Intelitics: Is automation the key to operational efficiency? Part Two

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In 2024, innovation is a cornerstone of the iGaming industry. New technologies are continually changing the way in which brands operate with their customers, allowing sportsbooks and casinos the opportunity to deliver a more elevated experience. 

One technology that has emerged as a force to be reckoned with is automation. We’ve seen discussions centered around how automation can enable sportsbooks and casinos to deliver a more personalized experience for their players. But according to Intelitics CEO and Co-Founder Allan Stone, automation can also play a pivotal role in improving operational efficiencies. This is the continuation of that discussion. You can read Part 1 here.

Automation is becoming more commonplace within all industries, and iGaming has been no exception to that trend. 

The proliferation of AI-driven automation technology has been particularly evident within the marketing teams, as they seek to create more personalized experiences for players. But automating your marketing processes is much easier said than done, explained Stone.

One of the major bottlenecks that many operators come up against is the capabilities of their platform, which is made that bit more challenging for those relying on third-party providers.

“I think that this is the first year where you’ll see much more proliferation of automation technologies. There is certainly a want and a need for more automation, especially among the marketing teams of the industry. However, I think that the challenge in iGaming is going to come from a platform perspective,” he explained.

“A lot of these iGaming brands are reliant on their platform providers. From a data perspective, they rely on their platforms to provide them with the ability to identify what can be automated. They also rely on their platform providers to be able to implement those technologies which allow them to automate different processes.”

Platform upgrades can often take quite some time to introduce. So rather than being late to the party, there are steps that marketers can take to reduce the reliance on their technology providers to ensure that they can introduce automation into their daily operations. 

“The difficulty of only automating portions of your marketing strategy is that you then get a mismatch on the messaging,” Stone added. “When you have something that’s highly tailored, but then when the user decides to take action and click through on a particular campaign, it will likely take them through to a sportsbook or casino website where the next two or three steps aren’t as tailored. The wires get crossed.”

Key considerations

Platform capabilities aren’t the only consideration that iGaming brands must make when looking to automate their marketing operations. Although according to the Intelitics CEO, this is arguably one of the most important factors that needs to be accounted for.

Marketing teams must also consider the varying regulations around data. Each state within the US has its own unique set of legislative requirements that operators must adhere to – and data compliance is no exception. 

Sportsbooks and casinos firstly need to assess what data they can have access to, how they plan to use that data, and where they will use it before they can even consider automating different campaigns.  

On top of that, operators also need to understand how to effectively engage with their player base.
“Personalisation needs to be done right – you need to gradually phase in that personalized messaging, otherwise it can be overwhelming,” Stone said.

“You don’t want to bombard that customer with personalized messaging, simply because you have the data to do so. There needs to be a level of trust and transparency.”

“I do think that operators want to be more savvy with how they personalize their offering. One issue that they face, however, is that they are struggling to find the best way to achieve this. I don’t think there’s a lot of experience in this vertical just yet, but it is changing,” he added.

“Even when marketers do have that experience, many are limited by the capabilities of their platforms. They have to wait considerable lengths of time for their provider to add the functionalities to automate processes.” 

Let’s get personal

Despite the challenges brands might face when it comes to initially automating processes, Stone is confident that the benefits of streamlining your marketing operations by utilizing AI are ten-fold. 

The biggest benefit, he believes, comes in the form of personalization – a buzzword that has dominated conference-floor discussions for several years now. 

The need to personalise communications is unanimously agreed upon, but the way in which brands can achieve this has often been a cause of debate. But this is where automation can come in. 

“From a player perspective, automation and personalization go hand in hand. When people say automation, what they often mean is personalization, and vice versa. From a user experience perspective, it creates a more engaging core product. With automation, you also get more relevant ad engagement too,” Stone continued.

“You’re no longer showing a user an advert that’s not relevant to them. The capital expenditure from the operator to place an advertisement in front of a player is therefore more efficiently spent.”

According to Stone, automation will undoubtedly have an influential role on marketeers in 2024 – from personalization to streamlining day-to-day processes. But for this technology to be successful, the player experience must take center stage. 

“Artificial Intelligence is a handy tool to have, but it’s not a silver bullet to our player engagement and retention woes. When used properly, it can really help drive efficiency within the organization. I do think that AI will replace some functions, those tasks that are repeatable and simple. But anything that requires some level of complexity and creativity still needs that human touch.”