Following this September’s launch of its European headquarters in London, SBC caught up with Cole Sharp Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer of behavioural marketing specialist BounceX.
BounceX one of the US’ fastest growing tech companies, wants to place data and behavioural insights at the heart of online betting marketing operations. Cole Sharp details his firm’s ambitious plans for SBC readers…
SBC: What has attracted US founded BounceX to tackle the saturated UK and European web optimisation and behavioural analytics market?
Cole Sharp: BounceX works with leading enterprise organisations across the globe and has seen a dramatic increase in the interest and need for Behavioural Marketing technologies. Behavioural Marketing differs from web-optimisation and analytics in that it provides brands with the ability to create custom digital experiences based on the consumer’s expressed intent, not just on-site, but throughout their engagement with the brand, regardless of channel, device of browser. In the multi-device, age of convenience, consumers expect consistent experiences across their platforms, and behavioural marketing technologies provide the means through which brands can meet this expectation.
The decision to open an office in London is the first step in our international expansion. The UK is the largest and most dynamic digital market in Europe and is a key market within the global gaming industry, which is a core focus for BounceX.
SBC: What do you believe BounceX will bring to the UK market?
CS: Our platform gives brands the ability to create a more relevant digital experience. Our Behavioural Marketing Cloud is a comprehensive suite of technologies that de-anonymise site visitors, allowing the creation of individualised behavioural profiles. These profiles in-turn drive the most relevant digital experiences based on individual purchase intent, regardless of channel, device or browser.
BounceX unlocks a significant new revenue-generating channel for our clients that delivers bottom line business performance.
Across 250+ clients in a range of industry sectors, we have delivered an increase in e-mail capture rates of 3 to 5 times, and we have reduced acquisition spend while increasing Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) through Behavioural Marketing.
Our ability to identify previously anonymous visitors across devices and browsers allows our customers to identify nearly 40% of their visitors versus an industry average of 5%. This enables us to deliver true People Based Marketing that increases the key metrics for our customers – registrations & sign ups, revenue and lifetime value.
Our entire proposition is based upon delivering incremental performance for our clients.
SBC: Following your initial launch within the UK marketplace, what core differences have you noted between US and UK perspectives to marketing optimisation and user behaviour?
CS: The US market has always been an early adopter of the next wave of marketing technology innovation and this is true of Behavioural Marketing.
The US market has been experiencing fatigue within existing acquisition channels for the past couple of years and this has eroded revenue with minimal incremental gain. So the business case for Behavioural Marketing has become very clear and well established within large online organisations in the US. Brands need to create more humanised digital experiences based on the data points that their consumers are continually providing.
By adding the Behavioural Marketing channel to the existing online mix, marketers have been able to focus on their most valuable prospects – those with medium and high purchase intent – and build relationships with them that drive significant incremental revenue and Return On Ad Spend.
The same challenges with channel fatigue are now impacting UK & European organisations; marketers can no longer afford to sit back and do nothing.
So whilst the US market is ahead in terms of its adoption of Behavioural Marketing, the UK & European markets are rapidly catching up and the needs of the consumer will ultimately mean that these markets are aligned within the next couple of years.
SBC: In its current context why have online enterprises and sector found it hard to apply effective Behavioural Marketing frameworks?
CS: Behavioural Marketing frameworks represent the next generation of technology. To date, brands have been unable to analyse consumer behaviour for purchase intent or create customised digital experiences based on individual behavioural profile, regardless of channel, device or browser. This means that marketing strategies have largely been siloed, rather than applied to the entire marketing funnel.
Historically, brands have only been capable of truly identifying 5% of the traffic that they are paying to drive to their site. This inability to de-anonymise their paid traffic means they are losing the ability to market to consumers once they bounce from their site (+75% of site traffic). When +75% of prospects require more than one touch to convert, that is an large amount of potential revenue that is being left on the table.
The first step to empowering Behavioural Marketing, and leveraging the power of People-Based Marketing is to identify these visitors. This can be accomplished with the capture of a single but very powerful identifier, the best one being an email address. Using Behavioural Marketing, brands are able to capture consumer information at the precise moment they are most willing to provide it.
Armed with this unique identifier, a company can now unlock People-Based Marketing across all browsers, device types and channels, associating the specific actions the visitor takes on and off the website to that email address. Behavioural profiles are built on these unique identifiers and are continually fed information, giving brands the ability to create more intelligent digital experiences.
Without successfully identifying previously anonymous traffic and then leveraging a very powerful and granular behavioural profile across both the online and offline funnels, an online organisation will fail to see the significant returns that Behavioural Marketing delivers.
SBC: Your team has highlighted UK betting and gaming as a sector of particular interest. What intricacies does BounceX see in this market and its current trends?
CS: Firstly, customer acquisition and retention will remain the main strategic priority for gaming companies for the foreseeable future.
So a key acquisition metric for our gaming clients is seeing an increase in first-time deposit rates (FTD).
We increase email capture rates across the funnel and not just in the registration form. We focus on people who have started but not completed the registration process and those that started the deposit form but abandoned. We identify the barriers to conversion (FTD) and optimise the digital experience to guide prospects towards their highest yielding action. That highest yielding action could be the submission of an email address, unlocking People-Based Marketing, or could be a FTD. Both are highly valuable to the marketing funnel for gaming companies.
Secondly, the gaming market is saturated and competition is fierce; and with legislative changes reducing margins through increased taxation it is critical that gaming companies operate extremely efficiently online. BounceX reduces margin erosion by creating relevant, timely, and customised digital experiences for medium to high intent prospects. This reduces the need to blanket offer discounts to prospects who would otherwise convert without the promotion. Our approach helps our clients protect their margin and get away from the batch and blast approach they have used in the past.
SBC: For a sector such as gaming that functions on a complicated and segregated value chain, how would BounceX approach industry data and analysis blocks?
CS: BounceX helps remove analysis blocks by aggregating on-site user behaviours and leveraging this data to find drop-off points in the conversion funnel. BounceX optimises registration forms and complicated depositing mechanisms and keeps traffic engaged through the completion of the conversion goal, either a validated registration or a successful deposit.
As macro-level changes impact the way gaming sites can acquire new traffic, BounceX helps optimise the conversion funnel for each unique goal to make the most of new traffic and create productive, active users.
SBC: Finally, how do you see BounceX growing its services within the UK and EU in the coming months?
CS: Our Behavioural Marketing platform is built upon the strategic insights we have learned from billions of behavioural profiles across our 300+ strong customer base.
In the background we have a dedicated Data Science team focused solely on the continual innovation of our Behavioural Marketing Cloud. Our growing feature set is continually being built and improved upon to maintain relevance. These improvements are subsequently rolled out to our core platform, available to our worldwide client base.
On the ground in the UK, we have built a team to manage and support our expanding European customer base and we expect this team to grow to over 300 people within the next five years.
Our focus is helping support our customers’ business success and this means having local teams on the ground across Europe to work alongside them as an extension of their team.
Cole Sharp – Co-Founder & Chief Business Officer – BounceX