Affiliate Grand Slam by SiGMA
Teemu Salminen CEO at Mediainvesting OÜ, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Recognising their traffic demographic and interests, Teemu Salminen and his team at Mediainvesting OÜ know exactly what to offer to their partners - follow his story below.
How did your affiliate business take off? And, is iGaming your only vertical?
It took off through many random incidents. I was asked to consult an affiliation betting site and from there I got a spark for the industry and started creating our affiliate site. Nowadays, we also have crypto currency affiliate sites, together with our gaming sites.
How is your affiliate business structured, and what aspect of business development are you currently focused on?
Our structure is made up of my partner and I, Kimmo Kuparinen; we are the main shareholders. Then we have three full-day employees and a bunch of freelancers/consultants.
What can operators do to increase support with affiliates?
Better communication when things change at operators' end of things; such as changes in terms and conditions, commission updates, campaign updates, etc. Also, quite frequently, it feels that the main idea of "let's both operator and the affiliate make this into a long-lasting partnership" sadly seems to be forgotten. It's not a coincidence that our best performing partners are those who clearly show an interest to develop and discuss things in a positive way.
How can affiliates stand out from the crowd to attract more audience and drive more traffic?
If we knew a clear answer to this, we would be making a ton more than we already do. This is a battle that all affiliates are trying to find a solution to.
What makes your traffic proposition unique for operators?
We have done a good job recognising our traffic demographic and interests so we know what to offer to our partners.
What makes a top operator?
Question with many answers, but purely from our (affiliate) point of view: good communication between us and the affiliate manager, ability to compromise, and to think of a bigger picture.
Why work with an affiliate program when you can work directly with an operator?
We have had both great and terrible results with affiliate networks. Currently Matching Visions is a trusted partner of ours. When things go well and you can trust the network then there's plenty of positives. They do a lot work for you and naturally results and commission coming from one source makes your life a lot easier.
Has COVID-19 impacted the affiliate arena? Is it still profitable to be an affiliate in 2020?
Not really, no. Betting affiliation has suffered understandably, but casino and cryptocurrency affiliation has shown no signs of decline. Yes, we haven't seen any real reason, due to COVID-19, to think negatively of our future commitments.
How has your business dealt with COVID-19 restrictions?
Well, everyone has worked from home rather than from the office, but we have a great team and everyone does their work wholeheartedly, so the restrictions haven't affected us too much.
Would you consider investment to scale your business? Or, with such a big M&A market, have you ever contemplated selling the business?
We are scaling up with a few small acquisitions and partnerships. We are also always looking for interesting opportunities in different markets, not just in gaming. If an offer comes in for one or all of our sites then we can always have a look.
Which qualities and skills are essential in an affiliate team?
It's essential to find correct hires to your team. We never want to micromanage and we need to trust that all our employees do their job, that's what they are here for and currently we have a team for it. This comes even more important once our team grows.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day?
It's essential, yes. The big challenge is to differentiate between the working time and the off-work time as often you are using the same tools.
Is the grass greener on the other side - have you considered going down the white label or even operator route?
Not really. The great thing about affiliation is that it's relatively risk-free compared to white labels or operators.
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)
This industry has always had its question marks on the future and the only thing we can do is to be focused on the current situation and to be as diverged and prepared as possible should something happen.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when starting out?
Realising how people behave and work, and understanding not to believe that what you think is 100% truth.
What’s been your biggest nightmare to date?
Few terrible consultant/freelancer partners that we gave way too much time and patience without any proper results. Google algorithms have caused few sleepless nights.
What are the challenges in managing relationships with multiple operators?
Simply remembering who is who and what was agreed with everyone.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas - which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2021, COVID-19 permitting?
Yes, we have been several times to SiGMA and other conferences and yes, I'm sure we will attend SiGMA in the future.
Thanks for your time Teemu, it's been a great interview.
Thank you for having me and allowing me to take part in the Affiliate Grand Slam.
It's been our pleasure, we wish you the best of luck.
Thanks, you too!