A perpetual series of hope: Betting big (and fishing) with Chris Raimondi of Tabcorp
“The single most important thing that drove this award is our people and our team culture. Our team understood that this would be hard work, but there were going to be opportunities to learn new things. That really built a solutions-first culture and a culture of customer obsession.”
– Chris Raimondi, Head of CRM & Loyalty, Tabcorp
Placing a bet and playing the odds isn’t just reserved for Tabcorp customers cheering on horses and jockeys at the racetrack. It’s what every business professional does day in and day out as they navigate our modern age of digital transformation.
I recently sat down with Tabcorp’s head of CRM and loyalty, Chris Raimondi, who leads a team that created personalized digital wagering experiences at over 4,000 venues across Australia. Our conversation not only unpacks the culture and perspectives of a winning digital team, but also serves as a great reminder of, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.
For Tabcorp, winning the 2021 Adobe Experience Maker Team of the Year Award for APAC represents the culmination of a well-timed wager that began three years ago. Facing rising competition from digital players, the team knew they had to improve and digitize the betting experience for customers who engaged in-person at a pub or track.
“Creating a great experience for customers in that environment was really important to us, because it’s such a huge competitive difference. We have found that customers who visit our venues and engage through their devices and digital account while in venues are more loyal,” Raimondi said.
The Tabcorp team’s personalization journey began with a clear strategy that sought to utilize the full potential of Adobe Experience Cloud technology. Through a cross-functional team of experts in content delivery, data science, campaign management, business analysis, technology and digital marketing, the team navigated the integration of two customer databases on two CRM systems.
The resulting experience delivered:
- 1.1 million personalized fan engagements
- 15 percent year-over-year customer growth through digital
- More than 75 percent customer retention
Excitement with integrity, powered by a culture of customer-obsession
There is a mantra at Tabcorp, “Excitement with integrity.”
Raimondi explains, “We always try to provide our customers with the thrill that comes with having a bet on a game or a race, and doing that in the right fashion. Personalization plays perfectly into that. We can understand what customers are more suited to betting on by their behavior, by their previous history, by how they engage in our website and now app.”
Raimondi elaborated that much of the team’s success with this digital transformation work comes down to attitude, especially over the disruptive 18 months that preceded our conversation. “Everyone just rolled up their sleeves and dealt with what was thrown at us.”
Drawing a parallel to how the rest of the business community had to adapt and change to the COVID-19 pandemic, he described the new normal of remote work. “I think the world in general has become more resilient to these sorts of challenges. There are people within our business who have come on and played a huge role in this program who I haven’t met [in person] yet.”
A “perpetual series of hope” – fishing, life, and digital transformation
On a personal level, Raimondi’s role is all about the right message to the right person at the right time. Every day he oversees outbound personalized communication over email, SMS, and digital inbound assets as the team looks at a holistic experience for customers across channels.
It’s a constant job of iterating and experimenting:
“We measure success, understand what worked and what didn’t, and adapt to make it better next time. If we’re doing that each and every time, we’re going to continue to grow and do a good job.”
His advice for those looking to emulate his success? “Have small goals along the way, and points where you can celebrate and understand whether it’s working or not. And either forge ahead if it’s working or regroup. Make sure you can continue on that upward trajectory.”
Raimondi also shared with me a passion for fishing — a sport that I found drew many parallels to his work, day in and day out.
According to author John Buchan, “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”
The Tabcorp team pursues what’s elusive – a seamless CX for buyers on digital channels — but attainable. And the excitement of placing a bet is really an act of hope, whether on a racetrack or in a role like Raimondi’s.
Like fishing, it requires a constant hunger for more. “There’s always bigger fish to catch. There’s always a new way to catch it.”
As all digital teams like this award-winning group at Tabcorp knows, the charter of creating new digital experiences is made up of placing small bets, taking risks, and experimenting — but always grounded in a little bit of hope.
Honoring the Movers and Shakers. Learn more about the Adobe Experience Maker Awards.