Innovation Q&A with 12BET's Rory Anderson: 'First mover' or 'follow the leader'

Innovation Q&A with 12BET's Rory Anderson: 'First mover' or 'follow the leader'

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 Posted by Luke Massey
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Anderson shares areas of the customer experience that can be impacted by innovation
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Anderson spoke to TotallyGaming.com about areas of the customer experience that can be impacted by innovation, and the difficulty of integrating innovative plans for product customisation in today’s market.

12BET spokesman Rory Anderson is also one of the key speakers on at next month’s EiG Expo in Berlin (30 October – 1 November).

Totally Gaming: In which areas of the customer experience do you think it is easiest to make a big difference with innovation?

Rory Anderson: Gamification, and customization are the two areas I think many operators are looking at now. I would not say they are the easiest ways to make a difference. But I would certainly say that if done well, both can have a huge impact on customer experience. 

By gamification, I mean using many of the features that have made social gaming so popular, in a real money environment. This has the potential to completely change the way we view rewards programmes.

For customization, it’s a personalized homepage with focus on the bet types the client wants to see, the leagues they like to bet on, using machine learning to build a product that’s tailored to individual user’s needs.   

TG: Given the mix of in-house and external supply for an operator, how difficult is it to integrate plans to innovate?

RA: Such a mix certainly adds a layer of complexity when it comes to the gamification and customization examples given in my previous answer. 

I don’t see innovation as simply adding new features, we can also be talking about stripping things down. I would include issues around brand, look and feel within the category of innovation. You must ask if the innovation, whatever it may be, is an add on, or is it going to be an integral part/feature of your product/brand moving forward. For me it’s important to have a holistic view.

TG: Is innovation still sought after in the industry, or are most operators happy to 'follow the leader' while focusing on their existing USP's?

RA: This is a tough, competitive business, and simply keeping up with the latest trends and developments is not always an easy task. I also believe that the benefits of a first mover advantage don’t always last for too long as ideas can generally be replicated. 

Therefore, some operators are right to focus on getting the fundamentals right, rather than looking too far into the future. That said, with advancements in machine learning, and computational power, there are big changes on the horizon. So, it makes sense that the larger operators are keen to play a key role and be at the forefront of innovation.

TG: Do you think that innovation goals are properly understood by industry stakeholders?

RA: This of course depends which industry stake holders we are speaking about. I would assume that most understand that with the speed of technological advancement, we will see a lot of change coming our way over the next three years. 

Having a strong and stable IT team is an absolute must in such an environment. As margins shrink and odds across different books become increasingly similar, it’s crucial to be innovative and stand out, or at least to have the capability to keep up with the latest trends and developments to stay in the race.

During this unique session at EiG, Anderson alongside panellists Lottoland CEO Nigel Birrell and Jan Teichmann, Head of Data Innovation for Rank Group,will also be discussing past moments when their risk to innovate HASN’T gone to plan. Make sure you attend to learn from other people’s experiences and use them to your advantage!  The aptly named "F session" is on day two in the Moment conference area.

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