Sportsbet is expanding its use of data analytics to drive personalisation of the customer experience and better marketing outcomes.

General manager for online, Rod van Onselen, told the CeBIT big data analytics conference that he had been surprised by Sportsbet’s analytics maturity when he joined from a bank two years ago.

“Coming from a big scale organisation, I made the mistake of thinking that automatically meant being the most sophisticated,” Van Onselen said.

“I don’t think that’s true because much of the heritage of Sportsbet in being a digital business. Betting and analytics really go hand in hand.”

To date, the wagering firm has concentrated analytics deployments around the way it sets fixed odds and pricing.

“The vast majority of our business is what we call the fixed odds business where we basically set our own prices and customers take a position on those prices where they win or lose based on the prices that we offer and the outcomes from the events,” van Onselen said.

“That’s really analytically driven, and through the smarts of the analytics that we use, the prices that we set are often mirrored by many of the other competitors in the market because we’re one of the biggest online players.”

While the analytics in this area were already sophisticated, van Onselen said the company’s more recent efforts have “been about trying to bring that same sort of sophistication and discipline to the customer and marketing side of the organisation”.

“We’ve been really investing heavily firstly into capabilities that will enable us to personalise customer experiences,” he said.

The company was cognisant that customers in reality “will spend a lot more time outside of Sportsbet’s app and web environments”.

However, it still wanted to find a way to “reach those customers wherever they are with really relevant, contextual offers and messages and communications”.

Part of the reason to invest in data analytics to enable this kind of capability is because Sportsbet finds itself in a very competitive and congested market.

“You’ve seen [this] through the TV advertising [for fixed odds],” he said. “Trust me, [that level of competition] follows all the way through other parts of the business.

“So for us it’s really about trying to shift to - at a macro level - a much more personalised experience for customers and engineering a lot of the data and analytics that we have into the experience the customers have.”