Marketing is no longer focused on the brand message but on interacting with the audience

The social media era has brought more advertising opportunities than ever, and interacting with the audience is a crucial part of the experience you need to build a brand.

In the Social networking – turning likes into dollars, without getting cancelled panel on the first day of SBC Digital North America, an experienced team of women from the industry held a debate on digital marketing strategies.

The panel, moderated by Martin Calvert, Marketing Director of ICS Digital and part of the track sponsored by Catena Media, focused on the knowledge and proved experience of the panelists, who discussed the latest possibilities for digital marketing when it comes to promoting the success of gaming and betting in the world’s most important regulated markets.

Highlighting the need to open more spaces for women in the industry, the panel started with Siska Concannon, VP Marketing at Penn Interactive, saying that “based on examples of more mature markets, in the case of the US we can find more opportunities for marketing structures than ever, not only from the traditional affiliate model, but also from partnerships with people with great influence or credibility and respect in the industry in which they’re experts.”

She also emphasized that current advertising opportunities help promote organic content, something that has helped Penn Interactive engage with its users and acquire new players.

Also on the panel was Anika Howard, VP of Brand Marketing and Digital at Foxwoods, who agreed with her fellow panelist and revealed that her company has taken good advantage of social media, especially during the pandemic when communication channels with players and customers were limited, and taking into account what the message was, the intention and the platform they were using to achieve engagement and attract new users.

“It’s not just one strategy, one channel, one focus or one message, it’s really specific to what you’re trying to accomplish and to the channel, social media or platform you’re using to communicate. It’s very important to understand what kind of message resonates specifically for that channel and then also understand what’s the intent: interaction, revenue goal objective, engagement,” she said.

Sarah Oliphant Crennan, VP & Head of Content at Yahoo Sports, talked about how the company’s priority is to be up to date with what is constantly happening on social media and achieve a balance between general brand advertising and more specific content shared by experts.

And she detailed: “When we see a ton of engagement from our experts and we’re getting to deeper analysis, picks, or even reflecting on the culture of betting, because the space is so new and education is so important, it feels more personal to have an actual individual convey that knowledge versus a larger brand message.”

Moving onto another topic, the moderator introduced the role of media in an emerging industry that is just beginning to be recognized in the US, and the advertising opportunities that it generates. Thus, the Yahoo Sports expert highlighted that more and more sports media include the new sector, while specialized media also focuses on reporting specifically on sports, so limits are increasingly distorted.

“The best brands will have a good combination of both. Once we get closer to a 100% regulated market across the US, this is gonna be a fully integrated experience, betting would be just part of the sports conversation. There’s a phenomenal opportunity awaiting.”

Howard added: “We’ve seen that there is an overlap between sports fans and sports bettors, so we have a new opportunity to establish a common strategy to attract both audiences. But at this time, when the industry is just emerging, it’s essential to dedicate specific content to each region.”

Jessica Welman, Division Director at Catena Media, agreed that as the picture  gets bigger, localization is key to generating a personal relationship with the fans.

“At the end of the day, what we’re looking for from our marketing strategies, whether with our content or with influencers, is to bring something different,” she said.

“I challenge all the writers who use our social media accounts and I’m like ‘don’t tweet what ESPN is gonna tell this group of people, we’re never gonna be ESPN at breaking news on Twitter’. So what can you do? That’s where there’s a lot of room at a regional level to create some conversations that bigger brands aren’t thinking about having,” she added.

To watch this panel session on demand, register for free at