Strategy

Promoted feature: The year of profitability

Simon Lidzén of FAST TRACK examines the challenges operators face in 2020

Having been in this industry for almost my entire career, I feel blessed to have witnessed the industry going through a phenomenal transformation. I remember the poker boom and its fall, when we had exclusive casino content deals, when aggregation took its place, when live betting outgrew pre-match and when mobile outgrew desktop; all difficult and exciting challenges.

At this present juncture, however, operators have a different type of nut to crack: achieve growth while maintaining healthy margins in an increasingly regulated and regulating market landscape. This has challenged operators in relation to the most basic of business questions: are we focusing on the right thing?

Right now, in my view, the focus has to be digitalisation and operators will not be able to solve this, or the related challenges to come, by merely adding more resources. This may have been a successful strategy, at least short-term, in the past but the present is too complex for this to be a viable strategy.

In short, we need to change how we work, we need to free up time and, ultimately, we need to do more with less.

  • Identify what matters and assign focus thereafter, outsource and/or get rid of low impact processes
  • Free up operational teams from time-consuming tasks to spend most of their time on strategy, planning, analysis and growth-related projects
  • One single customer view throughout the organisation with transparency between teams, shared goals and fully interconnected business systems
  • Educate the entire organisation on the importance and intricacies of data science, automation, segmentation as well as your key profit levers

It may sound old school but good old efficiency makes you profitable.

How far have we really come?

Listening to management presentations from the larger, often listed, companies you may be inclined to believe that most, if not all, already have fully streamlined and automated workflows embedded across their entire organisations. I would treat this with a degree of scepticism as their automation and efficiency efforts, although great in isolation, are often technology solutions that solve individual pain points rather than ultimately addressing the need for holistic front-to-back automated workflows.

While we have witnessed a complete transformation in the industry when it comes to product, content and device usage, we haven’t really moved much at all when it comes to customer relationship management (CRM). It is still largely a manual and reactive process. The few operators that have embraced digitalisation and workflow automation in relation to customer engagement have and will continue to grow faster than the rest of the market. The correlation between working in a data-driven framework and success is, to me, as clear as it has ever been.

What can we learn from this?

The way CRM is looked at and treated in this industry needs to change, and fast; recognising it as a core and fundamental element of your business offering is not just important, it is vital.

The biggest struggle that I find operators have in being successful in their digital transformation is dealing with it as a departmental problem, rather than an organisational one. The second problem is that the leadership may be lacking the requisite technical understanding to successfully understand and implement the required change. In short, leadership in this digital transformation is the most fundamental factor to success.

It may sound old school but good old efficiency makes you profitable

Finally, having discussed with different operators over the past year or so, and observed their work processes in relation to customer engagement workflows, I can, with confidence, conclude that organisations that are either run and managed by tech and product people or have strong tech and product people in abundance in the management team, have been more successful than the rest.

Simon Lidzen, FAST TRACK

Simon Lidzén has been working in egaming for most of his life, holding senior positions at Betsson Group and Betfair before co-founding FAST TRACK. With a strong vision of how the future of the industry should look, Lidzén is pushing for operators to do more with less by digitalising their organisations.

CRM | Digitalisation | FAST TRACK | Simon Lidzen | Strategy

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