JOA Group’s Pauline Boyer Martin on land-based marketing

Technology and digital transformation are changing the way marketers carry out their day-to-day tasks, says Pauline Boyer Martin, head of marketing for France’s JOA Group.

Technology and digital transformation are changing the way marketers carry out their day-to-day tasks, says Pauline Boyer Martin, head of marketing for France’s JOA Group.

Rather than develop campaigns and strategies with a bird’s eye view of the product or offering, they must engage with the product and the customer journey, in order to develop an innate understanding of the brand they are promoting and the customers they target.

For marketers in the casino industry, where the business climate is particularly challenging and the impact of Covid-19 is still being felt, huge challenges lie ahead. But as Boyer Martin explains, these could lead to new opportunities and inspire new innovations from executives in the sector.


How do you feel the role of a Chief Marketing Officer in gaming has evolved in recent years?

Technological change and digital transformation are changing the way marketing work is carried out. Now it's more about data driven topics.

General trends in marketing jobs is to serve technology-driven customers. This calls for particular skills in contrast to traditional marketing which has often initiated projects from a bird's-eye view. Modern marketing experts are encouraged to experience the product themselves, experience the customer journey and thereby develop a new closeness to the brand and to the customer.

In addition, as you know unfortunately there was also a global pandemic in 2020 that turned the world economy upside down. Marketing was not spared from this either. It can already be seen that marketing of the future will face some challenges for which not everyone is prepared. At the same time however these challenges almost always result in opportunities. To what challenges and opportunities are these and why will they be relevant in the future. The business climate in the land-based casino sector is currently very challenging.

It might be frightening and going back to past marketing programs is not really helpful for coping with this situation. Companies are better advised to look ahead and to deal with which values for example are more prominent for consumers during these times and where society as a whole is developing. Consumer focus is one of the big best words for marketing.

This is also accompanied by the opportunity as a company to positively influence society and convey this through marketing.

Sustainability, humanity, participation these values and approaches are becoming more and more critical, crucial. Marketing must start now to prepare for the future. Social media is a powerful tool of course that can be extremely useful when it comes to encouraging players to visit again and maybe try something new. We also can offer players if legally allowed, reward for joining in on the fun. This is what we call the gamification of the customer journey. In short I think there are four main areas for marketing for lenders casinos in the future, the first is encourage a younger audience using the trends in social media like Tik Tok for instance.

It allows you to reach your audience and reach your potential customers where they are. Second, assure players by sending out health messages and have a positive attitude towards old changes that the pandemic brought along including the measures you have to comply with. Your staff should always reflect this attitude in all customers contacts. Third, I like this one very much. You have to focus on the excitement of being together and playing together after 2-years of virtual meetings people want a break.

They want to meet, they want to have fun together this must be reflected in your marketing program and last of course, value your loyal customers. Loyalty programmes have been and continue to be the backbone of the Casino business and a focus point for casino marketing efforts. So this is what I believe in.

Has this prompted any changes in how you measure success?

Technological change and digital transformation are not only changing the way marketing work is carried out, they are also changing the way to measure marketing success. The prerequisites for measuring marketing success is the formulation of goals of course. And good news there is no shortage of instruments to measure success. In the past marketing success was often measured in hard facts, like increase visitors numbers, increase average spend per visit, increase revenues. However, these hard success numbers should definitely be supplemented today by soft information that cannot be read from the financial data load. Some of these qualitative metrics are customer satisfaction, perceived product and service quality, customer loyalty, duration, intensity, and of course brand awareness, product awareness and many others.

What do you see as being your biggest threat to how you carry out your role in the future?

I think that we have to be innovative and close to customer winnings because marketing in the gambling industry has many restrictions and unfortunately doesn't look like it will change in the future. Countries in Europe want to introduce further restrictions on the advertising of gambling offers. On the other hand, even the European Court of Justice has confirmed that legal gambling offers must retain the possibility of advertising in order to ensure that the population is channeled from illegal to legal gambling offers. Illegal providers don't care about national advertising restrictions and they advertise their products, particularly on social media. Legal operators have to encourage players to download their gambling apps on Google and Apple. The challenges for marketing in the gaming industry are and will remain significant. This is why to me it is essential not to be alone here but to be able to exchange ideas with other operators. This makes our membership of the European Casino Association all the more important in these times.

Casinos from 29 countries are represented here and the exchange of information, know-how and best practices of how marketing of land-based casinos are organised. It makes it extremely valuable for us.

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