This week we got the chance to chat with Jenny Lu from OtherLevels, a supplier of customer engagement solutions in the igaming industry. We spoke about how they help sports betting companies with customer acquisition and fan engagement and the US sports wagering space.
About Jenny Lu. Jenny Lu is the General Manager of North America and is responsible for the growth and operations of the North American market. She has built and led teams at the intersection of paid media, acquisition, online casinos, lotteries, and sports betting in North America for over a decade. Before joining OtherLevels, Lu held senior sales and client management positions at Optimove and Income Access, a Paysafe Company.
What’s the elevator pitch of OtherLevels, and what’s your background story?
Lu. OtherLevels offers digital marketing company solutions, focusing on two core offerings: Intelligent Messaging, which is a data-driven, multi-channel CRM and digital messaging platform, and Sports Engagement Platform, a purpose-built sports-powered customer engagement platform for sports betting, using game state, live odds, and player behavior.
The Sports Engagement Platform grew out of working with sports betting clients and seeing the need to integrate live feeds for games, odds, and player data. It has been built to run on top of any CRM platform and turbocharge live outbound marketing to drive fan engagement before and during games. The Intelligent Messaging platform is widely used across the industry as a CRM, and digital messaging platform for sports betting, gaming, and lotteries in particular, and has been in use with clients since 2015.
There are many challenges sportsbooks and content providers face in this extremely fast-moving market. What challenges do OtherLevels’ products solve?
Lu. We solve for providing real-time fan engagement and activation for sports betting operators and sports content publishers in a time where fans have lots of choice and distractions. They want something current (at the moment), relevant (only what they are interested in), and engaging or exciting to them.
Think NFL Redzone for all sports, for your outbound channels (push or web messaging, SMS, email and inbox) combined with rich content and live sporting odds. That is not something that can be achieved with a traditional CRM, particularly 24×7 and at scale.
Your messaging is integrated with a variety of apps and push notification tools. Where have you seen the most success with customer interaction?
Lu. Where we found the most success is tailoring the message content to the right channel. Some individual customers may prefer an omnichannel approach; others will have very specific channels they will only engage with. Some channels are more successful depending on if the customers are in-session or out of session.
Making intelligent decisions across multiple channels maximizes the effectiveness of outbound campaigns. By measuring the effectiveness of each of those channels (and the interactions between channels) at a customer level, we can adjust the channel mix for each customer according to their preferences/effectiveness, leading to more successful customer engagement.
According to a recent study, in-play betting is less important for bettors than most have previously assumed. What are your thoughts about the future role of live betting and real-time betting action?
Lu. As the market develops, in-play betting will become larger and larger. It is an area with massive growth potential, driven by new micro markets and much richer content. More importantly, in-play isn’t just about increased in-play betting activity, but it’s also about fan engagement throughout the game.
The more “betting moments” there are in a game, the more exciting it is to the casual sports fan. It also leads to increased social activity, which also contributes to fan engagement. The key is to not just see it as a betting opportunity but a bigger engagement opportunity and use all that great content to publish rich content and engage fans and players.
How does the social aspect of the betting experience play a part in your product offering (if at all)?
Lu. The idea is to keep the bettor informed and engaged during the sporting event, so if they are at a bar or restaurant with friends, having a chat, and perhaps not watching the sporting event, however, they can still get the most relevant updates on their mobile app (including the movement in odds) and perhaps the group may want to engage and participate in betting on the event too.
We are likely going to see more in-stadium betting options being available for bettors in the coming years, how will OtherLevels maximize on that opportunity?
Lu. OtherLevels is a digital and mobile-first company which means that we have been prepared for in-stadium betting and promotions for several years now. Our technology includes not only updates on the sporting event but can also combine with location technology which means that those that are in-stadium can also receive specific in-stadium promotions (whether it be betting promotions or promotions they can redeem in-stadium such as food and beverage or merchandise discounts).
Finally, what are your plans for the next couple of years?
Lu. We are excited at the growth of both sports betting and online gaming in the U.S. and the expansion of online horse racing, ilotteries and esports. Our vision is that every sports betting operator will want to engage with fans and bettors for their favorite sports and teams using sophisticated rich content combined with relevant props and odds.
To manage operating costs and be a market leader with strong brand reinforcement, they will want to do this programmatically, 24×7 across all leading sports that they offer. This is a radical new way of engaging with live sport that will replace many of the traditional CRM approaches, and we want to lead that charge.