising spending. 

How important is it to balance player contact with responsible play in long-term user tracking?

Adopting a long-term user tracking strategy underscores the necessity of tailoring ad campaigns to individual preferences, behaviour, and demographics. Monitoring users’ gaming durations and utilising monthly updates about user behaviour, can provide statistical data, which can be critical for shaping your advertising strategies.

Maintaining vigilance is paramount for identifying and addressing suspicious user gaming activities promptly. For instance, the Epom ad server offers  features tailored for igaming responsible advertising that can really help to keep the balance:

  • Frequency capping limits the number of times a particular user sees gambling-related ads. This helps prevent overexposure and minimises the potential impact on vulnerable players. 
  • The day-parting feature helps schedule when gambling-related ads are displayed. By choosing  optimal time slots, operators can ensure that ads are shown at times when players are less likely to be vulnerable to impulsive or excessive behaviour. 
  • Сustomised advanced targeting is a great tool to launch ad campaigns based on user preferences, behaviour, and demographics. You can apply the user’s personalised experiences without encouraging excessive gambling. Also, geotargeting helps to customise ad delivery based on geographic locations. Operators can comply with regional regulations and implement responsible advertising practices specific to different markets. 

How much impact can SSPs have on advertising, and can you give us some examples of this?

Usually, the role of the SSP comes down to a common question: whether they allow igaming advertising or not. The situation is gradually changing, but now we must state that many SSPs still reluctantly agree to sell advertising equipment to iGaming operators. 

And even so, they try to limit creatives, such as prohibiting the words “Casino,” “Roulette,” and other igaming terms. In other words, you have to advertise the operator’s logo and somehow associate it with a good time, but you can not say this is an online casino.

For example, the Epom ad server has robust tools for real-time data optimisation and advanced reporting. These tools encompass valuable user data, behavioural insights, and other pertinent information.

SSPs, leveraging Epom’s capabilities, can enhance the optimisation of ad placements, enabling more informed decision-making and refining targeting strategies for improved campaign performance. This integration of Epom’s features seamlessly aligns with the evolving dynamics of igaming advertising within the constraints set by SSPs. 

Tell us about programmatic mechanisms and the part they can play in maximising cost efficiency.

Compared to IO-based campaigns, programmatic allows you to target ads and weed out unnecessary users and sites more accurately. Programmatic technology plays a crucial role in maximising cost-efficiency. It can be used in the igaming industry by automating the buying and selling of digital advertising in real time. Its approach enables advertisers and operators to make data-driven decisions, optimise campaigns, and achieve better results by efficient ad buying via real-time bidding.

Igaming advertisers can analyse data in real-time, identify what works best, and adjust strategies accordingly to maximise efficiency — also, integration with ad servers and SSPs streamlines campaign management. Igaming operators can control their advertising strategy, ensuring that the right ads are shown to the right audience at the right time. 

A fresh example of effective programmatic technology is the so-called BidShading –  a type of bidding price optimisation that analyses the auction at the user level and tries to reduce the display price as much as possible where possible. Our first field experiments show that campaigns retain 95% of the leading indicators (impressions, clicks, conversions) while the campaign cost is reduced by 15%. 

I recommend focusing on this trend for those aiming to optimise their advertising budget efficiently without unnecessary expenditures. 

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