Boris Posilovic, director at Meritum Interactive Ltd , joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Boris Posilovic and his team believe that many can achieve 99%, but obtaining that last 1% is the hardest part. This is what they believe makes the difference between success or possible failure - follow his story below.
How did your affiliate business take off? And, is iGaming your only vertical?
Our affiliate business took off around 2014. Our mobile-focused approach really enabled us to grow exponentially in a very crowded affiliate market. We do develop outside of the gaming industry via our Eclectica branch which develops downloadable mobile technology for professional football teams throughout Latin America. But with that project, we are also looking to direct that back towards gaming affiliate activity to further monetize each of the team’s fan bases.
How did you first get into the affiliate space? And, were you always focused on the Gaming space?
The focus has always been towards mobile development first, and the gaming opportunities in poker were actually the originally focus on the affiliate side of things. The sports vertical became the focus around 2013.
How is your company structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
We are a multinational corporation with several brands that are each focused on specific activities and projects. We are always focused on development first and building beautiful technology that is both new and intuitive for users. Along with that, we are very focused on diversifying jurisdictions for our products at this time.
What can operators do to increase support with affiliates?
Feedback and communication are key here. Having real time data helps us make better decisions to optimize outputs and find a better ability to scale business.
How can affiliates be more unique in their approach?
I think the answer here is the same as what the operators can do to assist. Looking at real time data to make better decisions should be paramount to all affiliates. Especially in high demand times where a greater percentage of the business being done is focused. The few hours surrounding major events are crucial to both affiliate and operator.
What makes your traffic proposition/traffic sites unique?
First of course is our mobile download approach where we have a closer relationship with our traffic. We use play for fun content to engage members. Also, the quality and native aspects of the products give positive user experiences.
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?
We have had a lot of inquiries for sure. We are always open to discuss opportunities, and feel we can always take away some level of education by meeting with other professionals active in the market regardless of the outcome of those discussions.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
We have small internal sayings we use often. One is “build beautiful product first”. We also say “99%”. Most can get things 99% done. To really succeed that last 1% is harder than the first 99%, but makes the difference between success or possible failure.
What sets you apart from other affiliates?
We are not solely focused on traffic. We are highly focused on mobile download tech and having greater ownership of our traffic leading to membership rather than viewership.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
It is what we feel sets us apart. An example of this would be our fully native “play for fun” in-game betting platform.
Which emerging technologies like AI and big data will impact the affiliate industry in 2020 and beyond?
Both are really important to get closer to members on their terms and based on their specific actions. We already work with real time KPIs within our own system and monitor results at high use times surrounding events.
Is the grass greener on the other side - have you considered going down the operator route?
We are basically there now, just in a “for fun” format. While we do have the software assets to accomplish this, real money gaming is not currently on the table for us.
Which markets are you eyeing up as a priority in 2020, and why?
USA, Argentina, and Brazil. USA is obviously the new frontier for all major affiliates. For Argentina, the country is currently legalizing sports betting and our Eclectica brand works with about half of the first division football league and we feel we can do some special things with operators there. The same is true for Brazil and we do have market access there as well.
How has the fragmentation of regulated markets affected your business?
UKGC, Swedish regulator and now also the German regulator is mulling regulating this space.
We see it as a better opportunity for us. We can partner with more brands using the same content which both adds depth and diversifies our position as a business. Our software is actually built to fully manage these jurisdiction based scenarios. We developed this about two years ago in preparation for the US market where ultimately there will be 50 states that will each be uniquely regulated.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
We are currently looking at options, but we are not there yet. Fortunately we do have the ability to control language and UI/UX in our software to make those moves when the time comes.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
I think we are always evolving as is the case with the Marketplace. I would say maybe in how we approach the download marketing opportunities that exist to build scalable models for our business.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
Managing Football teams marketing and communications staffs. They have a ton of turnover and it is difficult to handle the revolving door style of business with the changes in directive that occur.
What are the main challenges for the sector in 2020?
Covid I suppose will be the main factor. Beyond that, it will be navigating the US and other jurisdiction market changes and of course real time data access from operators to help optimize our business activities.
What are your predictions for the future of the sector?
I feel that overall it is a strong sector despite the peaks and valleys created by regulations as seen in Spain and the UK and other abnormal circumstances such as the current covid situation.
How do you manage relationships with multiple operators?
We take a very hands on approach and try to build communicative relationships that are proactive to build data access and result in performance optimization for all parties.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
We feel it is always good to meet with partners and build better relationships. Tone and intention are nuances that can escape chat, video conference, and email platforms.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
We did attend SiGMA Malta for the first time before the pandemic and plan to attend in the future.
Tell us a bit about yourself - after all, business is done with people, not just companies!
I feel we are a group of people driven by the idea of building great products and businesses. We are focused on the beauty and relevance of our products and not the financial aspect of them. The challenge is not about how much we will earn from a product. It is more about whether we can build it better and more communicative than has ever been done before.
What’s on your must-read list right now?
Good to Great, Power of Myth.
Which quote do you live your life by?
As I mentioned earlier…Don’t be 99%!
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About SiGMA Europe - Malta
SiGMA Group has announced the postponement of its Europe summit, which was planned to be held in Malta on 17-19 November 2020. The show will now open its doors early next year in February, running from the 16-18th, making it the first event to headline the 2021 gaming calendar.