LONDON: Two-thirds (67%) of UK adults are concerned about the quantity of advertising for the online gambling industry while only one-in-five believe online gaming companies target the right audience, new research has revealed.
Based on responses from 2,000 UK adults, including 604 active or former online gamblers, the "Betting on Digital" report from digital analysts IgnitionOne and research firm ComRes also sought the views of 11 senior marketers from the sector.
As reported by Marketing, the study identified a certain mismatch between the views of the marketers and consumers, particularly regarding the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and also the trend towards mobile gaming.
The marketers believed that TV remained important as a medium to build strong brand awareness, yet a quarter (24%) of consumers who are active or previous online gamblers said online advertising was equally important.
Other important drivers that influence this group of respondents included an easy user experience (73%), the quality of the game (69%) and word-of-mouth (43%).
Similarly, most of the industry marketers did not believe that gaming consumers cared much about a brand's social reputation, yet 40% of consumers said they would be more likely to place a bet with a company that contributed financially towards research, education and treatment of problem gambling.
"A strong segment of the British population gambles online and those polled said that product quality was more important in determining which site they used, compared to advertisements," said Simon Hayes, MD of IgnitionOne.
"Brand reputation and a brand's corporate social responsibility policies are big factors when it comes to positive perceptions among consumers," he added.
On top addressing CSR in the gaming industry, the survey also suggested marketing effectiveness and accurate targeting of audiences needed to improve.
It found 67% of UK adults were concerned about the amount of advertising for online gaming companies while only 21% agreed that their advertising targeted the right audience.
In other findings, the report confirmed that the National Lottery is the most popular form of gambling for UK adults (58%), followed by bingo (45%), horse racing (44%), other sports betting (42%) and casino games (36%).
Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff