20+ Years of iGaming Marketing Expertise: Spyridon Lotsaris Provides Insider Perspective in Exclusive Interview

GBC Time had the privilege of sitting down with Spyridon Lotsaris, a seasoned iGaming marketing consultant with over two decades of industry expertise, who works as a Marketing Director at Sharedbet. With a deep understanding of the ever-evolving iGaming landscape, Lotsaris has successfully navigated the complex world of online gambling, leveraging his extensive knowledge to drive growth and maximize profitability for numerous iGaming operators. 

In this exclusive interview, Lotsaris shares invaluable insights into the industry's trends, challenges, and strategies that have propelled him to the forefront of iGaming marketing.

How has the landscape of iGaming marketing evolved over the past few years, and what trends do you anticipate?

iGaming has been a very dynamic industry, with fast pacing changes over the past few years. The rise of mobile gaming has led to a shift in marketing focus towards mobile platforms, optimizing user experiences, and targeting mobile advertising. Personalization and customer experience have become crucial, leveraging data and analytics to provide tailored promotions and recommendations. Influencer marketing has gained momentum, so collaborating with popular streamers and content creators to reach a wider audience has become significant. 

Regulatory changes, such as responsible gambling initiatives, have impacted marketing strategies and geos approach. In the future, I anticipate the continued dominance of mobile gaming, the integration of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies, and a bigger rise of cryptocurrencies in the iGaming industry. eSports has seen rapid growth over the past years, so I believe they will keep on growing even more. A whole other story is AI, and I look forward to seeing more ways in which these advanced technologies will integrate into the iGaming industry, from customer service to other departments as well. 

What role do data and analytics play in iGaming marketing, and how do you utilise them to optimize campaigns?

That’s a nice question because I, personally, really depend on data and always work on reports to make decisions. Data and analytics are the core of our job. From an operator’s perspective, gathering insights about players, segmenting audiences, and personalizing marketing efforts through analysis is the way to measure campaign performances, track key metrics like conversion rates and player acquisition costs, and make data-driven decisions.

Another thing is the optimization of our marketing efforts, where A/B testing is important. With the use of data, we can identify player behaviors, preferences, and trends, optimize campaigns to target the right audience with relevant offers, improve player engagement, and maximize ROI. Numbers are not biased and, in this industry, we have to leverage the data we have to evolve and grow. 

Can you share some insights on effective customer acquisition and retention strategies for iGaming companies?

Sure. For acquisition purposes, we’ve seen good results through affiliate marketing; which, of course, is the spine of the industry. An attractive brand for partners is attractive for players too. 

  • What’s important is to have profitable commission structures, attractive bonuses, and of course, to be a good partner to work with for others. 
  • We’ve seen a rise in fruitful partnerships with iGaming influencers and content creators and some good opportunities in social media. 
  • Another thing to consider is content marketing, where through blogs or videos, for example, a brand may offer valuable and engaging pieces of information. 
  • For retention, it’s important for a brand to have strong customer support and if possible available 24/7 and in multiple languages. 
  • A loyalty program is always a good idea since players tend to keep their engagement with the brand through VIP perks, cashbacks, and events. 
  • It’s important for all brands to offer personalized experiences to each player, so emails and notifications should be based on the player’s preferences. 
  • I also think that players like it when the brand continues the discussion on social media, engaging in a more “casual” way in online communities. 
  • A brand should also actively promote responsible gaming, implementing features like deposit limits, self-exclusion options, and reality checks to demonstrate your commitment to player well-being. 
  • Last but not least, we’ve seen a great interest in gamification elements. Brands that do integrate such elements offer an enhanced overall player experience, which we’ve seen that encourages engagement and participation. 

In a highly competitive iGaming industry, how do you differentiate your clients' brands and products from the competition?

The iGaming industry is indeed a competitive one. However, a brand may differentiate and stand out from its competition in various ways. 

  1. First of all, it’s important to have a unique identity and a compelling story that resonates with the target audience and the brand’s values. A clear message, a distinctive visual identity, and product innovation are key to success. 
  2. Brands should also focus on exceptional user experience on all touchpoints; intuitive and user-friendly interfaces, seamless navigation, and responsive design for both desktop and mobile platforms. Smooth gameplay, fast loading times, and a wide variety of high-quality games to provide players with an enjoyable and immersive gaming experience, as well as constantly adding new games and features. 
  3. Utilize data analytics to understand players' interests, habits, and playing styles, and offer personalized recommendations, bonuses, or in-game challenges based on their preferences. By tailoring the experience to each player, you create a sense of exclusivity and enhance player engagement.
  4. When exploring new markets, it’s crucial to adapt your brand and products by incorporating localization strategies. Consider cultural nuances, language preferences, and regional gaming trends to create a tailored experience that resonates with players in specific regions. This approach demonstrates an understanding of local preferences and increases the relevance of your client's offerings.

How do you measure the success of your iGaming marketing campaigns, and what metrics do you consider most important?

Measuring the success of iGaming marketing campaigns involves tracking various metrics that indicate the effectiveness and impact of the campaigns. The choice of metrics depends on the specific goals and objectives of the campaigns. There are numerous key performance indicators that are important, but it always ends up with CPA, ROI, and the number of new depositing customers.

If we want to dig deeper then from an acquisition perspective it is important to keep track of all the costs (that would mean affiliate commissions, fixed fees, media buys et al), clicks, registrations, and first-time depositors (FTDs), deposits and average deposits, conversion rates, click through rates and ROAS. 

From a retention perspective, you should keep track of player retention rate, churn rate, average revenue per user, and time on site/app. 

As a business, it’s important to keep track of the bonus costs that can be a burden, GGR, NGR, ROI, and player lifetime value (LTV). 

When evaluating channels and campaigns, you should always analyze the traffic sources to identify the most effective ones driving acquisition. The conversion funnel tracks the conversion rates at each stage of the user journey, from initial contact to depositing and playing. Identifying bottlenecks and optimizing the conversion process has a great impact on the ROI. 

Finally, A/B testing is crucial to measuring the performance of different variations of your campaigns to determine the most effective elements, such as ad creatives, landing pages, or call-to-action buttons. 

What regulatory challenges have you encountered in iGaming marketing, and how have you navigated them successfully?

In iGaming marketing, regulatory challenges arise frequently due to licensing compliance, advertising and marketing restrictions, responsible gambling requirements, data protection, and cross-border operations. To navigate these challenges successfully, we prioritize compliance with licensing regulations, engage legal experts for guidance, and adapt marketing strategies to align with specific regulations. 

We emphasize responsible gambling initiatives, implement robust data protection measures, and maintain transparent communication. Collaboration with regulators, staying informed about evolving regulations, and proactive compliance efforts are key to successfully navigating regulatory challenges. I always try to have a diverse approach and not depend solely on specific GEOs – things change fast and a market that has been profitable may be suddenly unavailable. Being dependent on one or some markets makes it harder to come back after a hit like that. 

What are some key challenges you foresee in the iGaming industry in the coming years, and how can marketing strategies adapt to overcome them?

Key challenges in the iGaming industry include increased regulatory scrutiny, evolving technological landscape, competitive market conditions, changing customer expectations, responsible gambling, and data privacy. Marketing strategies can adapt by proactively engaging with regulators, prioritizing responsible gambling messaging, embracing technological innovations, and focusing on exceptional user experiences. 

Building strong brand identities, differentiating products, and personalizing marketing efforts are crucial. Staying updated on industry trends, leveraging data and analytics, and ensuring compliance with regulations are essential to overcome future challenges successfully. 

Marketing strategies should embrace technological innovations to provide unique and immersive gaming experiences. This could involve integrating new technologies into gameplay, utilizing data analytics and AI to personalize marketing efforts, and leveraging mobile platforms to reach and engage with players effectively.

Responsible gambling and player well-being will continue to be important focus areas. Marketing strategies should prioritize responsible gambling messaging, educate players about safe gaming practices, and provide resources for self-assessment and self-exclusion. Collaborating with responsible gambling organizations, supporting research initiatives, and promoting responsible gambling tools can help operators address this challenge effectively.

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