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Exclusive: Insights from Industry Leaders – Navigating the Gaming and Marketing Landscape

In a dynamic and ever-evolving industry like gaming and betting, insights from experienced professionals provide invaluable guidance. Karen Hope, Director of Casino at Premier Bet Partners, and Gilles Catteeuw, Head of Performance Marketing at Premier Bet Partners, offer their expertise on key aspects shaping the gaming industry from their unique perspectives.

Presented with probing questions from iGaming AFRIKA (IGA) Magazine, they provide illuminating responses, offering insights into industry trends, the role of technology, effective marketing strategies, and the outlook for the gaming and betting sector. Let’s delve into their perspectives to navigate the intricate landscape of gaming and marketing.

Through her interview with iGaming AFRIKA, Ms. Hope shares insights from her extensive 23-year tenure in the gaming industry. From global market observations to the transformative impact of technology, she discusses key trends, emphasising the growing importance of trust in building successful casino brands. Let’s explore her expert perspectives on these pivotal topics and more.

iGaming AFRIKA: Can you tell us about your experience working in the casino industry and how it has shaped your career path?

Karen: I have been in gaming for 23 years, covering most products, and have worked in many markets covering Europe, the US & Latam, Asia, and now in Africa. This has given me a solid foundation in gaming around the world. Having been able to watch how the industry has grown over the years, as well as how the player journey has evolved, means I can easily determine the maturity of the market and identify the ideal product mix that will work best for our players. 

iGaming AFRIKA: How do you believe technology has transformed the gaming industry, particularly in casinos?

Karen: Technology is vital for growth in the casino market. When a player comes to a website, they want all the automated functionality that they get on other entertainment sites such as Netflix or Amazon. The biggest for casinos is the development behind the games. One issue in Africa is data usage, so being able to source the lightest games available improves the gameplay and casino experience for all players.

iGaming AFRIKA: What are some key trends you have observed in the gaming industry, and how do you think they will impact the future of gaming?

Karen: The crash games have been the biggest trend in Africa in the past 2 years. It is not only the fact that players can bet low to win big, but it has also brought an increase in the more social games, with multiplayer and chat functions. I believe this social aspect of the games will grow in the future, where you not only play but also interact with dealers and other players.

iGaming AFRIKA: How important is the human factor in driving business growth in the casino industry?

Karen: It’s extremely important! Within the industry there is more and more automation of certain functionalities, this is fantastic as players can get rewards faster and withdraw in safety, however the casino experience is primarily about entertainment, and that is about feelings. Understanding the players wants and needs at a local level is critical, to be able to deliver a personalised offering in every market. 

iGaming AFRIKA: Can you discuss the role of trust in building successful casino brands and maintaining customer loyalty?

Karen: Trust is the key to growth. Players want to be entertained, but they also want to be sure that if they win, they are promptly paid out, and that they will receive rewards for playing, enabling the fun and excitement of playing games to last longer.

iGaming AFRIKA: How do you see the future of online betting evolving in comparison to retail gaming?

Karen: Online gaming in Africa will start to grow at a higher rate than retail. Trust is still the key, as long as the player is confident that their gameplay will equal their experience in retail, online does not have the restrictions that retail has, it is open 24 hours, and you can play from anywhere.

iGaming AFRIKA: What strategies do you think are most effective in digitising retail gaming experiences?

Karen: First, researching the retail market to determine the games that are played, then having those games.

iGaming AFRIKA: Can you share any successful case studies of companies that have successfully integrated technology into their casino products to enhance the user experience?

Karen: I can give you an example from PremierBet. For all types of casino games, we have introduced tournaments, as players play the games they achieve points for a leaderboard, to win additional prizes. This gives the player added entertainment value while playing their favourite games, to race to the top, as well as more ways to win while playing.

iGaming AFRIKA: What advice would you give to businesses looking to innovate and stay ahead in the ever-evolving casino industry?

Karen: Research! Research your market and players, what is currently available, what are the top games that are played, and most importantly why those games are being played, what is the appeal to the customer. Also, research the industry and Game Providers, what are the newest products that will appeal to your market.

Now, shifting our focus to performance marketing, Mr. Catteeuw, provides invaluable insights into the dynamic world of marketing within the gaming industry. With a diverse background spanning both FMCG and iGaming sectors, he offers a unique perspective on brand management and the future trajectory of performance marketing strategies. Let’s dive into his expertise and observations.

iGaming AFRIKA: Can you share with us your journey in the marketing industry and how it has influenced your approach to brand and marketing management?

Gilles: Before my 9-year run in iGaming, I started my marketing career within the FMCG sector, working for companies like Unilever. This experience has enabled me to not be too industry-biased and keep an open mind about driving marketing strategies that challenge the online gaming status quo. Think holistic marketing management with upper funnel KPIs beyond the usual last-click performance metrics!

iGaming AFRIKA: How do you envision the future of performance marketing in the gaming and betting industry?

Gilles: Performance marketing is and will remain a key pillar to drive direct revenue for operators. However, increasingly saturated market environments combined with economic inflation result in operators and affiliates alike struggling increasingly with the return on ad spend. The best way an operator can support his affiliates is by putting conversion rates at the forefront by generating brand value and developing a high-performing product.

iGaming AFRIKA: What strategies do you believe are most effective in acquiring new customers in the highly competitive gaming sector? 

Gilles: A complex question, as no two markets are the same. Operators need to first understand what attributes drive brand consideration on a market level. Having said that, brands that prioritise product-level investments and propositions above anything else will create a positive user experience from the first site visit, resulting in high conversion and strong retention.

iGaming AFRIKA: How important is the collaboration with affiliate marketing agents in acquiring and retaining customers for Premier Bet Partners? 

Gilles: Our affiliates have been crucial specifically for building up our player base with every launch we do. Beyond the generated revenue, the mutually shared insights and learnings on African digital marketing have been invaluable for both parties to become frontrunners in the industry.

iGaming AFRIKA: In your opinion, what role does digital marketing play in the growth and profitability of gaming brands? 

Gilles: Beyond gaming, digital marketing plays an essential role in growing any D2C business. It ensures both mental and physical availability to our target audiences, whereas most FMCG brands will predominantly rely on their retailers for physical availability.

Read Also: Exclusive: Discovering the Impact – Cryptocurrency’s Role in Shaping Africa’s iGaming Industry

iGaming AFRIKA: Can you discuss the significance of budgeting for marketing activities in achieving better returns for gaming brands? 

Gilles: Budgeting is arguably the most strategic discipline within marketing management. Too many marketers budget based on tactical bias, using personal intuition and practical experience to make their decisions. Not saying it is wrong, but the success rate will be higher when tactical decisions are based on unbiased research, targeting, and strategic objective setting. Textbook budgeting should be directly driving these specified, measurable objectives.

iGaming AFRIKA: What key metrics do you consider when evaluating the success of a marketing campaign in the gaming industry? 

Gilles: It depends on your campaign’s marketing objectives. Typically, in an acquisition campaign, operators set themselves first-time depositor targets (FTDs). Quantity and quality matter here: Quantity in the form of FTD volumes at low cost per acquisition, quality in the form of revenue driven by these FTDs. Brand campaigns should be measured by for example tracking brand consideration, whereas CRM campaigns live and breathe active player count, retention rates, turnover, bet count, and net revenue.

iGaming AFRIKA: How do you ensure that end-to-end brand and marketing management is cohesive and effective across all channels for Premier Bet Partners?  

Gilles: Clear and effective stakeholder communication is key here. Internal marketing teams and external agencies alike should all be briefed on positioning, objectives, and committed marketing channel mix to guarantee textbook implementation. Make everyone involved aware of the end goal, and how your specific marketing actions contribute.

iGaming AFRIKA: Can you provide examples of successful marketing campaigns that you have led and how they have contributed to brand growth and profitability? 

Gilles: The rollout of a continent-wide “Proudly African” campaign, executed with our iconic brand ambassador Didier Drogba at the heart of all marketing communications. Since its launch back in August 2022, we have seen unprecedented organic growth, putting our active user base at a permanently high level. To date, it is still one of the underlying reasons why our affiliate program is in high demand.

iGaming AFRIKA: What advice would you give to aspiring marketers looking to excel in the fast-paced and competitive gaming and betting industry? 

Gilles: Be careful about where you spend your time and energy. Make sure that everything you do contributes to either your set KPIs or your personal development goals. Find a daily routine that creates a headspace to think before doing, and to review after doing. You will naturally become a better marketer. There will always be a lot of noise out there. Find the music to your ears.


The crash games have been the biggest trend in Africa in the past 2 years. It is not only the fact that players can bet low to win big, but it has also brought an increase in the more social games, with multiplayer and chat functions.

Trust is the key to growth. Players want to be entertained, but they also want to be sure that if they win, they are promptly paid out, and that they will receive rewards for playing

Performance marketing is and will remain a key pillar to drive direct revenue for operators.

Budgeting is arguably the most strategic discipline within marketing management. 

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