Online bingo is attracting a different player profile but that doesn’t mean that retail should feel threatened – quite the opposite. Majestic Bingo’s Mark Jepp explains why.
Mark Jepp, managing director of leading independent operator Majestic Bingo, believes that branded online and retail bingo propositions can co-exist and if handled strategically help to address the two decades decline in bricks and mortar admissions.
His comments follow the publication of the WhichBingo annual insight report that found the number of men playing bingo had more than doubled between 2020 and 2021 and that 75 percent of online bingo users in the UK were aged under-44.
The report argues that as a consequence of what it described as a ‘seismic shift’ in how the game is played in the UK, brands need to rethink their marketing and commercial activities in order to target younger millennial and generation Z demographics.
Mark Jepp explained: “What the WhichBingo survey has hit upon – and Majestic is well down the road with this – is the need to understand the changing customer base and market to them in the correct way at the same time as not throwing the baby out with the bath water.
“Majestic’s core demographic is still 35-55 year old females and we still need to offer them a great, safe night out by providing a first class product, exemplary service and a welcoming environment.
“A criticism levelled at retail bingo is that it attempts to be everything to everybody in terms of how it communicates with its existing customer base when it should be getting its head around marketing in different ways to different profiles using different channels: persuading online players to participate in the retail experience is part of that process.
“Majestic is already on this pathway and the results are encouraging. Our online/offline dynamic is mutually supportive, so, for example if a customer doesn’t want to or can’t come to their favourite club, we still want them to be with the brand which they can do via our Majestic’s Big Night In initiative. Bingo cannot simply rely on the ageing population stats – that’s lazy and it will not help recruit new customers.
“I agree with WhichBingo that online is most definitely here to stay but I think the way ahead is to deliver a blended experience and recognise that the relationship between online and retail does not have to be adversarial.”