Millennials and iGaming: Connecting a Digital Generation with a Digital Industry

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Millennials, millennials, millennials. We hear about them all the time, especially as marketers: who they are, where they are, what they like and – most importantly – how they spend. The iGaming industry, particularly segments that have traditionally appealed to older players, such as lotteries, has a huge opportunity in front of it if it can figure out how to engage the thriving millennial demographic.

Who Are They?

Millennials comprise those people who were born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. As Income Access CEO Nicky Senyard outlined in a recent presentation on millennials and iGaming, there are 79 million millennials in the US, while there are only 48 million people making up the preceding demographic, Generation X.Millennials hold the largest market share in the US of any generation. They’re just starting to move up in the workforce, which means they’re in the process of acquiring a level of spending power that is impossible, or at least irresponsible, to ignore. In fact, millennials are set to have the most spending power of any other age group by 2017. They are the heart of the modern consumer base.

Digital Natives

Raised in an era of rapid technological advancement, millennials are digital natives. This means they are much more connected to technology than older generations. While this can make engaging with them more complex, it also means that marketers have more touch-points through which they can connect with these consumers.

Mobile is the hub of these touch-points. While millennials make up only 25% of the general US population, they are 52% of all people who use mobile as their primary device for viewing content. This high level of mobile use makes sense when you look at the similarly high level of social media usage among millennials – 87% of US adults aged 18-29 use Facebook, and 37% of them are on Twitter. 66% of millennials follow a brand on Twitter and 64% like a brand on Facebook. If you’re going to meet millennials on their turf, it will be online.

Engaging on Their Terms

There are a lot of ways to reach millennials, but the “How” is just as important as the “Where”. Only 6% of millennials consider online advertising to be credible. Messaging for millennials needs to go beyond sales, and show that your brand wants to connect with them and co-create with them. Take Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, during which Coke bottles were labeled with different first names, opening an obvious window for personalized media sharing. This popular initiative prompted a spike in social media engagement with the brand, and ultimately a 2% spike in sales.

Millennials are also multi-platform engagers. Branding and content needs to be consistent across digital mediums and create the bridge millennial consumers seek in a seamless user experience. The gambling industry is starting to tackle this more creatively with consumers. Some land-based casinos, such as Tropicana, have started using social gaming apps both as an acquisition and retention tool, in addition to their real-money offering in the state of NJ. These apps can build brand recognition with more tech-savvy players, such as millennials, who may not initially be as drawn to land-based casinos, and can also be a way to stay relevant to previous customers between visits.

Meaningful engagement is critical when trying to appeal to this generation, and this requires a significant digital presence. Millennials are more likely to respond to geo-targeted ads because they are more relevant to them. Use of the affiliate marketing channel is one great way to drive this targeted online approach and supplement your online presence. Technology solutions like Income Access’ ad serving tool make reaching and tracking key traffic sources in the iGaming sector an easy process. The iGaming industry itself is native to the digital environment – the chance to leverage this expertise to connect with millennials is one of the most exciting opportunities for the industry today.