Ladbrokes looks to tech to woo new customers

Ladbrokes is to explore using new technologies such as tablet apps and NFC as it looks to encourage younger customers into its business.


Speaking at the IAB’s “Future proofing your mobile strategy” event in London, Andy Lettings, Ladbrokes head of new channels, said Ladbrokes is now a “mobile first” organisation, which places mobile at the heart of all its marketing and product activity.

He added: “Mobile is really important because our demographic is becoming younger and we’re increasingly bringing new blood into the business…the new customers that come in are not customers that come in to our shops.”

Lettings explained that iPhone customers in particular provide more value to the business than desktop, which could be owed to the convenience of being able to bet on the app at any time and also because sports betting has become “more socially acceptable” – especially as mobile users can bet on their own personal device without others knowing.

He added: “The app gives us more value because users are on our real estate on their device, it’s easier. Often with our mobile website people Google to find us so we’re paying for it and we’re not getting the value because they’re existing customers having to come in through Google.”

To maximise Ladbrokes’ mobile potential, the bookmaker is planning to roll out a tablet service at some point in the near future.

Lettings said: “I don’t think there’s necessarily a tablet product out there tailored to the safer gambler so that’s in the plan. What’s missing [in the market] is personalisation and CRM data that drives the messaging, like an Amazon model. My view is that everyone’s [Ladbrokes tablet app] would be very different.”

NFC will then be the “next step”, according to Lettings, who explained Ladbrokes may soon be able to allow registered customers to place a bet by tapping their phones on its posters or signage within stadia.

“Why can’t we use a Barclaycard like tag for our Odds On [loyalty] card? The obvious next thing is to connect retail and digital together and NFC is really exciting because we have that real estate with customers that can be linked together [with mobile],” he added.

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