Conall McSorley, business development director at gbet, offers his take on the ‘cause and effect’ dilemma that brings such frustration for operators making their way in the increasingly expensive and competitive sports betting space.
In an interview last month McSorley focused on the gbet rebrand, discussing the ongoing challenge to assuage migration concerns and alleviate specific pain points for sportsbook operators. “One of the fundamental questions that operators have to ask themselves is this,” he said. “What is the compelling reason for a customer to come and use my product? If you can’t answer that question, or show that you can differentiate yourself for one of the following – pricing, product, content or functionality, then you’re probably with the wrong technology supplier.”
McSorley says he would encourage every operator to regularly evaluate performance across a variety of different criteria, because that’s the way core dependency relationships work. “Fundamentally,” he noted, “the delivery of a sports betting platform and product is software as a service, and the end product is the consumer betting experience.”
He added: “A key part to ongoing operator evaluation of their service provider must be a response plan to the most common warning signals. For example, if you’ve got increased acquisition costs, falling retention and lifetime value (LTV) levels, or you’re seeing your number of dormant or inactive accounts increasing, quite clearly something is wrong.”
According to McSorley, if we assume that pricing is just as good as that of the competition, but there continues to be ‘KPI decay’, then the problem could well lie with the fundamental technology. “What does your software supplier give you in terms of uptime, stand out functionality, speed of third party integration, or back office reporting to better understand the trends within your existing business?” he questioned.
McSorley believes that historically, best practices from other industries haven’t really been taken into the betting space, where businesses consistently review their suppliers and core dependencies, before evaluating to what extent those suppliers are actually improving their finished product. “However, I see a change towards a more pragmatic approach to this evaluation, and one in which technology suppliers are judged on merit, not simply cost, against a comparative benchmark,” he said.
Chicken and egg scenario
With some operators, it becomes a chicken and egg type scenario, offered McSorley. “i.e. your basic content is not going to lead to acquisition and turnover growth, but if this growth is the criteria to prioritize your requirements in the eyes of the technology supplier, you’re kind of between a rock and a hard place. That kind of conversation, initiated by frustrated operators, is being had on a regular basis.”
So, where does gbet come in to the equation? “We’re a bespoke, tailored service that will deliver on your platform and product requirements and guarantee uptime and performance,” he responded. “How? Because we have built a stable, robust, modular platform with proven scalability. Why? Because that’s what you’re paying your licence fee for!”
In McSorley’s previous interview, he referenced the notion that operators can be resistant to change based on customer migration concerns. “What I would say here,” he cautioned, “is that these operators need to pause for thought, because what’s actually happening is that their customers are migrating to one of their competitors while they’re debating changes on a software and technology level.
Vanilla is not going to cut it
He added: “Put simply, it makes no business sense to stay with a supplier that isn’t matching your expectations in terms of enhancing your end product, because vanilla is not going to cut it anymore – the sports betting space is too competitive for that.
“If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling further behind. The best evidence of this in sports betting comes when the market leaders roll out something new, and you see competitors bending over backwards to prioritize matching that enhancement, just to make sure that they’re keeping pace.”
McSorley concluded: “As soon as that happens, you have this trickle down through the industry. However, if you don’t have the commitment of your platform supplier to jump on new enhancements and you don’t enjoy the consequent acquisition/turnover boost, then you’re likely to be further down the chain for the platform supplier… and that’s the chicken and egg scenario!”