Promoted feature: The role of customisation within player engagement 

Andrew Bonnici, iSoftBet’s CPO, gives EGR an exclusive insight into the company’s launch of its latest customisable engagement tool and explains why the leading content provider and aggregator is set to raise the bar even higher in the pursuit of personalised player experiences

In 2021, consumers expect amazing experiences at every turn from a seamless registration, deposit and withdrawal journey to personalised content, marketing and rewards to highly innovative, multi-layered gameplay.

It has been proven that an online personalised experience, whether to shop, play video games, watch a movie, listen to songs or gamble is key. Tech giants like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify have narrowed this personalised experience to an art form, and invested heavily, understanding it is essential to drive retention, repeat purchases and instil platform loyalty from their customers.

Looking at the video game industry’s evolution in the past decade on the engagement front is fascinating. What was a simple business model of launching a game, selling it at retail price, then moving on, has now moved into a model of player engagement over months and years, spawning subscriptions, microtransactions and loot boxes to create an experience for players that keeps them engaged beyond the game itself, and keeps them coming back and progressing over time. It has been successfully applied in online games and platforms and is now the de facto way for all the game giants to engage their player base – MAU (Monthly Active Users) – is indeed one of the main metrics public companies use nowadays, and this is driven by engagement solutions within their ecosystem.

So, how can igaming differentiate and prove its worth within such a digital entertainment ecosystem?

iSoftBet’s approach

At iSoftBet, we undertake regular market research, including a recent series of qualitative real-money player focus groups seeking opinions on how engagement tools fit into existing gameplay today, and how they enhance the user experience.

We spoke to two main demographic groups with different age brackets. In conclusion, two main areas came to light: the value of a customised offering and giving players a choice.

The common feedback received was that gaming companies need to deliver experiences that reward players as they play; reward them relative to what they spend and allow them to choose when to claim their rewards. Outside of core gameplay, they want to feel that tournaments or achievements available to them are customised and relative to their spending power, and playing patterns, and they want to be able to choose how to spend their rewards, and when to do so.

The key is correctly offering the relevant meta mechanic to the player, the relevant reward, and the relevant conditions for their situation: all possible only with a truly customisable solution.

At iSoftBet, we have been working over the past years to offer an aggregation platform that provides a portfolio of unique in-house and partner games alongside a suite of tools and products that enable our clients to have access to easy-to-implement plug and play customisable solutions. We have heavily invested in building new tools and refactoring existing ones to bring them up to the level of quality and expectation that we demand of ourselves in 2021, to allow the seamless embedding of these mechanics and to reduce operator effort.

Enhanced engagement tools

We are in the midst of releasing our revamped iNgame tournament and achievements tool which has proven to be very successful with partners, particularly Sazka that has used it successfully for promotions with some of our aggregation partners. Using the tool, we have seen promotions driving player activity up by more than 70% during the tournament and up to 60% post-tournament.

We are also bringing to the market a real-time player personalisation solution that is based on actual gameplay triggers and scenarios, taking into consideration win or loss streaks, and consecutive spins across different games.

Jackpot Tool launch

We are now happy to announce an important new engagement product we have built over the last months and strongly believe we are offering a solution that is top tier in the industry today to drive engagement, enhance loyalty, reactivate and increase player lifetime value.

Our new Jackpot Tool is a fully customisable and flexible jackpot product that can be tailored to any offering and applied to any game, including more than 150 iSoftBet titles and 8,000 third-party games from our aggregation platform, to build player engagement campaigns.

The jackpot platform allows us to offer progressive, multilevel, event or time-based jackpots, with the ability to run them in parallel as well as target specific VIPs on the site with customisable offerings. A variety of options are available, allowing our partners to choose from mystery, time-based or progressive triggers, and monitor real-time liability using the in-built dashboard – plus complete customer support through the whole setup process and launch.

The Jackpot Tool allows any configuration setup, including choosing the number of sites to run it on and the RTP level. This all comes packaged with its own in-game and on-site jackpot widget, fully customisable in size and design.

iSoftBet partners who have already implemented our Jackpot Tool have seen a 35% uplift in bets and a 150% uplift in active players. We really are proud of this tool and believe it offers the best functionalities out there.

With such rich solutions, we are delivering on the research findings and offering players more value and more choice, as well as providing operators with configurable tools to build personalised and targeted customer experiences. We are also incorporating more advanced data and machine learning techniques and, with that, the industry will have everything it needs to successfully deliver seamless and unified superior experiences to players that match those of other mature online sectors.

We continue to build and develop on this platform and will announce many more exciting new triggers and prize structures over the coming months.

Andrew Bonnici - iSoftBet

Andrew Bonnici was previously an investment banker for before moving to the igaming industry in 2014. He headed the data science and business intelligence division at Betsson Group, where he built its Big Data platform and associated AI and analytics data product portfolio, focusing on player analytics. Bonnici joined iSoftBet in 2018 to spearhead its data initiative, building a highly agile data team and successfully delivering an advanced cloud-based data platform that powers iSoftBet’s business analytical capabilities. In Q1 2020, he was named chief product officer, tasked with delivering on the company’s vision to create amazing gaming experiences by developing and building the company’s games and platform product portfolio.

Aggregation | Customisation | iSoftBet | Player engagement | Product