CMO Insights: Personalisation, Privacy, Gaming, Gambling & Lotteries


Simon Francis

Flock recently held the latest in its series of CMO Roundtables at Sartoria, Savile Row. Marketing leaders from William Hill, Paysafe, Lottoland, Stars Group and James Barge Director of Public Policy at ISBA (Incorporated Society of British Advertisers) enjoyed some wonderful food, drink and hospitality whilst discussing some of the major topics impacting their consumers, brands, and business.

Some of the key topics discussed were:

Customer Experience. Joining together acquisition, customer care (both that required legally and morally), across physical retail and all digital touchpoints requires new skills, processes, and technologies. All the companies could see the benefit of a great customer on-boarding team to establish great sustainable relationships with customers. All agreed that the more “intimate” and personal the relationships the better, it was agreed that blanket contact to broad segments was not the best way forward.

Brand versus sales. All the businesses face the constant struggle of managing sustainable brand building versus the drive for tactical results. Each of the sectors have become awash with offers, that have created a cacophony of noise at the expense of durable brands. It is clear that managing the measurement of Brand versus Tactical and the conversations with “the business” is a hot topic.

Integration. Several of the attendees talked about the need for a clear brand purpose both as a positive positioning for their company, but also as an internal means to drive integration and setting collective goals. It was recognised that Gaming, Gambling and Lotteries are like other businesses in that there are silos that need to be broken, and a clear purpose and process are key to do so.  It was also mentioned several times that brands will need to move into the future, and away from their legacy, if they wish to attract new consumers and avoid negative legislation and a purpose around responsible entertainment will be advantageous.

Technology. New Technology may bring many benefits as all businesses try to build better customer experiences and gain an edge over competitors. Many brands have legacy web platforms, that are not built “mobile up & community in”, few have yet grasped the opportunity in voice and the internet of things, or yet integrated technology like facial recognition both to help business, but most importantly protect problem gamers. Test & learn programs with regard to these new technologies need to be set up, managed and “wins” rolled out fast and wide.

Legislation & Data. It was clear that the attendees felt that a lack of coordinated and proactive communication was hurting their position with legislators. Much of the amazing positive work and proactive self-regulation was being “lost” through poor management of the news agenda. The need to use data to build a fact based case and avoid unintended consequences, and a strong positive emotional message must be used to combat knee-jerk headline gaining policies in Government, regulators and also in the major media owners like Facebook and Google who are increasingly acting (often conservatively) ahead of legislation. It was agreed that the “Death of the Cookie” will have an impact on the sector but media agencies have yet to propose a plan, despite the clear and present risk to business.

Agencies & In-housing. All agreed that agencies have a positive role to play and their outside in thinking was invaluable. Some attendees mentioned the issues of attracting and retaining great staff in their work locations and keeping them fresh and proactive. The passion and proximity to the brand of in-house teams, must be weighed against the experience and flexibility of external agencies teams.

The enjoyable lunch resulted in great conversations, connections made and ideas for what to do later that afternoon!

There will be more CMO Roundtables for other categories and live topics announced soon. We welcome ideas!