As a 25-year-old leading sports betting company, Parimatch is well versed in how to turn a business into a brand. With the company embarking on another year filled with new partnerships, new markets and more, Andrii Suslenko, Chief Communications Officer, explains why it’s never been more important to stand out from the crowd…
Reliable, brave and bright.
These three attributes have created a company narrative at Parimatch, which is clearly aligned with our business goals, but we didn’t reinvent the wheel to do this. We studied the history of the company, our approach to business and marketing, and our principles of work as a whole, then determined that we wanted to be known as an audacious and brave brand. Dare to be different is our motto and we support this with key pillars and proof points which describe the business. We’re reliable, because we’ve got a 25-year history and we continue to grow. We are driven by data, and are still stable despite market volatility. This narrative is central to our communications both inside and outside of the organisation.
Putting your ambassadors at the TOP of the pile.
We recognise the positive response to our key messaging which we get from our employees, clients and partners. They like our marketing approach, they like the audacity of our operations, they like our tone of voice. Our B2B partners are often amazed by the braveness of our behaviour and they respect it.
The difference between how we deploy this brand internally and externally should be noted. For internal comms we use it as a concept to inform a set of tactical tools such as our internal strategic goal- and vision- setting conference PM:GO or corporate events. Whereas, externally the brand’s power is strengthened thanks to our TOP-managers, who present the company to the world. They communicate this narrative through their behaviour, comments in the press and in their negotiations with partners. Our employees are our main ambassadors because they know how to describe our brand.
A global brand ethos
We are a company that operates in many regions and speaks many languages meaning that we are culturally diverse. However, we have a similar code of values, which connects us and helps us to overcome our cultural barriers. Also, being in different regions and offices, we have different levels of knowledge of international practices and different time zones. This can cause issues when it comes to timing and technical errors. But because we all share similar fundamental values, we have a good chance of overcoming these barriers.
We are all fired up to win, which helps us overcome the differences. As for external facing communications, in varying countries there are different opinions on the gaming business, so perceptions can differ especially as political and economic events also make an impact. Generally, the media space influences the way we adjust the brand.
Creating a culture of solid communication.
The first thing to do to instil both strong corporate and internal comms is a SWOT analysis of the company’s current communications. This is what we did at Parimatch and helps highlight how good comms are and whether they meet a set of objectives. For example, it is important to communicate with employees what is going on within the business, what are the overall goals, where are we going, and what is our ‘why’. We gathered our internal stakeholders (TOP-managers, regional leaders, middle managers, opinion leaders) to ask them these questions and analysed their answers. From this, we created a hypothesis. After reviewing, we built a strategy based on this hypothesis and implemented it.
In addition, it is important to check whether we are doing everything right so it’s necessary to carry out a communication audit, both external and internal. It is important to remember the following: each person in our business is vital, and clarity in our communication is the key to understanding what is happening. During this work, we realised that a properly built communication function with similar principles actually enhances interaction and establishes a foundation of honesty, transparency and trust. Clarity generally helps people to feel stable and safe.
While it’s great to be the ‘next big thing’, it’s important to understand the foundations of your reputation and what it is based on, for B2C clients as well as for B2B clients. The basic elements are trust of the brand and of the business. It’s the knowledge that the business is up-to-date technologically and that it meets the customer’s requests and needs. If we communicate that we’re a lifestyle brand, that is what we must be. It’s about consistency. By observing the principles of work, a reputation is sure to be maintained and enhanced, while being open and flexible enough to become the next great thing.
A balance of brand and business.
The role of our communications department is to support and help the business. In my opinion, we walk hand-in-hand with the business and help to serve its interests. We have already achieved a balance in the fact that we, as the communications department, do not interfere and instead focus on helping the business operate in a competitive environment. On the contrary, we are there to support, since we are one Parimatch team, all with a common goal – to ‘dare to be different’!