“Be connected. Good relationships are essential for your success.” We met Bruno Berlafa, Head of Affiliates at GiG Affiliates.
Hello Bruno, hope you are well in this festive season?
Hi Marius. All well man, more hectic than ever, but only good things on the current and future agenda. I hope life is treating you well also!
How did you come to enter the online gaming space?
Roughly 3,5 years ago I was working for one of the major Scandinavian affiliate networks (Euroads) and had Erik Bergman as one of my business partners. We kicked off well from the start and once BetIt at that time were looking for an affiliate manager he recommended me. The rest is as you say history.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
Even the short version would be quite long here since so much progress has happened within a short period of time. I represent GIG Gaming, which is a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group that with the upcoming brand (launch October) will have 7 B2C brands in the portfolio.
My role as Head of Affiliates is together with my ass kicking team to promote and spread the word about the most innovative portfolio of brands in the industry towards our affiliates. One of the things that I am doing now is to transform www.gigaffiliates.com and add Thrills, Kaboo and Superlenny there. We have at this stage two different affiliate platform so first step is to have a united visual front so that is becomes clearer towards our partners that we are the same company.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
I could see it coming, but not at such a speed that we have seen. It has been a game changer in regards to many aspects. The competition, whether operator or affiliate, is fierce so long term besides capital and innovation it comes down to the basics which is work harder and smarter to stand out from the crowd.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
The usual suspects (Scandinavia, UK, Netherlands, DACH-region). There is potential in more markets, but we don´t enter without a game plan. Once we do are 100% ready.
How do you find Scandinavian market and competition?
Acquiring traffic in Scandinavia, no matter through what channel, is very capital intensive and the trend has not declined since my first day in the business. What was once a vertical that relied heavy on the revenue share model has the recent years transformed into pure media buying in many cases. Affiliates are the powerhouses when it comes to driving the quality and quantities since they are dominating the SERP.
Since the operators, with some few exceptions were late in focusing on their inhouse SEO affiliates are not just dominating the major keywords, but also the long tail. I believe that a new brand that enters this region without the support of affiliates will have issues long term to sustain their business model, unless they have a product that differentiates from the crowd or are excelling in their daily operations.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
I am married and have a kid so this interview is probably top 3 on most exciting events this year in my life. Joke aside! As mentioned Gaming Innovation Group is an extremely interesting phase so at this stage I would like to go slower to enjoy all the exciting things in the agenda. But exciting plans? What could be better for our current and new partners to be aware of that we will before this year launch our next brand.
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your brands?
When I look at our portfolio of brands I do see a lot of positive values combined that really tells me we are a company that want to make a positive difference in the industry. It makes me proud and also thankful for our all partners out that there are contributing to this exciting journey ahead of us.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
More opportunities then challenges is how we treat it internally. Majority of our brands have more mobile users then desktop so from our end it is constantly about looking to improve the experience for our end users.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
Generating traffic and leads would be the main challenge for both operators and affiliates. During 2016 more than 100 brands were released and the trend has not slowed down this year. Last time I checked there were not 100 new media sources that could cater for the traffic demand that all these operators would need to have a sustainable business model.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
Be connected. No matter business, good relationships are essential for your success. The other thing would be that nothing is certain. As long as Google predict the conditions hard work and innovation can get you anywhere. Few things make me as happy to see as new blood entering the market that succeeds despite having a disadvantage in terms of resources compared to the big players out there.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
Blood suckers was the first game I played and I am still loyal to it. I would save some, enjoy some and share some.
Are you ready for Affiliate Grand Slam Bucharest and SiGMA17?
Very ready! During Grand Slam Bucharest we will show the invited affiliates a bit of our upcoming brand so I hope they are ready from their end as well.
|Relive the highlights and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.
||Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?