How Artificial Intelligence is used for Personalisation in Online Gambling
01 July 2019
There are lots of emerging tech trends at the moment, such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, smart tech and so on. But one that stands out the most and is a bit more sci-fi is artificial intelligence (AI). It can be applied to a number of industries and it’s interesting to see what different businesses can do with it.
The online gambling industry isn’t new to AI and operators have been using it for a while to create different features, improve product usability and put together customised offers. As technological capabilities are ever-increasing, online bookmakers must be able to anticipate their customers’ needs. Responding to them in a personalised manner could be the factor which tips the scales away from increasing churn and further towards increased retention and lifetime value.
We've previously talked about AI and how it is applied to online gambling across the board. Apart from personalisation, it’s also used to detect fraudulent activities and prevent problem gambling. However, the key takeaway is that a personalised approach is paramount to success and satisfaction for both parties involved.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI is defined as insights from machine and deep learning. These insights are acted on by an automated system which makes its own decisions on how to use the data. Simply put, machines can be programmed to learn from experiences and adjust to new inputs. They can process large amounts of data and update information in real-time, much faster than humans alone could.
Machine learning is a method of data analysis. It is the study of algorithms and statistics, which collect the data and identify patterns to be interpreted by AI systems.
Why AI in Gambling?
Imagine never having placed a bet on a sporting event in your life; never even shown an interest in wagering, but your home page is filled with big promotions for welcome offers on a sports betting site. However, there is nothing for your regular interests in online casino or lottery.
More often than not, it would be fruitless. Machine learning and AI work in sync to avoid situations like this to bring tailored promotions to each customer. These are relevant to their interests and are more likely to be actioned, benefitting both the customer and the bookmaker.
Think about other services so many of us use every day, such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon. These big players are the epitome of AI success. They have helped people find things they didn’t even know they needed, due to their advanced algorithms and customers’ trust in their recommendations.
It also helps that these products have a great and intuitive design. The likes of Netflix and Amazon have got this element sussed, and it is clear to see the booming success of both companies. However, for many operators, the user experience and look of their products is still something they need to work on.
The user experience is just as relevant as the personalisation of communications. Finding the sweet spot of this combination is where bookmakers can flourish and be the best they can be for their customers.
The Capabilities of AI
An AI strategy begins with a thorough understanding of customers – how, where and when they interact with a product, as well as what they do. Gathering information about a customer’s psychology is a starting point for understanding and developing algorithms and user interfaces. Constant improvement, review and evaluation of algorithms are paramount to staying relevant and maintaining performance.
For an industry like online gambling, being able to gather information from a multitude of data points enables the systems to quantify user behaviours and preferences which are vital to the user experience. An intelligent system which utilises multiple data points can provide a real-time 360° vision of players, so much more than just how much they wager each month. Real-time data gives in-the-moment insights to a customer’ behaviour, allowing bookmakers’ systems to deliver appropriate content at the right time.
Personalisation using Artificial Intelligence
Customers have the choice to personalise their own bets with many build-a-bet features available across the board. The deeper desire is for the personalisation to happen without them having to do it themselves.
Some customers always know exactly what sport they are going to bet on, others may prefer to have a look at what’s available and then decide. Operators must have a flexible methodology in CRM campaigns which can respond to both kinds of customers most suitably, which must also be scalable.
Being able to predict a customer’s active days can inform the operator of the best times to reach out with communications which could have the best impact. Incorporating off-site communications can also be an element of AI, but they need to be relevant and delivered at the right time. SMS and push notifications are usually more effective methods, which can be based on customer preferences around their favourite sports events.
User experience is all about personalised entertainment. The difficulty that bookmakers have is that there is a broad variety of events, most of which are always expiring. This is why the timing of communications is so important. Adaptability is critical throughout this whole process to ensure player satisfaction and AI can help to decipher when the most suitable time to communicate may be.
Operators must remember, personalisation should not be focused on increasing turnover, but instead, keeping customers engaged and happy. Maintaining a conversational tone with customers will, in turn, improve results.
Managing Customer Relationships with AI
Artificial Intelligence can deliver tailored marketing campaigns as it can collect online gambling behavioural data which benefits for the operator and the player. For example, mobile app usage, recently visited pages, wagering limits, live betting event status and any tournaments of interest. There are factors here which work for both parties, proving that it isn’t a one-sided data collection for the players – it will boost their experience too.
Monitoring different behaviours can help with segmentation processes, and the uses of AI in CRM are pretty much endless.
Imagine being able to predict when a customer is going to be lost and then having a perfectly timed communication as an incentive to come back? It’s doable.
What about being able to identify when a player has reached their monthly limit but is heading to the deposit page? Stepping in with a reminder about monthly limits and responsible gambling can also be done with ease. You wouldn’t want to give an incentive offer to a problem gambler. With machine learning algorithms, early signs of problem gambling can be detected which can avoid this happening.
Whether you’re looking out for your customers or encouraging them to stay, there is a use for AI.
We can do an audit of the UX and UI of your product, and recommend changes to improve acquisition and retention. If you’d like to discuss potential AI solutions further, you can get in touch with us below.