Daniel Jovic, CEO at Casino Bros, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Moving away from the traditional affiliate approach and making things personal with their visitors, Daniel Jovic and his team at Casino Bros want to give their players that bro feeling as if they were having a beer - follow his story below.
How did you first get into the affiliate space, and were you always focused on the iGaming sector?
To rephrase good old Ray Liotta from "Goodfellas": as far back as I can remember I've always wanted to be a gambler (hahaha). Well, jokes aside, I've always been a gambler myself and I've always craved that one special thing in the world of iGaming: a laidback and brotherly kinda vibe to casino reviews. And that's how casino-bros.com was born. I met my friend Darko Brzica, this awesome SEO guru from Serbia, at a SiGMA conference some 2 years ago. It was bromance at first sight. We've been in touch ever since plotting to take over the world of iGaming. We wanted to create something cool; something different that would stand out and become a new flagship on how to talk to regular casino players. My background is in sales and I have been selling almost anything you can think of, man. From vacuum cleaners door to door to ads over the phone; you name it - I did it. I've created some thriving businesses, sold a handful of companies which of the last two were within finance. When I sold my shares in the last company the stars aligned and I made my move. I rang Darko and said: "Bro, I am moving to Serbia, it is time for us to create the coolest affiliate site the world has ever seen"; and here we are. We launched our site in October.
How is your affiliate business structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
We have the Production team and the Affiliate team. Our production team is in charge of building out the website, UX, SEO, content, the whole nine yards. Our affiliate team works side by side with them sharing their knowledge of the industry, suggesting UX improvements, and of course, handling our partners.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
Right now, our eye is fixed on Europe and Canada. As soon as our baby starts to grow we'll definitely expand our SEO efforts in LatAm countries and Asia.
What makes your traffic proposition / traffic sites unique? What can you offer that others don’t? Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Our main goal is to be one of a kind! We want to create affiliates that are straight to the point. We're moving away from the traditional affiliate approach and we're making things personal with our visitors. We want to create cool virtual hangouts for our players, where they can get the best information on everything they want to know. We want to give our players that bro feeling as if you're having a beer with your buddies. To give you a better look at what we have in mind, check out our Bro Collective.
Are you concerned by the impact on the affiliate sector from shifting regulatory environments? (In particular UKGC, Sweden’s Spelinspektionen, and Germany’s 2020 State Treaty on Gaming Regulation)
Not more than others, man. iGaming is a living organism and we are used to that. We are watching all updates closely and trying to be 100% compliant. There's no room for funky business. You know, regulations can be like windows: once the window is closed, we open the door. If the markets you mentioned above become difficult to fight for, there's a bunch of other countries we can shift our focus on.
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your traffic? Are you focusing on SEO? PPC? Any other traffic source?
Our primary traffic source will be mostly SEO, like all Casino Affiliates. But we also have some big plans for Social Media and Paid Advertising. We think it's super important to actually connect with your audience, and it is impossible to do that with only one traffic channel.
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 are a small but brave group of Bros who have had each other's backs in a handful of investments that turned out to be really cool. We have continued our investment adventure together and the same goes for Casino Bros, so we are well funded. No one can tell what the future brings but in our books today everything looks nice and dandy. We are the ones buying up other affiliates and making our Bro Collective take it to the next level.
What can operators do to increase support from affiliates?
Apart from the obvious - being responsive and available, I'd like to point out that all the affiliates are hungry for maximum transparency. Unfortunately, there are situations where we are left blind as a bat in terms of stats and player's data. We are talking about using in-house affiliate platforms which can't bring any good. Once we direct our players to the operators' hands, it's all on them. If we don't know how players are treated and how they behave we can't improve a single thing on our end. Consequently, when we talk about improving the player's overall experience, our hands are tied.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
We are suckers for creativity and leadership! All of our projects begin from collective brainstorming and the whole team is free to pitch ideas. I tell you, man, the only way to stand out in today's overloaded market is to boldly go where no man has gone before!
Our team is built of crazy dudes and dudettes who are natural leaders, where everybody is a master of their game. When you have a team like that, it's important to give them room and let them work their magic.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
We're all tech nerds here. We use a lot of different technologies to improve our products, but we also develop our own technology. We built an entirely new backend system to smooth out our affiliate process and our casino rankings. If we can code it, we won't do it by hand.
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
Asia is a very attractive market and every affiliate will tell you the same. However, culture plays a very important part. To be present and visible in Asia, affiliates need to take the baby steps first. Blending in with the local iGaming community will be the first step. Once this madness in the world is over, we look forward to making moves in Asia. Right now, things are rollin' slowly, man, so not much remains to be said. We'll sit patiently and be ready for whatever the future brings.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
When starting up, I thought I knew a lot about iGaming, and man - I was wrong. I mean I did know a lot but, never enough. I am still learning new things and that's what is so great about iGaming - it's a never-ending story. This industry is so fast-paced and you have to be on your toes all the time, ready to adapt. To do so you have to work with the best and that is what I do. My team is my greatest asset.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
That's easy. It was the constant delay of the launch date of Casino Bros. Maybe I should not have been that hyped about it, but on the other hand that's who I am, man. I am one big bag of positive vibes always looking forward, forever an optimist.
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
Everyone deserves to be treated well and with full attention. Having enough people to meet and "serve" all the needs of operators is a big challenge for sure. Luckily this challenge is familiar to all of us. One of them is that everybody likes to be on top - as visible as possible. So to wrap it up - balancing and juggling between relationships and being fair and cool with everyone is something we face every single day.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
Making contacts and sharing knowledge. iGaming industry is all about networking and that's why conferences are awesome places for it. Personally, I like them the way they are, I'd just shuffle the cards and change locations to include some new countries.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
Yes and yes! I've already been to SIGMA Malta, so Manila would be for sure the next step. It sounds exotic and laidback, so expect me there for sure.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all business is done between people, not just companies! - Could not agree with you more!
Favorite vacation? Diving locations are my favorites especially the ones around Asia. I am crazy about Thailand; I've been diving there for years.
Favorite book ever read? Favorite book you look forward to read? The Secret! Just kidding, ofc not :) Obviously, that would be “The Return of the King" which is the third and final volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city? Bro, this one is easy it is Bangkok, lived there before, and will be back!
Favourite quote? We got you, Bro!
Favourite sport and childhood idol? Batman! Pretty self explanatory why.
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