BLOG OF FINTAN COSTELLO - MOSTLY ABOUT WHERE DIGITAL MARKETING OVERLAPS WITH THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY. 

Monkey Porn for Affiliates

The old adage is that a million monkeys at a million typewriters will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare, I believe before they get that far, first they will create monkey porn and then get a website ranking number one for online casino and this is the crux of the power of affiliates to the eGaming industry.

With absolutely no dis-respect to affiliates intended, what we see in the likes of the eGR Power50 Affiliate list is the cream of the crop that intentionally and sometimes even unintentionally hit upon the right combination of product tactics and timing to make it big. What we don’t see due to the low barriers of entry to becoming an affiliate is the millions of eGaming affiliates who have not even made a dollar. This survivorship bias towards the big winners clouds our judgment on affiliate marketing with operators moaning and complaining about how “greedy affiliates are these days” and the chorus of “I could do that, it’s easy” from the affiliate managers.

In reality eGaming affiliate marketing is an absolutely brutal fight to the death and resembles the concept of “total war” where in the battle to survive nothing is off limits. Why? It’s simple, there is practically zero loyalty from operators to affiliates, if you lose your search engine rankings (or whatever traffic source), the affiliate who just replaced you will get the operator love instead. 

With this dog eat dog attitude from the operators, they have zero rights to whine when an affiliate complains about poor offers, broken tracking links or slow reporting, let alone when it comes time to sign-off on the commission payments. 

In my view, operators instead need to absolutely embrace affiliates, effectively you have at your disposal a marketing neural network that is constantly trying and testing millions of different marketing techniques in real-time. To build this with an in-house team or even a number of external agencies would either be impossible or too expensive.  This also goes hand in hand with the plausible deniability that some operators use with affiliates, by effectively out-sourcing the shady marketing tactics to a third parties (the recent big clamp down and hand wringing on illegal live streaming sites anyone?), it allows operators through proxies to be where they shouldn’t be.

By embracing and efficiently outsourcing the hard work of marketing to affiliates and with the rise of super large affiliates operators need to review their current processes and really step up their game in terms of what they offer these partners. This can be done relatively easily, apart from the obvious one of pay them on time, real time reporting, hosting and infrastructure, direct access to design and development departments, including affiliate feedback in product roadmaps and basically anything else that frees the affiliate up to do what they do best, online marketing.

While it will be easy as an operator to think, “why should we do all of this, this is what affiliates get paid for”, the affiliate only gets paid on results so the better you can help them perform, not only the stronger your partnership will be but also the better results you will see for your own business.

The operators who can provide the most value to affiliates in terms of services and most importantly in optimising conversion funnels and maximizing player values will be the ones who win in the long run.

 

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