Founder and CEO at PMC International Maximilian Solz: On a Result-Oriented Business Approach, the Challenges of Launching an Affiliate Program and New Industry Trends
What difficulties can advertisers face when creating their own affiliate program? And what's in store for the affiliate industry in the next few years?
Maximilian Solz, the founder and CEO at PMC International answered these and other questions in an interview for Azerbaijan iGaming Affiliate Conference.
PMC International is a consulting company providing services in the areas of iGaming and Forex. It specializes in customer acquisition through affiliate marketing.
In an interview, Maximilian shared his experience in the gambling industry, spoke about the services that his company provides. The expert analyzed how affiliate marketing has changed over the past few years and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected it.
The interviewer: Azerbaijan iGaming Affiliate Conference (AiAC)
The respondent: Maximilian Solz (M.S.)
AiAC: Please tell us about your experience in iGaming. How did the industry change in this time?
M.S.: Online and mobiles have changed the face of many industries, from shopping to restaurants, it’s rare that you will discover a business without a digital footprint. The same can be said for the gambling industry. Mobile gaming rose by 80% in 2015, and was predicted to increase an additional 75% between 2016 and 2017 with mobile gambling more than doubling in 2018 alone.
Now, the amount of bets placed on mobile is said to hit 100bn EUR, with 164 million people using mobile devices to visit a mobile casino, place a bet or purchase a lottery ticket. By 2020 the mobile gambling industry has taken 60% of the total online gambling market. This growth has proven the vitality of mobile apps for the betting industry, but with so many customers being able to bet from the comfort of their own homes, how do bookmakers ensure that their shops are still relevant?
The difficulty for traditional betting shops on the high street is the challenge of continuing to attract customers into their shops, due to competition from mobile apps that users can use in their own home or on the go. Apps and technology are therefore increasingly being incorporated into betting shops using touch screen betting kiosks so that gamblers can enjoy socializing whilst benefiting from the convenience of technology.
AiAC: What services does PMC International offer to the gambling industry?
M.S.: PMC International offers its clients a spectrum of specialized business and commercial services that guarantee a complete turnkey solution to clients wishing to set up a Business. Working hand in hand with a selected network of international partners, PMC International aims high at exceeding clients’ service expectations through a sound and results-oriented business approach.
With over 61.000 affiliate contacts globally, PMC International operates from all over the world providing top notch services for clients worldwide. Our Partners, all leaders in their field of expertise and our portfolio of clients includes entrepreneurs, multi-national companies, gaming, financial services and high net-worth individuals.
PMC International’s management pays close attention to the quality of service provided and adheres to strict standards safeguarding our standing and reputation. We realize that our clients have individual needs and requirements and it is our aim to provide a tailor-made service both initially and thereafter when required, year after year.
AiAC: If an advertiser decides to create their own affiliate program, what should they focus on in the process of attracting affiliates for cooperation?
M.S.: An affiliate program may seem like a simple digital marketing strategy: Your business recruits partners, known as affiliates, to place links to your business on their website, blog, or social media page. Then, you pay these affiliates a commission every time someone makes a purchase via their affiliate link. While the concept seems simple, starting and running a successful affiliate program can be a challenge. After all, you’ll need to find and train the right affiliates, decide on the right commission, and have a plan to track their success. You’ll also need to make sure they follow your program’s rules.
Fortunately, this guide to starting an affiliate program covers everything you need to get off on the right foot. With these seven steps (and affiliate marketing software), you’ll set your affiliate program up for success.
AiAC: How did affiliate marketing change within the last 2-3 years? How has the pandemic affected this area?
M.S.: COVID-19 has affected all industries locally as well as globally, however, opportunities have emerged even during the crisis. Affiliate marketing is one of the few industries where the impact of the coronavirus has presented affiliate marketers with several opportunities.
The rise in gambling demand. As more and more consumers seek contactless gambling experiences out of fear of the virus, online sales have boosted within the gambling industry. This significant growth can go hand-in-hand with the rise in profits generated by affiliates.
Online players paves the way for consumers searching for online promotions. In addition, the financial situation resulting from the pandemic increases the need for more economical gambling. This is where affiliate marketers can benefit.
AiAC: How does legal regulation affect the promotion of online casinos and bookmakers with affiliate marketing?
M.S.: For the case of Sweden as an example proposes “special moderation” rule to treat gambling ads like alcohol. Sweden's Ministry of Finance has proposed changes to the way gambling is advertised within the country, with new rules set to come into effect in July 2022 to require “special moderation”, as is already required in alcohol ads. So this makes advertising much more complicated.
AiAC: According to your forecasts, how will the affiliate sphere develop in the next 1-2 years?
M.S.: Understanding the driving forces behind developing trends can be helpful. Uncertainty, evolving social connections, and technological advances will continue to impact the market in 2021. As a result, the following trends will likely prove useful for enhancing your strategy:
- A Shift Away from Third-Party Cookies
Google Chrome (which accounts for about 70% of all web use) plans to block all third-party tracking cookies by 2022. Not only that, but Apple is making tracking optional based on user opt-in.
- Influencers Will Become Even More Important
The current period of uncertainty and increased privacy concerns due to perceived Big Tech overreach add to this. Consumers prefer content marketing’s softer approach of informing and educating without being intrusive.
- Seasonal and Holiday Themes Will Continue to Expand
Operators have been taking advantage of seasonal and holiday promotions for years, even adding new Events or theme days to generate sales. Consumers continue to respond well to these, looking for specials and incentives from such campaigns.
- Automation Tools Will Continue to Impact the Effectiveness of Marketing Processes Finally, don't hesitate to take advantage of any automation tools available to you. This can help you with several of the tips above, such as vetting new affiliates to localize your strategy or managing seasonal campaigns.
Maximilian will speak at Azerbaijan iGaming Affiliate Conference. Join and ask your questions to the speaker, meet top affiliates and learn from their many years of experience!