Susie Sourwine - More The Merrier - "It’s time to get as many ideas as possible on the table"

Susie Sourwine - More The Merrier - "It’s time to get as many ideas as possible on the table"

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 Posted by Michael Lawson
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Sourwine claims her product can be a "perfect partner" for the betting industry.

With over 15 years in the industry, Susie Sourwine has grown to become an experienced and respected figure in the world of sports betting. After holding down marketing positions at a number of North American race courses and a stint at Betfair, she is now focusing her attention on a peer-to-peer messaging app she believes is ideally suited to the world of gambling. We caught up with her to find out more.

Totally Gaming: Hi Susie, firstly can you briefly talk me through More The Merrier, and what it can bring to the world of sports betting?

Susie Sourwine: More The Merrier designs peer-to-peer (P2P) branded sticker applications and creates customer funnels in the world of Dark Social—essentially where customers and potential customers are talking to each other privately and not on social media where you can track it.

Peer-to-peer messaging (things like mobile messaging, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, etc) is the fastest growing portion of online activity.  In 2017 over 28 Trillion messages were sent!

With so much of online activity moving into these Dark Social spaces it’s imperative for brands to find a way to insert themselves into those conversations in a meaningful way. You need to be there when people are discussing your brand.  By using custom stickers, these can be animated or still emoji-like digital advertisements or enhanced camera functionality, brands get to amplify excitement, connection, and loyalty. It allows the most enthusiastic influencers to directly share their excitement about events, brands, and activities with their network.  When purposefully designed and desired customer journeys taken into account, our applications allow companies to move P2P activity into their existing marketing funnels.

I see More The Merrier as a perfect partner for the sports betting industry.  If you think about the headline events in sports like The World Cup or the Cheltenham Festival, we create an engagement and amplification experience that customers will pull from you as opposed to having to compete exclusively with the same old offer based experience a hundred other companies are putting in the market.  Watching and reacting to the action of every game of the World Cup your customers can be sending your brand to their friends. Why aren't you doing that? The ability of our back end to change and update content without customers having to update the app versions will allow operators to harness every event, seasonality, etc to keep the conversation fresh and active.

TG: With over 15 years in the industry, what kind of knowledge and expertise have you developed that will ensure More The Merrier’s success?

SS: I think a passion for measurability and a history of quickly reacting to changes in what’s effective for results allows me to apply this route to P2P in a way no one else is currently doing.  We’ve gotten into a saturated advertising market, particularly in gaming. When you hit the point that differentiation is now down to price, it’s time to switch your attention to product. The ability to make your brand experience itself a product is possible now.  I also need to rely heavily on my own experience of taking people along on a new journey because most decision makers are still trying to figure out what P2P messaging product is let alone what they can do with it to grow revenue. We might just be a little ahead of the curve at the moment.

TG: As someone with an insider knowledge of the North American market, what are your predictions for US gambling, and the prospect of sports betting being legalised in a number of states?

SS: I think that US-ambitious operators need to get up to speed with States Rights and the impact that has on the application of federally positive legislation.  I watched the fantasy betting firms make this mistake from afar and don’t want to see sports betting do the same. I was a part of the roll out of online horse racing betting in the US and it’s more of a Grand National than a flat racing sprint.  Coalition in each target state is crucial.

I’m also a bit worried about the trend of domestic advocates to sell sports betting as a revenue generating wonder tool for states as the reason for passing legislation.  The ecosystem has to exist for success and innovation by the operator in order to guarantee a steady, long-term contribution to the tax coffers. If it doesn’t you’ll see an overpriced unexciting offering for the general public that fizzles and disappoints (Sports Select Canada type compromise) and the savvy punters getting their action elsewhere as they have managed to do for the last 20 years.

TG: It’s also a particularly turbulent time for British bookmakers. What advice would you give to bookmakers, with regards to adapting to a market that is in a constant state of flux?

SS: Diversify the people doing the thinking about how to do it.  Diversify by gender, race, age, social background, education, everything.  It’s time to get as many ideas as possible on the table and if you aren’t willing to do that you will struggle in the future.

TG: And finally, what plans are in place to ensure the continued growth of More The Merrier over the next few months?

SS: We’ve just rolled out the Cheltenham Festival Sticker App for Racing Post on iOS and Android and are going to bring a couple more to the market shortly.  I’m expanding the sales force at the moment because I believe we need to talk to as many people as possible about what P2P messaging means and the opportunities for businesses, particularly those around live events, to create new online customer funnels outside social media. It’s exciting times!

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