GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 44 - July 2019

What traits do you look for in an af- filiate manager? How about in an affiliate program? For me, the most important is to stay consistent all over the partnership. Being able to develop some kind of “friendship” is important to me, and I’ve seen some affiliate managers or teams out there that have been able to do that for years. We must not forget that there are real humans behind e-mails. Also I think an affiliate program should pay on time or resolve payment problems within an acceptable delay. In addition, addressing specific affiliate needs is important. And a last point is the technical background: The affiliate team should master their program technical specificities, or work with affiliates to understand where failures occur and be able to correct problems and bugs. How has the GPWA changed since you first joined it? Is it still as useful to you as when you were a newer affil- iate? The GPWA is my message in a bottle! Even if there have been some changes over the years, it has always kept its initial feeling, and to find some of the same participants now thanmore than 15 years ago is amazing. Cindy has really created something unique. And as I was speaking about consistency with affiliate managers and programs, GPWA has been able to stay consistent all over the years, and that says a lot. It’s like my home in the online gambling sector! What do you like about the industry? The fact that it is always moving, always innovating, and that it is so fun and excit- ing. Also, the individuals here are strong personalities and powerful marketers – the level is high, and I like challenges. If you could change one thing about the industry these days, what would it be and why? Regulations are a pain and a hassle tomanage; I wish things could be clear- er and not as constraining as today. It would be better if a global framework, or at least by continent, was crafted, but I think I am de- scribing something impossible. Also, a better technical framework with affiliate programs about data from their clients – for example, APIs where we can programmatically query the latest casino data, games data, country acceptances… I’ve seen some moves on this side, for example, with FirstLookGames. What do you think the industry will look like in five years? It’s not a secret that there will be more consolidation, and we see this actually with all those site acquisi- tions frommedia companies such as Catena Media. Customer loyalty is becoming an important target for those media companies, as I think gaming guides will always have a good place within the customer ecosystem. It shows that smaller affiliates (like me) will have a hard time competing. These media companies will become very powerful in this sector. But big media companies also have their weaknesses: Small affiliates can have fast, more agile and more precise efficiency, and people like what is new, so they may get bored easily. But as I said, it now requires some funding in terms of human resources, experience and money to compete. On a second point, I see an ever-increas- ing trend in new technologies with online casinos, and I think we will see more in- vestments in this field to innovate and thus acquire new customers and capture the competition’s. What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate? My family members, and even the majority of my friends, don’t understand anything about what I do. It’s not that they can’t under- stand; after trying to explain everything in detail I later simplified everything and was saying that I am like a salesperson at a car company who makes sales for a brand. The website is the salesperson. But they can’t fathom the virtualization of that idea: They prefer to think I run an online casino, and what speaks the most to them are the re- sults. In their defense, I must say that in any sector I’ve done affiliate marketing in, I’ve also received support e-mails from visitors (customers) who thought I was running the end product. This has been very frequent. What’s your approach to SEO and drawing traffic to your site? How much time do you spend on SEO spe- cifically? SEO is no longer what it was before. For me it has always been about the users of a website, then the brand and cre- ating loyalty. In the past we could “game” search engines, but that’s no longer really the case, or maybe for short periods of time. I prefer to spend lots of time analyzing my visitors and improving the website, rather than reading every article about Google’s algorithm updates. It’s not that anything has to be done about SEO; on the contrary, there is a lot work and your site must speak well to search engines. But for me, I don’t try to game anything. I do a quality website technically, and then I work for users. Key- word research is for me not an SEO task, for example. It’s about users. G P W A t i m e s . o r g 54 GPWA AFFILIATE INTERVIEW SERIES