Johannes Turunen discusses whether fast-paced game formats and community-focus are essential ingredients for the iGaming customer of Tomorrow
You’ve probably noticed the drastic changes taking place in forms of entertainment. Rather than listening to the radio or watching TV, generation Z spends their time on social media and platforms that offer interaction with their idols. What about the gambling industry customers – is tomorrow’s ideal customer profile different from today?
Gambling operators are quick to innovate new products in their market to keep their competitive advantage. Understanding the customers and anticipating their future needs are vital inputs when designing the user experience of poker & online casino platforms. To discuss this topic further, it’s time to dive into a few critical aspects of the profile of future customers of the gambling industry. Let’s cut right into the chase by reviewing three key aspects:
Turning Focus on recreational players in online poker
High-volume players might be the ones with the loudest voices in the poker industry, but if you look at what some of the biggest poker sites like PokerStars are doing with their VIP programs, they are no longer the main focus for some operators. As it’s hard for online poker rooms to please everyone, it makes sense for them to choose their target customer segments with great precision.
If there’s one thing that poker operators have tried to change for a long time, it’s the health of the overall poker ecosystem. Lately, it seems poker operators have found a way to make a positive impact in this regard. Based on recent interviews we’ve conducted with industry CEOs, like Manuel Lopes (CEO of Qufan Internet Technologo + Pokio creators), and professional players at Beastsofpoker.com, like Eelis Pärssinen and Joni Jouhkimainen, we’re predicting that rewarding recreational players to a greater extent will become standard practice in the industry.
Some operators are realizing it’s no longer sufficient to offer an inviting loyalty program that favors the poker pros to grow your player traffic. Instead, we’ve seen more operators giving out free tickets to try new game formats and putting up leaderboards or challenges that don’t require a massive volume of hands per day. Additionally, some players love mobile-friendly software and are happier if they can access plenty of social features as well.
The need for fast-paced game formats
In online poker, every year brings a new game variant that’s faster than the previous ones. First, it was turbo SNGs, then super-turbo SNGs, and now we’re seeing Flip & Go format from GGPoker. The trend is visible at online casinos: They offer players the option to purchase bonus rounds instead of making them wait to hit those.
Where does the need for faster-paced game formats come from? According to research, a human being’s average attention span has dropped much 12 seconds to 8 seconds between 2000-2013. No wonder plenty of instant casinos without registration are doing much better than their competitors, who require you to register an account!
The need for products driven by a sense of community
For a long time, brands in many industries have thought that offering loyalty programs is the golden ticket to win loyal customers. This belief couldn’t be further from the truth: You attract people who just want to claim those rewards. If this is your strategy, you’ll invite customers who couldn’t care less about your brand.
So, are there alternative approaches to this topic that iGaming companies could take? The customer of tomorrow is looking for something beyond the economic value: Belonging, exclusive experience, and self-actualization. They want to be raving fans of the best products in the market or even act as ambassadors.
The key to building a community that the future customers want to be a part of? One could aim to design a product too engaging to ignore and formulate a clear membership strategy to grow a devoted community. Players will feel proud to belong to an exclusive club, where they’re truly appreciated as individuals instead of just another customer. If gambling operators can answer the call of identity and belonging that are scarce in the modern world, they’re well on their way to building a blooming player community.
Contributed by: Johannes Turunen
Author Bio: Bio: Johannes is the editor-in-chief at Beastsofpoker.com with over a decade of experience in online poker. Along with his team mates including a dozen Finnish poker professionals as brand ambassadors, he focuses on building a poker community where players can access both high-quality strategic advice on poker and in-depth reviews on various poker rooms and training courses.