Understanding Responsible Marketing With Kristi Lewis
Responsible marketing strategies are increasingly becoming a very important part of how companies operate. These strategies play a big role in bringing positive change that goes beyond a company’s revenue. When talking about the international iGaming and sports betting industries, responsible marketing strongly supports consumer protection and education. During Responsible Gaming Education Month we spoke with Kristi Lewis, the Director of Marketing at Paramount Commerce, about the importance of responsible marketing and how it creates a positive impact.
Q1: What is responsible marketing and why is it important?
Lewis: Responsible marketing is about building trust between the company and its customers while taking into consideration what is in the best interest of society in both the short and long term. If executed well, a responsible marketing strategy ensures you are serving your customer’s needs while also having a positive impact on the community you’re in.
Responsible marketing is important because the world is changing quickly–there are social, environmental, and cultural factors that need to be considered, not just company revenue. To be successful, marketers need to go above and beyond just thinking about the customer and understand what marketing says about the way the business operates.
Q2: What role does responsible marketing play in a newly regulated iGaming market?
Lewis: With regulation comes competition. Here in Ontario, we’ve seen an influx of operators entering the profitable Canadian market. A big part of that expansion strategy includes marketing tactics to attract potential consumers with high pressure to convert them into paying customers.
In iGaming especially, operators need to ensure they are “marketing with a conscience”–this way they are pitching their platform to consumers in a healthy and responsible way.
The good news is that regulation sets the stage for responsible marketing by determining a set of rules to be followed by the market participants. Regulation levels the playing field and ensures operators follow responsible marketing practices.
Not only that but responsible gaming and marketing go hand-in-hand. Marketing plays a critical role in both consumer protection and consumer education–two foundational pillars of responsible gaming.
Q3: Apart from iGaming, what other industries do responsible marketing impact?
Lewis: I’m probably a little biased, but from my perspective, a responsible marketing strategy should be used across all industries. If all companies strived to positively impact the communities in which they operate, the world would be a better place.
That being said, there are certain industries that lend themselves better to responsible marketing practices. These tend to be industries that include vulnerable or at-risk populations. When asked for examples, people tend to jump to alcohol or cannabis, but it also includes something as simple as marketing to children.
Q4: Can you give us some examples of responsible marketing tactics?
Lewis: The best examples of a successful responsible marketing strategy are when it’s inherent to the brand. For example, Patagonia, a clothing apparel company with deep roots in reducing environmental impact is very topical right now. The founder, Yvon Chouinard, recently transferred ownership of the company to a nonprofit organisation so the profits of the company go towards reducing climate change.
In the iGaming industry, similar to Patagonia (OK, not quite on the same scale!), operators can choose to dedicate a portion of their revenue to responsible gaming campaigns or programs. While this is optional today, I venture to say that this will become a mandatory requirement for operators in Ontario’s market in the near future.
That being said, responsible marketing tactics don’t have to be grand gestures. They can be as simple as targeting the right customer with the right message or excluding at-risk populations. Using tools like geolocation, operators can confirm if a player is in Ontario vs other provinces. Operators must also ensure they don’t target customers that have registered on their self-exclusion list.
Q5: In the future, how would you like to see responsible marketing in practice in the iGaming market?
Lewis: With Ontario’s iGaming market in its infancy, new entrants are competing for air time. We are seeing a huge influx of advertising across all mediums, whether that’s TV, radio, digital, print, or out of home. While the messages are reaching the audience, the advertising becomes white noise as it bombards individual consumers.
I would like to see more entertaining ways for operators to engage with potential customers. A good example is Penn National’s acquisition of theScore bet to complement Barstool Sportsbook. Through the content created by Barstool Sportsbook, both current and potential customers of theScore engage with the brand in a positive way.
I would also like to see more funds being allocated to harm prevention and responsible gaming campaigns. For iGaming to thrive in Canada, the industry needs to offer tools and education for players.
If done correctly, responsible marketing solidifies gaming as a form of entertainment while supporting the community with resources for responsible gaming.
The Paramount Commerce team will be attending the 2022 Global Gaming Expo (G2E) which is being held in Las Vegas! To find out more about expanding into Canada and how our team can support your iGaming business, visit us at Booth 3411 at The Venetian Expo, Las Vegas from Oct 10th to 13th, 2022. Book a meeting with our team today.