The importance of ‘complementary relationships’ for slots marketing

Marketing slots can be a multi-dynamic and challenging process due to regulatory hurdles and the importance of preserving a positive brand image in the minds of consumers, and so developing trust-building relationships with affiliates and ambassadors is key.

This was the argument presented by the industry experts speaking at the Netgaming-sponsored panel: ‘Marketing slots in a sustainable way’ – track sponsored by Synot and moderated by Martin Calvert, marketing director at ICS Digital.

Whilst discussing affiliate relationships, Calvert noted that “complementary relationships” are vital for effective slot marketing and the development of trust between brands and consumers, adding ‘having somebody that is in conflict with your values is not going to present a coherent image, let alone an attractive one’.

Responding to Calvert’s remarks, Dmitry Belianin,  Parimatch International’s chief marketing officer, commented: “In my opinion, this is like number one question, because, if you divide your traffic source and your affiliates, depending on the market you can rely on them for maybe 70 per cent, plus of your success.

“By setting up the right relations, by setting up the proper guidelines and the way you actually measure the traffic sources, the way you check their creatives and the way they promote your brand is very important. It all comes down to working with the proper partners.

“By setting up the right relations, by setting up the proper guidelines and the way you actually measure the traffic sources, the way you check their creatives and the way they promote your brand is very important. It all comes down to working with the proper partners.”

Meanwhile, Ciara Nic Liam, commercial director, Betsson Group, highlighted the effective leveraging of brand ambassadors when marketing slots in new, emerging markets where an operator may not have a strong presence or following.

“In some of our emerging markets, like Latin America – Peru, for example, where we know people are not aware or as conscious of things like Betsson’s history and the strength of the brand, when we do things like sponsoring Copa America – the image where Messi realised they had won with the Betsson LEDs in the background, is incredibly strong for our brands and breeds customer trust.

“If you don’t bring a lot of the branding with you and you don’t build customer trust along that way, then customers come in and as soon as the jackpots’ gone they start to leave. Whereas if you can use athletes, personalities, influencers and streamers, then what you start to do is build a community and you build brand awareness and you build trust.”

Building trust through effective relationships, whether these partnerships be with affiliates or brand ambassadors, is vital for cultivating a positive brand image, she continued, pointing to Betsson’s recent launch in the Greek market – where the firm partnered with local transport providers – as an additional example. 

“Getting that brand out there as a challenger brand when we go in against some of the people who’ve been in the market for a long time is incredibly important because otherwise it’s a brand that’s quite hard to say in a lot of local languages and it doesn’t mean anything to people,” she concluded.

Focusing on the benefits of partnering with slots streamers, Swintt head of marketing, Tereza Melicharkova, shared her view that agreements with these online influences can effectively balance “trust-building marketing” and “traditional broadcast marketing”, and can a key role in educating gamers about new titles.

“It is quite a new trend that started a few years ago when the B2B side of the business started teaming up with streamers – talking to each other educating streamers and athletes about the game and the features, and then transferred this information onto the players,” she began.

“It’s extremely important and I see it as content which will continue growing. Of course we have to follow the regulations and we have to think about how we are going to run promotions but definitely building relationships with streamers, and the right streamers – this is definitely something which I see growing, and it will continue for B2B businesses because that’s the way it gets really close to the players.”

Also discussing the benefits of leveraging slots streamers and brand ambassadors, Belianin observed that both can be highly useful in creating “engaged communities” to whom releases can be easily marketed to.

“I think why streamers are so successful and why they help to promote your brand in the right manner is that they create trust just because of the communities,” he remarked.

“Communities are something which many brands in the world do not know how to work with, but streamers create these highly engaged communities around them, and it’s easy just to showcase games, to show some brands just to point somewhere in any direction and the players will follow. 

“I think that the way the audience has changed over the past few years, micro influencers and streamers is a way for smaller brands in both major and emerging markets to help to build their trust and to position themselves in a very tactical and cheap manner.”

The CasinoBeats Summit 2021 conference and exhibition on 14-15 July takes place in an innovative integrated live and digital format. A select audience of senior executives will attend in person at the InterContinental in St Julian’s, Malta, while a global audience of industry professionals will participate in the event online. 

The conference agenda focuses on the next generation of slots and products, key established and emerging markets around the world, leadership in igaming, and marketing and affiliation. The programme also includes the inaugural Game Developer Awards ceremony. 

Register for a free online pass for the event at the CasinoBeats Summit website.