July 2023#Cases#MarketEntry#Strategy

FULL BUSINESS SETUPFOR IGAMING MARKETS

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Authors

Ekaterina Ivovich

Director, Strategy

Mariam Avagyan

Manager, Strategy&Marketing

Alexey Sidorowich

Partner

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7 min

HOW CAN AN IGAMING PLATFORM ENTER A NEW MARKET AND BUILD ITS BUSINESS WITH THE PROSPECT OF GLOBAL EXPANSION?

HOW DID WE START?

A well running iGaming project

Our partners are running a successful business, namely a gaming platform with a recognizable corporate identity and a base of regular players, developed for certain regions. A dedicated strategy for attracting and retaining players helps the business grow and develop.

At some point, the need to enter new markets and expand became very obvious.

After analyzing the current market situation, the BDC project team offered their partners the opportunity to create a brand-new product concept and organize a business from scratch based on the standards of global iGaming market leaders.

We divided the task into two stages: prep work and the launch.

Results of the prep work stage:

  1. Three studies were conducted to map out the work:
    1. Expert interviews
    2. Competitive Analysis
    3. General analysis of the market and trends from open sources
  2. Developed the legal structure of the business
  3. Incorporated two companies (Curaçao and Bulgaria)
  4. Opened two bank accounts in Bulgaria
  5. Integrated a crypto processing solution and a payment provider
  6. Obtained Curaçao license
  7. Selected and explored Brazilian and Canadian markets
  8. Prepared a marketing strategy for launching in new regions
  9. Developed more than five marketing channels to attract customers
  10. Selected software to work with user retention
  11. Developed CRM chains of communication with players
  12. Created positioning and corporate identity of the new brand (guidebook)
  13. Formed an entire executive team in less than 2 months
  14. Created an information portal for comfortable onboarding of new employees, including the full onboarding process
  15. Carried out an audit of the current client support system 
  16. Created new standards for the new business support service in English and Portuguese
  17. Wrote customer support templates and uploaded them to Usedesk
  18. Assisting a client with creating a new product:
    1. Created a new main page from the prototype and user path to layout
    2. Proposed and approved a new bonus system
    3. Proposed and agreed on a new loyalty program for players
    4. Translated the platform into Portuguese and Spanish
    5. Building an Affilka-based partnership offer to the client though outstaffing of our affiliate manager
  19. Providing support for the business infrastructure development:
    1. Setting up corporate services and instructions for the team
    2. Financial and accounting documentation
    3. Financial model that includes predicting the payback point 
    4. Found local contractors for legal and accounting registration 

PROJECT TEAM

One of the major steps was to build a strong team of industry professionals experienced in startup launches. We used a flexible work approach: apart from the consultants actively involved in the project, some specialists were hired to work full-time, while others joined under a contract for temporary cooperation.

Specialists involved in the project:

  • Advisor with 20+ years of experience in the global iGaming industry, key industry consultant
  • Project director with 15+ years of experience in launching startups, team leader and main coordinator
  • 3+ legal consultants from the global iGaming industry 
  • Marketing team experienced in the iGaming industry
  • A team of recruiters experienced in building startup teams
  • Payment solutions specialist for iGaming platforms with 10+ years of experience
  • Designer experienced in working with iGaming projects

We found 15+ experts who are actively working on the project

The work of a team should always embrace a great player but the great player must always work.” (Sir Alex Ferguson)

Project stage planning

At the start, we formed the main pool of tasks, and the project was divided into several blocks:

LEGAL – legal consulting, obtaining all the necessary documents for the legal operation of the platform in selected jurisdictions, establishing workflow and business accounting infrastructure.

RESEARCH – in-depth research (competitive analysis, interviews with top industry experts), strategy formation based on the results.

PRODUCT – gaming platform design, development of a unique corporate identity for the project, brand positioning in selected locales.

PAYMENTS – creating an ecosystem of payment solutions and services to ensure flawless operation.

MARKETING – development of a user acquisition strategy and its implementation.

HR – hiring and onboarding new employees, building a startup team.

SUPPORT – setting up and describing operating regulations of the customer support.

ANALYTICS – setting up project analytics (internal analytics, marketing analytics, financial analytics).

As a project’s roadmap, a detailed Gantt chart was proposed, including all abovementioned blocks, divided into micro-tasks and distributed on a timeline. Thus, the whole team, including the partner, could see the entire picture and the interconnection of all the pieces became clear.

“Planning and preparation are the keys to victory in any war”

Further, ​​we reveal the results in detail.

LEGAL RESULTS

Entering the new regions with an iGaming project requires a solid legal structure of the company. We also needed to obtain a number of important documents, establish document management processes, and register new employees.

The BDC project team put together the legal foundation for the partner's turnkey business.


Key results:

  1. Curaçao license obtained
  2. Incorporated company in Curaçao
  3. Incorporated company in Bulgaria
  4. Prepared business legal structure 
  5. A pool of legal documents for the website (user agreements, product usage policies, etc.) has been provided
  6. A document flow has been developed, a scheme for registering new employees has been fixed
  7. Found partners in legal and accounting
  8. Two bank accounts opened in Bulgaria


RESEARCH RESULTS

3 important studies were carried out to study the market situation and obtain all the necessary input for building a project development strategy:

  • An in-depth analysis of competitors’ product platforms.

In this analysis, we looked into 9 competitors from 3 target geos where the product launch is planned.

Driven by the need to immerse the team in the work processes and products, we decided to make analysis-overview. We invited a native expert with extensive experience working with iGaming to help our product manager. 

The methodology for selecting competitors consisted of 2 parts:

  • Search and selection of the most mentioned casinos in each region
  • Checking and correcting the list by an advisor

As a result, we identified the main trends in the gaming industry and the format for implementing trends on product platforms. Key product recommendations were introduced.

  • 13+ interviews with industry experts experienced in interested geos 

For a deeper dive into the market specifics, 2-hour interview sessions with the following experts were held:

- payment solutions manager

- iGaming product manager

- marketing expert

- analyst

- head of technical department support, etc.

12+ interviews were conducted, the answers of the experts were structured and formatted into basic insights on entering new markets.

As a result of the interviews, we received all the up-to-date industry information and collected recommendations on positioning and business processes setup.

  • DESK research of the industry

To collect all available information, an open source analysis was carried out.

Studied information on:

- Market growth rate

- Legalization of the industry and its impact on users

- Industry development in different regions

- Use of new technologies in the industry, etc.

Thanks to open source analysis, we gathered many useful inputs that helped with deciding on the product development strategy.

PRODUCT RESULTS

Product development and adaptation has become the main objectives. The team’s goal was to create a memorable, innovative, and vibrant brand. The platform had to meet and exceed the expectations of the Western consumer.

What we have achieved:

  1. Developed an individual, vivid, and innovative corporate identity for the project, including a unique positioning and a memorable project mascot.
  2. Developed end-user journey, came up with all the technical tasks for the dev team.
  3. Created a new home page: from the prototype and user path to layout.
  4. Created and implemented a bonus system.
  5. Created and implemented a loyalty program.
  6. Translated platform content into two languages.
  7. Now, we are at the stage of integrating necessary services and payment solutions.
  8. Developed and set up CRM chains of communication with players.

HR RESULTS

To build a strong team, we invited our lead recruiter and corporate communications specialist to join the project.

Hired the entire executive team.

Prepared an onboarding and adaptation plan for employees. A corporate communications specialist guides new employees throughout the adaptation period.

Identified the need to develop an HR brand and are currently designing it.

We also hired a few temporary specialists to help us with specific tasks.

MARKETING KPI: LAUNCH

Aiming to attract the first players, we developed a multi-channel launch strategy, including work with the main traffic sources:

  • SEO, SERM, SMM -  distribute information about us.
  • Affiliates, Google Ads, Programmatic Ads - provide a test flow of traffic, determine the platform conversion and prevent possible scaling mistakes.
  • Bloggers - go through referral channels to attract experienced players.

Conclusion

In just six months, we fully prepared the platform for the market launch. We set up the entire business structure: incorporated two companies in Curaçao and Bulgaria, obtained a license, integrated payment and crypto processing providers, and opened two bank accounts. 

The full scope of work included planning, handling legal and HR issues, research, team building, product development, and the development of the multi-channel marketing strategy. As a result, we’ve swiftly built a premium infrastructure from scratch. 

Are you planning to launch an iGaming platform? Contact BDC Consulting team, we know exactly how to do it.

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