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In his first article for NEXT.io, digital marketing expert Vedran Karaman addresses the primary scalability challenges in iGaming.

These are challenges he encountered during his time on the operator side, but also during his current role as the founder of an iGaming marketing agency that oversees major monthly marketing budgets.

Most digital marketing teams and performance marketers believe it’s not possible to scale acquisition without increasing CPAs (Cost per FTD).

While this might be true for the operators which have the biggest market share, for the majority of operators that is not the case.

When you do it methodically and take the time to thoroughly understand your marketing data and infrastructure, and develop a proper multi-channel strategy, you can achieve remarkable results without a major increase in the CPA.

Below are the most common mistakes I’ve seen that are hindering the scalability of iGaming and betting operators’ user acquisition:

Misaligned tracking and attribution: First things first, it’s essential to ensure that your channels are properly tagged and mapped in your data warehouse. You’d be surprised how many operators, even the bigger ones, don’t have it sorted and are making decisions based on the wrong data.

Ignoring registration to FTD conversion rate: When working in silos, you very often hear “it’s not my job,” but this could be heavily impacted by your campaigns. You should measure the registration to FTD conversion rate in every channel at a campaign level and optimise campaigns accordingly. Additionally, work with the CRM teams on your non-depositor segment campaigns. You’ll be surprised how it can change the overall picture (and this is just a small bit of reg to FTD conversion rate optimisation – where the marketing team should be fully involved).

Measuring the whole funnel by the acquisition KPIs: This is a common mistake which often blocks growth. It’s extremely dangerous to measure all channels and campaigns by the last-click FTDs and registrations as you might be killing the incremental increase and you’re ignoring a big part of the funnel.

Not doing incrementality tests: Many marketing teams overlook the significance of conducting incrementality tests, instead concentrating solely on the measurable bottom-of-the-funnel activities using acquisition KPIs. The impact of incrementality tests on your marketing channels can be transformative. In today’s rapidly evolving landscape of marketing measurement, sticking to outdated practices could stifle your growth.

Not conducting A/B tests: On landing pages, ads, promotions etc. In the majority of cases, this is just the letter on paper without a proper testing methodology and conclusion at the end.

Not amplifying content: Many operators invest a lot in content creation and their social media presence, but the vast majority of organic posts get horribly small engagement as there’s no content amplification strategy. With a good strategy, content amplification could be a huge new way of prospecting and attracting high-quality players to your brand.

Ignoring the impact of different promotions on conversion rate: What if I tell you that last week’s fantastic performance has nothing to do with your performance marketing team’s effort, but with the promotion that was launched on a website? Different promotions, and even CRM campaigns, can also have a significant impact on acquisition results, but it’s mostly ignored and not tracked as acquisition teams often don’t communicate much with CRM teams. When this is analysed properly, the results could blow your mind.

Not optimising digital channels for the betting and gaming industry: Regulations, competitiveness and very high media costs and CPCs are making our industry very specific. It’s imperative to tailor and optimise marketing channels and campaigns accordingly. In fact, we’ve witnessed Google Ads accounts achieving tripled FTDs with the same budget simply through strategic account restructuring. Employing a customised approach is crucial—using a standardised approach can significantly impact your overall performance.

Those are the main challenges we’ve seen with all operators, no matter their level. In the coming articles, we’ll cover specific issues and cases.

It is very important to conclude that scaling user acquisition is not only about increasing budgets and bids on your digital platforms (Google Search Ads, Facebook, UAC, Programmatic, etc.), but involves a comprehensive list of action points and activities across different areas of marketing, product, and data analysis.

Many marketing teams traditionally work in silos and focus purely on digital channels, which is blocking scalability.

Today, it’s essential to have a marketing team that is open and working hand-in-hand with other departments while looking at the holistic picture.

Those who can achieve that will be the big winners in the coming years.

With more than 12 years of experience in growth and digital marketing, Vedran is a seasoned professional with a proven track record of success. He has managed a digital marketing budget of over €100m in the iGaming and betting industry, allowing him to gain valuable insights and knowledge through hands-on experimentation in different areas.

Throughout his career, Vedran worked for leading operators such as BetVictor, Superbet and LeoVegas.

His expertise has driven substantial growth for these organisations, while ensuring their profitability remains well-balanced. Driven by a strong passion for growth, he founded growth marketing firm KARAMAN Digital with the aim of utilising his experience to facilitate the success of others.

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