Louise Valfridsson, Partner at LAT Media, gives an exclusive interview to SiGMA News as part of our latest series on affiliates
How did you first get into the affiliate space, and were you always focused on the iGaming sector?
I began my journey 4 years ago when I moved to Malta with my family. I started to work for a small affiliate business which exploded in revenue, people and acquisitions during the 3 years I worked there, with me ending up being responsible for 40 content writers for various markets. It’s not many people who have the fortune to grow in a company that goes from 15 to 100 employees within 2 years. I loved every single step and got some great learnings from it. After this adventure I really got a taste for affiliation and wanted to get more hands on, and that is when I joined LAT Media.
How is your affiliate business structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
Everyone in LAT Media have the common skillset to be very focused and we have no problem to work hard to continuously get better results. Everyone in the team is handpicked since we evaluate responsibility, flexibility and trust. Trust and common goals I would say are the core values in the company, especially since we work as a remote team. Everyone is equal so I would say we are a very modern agile and promoters of remote working in our team, but this is also what requires a lot of trust and keeping each other responsible for their work.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
We are current working on several sites towards the Finnish, Germany, Sweden and UK markets with our core site CasinoAdvisers.com the centre of attention. We constantly evaluate moving into new jurisdictions but right now we're focusing on building the core business for the company. There are many markets we find interesting and want to enter but we also know the importance of being on top of your game, and with too many markets at the same time you risk not being successful in any.
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?
The founder of LAT Media, Martin Larsson, can be described as an SEO guru. Martin eats, thinks and sleeps SEO and affiliation, while I have a big interest in SEO, conversion optimisation and content. Together we have great discussions testing and focus which leads to sites in constant progress to the better. We want to make it easier for the players to find exactly what they are looking for and we are very detail-oriented. We always have plans in the works, and the sites are continuously improving.
Is the grass greener on the other side - Have you considered giving white label casino or sports betting a go?
I’m career driven and want to be best on what I’m doing. I still have a lot to learn and I want to be one of the best within affiliation before I move on.
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)
Since we are working with UK and Sweden we understand the complexity with regulated markets. It's not like it was before and there are many challenges, but we still think there is big potential in the markets and Sweden & UK made us ready for any regulations in Germany as well. End of the day you need to be the best in the market and that is our mission for each jurisdiction.
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?
We are focusing on what we are best on and that is search optimisation together with quality content where we are making the even smallest details count.
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?
Our main ambition is to build a successful company. We want to be number one when you want to compare casinos. We believe in updated and relevant information that is easy to access. With that said we don’t build to sell even if we never know what will happened in the future.
What can operators do to increase support from affiliates?
I think we should utilise each other more and build stronger partnerships. More focus on keyword tracking to find more specific target groups and be more aware of what information and graphics to share. If I were an affiliate manager I would put a lot of time in researching different affiliates in terms of which keywords they could help us with, and I would look over the affiliate system, which in general I think can be improved and simplified. It should be easy to get what you are looking for as an affiliate, even if that is links, graphics, or reports – that is a win-win for both the affiliates and the casino.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team/business?
You can get far with the right mindset and focus - I keep coming back to the word focus but I think that is a key value. The different skills depend on what kind of affiliate, but SEO is always a key factor. A functional team with common goals who complement each other gives a strong ground.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
To be one of the best within affiliation we believe that everything counts, from page speed to functionality. We want to optimise the site as much as possible to beat the competition. Who want to visit a slow-moving site?
How is the Asian market shaping-up for affiliates?
Asia is definitely part of the future for gaming, with the majority of economic growth in coming years coming from Asia, where there will be a big appetite for online gaming. They also have a big presence for land-based casinos where a big share will move into online. But right now we are focusing on EU Markets but wouldn’t be surprised if we try our luck over in Asia in the future. That is a great thing about SIGMA - with SIGMA including several markets at their conferences it makes it easier for us as an affiliate to get an understanding about new markets, like Asia.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
There been many learnings over the years, but I am a strong believer in learning from your mistakes and trying new ways to be more successful. If you are right 7 times out of 10 you are making progress.
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
I wouldn’t say the relationships is an issue, but to learn how different operators acts and that they want the partnership to be successful is important. Even if I have the same deal with two operators the conditions can be very different when it comes to admin fees and CPA rules. It’s important to have the whole deal with all conditions clear from the beginning to make sure that there is no misunderstanding.
What are the benefits of attending large iGaming events, and what can they do better?
The benefit are to see new trends within games, new markets etc. But it can also be good to meet a face from Skype contacts who you wouldn’t meet otherwise. Most often you come back with some inspiration and good ideas after large iGaming events.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? Would you consider attending SiGMA Manila or SiGMA Malta at some point?
I have been to SIGMA Malta several times and will surely go next time. I would love to go SIGMA Manila as well just to learn more about the Asian business.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all business is done between people, not just companies!
I really hope to visit New Zealand. Big camper with the whole family to enjoy and explore.
Favourite book ever read? Favourite book you look forward to read some day?
I found surrounded by idiots, The Four Types of Human Behaviour extremely interesting. Recognition at its best. For now it’s mostly children’s books that keep me busy with 3 children.
Where would you relocate with family if you had to pick one city?
Hot topic back home with my partner, we tend to change our minds quite frequently! One week it's potentially moving back to Sweden soon, the next maybe Spain, in a few years only to change our mind again and consider Asia.
The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.
Favourite sport and childhood idol?
Not into sports, I like exercising, so gym and running is my cup of tea.
Get to know other great affiliates, responsible for killer traffic! Click the link below to read more insights from affiliates:
About SiGMA Expo:
The iGaming summit SiGMA is setting its sights on Asia. Our ground breaking Asian iGaming expo will be held in Manila, on the 8th & 9th of June 2020. SiGMA's largest venue to date will bring together high quality conferences and content, premium networking opportunities, and luxury networking event. 10,000 delegates from across Europe, the US, and Asia are expected to attend, making this one of the biggest shows to unite East and West in the region. To become a part of the fastest paced Asian iGaming event, book a pass or sponsor & exhibit.
For those planning to attend SiGMA Manila, AIBC Manila and ICE Asia at SMX on June 8-9th, this is the buzzing business environment to be expected: