Top Tips… for creating successful partnerships, by Andy Andrew

Top Tips… for creating successful partnerships, by Andy Andrew

Monday, January 19, 2015 Totally Gaming

With the year ahead in igaming set for another round of partnerships and acquisitions, TotallyGaming.com asked Andy Andrew of leading software provider SkillOnNet to give us his top tips on getting these deals over the line.

Tip 1: Know yourself better than your potential partners

“Before you even begin to look at potential partners, you need to take a good hard look at yourself to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. You may find that you are strong in marketing and licensing, but don’t have the right content, for example. Equally, you may find that as primarily a content produce, you lack the marketing expertise to make your content really fly.

“Determining where you stand as a business will inform all of the other decisions you have to make. You should be looking for partners who complement your own strengths.”

Tip 2: Know your local market

“In-depth knowledge of the market you plan to enter would seem like a given, but many still get it wrong. It isn’t good enough to just take the best online slots from Scandinavia and run them in Spain; it won’t be anywhere near as successful.

“Players from all over the world have wildly different tastes, expectations, desires and habits. Make sure thorough market research is done before you target a new location. While it’s true that the top performing games will do well everywhere in principle, that’s probably got more to do with great design, concepts and maths models rather than anything else.

“Thinking specifically about online content, try implementing a theme of online games tied to holidays or cultural events in your new market to capture players’ attention. Just make sure you aren’t pushing Christmas-related games that feature snow in regions where it isn’t cold in December!”

Tip 3: Have a sophisticated CRM strategy ready to implement

“The most effective way of gaining knowledge about players and local market conditions is to have sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) software implemented.

“All operators should be able to tell which slots are popular by looking at the financial results, but do you know which games players consider and then dismiss and why? Which titles are attracting initial interested but not converting to spins?

“CRM software can track almost everything, which will help you identify any issues on your new site, as well as tell you what players really like. Figure that out, and give them a lot more of it.”

Tip 4: Be aware of regulation

“It’s no secret that dealing with regulatory matters is hard work. Breaking into a new market requires that you get to grips with new regulations, or partner with someone who has.

“Also, regulations can and do change often. In this shifting landscape, it can be tricky if you are a content producer who has a fantastic team of game builders but lack the legal expertise. When eyeing up potential partners, it’s essential to ensure the regulation side of things will be taken care of.”

Tip 5: Look closely at marketing budgets

“It’s a simple fact of life these days that if there isn’t budget available to market a product or site adequately, there is very little chance it will be successful. You can have the best online games line-up in the world but without a strong marketing team, supported by an equally strong budget, you will struggle to make it work.

“If you’re a licensor looking at potential partners, make sure you’re fully aware of what marketing budget the licensee has available. You’re best content will go to waste if no one knows about it.”

Top Tip: Content is still king

“Having the best content is still the main driver in the online games market. Whether that is online slots, poker or casino games, players will naturally gravitate to the sites with the best content.

“Before you spend a fortune marketing your site, it’s critical to make sure the product is worth marketing. In addition to our own suite of proprietary games that continues to be very popular, we inked numerous deals this year to be sure players had access to all the very best content out there.

“We looked critically at all available content and listened to our players’ feedback before striking agreements to provide additional content. It’s been a winning formula for us and our partners so far and one that we plan to continue.”

SkillOnNet will be exhibiting at ICE Totally Gaming at Excel in London and can be found at stand N6 222. Visit www.SkillOnNet.com for further information about the company and www.icetotallygaming.com for more information about the event.

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