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Interview with Neill Garfield – A Series of posts about The Betsson Team Leaders

"Every strike brings you closer to the next home run – Babe Ruth." Having relocated to Malta from Australia, Neill Garfield joined Betsson Group as Managing Director for Nordicbet in August 2013. Bringing a heap of knowledge with him, Neill is enthusiastic about his past work experience and personal growth; ‘At Apple I learned a great deal about branding. At Sky, a pay UK Pay TV provider, I learned about how to leverage data and digital marketing to drive performance. At O2, the UK’s largest Telco, I learned how to apply customer insight to deliver meaningful promotions and offers to create competitive advantage, and at Paddy Power, where I had end-to-end responsibility for promotions, CRM, content and social marketing for sport.’

Neill Garfield

Neill Garfield - Nordicbet

The Team

‘Our team has a clear purpose,’ continues Neill, ‘Leverage the vision to become the home of sports betting for Scandinavia. We have a rich and unrivalled expertise in domestic sports: now we need to bring that to life in a way that adds value to the customer. We must work harder to demonstrate our credibility in this space every day, not just in the convenience of the Champions League, World Cup or NHL, but also Adecco Ligaen, Pesapello, Trotting, KHL and Eurobasket.

Fortunately I have a great team who are passionate about customers and our purpose. We have recently completed the Leadership Team for Nordicbet, covering products, marketing, e-commerce and analysis, and are 27 in total.’

The 5 year Strategy

‘I am very comfortable working with this vision, because I have been using a lot of it in previous companies. Sky had highly sophisticated real time marketing, O2 are world class digital marketers, Paddy Power has built an extraordinary brand that I was privileged to be part of and see how it worked.

So that is what I contribute – experience, not just in how / what to deliver but what to avoid in making it happen.

With Nordicbet we have been busy working on the fundamental part of the vision: to be the most customer-centric business in the gambling industry, we needed to know our customers behaviour. We now know exactly how our customers bet, right down to team/bet type level, so we can now meet their needs in an advanced way. So as an example, for the forthcoming French Open, we can target tennis bettors who play only clay ATP tournaments and who have previously backed Nadal so we can communicate with them when he is playing. We can see whether they have bet pre-match or live, web or PC, single or combi. This is a rich level of data that allows us to connect our products to the customer in a real, relevant way. We can do this for any type of team, bet, event, or sport. Better yet – we have shared this capability with the rest of the business. Watch this space!’ smiles Neill.

‘We have also been busy getting the technology to enable the data, so we can enable 1-2-1 communication at a granular level across site and communications, as well as rolling out our mobile product, which has soft launched and are aiming for a June 2nd launch across iOS and web.

Finally, I am really excited about the new brand work that the marketing team working on, which will launch mid-September. It has tested really well with customers and will go far in helping us achieve our ultimate goal of being the home of sport for the Nordics.’

Delivery and the Future

‘All brands are focused on executing the strategy, but where we differ is that our focus is on sport. Sport is a fantastic opportunity to own in Scandinavia: it is growing quickly and has a well-defined audience. It is competitive, and as a competitive team we relish that.

The final step of delivering on the strategy is migration, which we are doing in three phases. Phase one, moving onto the payment platform, was completed before Christmas. We are now migrating our DK business onto Techsson just after the Champions League final, and will shortly commence the third and final leg, of the remaining businesses of Nordicbet.com and Triobet.com.

Companies that deliver the right product, at the right price, in the right place with the right promotion will win. Always have, always will.

The only thing the internet has changed is that all of those 4Ps need to be delivered in 0.5 seconds or less, across all channels customers choose. They simply open another competitor – so 0.5 seconds is the difference between success and failure. Soon it will be 0.25.

On a separate note, I am still mildly hopeful that the hover board in Back to the Future will come to market in my lifetime,’ he laughs.

Drive

‘I am driven by the opportunity to learn, bringing my thoughts to life and seeing members of my team succeed. Beyond work, I am a huge fan of rugby league and rugby union, and a patriotic supporter of the England Team. For Scandinavian colleagues who don’t know anything about rugby, the best quote I can offer is:

‘Football is 90 minutes of men pretending that they’re injured. Rugby is 80 minutes of men pretending that they’re not’.

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