Author: Marie Sheehan
The importance of initial engagement on sports betting websites
As part of our research* into the Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DME) of UK Sports Betting Companies, we look at the top level conversion ratios through their sales and acquisition funnels.
During our DME research we asked 200 ‘in market’ consumers (pre-qualified customers with intent to open (or switch) an online account with a betting provider) what persuaded them to choose one betting provider over all others.
We captured each action and key stroke in order to measure the level of “recall” (unprompted brand awareness) all the way through to “final preference”. As they move through the funnel we also measure who visited their site and what brands they shortlisted.
We examined the different steps in the bettor’s journey in opening an online sports betting account. We can see how they shop around, the snippets of information they find and how that impacts their behaviour and ultimately who they choose and why.
Stronger Digital Strategy at Betfair
Betfair score well at driving bettors to their website when they start shopping around online, and they have the highest conversion ratio of unprompted recall to final preference, albeit from a lower base. However it does suggest that Betfair’s digital search marketing strategy is working.
Lost Opportunities at Paddy Power and Ladbrokes
Both Paddy Power’s and Ladbrokes’ healthy shortlist scores (51% and 48% respectively) translate poorly into final preference scores (17% and 15% respectively). Given Ladbrokes’ very high brand recall (56%) and visited (42%) scores, you could be lead to question if Ladbrokes is depending too much on the loyalty of existing customers and not focussing enough in trying to “steal” additional customers online?
Highest Final Preference at William Hill
William Hill starts off with a really strong unprompted brand recall score (63%) in comparison to Betfair (23%), but even though they have the lowest number of visitors to their site (17%) of the four sports betting companies in fig 1, they have the highest final preference score (26%) across the entire industry. What needs to be asked here (and answered) is: Why does William Hill have the highest final preference score?
First impressions count and for William Hill they convert
The Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) programme focuses on the Consider and Act stages of the online purchase journey. The first part of the consider stage is “initial engagement”, where we measure the effectiveness of a website when consumers are locating service or product options.
William Hill out performs all other sports betting providers at the initial engagement stage and creates a winning impression; scoring 68% (compare this to Bet365’s score of 48%). This impression carries right through to the purchase stage – as William Hill score highest at the registration (72%).
If you would like to know more, please contact us.
Global Reviews Research Calendar 2015: UK Sports Betting Industry
Digital Sales Effectiveness Programmes – February and August 2105
Mobile Sales effectiveness Programmes – February and August 2105
Digital Marketing Effectiveness Programmes – Monthly
*In 2014 we ran three programmes of studies into the UK Sports Betting Companies:
Thirteen brands were included in the research: 888.com, Bet365, BetFair, BetFred, BetVictor, Boyle sports, Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, MatchBook, SkyBet, SportingBet and William Hill.
1. Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE): This study measures how effective UK Sports Betting Companies are at converting customers online. We ran the DSE programme twice in 2014 – Q2 and in Q3 – before and during the World Cup. As UK bookmakers were expecting to take as much £3 billion in action during the World Cup, we felt there was no better time to analyse online purchasing behaviour and track sports betting customers online.
2. Mobile Sales Effectiveness (MSE): This study measures how effective UK Sports Betting Companies are at converting customers on their mobile sites. We ran the MSE programme in Q3. The benchmark delivered an overall industry average of 54%, with a small variance between scores; the highest score being 55.9%, attained by SkyBet followed closely by Ladbrokes with a score of 55.7% and BetVictor with 55.6% The lowest scoring site – Betfair – achieved a score of 48.5%.
3. Digital Marketing Effectiveness (DSE): This study measures how effective UK Sports Betting Companies are at attracting customers online. William Hill came out on top in the DME study with an unprompted brand recall score of 63% and a shortlist score of 26% However Paddy Power performs better when you compare brand recall (45%) to shortlist score (51%), but then they lose more potential customers than William Hill with a lost opportunity score of -67%