On Monday, San Francisco-based social and mobile gaming company, Ruby Seven Studios, announced an official partnership with Dallas, TX-based sweepstakes marketing provider, CataBoom.
Founded in 2012, CataBoom is a marketing technology company behind a hugely popular Prize SDK that allows developers to quickly integrate a sweepstakes offer or an instant chance to win up to $1 million to their online, social or mobile-based games or applications.
As the social and mobile gaming market becomes increasingly saturated, social casino game developers are taking cues from the land based casino industry for best practices in capturing new audiences.
Recently, mGamingWatch caught up with CataBoom CEO Todd McGee to discuss his company’s prowess in driving and rewarding specific consumer behaviors through powerful incentives that give developers a fully integrated marketing campaign.
MGW: For those who aren’t familiar with CataBoom, what role does your company play in the gaming and casino industries today?
McGee: To understand what we do, you really need to understand our parent company. Our parent company is SCA Promotions. They’ve been in business for about 27 years. They do promotional prize coverage. It allows companies – especially marketing companies, brands, and others in the space – to be able to limit their risk on big prizes but be able to use those big prizes to promote whatever behavior they’re trying to drive. So for example, consider half-court basketball shots. Carmex recently did around LeBron James’ charity. A guy hit a half-court basketball shot and LeBron’s charity got $75,000 and the guy who made the shot got $75,000. But the brand actually paid a much smaller fee based on the odds. It’s all actuarial-type stuff. SCA took the risk that if the person made the shot, they would pay out $150,000. So a lot of the things you see on TV – from Deal or No Deal to McDonalds promotions – a lot of those groups who have very large prizes to offer are willing to pay a premium for coverage, based on the odds, if someone wins.
MGW: What’s new with your company today in terms of your technology, solutions and where they’re heading?
McGee: I came to the company about a year ago. And they asked me to come here to help them figure out how SCA Promotions can leverage their promotional services in the digital space – online, mobile, gaming, etc. I looked at what kind of technology SCA had and noticed they already were working in the casino gaming industry, like when you see those billboards that say you have a chance to win $100,000 at a particular casino. The chance to win big money motivates players to come back to the casino…and perhaps even play longer. So they come in the casino and swipe their players’ card at an SCA kiosk, which uses an RNG – a random number generator. It automatically checks to see if they’ve won. It’s a real chance to win. SCA’s RNG is GLI-certified, which means each play generates a secure, auditable, and random prize result. What’s interesting about that RNG is that it’s covered for up to $1 million instantly. So when I came in, I said why don’t we build an SDK around it (for PHP, iOS, Android, etc.) that would drive behavior in the digital space with the same idea behind it – pay a small fee for a chance to win a big prize. Play the app every day for a chance to win, for example. That’s what we’re finding from most of the developers we’re talking to. They’re using it as a way for retention. Because, you know, they’re already paying marketing companies to get them there. The problem is, how can we keep them coming back and extend the life of that game? So by adding that big prize, it drives the desired behavior. A great is example is a big casino game that is launching in November. Every day you come back and you get a virtual scratch card for a chance to win $1 million. But really what’s really happening is that it’s hitting our RNG to determine a win or lose result. The game developer tells us what prize they want and on a per play basis it gives their users a chance to win.
MGW: What makes CataBoom so particularly effective in the mobile space?
McGee: It’s the natural desire people have to win the big prize. There’s a reason why people stand in a long line around the corner when the lottery is $500 million dollars. And, by the way, people win all the time. I want to point that out. SCA has paid out $181 million dollars since 1986. By offering that big prize, we drive behavior. One of the big things that we always recommend is that you also include some guaranteed prizes, whether that’s free coins, or whatever it may be. But you always have guaranteed prizes that you can mix up with the large prize. And so they’re always giving something. A great example is an offer wall. You get 100 coins when you watch a video or like us on Facebook. But when you take that further and say by liking us on Facebook you get 100 coins and a chance to win $10,000, the results that we’re getting are amazing – blow your mind amazing. We did a test with a company that was in the business of working with brands to give away prizes at the end of game. For example, you just finished a level and won $2 off your next Jamba Juice. Now you put your email address in and you get a coupon. It’s a way for brands to get in front of the customer. They get between a 1-3% take rate this way. It’s kind of like direct mail to some degree. When you added an incentive to win on top of that – so you just won $2 at Jamba Juice and a chance to win $10,000 – it went from a 1-3% take rate to a 61% take rate. So the ability to add that prize onto an existing prize drives behavior. Now, I can’t guarantee 61% every time. But I can say for sure that you can expect a higher rate of conversion. The thing about it is that most of these companies are paying $1 to $2 dollars to acquire a customer and we can get them multiple new customers for pennies. The fee is nominal at that point. The numbers are just ridiculous and it’s so easy to get there.
To learn more about CataBoom, click here.