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Exclusive Interview with George Shamugia, Singular’s CEO

George Miller

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Exclusive Interview with George Shamugia, Singular's CEO
Reading Time: 7 minutes

 

Could you briefly narrate the story of Singular, from its beginning in 2009 in Tbilisi to its present state as a global gaming technology provider?

The story of Singular started back in December 2009 in Tbilisi, Georgia when it was officially formed as a company by two longtime friends (friends, since high school) George Shamugia and Akaki Meladze. Initially, Singular was involved in social gaming and during the course of 2010 – 2011 has produced several popular mass scale social games. During the second half of 2011, Singular did few social games (Dice Poker, Fantasy Football) for the local online gambling operator Adjarabet. During that time Adjarabet had just started their online operations. Soon they became the leading Georgian casino operator, and Singular played a huge role in this.

This was the first exposure to iGaming for Singular. We instantly saw a big opportunity for us in the iGaming field and in 2012 fully pivoted to iGaming. Singular’s experience in Social Gaming field empowered the company to swiftly enter the iGaming field and provide a truly outstanding solution, which was innovative and forward-looking. Since then Singular has developed bespoke iGaming platform, Sports-betting platform, Poker, and some casino and live casino content.

During the next few years (till the end of 2014) Adjarabet fully migrated to Singular’s solutions across all verticals: iGaming platform, SportsBetting, P2P games including poker, casino and live casino content.
In 2013 Singular opened its first office outside Georgia, in Skopje Macedonia. The decision was mostly dictated by the rapidly growing demand for Singular’s products. At the end of 2014 Darko Gacov, who was previously heading Adjarabet’s online operations, from day one, joined Singular as one of the partners. In 2015 Singular moved its HQ to Malta and exhibited for the first time on ICE London. 2015 is the year when Singular started the expansion of its client base and soon it had clients across every single continent covering the regulated markets for online gambling.
Throughout the years, innovation has always been our focus, and at the end of 2018, this was recognized by the Venture capital fund – Vereeni Investments. Singular joined Vereeni Investments’ newly unveiled €100 million tech fund ‘Level Up’ which focuses on innovative companies within the fintech, media, iGaming, business intelligence, software development, crypto and blockchain verticals. This has initiated a number of growth plans which have the potential to further expand Singular’s presence, not only geographically, but also in new industry directions.

Singular provides the full spectrum of iGaming and land-based technology solutions to gaming companies, ranging from the front-end website through the games to CRM and back-end features. Could you share a couple of success stories of gaming companies that use Singular’s platform and services?

There are few examples that can be mentioned here, but one solid example is Adjarabet, the Georgian operator which, having being fueled solely by Singular’s technology, became the fastest growing online gaming company on a global level and dominated the local market. We empowered their transition from retail to online by successful digitalization of their brick and mortar roulettes and streaming them online – a bridge for players trust.
This year, Adjarabet was acquired by Paddy Power Betfair who want to prolong the utilization of Singular’s platform for several coming years thanks to the continuous innovation of the
solutions and our tailored approach for each operator which only confirms our dedication to helping our partners grow.

There is a buzz in the industry about the new sportsbook that Singular is developing. It is tipped to be the most innovative of its kind. Could you tell us more about it? When is the launch scheduled?

In September this year, we are planning to release a completely new sports-book which was engineered from scratch and will set a new standard for sports-betting in the iGaming Industry. The product is the result of long and thorough research of the market with a high focus on changing players’ demands. Also, we believe that these shifts in demand provide lots of opportunities to change their experience as well. This release is our attempt to redefine what Sports-betting platform should look like and offer in terms of functionality.
Our new sports-book will take user experience to the next level with some bold moves, with in-play first approach, a platform that automatically adapts to each player’s needs and gives them personalized game experience, based on their activities and interaction patterns with the platform.

Your development centers are located at Skopje and Tbilisi – not, for instance, London, California or Malta. Was it a deliberate decision to stick with the supposedly offbeat locations? What are its pros and cons, if any?

When we started the Singular Story our goal was not only building a successful business but contributing towards building a more robust software community in our home country. Making a decision to start a company far from the innovation hubs bear its own risks, especially when your goal is to compete on a global scale. But, I think those are the decisions that make the journey worthwhile. You’d be surprised how skillful and ambitious talent pool these “offbeat” locations have. So, everything started in Tbilisi, Georgia where our first development base was opened and where today we have a strong and innovative team of engineers. Also, the development base in Skopje, Macedonia tackles all sports-book related development and innovation processes. Opening office in Macedonia for us was a straightforward decision. First, Macedonia offers a good pool of highly qualified backend java engineers. Second, the
fact that Darko Gacov, one of our partners, is from Macedonia gave Singular easy access to that market. The latest addition to our development bases is Tallinn, Estonia, which is one of the tech hubs of Europe. For this reason, finding top-notch software engineers there is easy.

Malta is the place where Singular is headquartered, and all the Singulars processes and activities are governed. The reason behind the opening HQ in Malta is simple – Malta is almost like the Silicon Valley for iGaming industry. It goes without saying that every single iGaming company must have some sort of presence in Malta.
San Francisco base, which is also a new addition to our team, works solely on a new iGaming product which will primarily target the US market only and initially will be launched as F2P (free to play).
On the cons side, having distributed teams across several locations with time zone differences requires a lot of effort to keep everyone in sync.

Could you tell us more about the regulated markets that have Singular’s footprint? What are your strategies to tackle vastly different and constantly changing legislations even across Europe?

Let me name a few markets: Europe, Nigeria from the African Continent and recently regulated LATAM market. We have quite frequent release cycles for almost every product, which makes it easy for us to adjust to new regulations almost instantly. The strategy we have in place to tackle vastly different and constantly changing legislation lays deep within the architecture of our platforms. Our solutions have modular architecture on the granular level, almost every aspect and functionality of them is fully configurable. In other words, every single module is a standalone service and fully configurable. This allows us to adjust and be compatible with almost every jurisdiction out there. It’s true that this kind of architecture requires more time and resources during the development time, but its flexibility fully pays off during operations. Almost no two deployments of our platform look the same thanks to the highly configurable nature. This does not only allow us to tackle different regulations required by different markets but also enables us to deliver a fully customizable and flexible platform to our clients. Ultimately, this helps our clients to stand out from the competition.

The USA and, to a lesser extent, Japan are the happening places at the moment for the sports betting service providers, especially the US Supreme Court’s verdict on PASPA Act. How do you see these developments and the role of Singular on these markets?

At this moment our primary focus is on the U.S market. It will be quite a challenging market because of its nature and will require a lot of innovation and leading-edge approaches. Good thing is that we, at Singular, love challenges while challenging markets and innovation is in our DNA.
At this moment, every single Sports-betting solution provider out there tries to directly launch their existing solutions in the U.S. In our opinion, this is a huge mistake because all the existing solutions are primarily focused on Europe. The U.S. is a totally different market and requires a tailored approach. The U.S. users’ demands and expectations in terms of the sports-betting experience totally varies from what we have in Europe or even in Africa or Asia. That is why we took a different approach for the U.S market and currently are in the process of developing new product tailored for the U.S. market. The launch is planned at the end of this year or beginning of next year.

Singular has been nominated for two categories in recently held Malta’s iGaming Excellence Awards 2019: Best iGaming Online Product of the Year and Best Gaming Online Betting Platform of the Year. What are awards and recognitions that have come by in your a decade-old journey?

We aim to continuously roll out new engaging features. We are simultaneously addressing our clients’ specific requirements, but we are also proactively innovating the solution. The nominations and awards are the cherry on the top. In addition to the nominations for Malta’s iGaming Excellence Awards 2019, our solutions have been nominated in four categories for the EGR B2B Awards 2019:

  • Sportsbook platform supplier
  • Innovation in sports betting software
  • Live casino supplier
  • Sports betting supplier

In the past 4 years, Singular’s Gaming Platform, Sports-book Solution and the Live Casino have been repeatedly nominated in number of categories by SBC Awards, EGR, G2E Asia and others. We feel extremely proud and grateful to receive recognition from the top authorities from the industry for all the hard work, year after year.

Finally, look at your crystal ball and tell us about the future! What is your take on the direction in which the industry grows, in the light of frequently emerging disruptive technologies? And what are the new products and services that Singular is going to launch?

Big data and Machine Learning is a science by itself and it is no wonder that more and more companies start referring to data as “the new oil”. It simply creates vast opportunities not only for player personalization and targeted marketing but also for discovering trends and patterns that were not visible before. If someone does it right, they will have a significant edge over their competition and it will not take long for this to have an operational effect. If you have a platform that can collect, process and package the data in relevant information and of course personnel that can interpret the data in a strategic and operational capacity for different departments, it has the potential to directly affect the success of the company.

As mentioned before, this September we plan to roll out our new Sports-betting solution. This release will be an inaugural step of an innovation process across the entire product portfolio. Through leveraging big-data and machine learning, we aim to create personalized player journey at a higher level. Also, at the end of this year, we plan to launch out U.S. centric F2P iGaming product.

We started designing the concept back in 2013 with the ultimate goal to empower operators with opportunities to offer each player a unique experience. We have a lot of modules and services that provide tools that enable this, starting with our segmentation engine, and continuing with our CRM. This approach also spreads across the rest of Singular’s products like sports-book and casino integrations, so that personalized experience is also applicable to the content delivery. However, segmentation and personalization are not “one-time – we did it” thing. It is perpetual work in the direction of improving the approach and experimenting with new and better technologies, constantly.

Interviews

Exclusive Q&A with Tim Grice, CEO of Connective3

Niji Narayan

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Exclusive Q&A with Tim Grice, CEO of Connective3
Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

We are going through one of the most difficult times in human history. The Corona virus pandemic has affected all spheres of human lives. The gaming industry is no exception.

How do the best minds of the industry analyze this rapidly evolving situation?

That’s what we want to find out with this exclusive interview with Tim Grice, the chief executive officer of Connective3, a top-notch digital marketing agency in the gaming industry based in the UK.

Here he talks about himself, his company, quick impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak in the industry and, best of all, some insightful advice on how to proceed during these tough times.

Here we go!

Q. First up, an introductory question. Tell us about yourself. Our readers love to hear top entrepreneurs talking about themselves.

A. I’ve been working in digital marketing for 13 years. I started out as a consultant in 2007, mainly working across SEO and PPC. In 2010 I joined Branded3 as Head of Search; there were no more than three people in the digital marketing team when I joined, but in 3 years we managed to grow the business to over £4m in revenue and 60 people.
Branded3 was acquired in 2013 and I took over the role of CEO in 2015, generating revenues of £7.2m and nearly 100 people in the business.
In 2019 I decided to collaborate with the founders of Branded3 and introduce a new agency brand to the mix, connective3. We have gathered together the most talented people I have worked with over a decade and have created a £1m / 20 person business in 6 months. We have huge ambitions and want to grow the business in the UK and internationally over the next 5 years.

Q. How is your business going at this time of Corona-induced turmoil?

A. Like everybody else things have slowed down. No businesses are willing to commit at such an uncertain time. However, we are working remotely very well and are even seeing some growth from our igaming and other online-only clients.

Q. What about affiliate marketing industry performance as a whole in these times? Some sectors in the affiliate world of gaming and gambling industry must be hit hard, right?

A. Any affiliates linked to travel, retail and hospitality are going to struggle immensely as no one is buying. However, we have seen an increased amount of traffic and conversions across igaming (casino/poker/bingo) as well as certain financial products and services. So very mixed, but there is no doubt some serious pain across multiple sectors.

Q. What do you think affiliate marketers in the struggling sectors should do at this stage? Any advice based on your experience?

A. It’s very hard to react as this is such a freak even; however, if possible I would recommend reviewing all content on your site, ensuring it caters to those using ‘online’ in their search queries. We have seen huge growth in ‘online + keyword’ searches across the board, and are reacting with our clients.
I think the whole crisis really spells out the need for businesses to invest in content aimed at the awareness stage of the customer journey, aspirational content to cater to customers who are browsing and wanting information before they make a purchase. Everyone is at home, no one is buying, but people are still looking in preparation for the end of this crisis. Investing in this area will put you in a stronger position when conversions dry up.

Q. Was the affiliate industry prepared to face such a crisis? What kind of course correction do the affiliate companies in the gaming and gambling sector require both in operation and strategies for tackling such a potentially long emergency period?

A. As above, I don’t think there is much that can be done to avoid the declines, only ease the pain. Investing in information-rich content, diversifying products and having international websites is probably going to be the best way to minimise the impact of a pandemic like this.

Q. What are your quick insights into the situation as we go through an ongoing crisis caused by the Corona outbreak? What are the lessons that you learned from this episode? This could be important as many warn us about similar outbreaks in the future.

A. The best piece of advice I can give is to keep your business cash rich. Have enough in the bank to see your business through six months of no revenue. It will still hurt when something like this happens, but it will allow you to navigate through it and give you the funds to invest when the world wakes up. We’re anticipating a huge wave of growth when normality returns and as a business, we want to be in position to take full advantage. Our strategy is very simple, give world class service and support to our clients and use this time to invest in our inbound marketing output.

Q. Which of the sectors in the gambling industry gained as a result of the recent crisis? It would be great if you can provide figures and stats to support your answers.

A. I can’t go into specific details about clients or numbers; however, on a whole we’re seeing quite stable numbers across the businesses we work with. Across casino, poker and bingo we’re seeing on an average a 20% increase in traffic in the UK, and even though sports betting has collapsed, we’ve seen a sharp rise in e-sports. People still want to be able to gamble even though certain products are unavailable.

Q. There is of course a reported surge in customer interest on the igaming betting front. Do you think it is sustainable during the post-crisis stage as well, when the traditional sports will be back in action?

A. I think the current surge is temporary and will stabilise when things settle down and events are allowed to continue. However, this may not be for a while looking at the current situation, so this could be a truly unprecedented summer for online casino/online poker/online bingo products. My advice would be to invest hard now in content marketing and make the most of what looks to be double digit growth in this area. We work with igaming brands getting quality links and coverage which are having a huge impact on rankings. This is where I would invest to take advantage.

Q. What would be your advices and suggestions regarding content marketing strategy for the gaming and gambling industry during this outbreak and after it? Should the old practices hold up or new ones should surface?

A. I have no doubt that buying links, link networks and other manipulative techniques still work to deliver rankings. However, we don’t advocate or practice this; our content marketing and digital PR team are one of the best in the industry and are actively working with multiple igaming businesses delivering hundreds of top tier links every month.

I would invest in informational content on your website, answering all the questions your customers could possibly have about your products and services. However, the main part of my strategy would go into digital PR and delivering high quality trusted links that deliver trust and authority in the long term, as opposed to quick fix strategies that last 3- 6 months. Decent link building can be done at scale now and deliver quantity as well as quality.

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Interviews

Exclusive Q&A with Dejan Orlac, Head of Design at Royce&Bach

George Miller

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Exclusive Q&A with Dejan Orlac, Head of Design at Royce&Bach
Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

Let’s start from the beginning. Your beginnings, that is. Our readers love to learn more about top professionals and their life. Tell us more about yourself.

I was one of those kids that knew what he wanted to do from early on. That is to turn problems into elegant solutions through design. I loved drawing anything that moved, either on wheels, through the air or, underwater. My passion led me to the Academy of Arts and Design in Ljubljana, where I studied Industrial Design. After a successful study, I moved to London to pursue my appetite for design at the Royal College of Art, studying MA in product design. I never finished the course as I found myself in front of a new challenge in the gaming industry. It was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. I became a partner and head of design at the original Royce&Bach company. One thing led to another, and soon I was playing a part in launching the online casino platform called Oryx Gaming. We planned, developed, and designed a complete library of over 40 slot games, online roulette games, and poker games. We also designed all interfaces and the whole front end that enabled the launch of the product.

It was enough. I needed a break from the gaming environment and embarked on a new adventure. I was designing different products in various industries, from toys to phones and anything in between. I worked on projects for many high-end brands like Burberry, Coway, Panasonic, LG, and many others. It was a valuable learning experience that allowed me to reflect on the gaming industry that gave me the start. It is funny how I came back full circle and decided to focus on the gaming industry again with more specific goals.

 

Perhaps the first time you made your mark in the industry was by launching Archipelago 8 electronic roulette. Tell us about that experience.

Before starting the journey with Royce&Bach, I was already designing online casino lobby’s and games for Playtech, and other casino providers. It gave me significant knowledge and confidence for my next adventure. Royce&Bach was an incredible opportunity for a 22-year-old boy. I worked and learned from some of the most intelligent people in the industry. The company had a clear goal and product vision; to disrupt the gaming industry with a better approach to a customer and user experience. The design was our first bet. Our first presentation of the Archipelago roulette was in 2007 at ICE in London, and the interest was overwhelming. However, it came with its fair share of challenges. After the show, we realized we need to go back to the drawing board and make changes to the design, construction, and implement additional feedback from potential buyers. And we did. The plan hit home with the Asian demographic, and shortly after, we started shipping our first products. Soon we proudly installed our roulette in the MGM Grand Macau.

 

You were involved with gaming product designs when you were working in Orlach Design? Could you tell us about some of the designs that you were associated with?

Orlach design is my own design company. Through Orlach design, I designed products, concepts, user interfaces, and other innovative solutions for many well-known international companies. I also worked directly with leading design studios helping them with their projects. Together we worked on products for beverage brand Budweiser, JSP and Keeler. I also designed the new UI for the ROXI home music entertainment system and worked on many projects at Burberry. It was interesting to be part of the TV brand campaign for Peugeot or cooperate on developing sets for Garnier TV commercials. Through Orlach design, I worked on many projects in healthcare tech, scientific, industrial, high spec and toy industry, interiors, and furniture design. It enabled me to receive international recognition and win the awards such as Red Dot Design award Concepts and Core77 Best Of Design.

 

You were also part of some innovations like a digital market place of 3Dprintable industrial designs. How did it go?

The 3Defied project is a digital platform with a professionally created consumer level 3d product content. Through 3Defied, designers, design companies, and prominent brands can connect and sell their work. The end customer is the owner of a 3d printer or a regular customer who prints the content through outside vendors. It is my “pet” project. I strongly believe in it, and it is something I am very passionate about. Unfortunately, due to ongoing gaming projects, 3Defied is currently on the backburner.

 

What about your present company Royce&Bach? Tell us about your areas of expertise, ongoing projects and clients.

Our passion is to create innovative gaming products that add value to players, operators, and casino vendors. Through strategic, industry-informed, and innovation-driven design, Royce&Bach strives to enhance players’ experience and maximize operators’ return on investment. We design all kinds of online and land-based casino-relevant experiences and equipment. Electronic roulettes, slot machine cabinets, player terminals, user interfaces, and casino games are just a few of many products we designed for our clients. Ultimately Royce&Bach uncovers hidden potential and delivers innovative products that exceed our client’s expectations.

We are currently working on several fascinating products. My team is designing a new slot machine and a new automated roulette for a renowned retail casino gaming company. A well-known international brand hired us to design real room interiors for their live virtual games. For them, we are also conceptualizing new games that are either more immersive or integrate the brand on a different level. Demand for digital products is rising, and we are looking forward to developing that side of the business as well.

 

Could you explain the design process and its various stages from concept to manufacturing?

We must maximize the ROI for investors as well as enhance the entertainment experience for our players.

I want to think that I am in the process of developing our “patented” approach to the challenges of designing for the gaming industry. We based our approach around understanding specific players’ psychologies. We want to know what triggers their senses, what gets them into “the zone,” how they associate themselves with the product and, how they perceive a machine design as their winning tool.

First, we dive deep into research to uncover and identify the specific opportunities associated with the client and focus on solving those through product design. Through fieldwork, we talk to all parties involved in the product lifecycle. We also learn from previous research in our industry. Works from Natasha Dow Schüll, Roger Thomas, and Bill Friedman are an essential base for further actions. After we gather all relevant information, we create a design brief which we use throughout the development process.

Next, we move to the “concept design phase,” where we propose a variety of ideas for product design. We review them with our clients and together select the winning horse. Sometimes we choose several concepts and develop them further. I like to say that those are our horses in the race, competing against each other. After the race is over, we end up with a winning horse, which becomes our winning concept.

Now it is time to optimize our design. Together with our clients, we review the ergonomics, add further technical input from the engineering team, and, overall, create a winning proposal. What follows is finalizing colors, materials, and finishes (CMF), preparing renderings, models, and mock-ups for presentations. The result is a product that makes our clients proud and excited about the future.

 

You have worked with a lot of start-ups and helped them get ahead. What are your views about start-ups in the gaming industry in general. Pros, cons and general advice, if any?

In my view, many companies developing gaming solutions, underestimate the financial investment, and the time needed to create a successful product. Due to gaming-related legislation and strict certification processes which differ from country to country, the process is more complicated in comparison to the mainstream entertainment business. Also, the industry is small, everybody knows each other, and the competition is ruthless. That creates a unique set of challenges for any start-up that wants to thrive in our industry.

Collaborate with someone who can think and work outside perceived limitations. It can uncover hidden potential you never knew was there. Do your research, look deep to avoid surprises later. Design to attract, impress, and satisfy. Be different. It will help you stay on track and continuously evolve in the ever-changing gaming environment. Design is the best tool to explore new opportunities, adapt, and plan for the future. Design is also your best bet in the product development journey to success. It’s an investment that pays back double, at least.

 

What are the challenges and opportunities that you find in the gaming industry in terms of design?

Planning design for any gambling solution creates challenges on many levels. First, the product design must be fit for the manufacturer and easy-to-operate for the vendor. The vendor is the actual buyer who has to service and maintain the product. Second, players require much understanding. They expect to receive a completely different user experience than the vendor. Both use the same product but on different levels and have different requirements. Satisfying both is very challenging. That generally makes products complicated to design and produce because they’re often required to do too much at once.

The gambling market is also continually changing. It needs to adapt to new generations of players through technology, better research, and innovation. That presents a multitude of design pathways that can open up opportunities to create innovative designs that amuse existing players or attract new ones.

 

Final question. With a number of gaming product manufacturers employing in-house designers, what value additions can an external designing firm provide?

If you want to stay ahead, you need to collaborate with someone who can work outside perceived limitations. The in-house design team usually has plenty of work supporting ongoing business demands. That is why it’s essential to include outside professionals who are well informed overall and have cross-industry experiences to come up with fresh ideas. Flexibility, free-thinking, insight, and the quality of specialized people enables our clients to offer products that exceed expectations. Most everyday consumer products that we use were conceived and designed by external design studios. Big corporations rely on smaller companies. A lot of talented and skilled people will instead work for a smaller studio than a corporation.

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Affiliate Industry

Exclusive Q&A with Marinos Shiapanis, CEO of Campeón Gaming Partners

George Miller

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Exclusive Q&A with Marinos Shiapanis, CEO of Campeón Gaming Partners
Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

We shall begin with the iGB award. How do you feel after winning this award? Had you expected this award?

We really didn’t. This was our very first time being nominated at the iGB Affiliate Awards and, given the fact that the competition was really high, we were not expecting to hear our name. Needless to say, we were – and we still are – overwhelmed and very excited. It was a team effort, and this is why we celebrated as a team after receiving the award in London.

This is the first time Campeon has been nominated for iGB Awards. And you hit the bull’s eye in the first instance itself. How do you see this honour: as a reward of your hard work or as a stepping stone for future innovation?

I think it is a little bit of both: it is definitely a reward and a recognition of the whole Campeón Gaming Partners team’s hard work and effort, but, at the same time, this is a stepping stone for us to do more, invest more in innovation, expand and further develop across all sectors. The whole team, and especially the Affiliate & Partnerships team, really devoted themselves to the company and they are the reason we have managed to win this award. Such an award is extremely important for us, as it shows how far we have gone in such a short period of time; we have managed to slowly establish ourselves in the iGaming industry, become a familiar face for affiliates in the market, expand our network and grow as a team and a brand. However, winning this award doesn’t mean we stop here; this is not just a motivation for us, but an obligation as well to work harder, focus more and deliver even better results. I think you will hear more of us the coming months.

The award recognises how Campeon stood out in terms of “transparency, inclusiveness and continuous support”. What are the things unique to the affiliate program of Campeon Gaming Partners?

Since the beginning, our vision was to create an affiliate program that would not only attract affiliates, but it would also keep them engaged. We started off with a small network and as we were building it up, we were also improving our program. Today, our network is comprised of over 1,000 affiliates and our affiliate team has managed to establish personal relationship with each and every one of them. To us, it’s crucial to put a face to the name; it’s not just about numbers, it’s about having a person who you know will listen to you and deal with your issues no matter how big or small. This is our way of thinking: we treat each affiliate’s request as equal, and I believe that our affiliates appreciate this.

In early 2019, our team dedicated themselves into redesigning the program’s strategy, aiming at building stronger, more interpersonal relationships with our partners, and providing them with better models in order to maximize their profits. At the same time, we optimized the affiliate experience, from the registration of the player, all the way to the affiliate statics’ analysis we have successfully merged, integrated, and incorporated all of the Campeón Gaming Partners’ brands into new platforms, ensuring that no affiliate activity was ever disrupted.

The award also mentions how Campeon offered tailor-made program to the affiliates. Could you shed more light into the deeply customizable affiliate programs of Campeon Gaming Partners?

Each affiliate has his or her own needs that looks into serving through a program. At Campeón Gaming Partners, we understand that, and every time we onboard an affiliate, we go into deep discussions with him or her to understand what they are looking for in our program. I think the most important fact for our affiliates is that we assign them their very personal point of contact, who is there for them whenever they are in need. So, when we onboard a new affiliate, we first assign him or her their point of contact, who makes sure to talk to him or her, understand his or her needs and goals and together they create a program tailor-made to the affiliate’s needs.

What are the qualities that you look forward to in an affiliate? Not all affiliates are likely to become successful, right? Based on your experience, what separates the successful affiliates from the rest?

We want our affiliates to treat us the same way we treat them: with respect and transparency. We always do our best to accommodate our affiliates’ needs, so we are looking into building partnerships based on trust. I think this is the most important part for us.

Regarding the second part of your question, I believe that definitely industry knowledge and audience play a significant part in separating successful affiliates from the rest. But besides these, I think that players are looking for affiliates who will be honest with them, affiliates they can trust; I believe it is the only way to build up a players’ audience.

New new social media platforms are increasingly micro-targetting the end customers and automated CRM tools are getting more and more advanced. In this scenario, how do see the future of affiliate marketing evolving?

I believe that affiliate marketing is already changing and with these new tools it will change even more in the future. We are now entering a new era: the digital and customized era. Customers are increasingly becoming more and more demanding; they now know they don’t have to compromise anymore with mass solutions, so they are asking for customized ones. They demonstrate their needs and preferences and demand for an experience tailor-made to them. I believe this is where affiliate marketing will focus in the future, and all the new or upcoming tools available, will give us the advantage of analysing the customers’ behaviours and providing the best solutions to them. Affiliate marketing of the future will evolve around customized player’s experience, in my opinion.

Finally, tell us about any big announcement in the near future. Expanding to more countries? Launching or integrating new products? Or a new marketing campaign? Our readers will be eager to read something first here.

A couple of weeks ago, we launched our first Pay N Play platform for the Scandinavian market, SvenPlay. In a few days, we will be launching our brand new, themed platform, Sons of Slots. This is a challenge for us, as it will be the first time we are introducing such a themed platform to our players. The Sons of Slots story goes back to the motor gangs of the US and it all evolves around that; rough street battles, leather jackets and ripped jeans, long hair, and endless road trips on their Harleys. This is what inspired us and we wanted to bring something very exciting to our players. Entering the Sons of Slots platform, our players will be transferred to a new world, the world of American motor gangs; they will play their favorite games in a new, adventurous environment, with exciting features, which will take their gaming experience to a whole new level. To bring this project to life, we have invested heavily in technology and this is why we partnered with a major agency, MaxCreate, specialized in bespoke front-end design, in order to be able to offer more flexible and versatile platforms to our players and to our affiliates.

I think 2020 is our year, and people will hear more of us: exhibitions, PR, awards… We will make it happen.

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