DraftKings New CMO: 'We Could Have Reduced the Ads a Bit'

Boston-based Daily Fantasy Sports site DraftKings has appointed Janet Holian as its first-ever chief marketing officer.  The co-founders previously worked with Holian at VistaPrint. 

When asked about the massive ad blitze that could have resulted in various Attorney Generals coming after DraftKings and rival FanDuel, Holian did admit "we could have reduced the ads a bit".

Yahoo Finance recently interviewed Ms. Holian.

Yahoo Finance: You obviously saw the company's advertising strategy this past fall, and how the ads were seemingly everywhere for a while. Did they run too many?

Her response:

I would say a couple things about that. First and foremost, in 2014 I think they learned that this time period—the two weeks prior to Week One [of the NFL season] and Week One—was the critical time when we needed to acquire customers. So there was a definitive decision to have a very wide media footprint during that time. I will say, we are a very analytics-driven company. We had eight ads running in the market during that three-week period, and we were testing to make sure we came out of that period with the best two ads. I think we could have done that testing sooner, so that we could have known which one was the winner. We should have done that in late July or early August so that we got a read and went out there with just two ads.

The best analogy I can give is major retailers around Black Friday. They flood the airwaves too, because they have a seasonal business where one time period is very crucial. We wanted to acquire a lot of customers in that crucial period.

But when pressed further, Holian admitted DraftKings could have reduced the amount of ad exposure.

We could have reduced the ads a bit. But I would expect that we will execute a similar strategy, whatever our budget is, in 2016. The majority of our ad spend will happen in that same period of time and then gradually scale down.

With the exception of getting some backlash around the amount of ads people were seeing, the strategy worked. We more than accomplished our goals.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

By Aaron Goldstein
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