Justin G.Farrugia: “We Provide Insights and Help Operators Retain and Reactivate Customers”

AretoNet works behind the scenes, but they are crucial to a business’s success. Focused exclusively on the gambling industry, the company delivers automated solutions that extend customer lifecycles, create compelling marketing campaigns and respond to business needs. 

The company takes the process of targeted marketing in multiple jurisdictions and simplifies it while it stays compliant with local regulatory prerequisites, protecting its own reputation and the licenses of its customers while still driving the desired results.

AretoNet has years of experience, and it’s no surprise that its solutions are integrated with Dragonfish, the B2B division operated under the 888 Holdings banner, and one of the most remarkable in-house development arms in the entire industry.

The company helps operators by allowing them to analyze and better yet understand their player database and create multi-channel and multi-level marketing campaigns that benefit all parties involved, from consumers to businesses looking to elevate the iGaming experience.

One way to do that is knowing your customer needs and traits, and AretoNet brings a rich set of tools to enable companies to do just that. To learn more, we spoke to Justin Farrugia at AretoNet.

Q: AretoNet focuses exclusively on gambling. Why did you pick this industry to operate in and then chose to focus entirely on it?

The company founders have more than 30 years combined experience in the iGaming industry across the full spectrum of operators, affiliates, and platforms, so it was logical to bring those years of expertise to bear on the AretoNet platform and focus it on iGaming. 

We have the first-hand experience of the challenges operators face when trying to retain players that they’ve fought so hard to acquire and how hard it is to consolidate and analyze the volume of data available in a way that provides real insight at the same time as being actionable. 

Whilst we also have experience from other industries, we felt that a single industry focus would allow us to deliver the best tools and solutions rather than having to develop the platform into a generic one-size-fits-all solution.

Q: Could you walk us through the process of what you do and how you see your role in the industry?

We see our role in the industry as making data insights easy, surfacing the most important KPIs quickly and seamlessly, and making all of those insights efficiently actionable for the whole business, whether that’s for management reporting, acquisition marketing, or CRM teams. 

We ingest and combine data from an operator’s gaming platforms, PAM, website, and any other source in real-time, analyze it and show the KPIs that are important to them in an intuitive UI. It’s also possible to use batched uploads through the APIs or via file uploads. 

All the data and analysis can be quickly actioned or segmented further to analyze or to launch multi-tiered campaigns directly. It’s easy to switch between brands and implement the same customer journeys on multiple brands or customize them individually. 

We can integrate with an operator’s existing SMS, Email, or Push provider and even their preferred campaign management system if they just want to make use of the BI and Analytics components that we provide.

Q: Dragonfish is definitely a great partner to have on your side. Can you tell us a little more about your relationship with them and how has that relationship evolved?

We’re delighted to be one of the Dragonfish integration partners, fully integrating into its platform and launching with IGP across 11 brands, with even more coming in the next six months. 

The partnership was really borne out of IGP’s need for a cost-effective, multi-brand solution that would support them as they scale, but we are now speaking with a number of operators who use the Dragonfish platform and can take advantage of the integration to launch quickly. 

Q: You recently teamed up with KTO in Brazil and seemed interested in the Latin American market. Can you tell us how you approach the region and how different it is from other regions you operate in?

The principles in Brazil and Latin America are very similar to the rest of the world, which allows brands like KTO to take advantage of the unique functionality and features we’ve developed. 

However, the monetization of those players and their behavior patterns are, as you’d expect, unique to that territory, and we’ve worked closely with KTO to not only build out new features to support those unique behaviors but also to put together different commercial models which better suit their plans for scaling over the coming years.

Q: Does automation of marketing campaigns lead to better overall compliance for your clients and their brands?

Marketing automation alone doesn’t lead to better compliance. A marketing automation platform, however, needs to take into account certain compliance aspects to ensure user privacy, data protection, and to some level, responsible gaming. 

As it is expected in any marketing automation product, AretoNet takes into account compliance data available to ensure that operators are given the appropriate support within the automation pipeline to cover topics such as unsubscribes, opt-outs, self-exclusions, GDPR, and other scenarios. 

Automatically excluding any player from outbound retention campaigns whose account is temporarily suspended or flagged, propagating and respecting opt-outs, giving the operator full control when it comes to clearing personal player data is of utmost importance. 

In some cases, AretoNet’s segmentation capabilities allow operators to identify potential compliance issues, trigger instant alerts so that operators can be proactive in protecting players, which in turn supports ongoing compliance.

Q: What are the main challenges you face on a daily basis today?

The main challenge we face is ensuring that every new feature and every new data point is relevant and useful to our partners, but that in and of itself is exciting. 

We discuss ideas with our clients, base new features on theirs and the industry’s expected requirements while getting feedback to either validate our assumptions about its usability and value to their business or remove it completely from the roadmap and reprioritizing. 

It is inspiring to see that a portion of our clients has aggressive growth plans and tremendous ideas. The challenge is ensuring that the features are correctly prioritized and delivered with the greater good in mind.

Q: How is marketing evolving in the gambling industry today? Are there uniform best-in-slot practices, or does it all boil down to individual markets?

What puts certain brands ahead of others is, amongst other factors, their approach to customer retention. Retaining customers 10 or 15 years ago was simpler, with one-size-fits-all messages being used, little to no compliance, and few alternative options for customers. 

Today, however, players have a greater choice and are better protected with localized regulations. Knowing the individual markets operators target and the local cultures in each is most certainly advantageous.  

However, irrespective of the market, a clear understanding of individual customer behavior and preferences is a critical factor in determining when and what message to send across. But not all operators have the luxury of a 10-person team managing their CRM operations.

At AretoNet, we always keep this in mind. For an operator to implement a successful strategy, we’ve created clear insights into customers’ traits across every lifecycle stage that can be analyzed swiftly and effectively. 

Business intelligence today is of higher importance than it was in the past. The ability to convert intelligence into actionable tactics and target audiences is a critical factor for any operator. Operators must understand customer behavior and group their customers in meaningful and, most importantly, manageable segments. 

Our segmentation features allow operators to create either granular micro-segments or focus on meso-segments to accommodate the size of their CRM team. 

Another important aspect of today’s practices is the utilization of AI. With the help of AI, marketing automation products are able to predict certain events before they occur with significant accuracy, which is something that AretoNet also offers to its operators. 

This ensures that operators are marketing effectively and responsibly while maximizing ROI in each of the markets they are active.

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