The Case For Real-time CRM

Real-time CRM and the ability to define, identify, target and engage with individual customers with their needs in mind, by managing the in-game/in-event experience and provide immediate personalised messaging to the customers preferred channel, should be the ultimate goal of all gaming operators.

However in order to do this, companies need to transform the way they collect, store, analyse and act upon the vast amounts of data available from every customer channel and combine this with business rules and in the case of sports betting, connectivity to live systems. Doing these three things in real-time is technically very challenging.

The time for ‘Real-time CRM’ is now. The more traditional implementations of data silos, discrete marketing functions and compartmentalised customer management is a thing of the past. A real-time, multi-function, multi-discipline customer engagement strategy enables companies to realise true long-term relationships and increase the lifetime value of their customers.

This concept joins the need to respond immediately to changes in market conditions and exploiting customer data (both known and anonymous) to maximum effect. In the hugely competitive gaming market, it’s vital that brands understand at a personal level, their customer’s loyalty status, lifecycle stage, betting patterns, game/event preferences, bonus needs and churn risk profile.  

Customers now have several channels through which they can engage with brands. The customer’s contact preferences can also change by the day. The challenge is to create a fully integrated single view of the customer, to understand and act on how the customer interacts with each channel and each message, and more importantly, what gaming behaviour drives what communication on what channel and device. The key to effective communication is unlocking the intelligence that comes with a holistic single view of the customer.

Gaming companies need to fully understand their customer’s gaming and engagement habits so that they can manage them in the most efficient and effective way. It’s about being customer focused, not company focused. This situation is inherently complex though, as there are multiple perspectives in play; where is the customer in the acquisition lifecycle, is the customer at risk of churn, is the customer responsive to bonus, is the customer on a streak (good or bad), are they “VIP”, have they stopped responding to messages, the list is endless. Having a complete single view of all behaviours and channels in one place is the only way to ensure that the service you deliver is right.

Real-time CRM by Intilery works by processing an incoming stream of data from all channels. This includes behavioural data from web sites and apps as well as click-stream data from acquisition, message engagement (email, SMS, push), web analytics and so on. All data is transformed and normalised into Intilery’s gaming customer data model and evaluated against predefined business rules and/or data mining algorithms to identify the next best action at an individual customer level. The “actions” which is derived from the real-time stream of data and historical data and aggregates, can then either be actioned by the Intilery Engagement Platform or passed back to existing engagement platforms, sportsbook/gaming systems, customer support or any other action destination.

Intilery’s real-time CRM combines three critical components: 1) Customer Data Platform that stores all the customer event data and provides a true single customer view, 2) real-time Decision Engine and listens to the event stream and triggers decisions based on specific rules or algorithms, and 3) Customer Engagement Execution Suite, along with supporting infrastructure such as data warehouse, business intelligence and machine learning.

Real-time analytics and CRM relies on a centralised and holistic single view of the customer. This is essential for delivering the right level of relevance in messages to customers. Traditionally the challenge has been in having all the right data in the right place as a result of having various data silos. Another challenge is fragmented and often overlapping communication tools used. Using vendor A for onsite personalisation and vendor B for emails but connecting their two data sources. Intilery solves this with an open Customer Data Platform that makes it easy to store event data from various technologies and channels.

Gaming platforms typically do not share (or do not try hard to share) player data, at least not in real-time. This has been the issue with integrating and triggering real-time CRM to enable live multi-channel engagement, however, pushing all data to the Intilery platform in real-time, either by client-based JS, back-end APIs or any kind of data layer, the Intilery platform can initiate and manage CRM triggers.

Due to gaming platforms generally not providing live player data, very few processes have been developed to engage in real-time CRM marketing. Of all the gaming companies that Intilery has spoken to over the last 12 months, all expressed a desire to move towards (and perfect) real-time CRM but very few had the capability to do so. There are literally hundreds of use cases for real-time CRM, including bet abandonment, messaging customers after a larger than normal loss to avoid churn and bonus fraud detection.  

The ability to execute on real-time CRM alongside more traditional segmentation / lifecycle marketing messaging would provide gaming brands with a significant advantage. Based on Intilery’s experience, this will significantly impact the bottom line as well.

amanda james