American Bullseye: Using Ad Targeting to Maximise Your US Gaming Opportunities (Part One of Two)

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Have you seized the many opportunities the US gaming market offers both operators and affiliates? On 26 November 2013, a year ago yesterday, New Jersey’s regulated iGaming market went live. As the Garden State enters its second year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on America’s gaming opportunities.

Real-money iGaming in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, online wagering on horse-races, daily fantasy sports and social casino gaming are a new frontier for operators and affiliates. These diverse US opportunities require an equally diverse approach to ad targeting and geo-targeting in particular. What’s legal in one state may be restricted in its neighbour.

Today we’ll look at targeting ads to the regulated markets of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. Then next week we’ll discuss online betting on horse-races, daily fantasy sports and social gaming.

Your First Ad Target: Regulated Real-Money iGaming in New Jersey

Atlantic City New JerseyWhile gaming revenue for New Jersey’s regulated iGaming brands has undershot Governor Chris Christie’s forecasts, most pundits agree that these were overly optimistic. Gross revenue still averaged $10.1 million a month between August and October 2014, according to New Jersey’s DGE.

Neither Rome nor Atlantic City (photo, left) were, after all, built in a day, so should we expect the Garden State’s iGaming market to be fully formed within 12 short months? To help build-up the market and your iGaming brands in particular, you need to develop robust marketing strategies.

A key element of your strategy should be ad targeting and conversion optimization. Ads need to be geo-targeted very specifically. Remember: players need to be within New Jersey state boundaries to play your brands. Your ad serving should follow the same logic. Manhattan may lie just across the Hudson River from Jersey City, but it’s outside the Garden State and so shouldn’t be served ads.

Your Second Ad Target: Regulated Real-Money iGaming in Nevada and Delaware

Las Vegas SignOperators should adopt a similar approach for the smaller regulated real-money iGaming markets of Nevada and Delaware. Los Angeles may only be a five-hour drive from Las Vegas, but the two cities might as well be a continent apart when it comes to ads for Nevada-regulated online poker brands. Ads shouldn’t be served to players in California or Nevada’s other neighbours, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho and Utah.

Beyond geo-targeting ads within state boundaries, you should also target your banners at a city level. A WPT live poker tournament’s about to take place at the Bellagio in Vegas? Maybe develop an ad campaign for your Nevada online poker brand that specifically targets players in town for the event.

Or perhaps punters are in town for a live horse-racing event at your racetrack in Wilmington, Delaware. Create a marketing campaign for your online casino to both promote the racing event and encourage players to play your online slots and table games on their laptops after a hard day at the track. Of course, your ads need to be primarily targeted within the city limits of Wilmington.

Your Ad Targeting Solution: Ad Serving Based on Geography & Other Criteria

Income Access Ad ServingAdmittedly, developing a marketing campaign is one thing, and geo-targeting that campaign very specifically is quite another. To serve your ads and banners within state boundaries or even within city limits, you need a robust ad manager.

Fortunately, at Income Access we’ve added an Ad Serving tool for our acquisition-tracking platform. Using Ad Serving, you can carry out conversion optimization by ensuring that your ads reach the right players geographically. With this tool, you can also target players according to language, including Spanish, the language spoken at home by 35 million Americans, according to the US Census Bureau. Targeting by device, browser settings as well as time and day are also available.

Next week we’ll continue our look at the new land of American gaming opportunities by discussing horse-racing wagering, daily fantasy sports and social casino gaming. We’ll also discuss how ad targeting is integral to your success in all three opportunities. Until then, take the opportunity to give us your feedback on the US market in the comments section below.