Colin Anderson, Head of Acquisition at Genesys Affiliates, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Whilst providing both affiliate marketing and management, PlayerServ Marketing is specifically focusing on growing the acquisition channel for the Genesys Group. Colin Anderson has been around gaming since 2003, and honesty and integrity are key factors to the business - follow his story below.
How did your affiliate program take off? And, is iGaming your only vertical?
The business has been around now for 19 (Nineteen) years now and, I was brought into the group in 2016 to specifically focus on growing the affiliate acquisition channel for the Genesys Group, and saw a huge opportunity along with a really exciting challenge to further expand my career.
Working close with all levels of stakeholders has allowed me to introduce a lot of outside the box marketing to ensure continued steady growth throughout the last three and a half years.
How did you first get into the affiliate space? And, were you always focused on the Gaming space?
I started in gaming in 2003, by total accident, while researching how to make money on the internet and initially focused primarily on online poker. At that point I saw huge potential in this niche and was excited to be a small part of the huge growth of this vertical between 2003 and 2006.
In 2006, with poker becoming so much more competitive, I decided to start looking at other verticals, and online casinos seemed to be the right choice for potential growth and has proven to be a good decision.
How is your company structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
We are a customer (Player) focused global operation with offices/people in Canada, Europe/UK & South Africa that has been painstakingly been built over two decades. Our primary focus is now Acquisition – in existing markets and new territories.
What can operators do to increase support with affiliates?
Integration of proper reporting and tracking tools is key to gaining the ongoing trust of your affiliates. Honesty and integrity are other key factors to ensuring your partners keep working with you, as in today’s day in age there is a great deal of competition out there.
How can affiliates be more unique in their approach?
What was once an industry of one or two webmasters or developers building sites, has changed into these developers now running huge corporate businesses, some of which employ substantially more employees than our group.
Education and dedication, in my opinion, have always been the key to success in this industry, and advise affiliates to never give up on what they believe in and to work hard and everything else should normally fall in place.
Are you contemplating bringing in investors to scale or grow your business? Or, with such a big M&A market, have you ever contemplated selling the business?
The company has been painstakingly developed and built over 19 years and the long-term vision is to continue developing, building & growing over the next several decades. Specifically, on the M&A front, historically we focused solely on organic growth, going forward the plans are now to look at acquisitions.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
Knowledge, experience, dedication, integrity, patience, honesty, and most importantly persistence and is key to success of any affiliate program. Having now been in the affiliate marketing space for close to 20 years, I have always worked by the mottos of “No question is ever unreasonable” and “Treat others the way you expect to be treated” and this has worked well for my career path.
What sets you apart from other affiliate programs?
We focus on the three R’s – Relationship, Reputation & Reliability. With GA affiliates not only make money, but are assured of a collaborative transparent open and honest Relationship, unwavering professionalism (Reputation) , and payment (Reliable) like clock-work (our Finance team prides itself on being the ‘Swiss Bank’ of the affiliate world).
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
Technology is EVERYTHING. We are privileged to be the only casino operator in the world that elegantly integrates & combines a global content library with a bespoke Back-Office, purpose-built payments engine & and wholly exclusive propriety content.
Which markets are you eyeing up as a priority in 2020, and why?
Strong focus in Canada and Crypto and developing in emerging markets India, Asia & LATM.
How has the fragmentation of regulated markets affected your business? UKGC, Swedish regulator and now also the German regulator is mulling regulating this space.
This has not seen much impact in our business as it is markets we have really not been focused in. English speaking markets outside of the UK have been our focus now for several years and will continue to be a main focus for the group moving forward.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for operators and affiliates?
Asia has huge potential and a market that we see many operators venturing into. In my humble opinion, the only way to becoming successful in this space is to have offices and employees solely focused on this market. This has not been a main focus for our group personally but could become a focus point of ours in the future.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
If I had known back in the day how much affiliates would be needed for the growth of a business I would have started building websites in 2003. Not that I am complaining as I have enjoyed every minute of affiliate acquisition.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
Thinking I could be my own boss and run a successful poker site, just after the UIGEA came into effect.
This cost me two years of sleep and lots of money in the process, but if you don’t try you will never know
What are the main challenges for you in 2020?
I firmly believe that lack of business travel has been the biggest challenge for me personally. The pandemic has obviously opened our eyes to things no one expected, and it is how you deal with this challenge that will set you apart from others.
What are your predictions for the future of the sector?
I still firmly believe there is still huge room for growth in the online gaming sector and think that more and more large corporate brick and mortar casinos will turn to the online world sooner rather than later.
How do you manage relationships with multiple clients?
Time management is key to my job. Setting up a proper schedule allows me to personally ensure that I am connecting with all my clients on a very regular basis. I am also one of many that doesn’t ever have an off switch so clients can ping me anytime and get the help they require.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
iGaming events have been a huge part of my career. Getting to see the people you talk to on a daily or weekly basis in person is a huge benefit for me personally.
Every event also has a huge variety of highly educated speakers that allows you to learn from the best and utilize the events in the most positive of ways!
The networking events are also a perfect tool to gain new business and build on existing business.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
Have been a huge supporter of Eman Pulis and his team since they started Sigma and have been to every SiGMA in Malta. SiGMA for me is probably the best networking conference of the year, and not only do we attend but exhibit regularly also.
Who are the five most influential people to the growth in your Career?
There have been so many influential people come and go throughout my career many who have not only been mentors but more importantly have been come very close friends. Below are some of the most influential people to my personal growth in affiliate acquisition.
Anthony Werkman, current CEO of the Betway group became my boss at Red Interactive between 2009 and 2014 and his energy, passion and dedication taught me that by working hard and pushing your limits, the sky is the limit in gaming.
Lloyd Samassa: Lloyd, an absolute doyen in the industry, introduced the first ever casino affiliate program in 2001 and was the person who initially hired me into online casinos and has been a great mentor throughout my last 12 years in online casino affiliate acquisition. Life has gone the full circle and recently I am again under Lloyd’s guidance whom is pushing me to be the best I can, and regularly out of my comfort zone – focusing on attention to detail & analytical skills
Tell us a bit about yourself - after all, business is done with people, not just companies!
I am a firstly and most importantly a very family-oriented person outside of work. I love spending time with my fiancée Stephanie and our kids. My kids are very sports orientated so this takes up a lot of my free time. I also love travelling to new places and try visiting at least one new country a year.
I am also involved in freemasonry, and I believe that this has helped me become the man I am today, continuously striving to make myself better.
Which quote do you live your life by?
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant,” by Robert Louis Stevenson
This quote has been influential in my life and I continue to try living by it!