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Affiliate Interviews: Phil Goulding of Madaboutcasinos.com

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Philip of MAC

We continue the Affiliate Interviews series, with another online gambling affiliate sharing his own story about his journey into the industry. Today we catch up with Philip, of Madaboutcasinos.com a really great online casino comparison site.

Name: Phil Goulding
Age: 34
Hometown: Widnes, Cheshire
Living in: Widnes
Favorite Food: A spicy curry
Must Read Book: Bravo Two Zero
Profession/Job title: Account Manager

GAV: Hi Philip, first of all tell us and our readers, a little bit about yourself, we want to know who Philip really is! How did your career start in the industry? Since when are you active at Madaboutcasinos.com (Madabout Media Limited)?

Philip: As my bio says, I’m Phil, I’m 34 from Widnes, Cheshire UK and I started in the iGaming industry back in 2011. MadAbout Media is owned by my friend of many years, Andrew Edwards. Having qualifications and background in I.T Hardware, software & networking, when we discussed me joining the company I was excited to see the other side of things, including website development/optimisation, social media marketing and SEO.

GAV: Since there are thousands of websites and portals in this niche out there, where do you think Madaboutcasinos.com stands now and what is that plus that the other portals don’t have?

Philip: At the moment madaboutcasinos.com is just plodding a long in the rankings but still sending quality traffic to the brands we advertise. Other the next few weeks/months the site will have a major overhaul, a new design, easier usability and better optimised for mobile traffic.

GAV: How do you see the online casino market/industry at this moment? How about sports betting or online bingo?!?

Philip: I think the casino market is still very strong, as previously mentioned madaboutcasinos.com is still sending traffic, as does our other casino portal; Mobileslotsites.com. We don’t really advertise sports betting apart from a small sports section on madaboutcasinos.com so couldn’t really answer that. Bingo, we are mostly and well know for madaboutbingo.com, and just like madaboutcasinos that site will also have major overhaul in the coming months.

GAV: In your opinion what are the strong points of Madaboutcasinos.com and what makes it stand out from the other niche websites/directories?

Philip: Madaboutcasinos.com has 100% unique content and we are in daily contact with affiliate managers to try and keep our reviews fresh and as updated as possible. We also try and get unique offers to advertise to our fans/follows via our social channels.

GAV: Could you tell us a bit about the beginnings of Madaboutcasinos.com and Madabout Media Limited?! We know that you (Madaboutcasinos.com) are a very established portal. How was the portal started and most of all what difficulties you have to overcome at the beginning?

Philip: Madabout Media Ltd came about from Andy and his first portal Madaboutbingo.com. When I came onboard with Madabout Media Ltd one of my first tasks was helping with the design and build of Madaboutcasinos.com. There wasn’t really any major problems with getting madaboutcasinos.com up and running, we had a template for the design and SEO strategy that already worked for madaboutbingo.com and we implemented them into the new site.

GAV: We have surfed your website and found some great quality content. Are you writing it by yourself or do you have a team of people writing for you? How many reviews do you have on the site?!

Philip: We use 2 teams of dedicated writers who visit the sites we advertise. They sign up and visit the different rooms and play on the different games available so they can write an in-depth and unbiased review. We have over 250 reviews on Madaboutcasinos.com, over 300 on Madaboutbingo.com and almost 300 on Mobileslotsites.com. As most affiliate programs have Bingo, Casino and Vegas style Slots, we spread the brands over our sites to target specific players.

GAV: How about the online marketing and SEO of the Madabout Casinos website, do you have someone in house for that our you outsourced it?

Philip: The SEO for all of our advertising and brand sites is done in-house by Andy who is a LRT Certified Professional and another Madabout Media staff member of Keeley who is a LRT associate. SEO is non-stop and things change on a daily basis. So rather them than me haha.

GAV: How do you manage to keep all the Madabout Media Limited websites fresh and relevant, when a lot of fluffy and nonsense appear on the Internet non-stop?

Philip: As mentioned earlier we are in contact with affiliate managers on a daily basis so we can run with the latest site promotions and special offers as soon as they go Live. Our reviews are updated as soon as possible and mailers are sent out to our database. We run competitions ourselves via our social channels, but this is mostly for our brand sites as they sponsor several sports teams, including a wheelchair rugby team, a transplant football team and a professional rugby league team.

GAV: We are pretty convinced that you receive messages from Affiliate Managers on a daily basis showcasing their best products. You, of course select them by the brands they work with. What are your thoughts on how a real Affiliate Manager-Affiliate relationship should be built, and how not?!

Philip: Andy has been in this industry since 2006 and myself since 2011 and the best affiliate mangers we work with are the ones who send a professional message from day one & are always available to lend a helping hand. Over time you become friends so the relationship works on a personal level as well as professional one. On the other side you have affiliate mangers who send the same copy and paste message to our of emails in one go and almost demand to be on our site and placed in the best positions.

GAV: How do you see the future of the online casino/gambling industry? For instance, will it become a truly global phenomenon?

Philip: Online gaming will go from strength to strength, certainly since the emergence of mobile & tablet gaming. Years ago it was expensive to own a PC but mobile phones and tablet are so widely available you can literally play anywhere, anytime. I’d say its already a global phenomenon, and with new markets opening it will only get bigger.

GAV: Tell us one change that you want to see in the online casino industry?!

Philip: More transparency and regular payment dates would be great. It’s not really a problem but there are still some brands/affiliate programs that make it hard to access stats and see exactly what traffic you have sent and how the payment has been broken down to make the final commission total.

GAV: Do you have any advise you would like to offer to newbies who are looking to venture into this majestic industry!?

Philip: If you have started, then see it through! The benefits are fantastic, get to travel to some fantastic cities and meet people from all over the world. Of course you have to put the work in, you can’t just build a site and be No.1 in Google. You need to know the market, the do’s and don’ts and have a goal to aim for.

GAV: How about iGaming/online casino conferences, do you attend any of them? If so, which one is your favorite and what is your most fun experience?

Philip: I love the conferences, its great to catch up with affiliate managers & other affiliates i have become friends with over the years, plus there is always scope to meet new contacts & make new deals. In the 5yrs I’ve been in the industry, I’ve visited conferences in London, Dublin, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Berlin. Amsterdam is lovely city but for me, London (LAC) is the biggest and best.

GAV: What do you think the chances are for Eastern Europe to become a potential gaming hotspot in the near future? Where do you think the region must improve upon?

Philip: Anywhere in the world has the potential to become a gaming hotspot. As long as the individual countries are regulated to the high standard set by other gaming countries, I don’t see a problem.

GAV: Where would you like to travel in Eastern Europe, any favorite country or region?

Philip: I would travel anywhere, mostly because i love city breaks haha. Before I started in the industry I believe there was a Budapest Affiliate Conference that got high reviews. I’ve heard good things about Prague, Bucharest and Krakow among others….but mostly from people who have been on stag do’s to them cities haha.

GAV: Where you wouldn’t want to travel in Eastern Europe 🙂 ?

Philip: I’ve never given it much though, as long as it was safe to travel then i’d be on the plane if there was a conference 🙂

GAV: How about a favorite celebrity or a mentor, do you have one?

Philip: Favorite celebrity would have to be a sports personality. At the moment Coner McGregor or someone from the past, probably Joe Calzaghe. Two big personalities who have rose to the top of their disciplines through hard work and dedication.

GAV: Tell us your opinion about the Gambling Affiliate Voice?

Philip: I visit Gambling Affiliate Voice from time to time to check the ‘Certified Websites’ page, as an affiliate it’s great to know who the trusted brands are and that’s one thing ‘GAV’ can help me and other affiliates with.

 

If you would like to suggest subjects for future affiliate interviews, be sure to send your suggestions to: george@gamblingaffiliatevoice.com .

Affiliate Announcements

Digital Marketing Mixer to be hosted for second iteration of FREE business networking on 30th June

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Digital Marketing Mixer to be hosted for second iteration of FREE business networking on 30th June

 

 

Last month saw the launch of the first Digital Marketing Mixer, a FREE business networking event created by Lee-Ann Johnstone which hosted over 150+ iGaming and Affiliate Marketing professionals in attendance.

The event which received outstanding delegate reviews, will be hosted again on Monday 30th June between 4-6pm (BST) via Zoom. The aim of the speed networking event is to bring together affiliates and digital marketers, technology providers , agencies, experts and marketing service providers together to promote their services virtually.

With limits on travel and attendance at physical events still in play opportunities to network for new business have been limited. That combined with increased remote working has had a natural impact on business development slowing in the short term.

The Digital Marketing Mixer has been created as an open platform for professional social networking to take place in a structured but relaxed virtual atmosphere. The event has been created to support new business and continued lead generation for all businesses operating in the Affiliate industry.

Lee-Ann Johnstone, the event host commented: “The Digital Marketing Mixer is a key event for digital and affiliate marketing businesses to get better connected during this uncertain time. The objective is simple, bring people together to talk, to collaborate and ensure new business and service opportunities continue to thrive. I’ve created this FREE networking event for EVERYONE to benefit from in the affiliate industry to help get new business deals done.”

The mixer remains 100% FREE for delegates to attend and is open to any vertical. Once again the event is held in collaboration with founding collaborators GPWA.org, iBet Directory, and AffiliateINSIDER collaborating to deliver this event.

“The toughest part of the conference experience to replicate online was always going to be those oh-so-important conversations in the bar. I was delighted to find myself in just such conversations at the Digital Marketing Mixer – top marks! “  said Sue Dawson from bestnewbingosites.co.uk who attended last month’s inaugural event. 

The Digital Marketing Mixer will offer a host of  fun networking games, speed selling challenges and enable delegates to enjoy discussing the latest industry trends whilst providing a platform to market their goods and services. The focus of this event remains on getting digital and affiliate marketing professionals quickly connected, getting new deals – done!

Lloyd Richman, founder of iBet Directory commented: The Digital Marketing Mixer Party is a great concept and offers all delegates the option to contribute unlike other webinars and conferences. It had a good mixture of natural event speakers, experienced iGaming professionals and new people to the industry. A great event which was highly successful.

If you are an agency, affiliate, consultant, operator, digital marketer, payment provider or saas product owner, everyone working with or in the affiliate industry is welcome to attend.

RSVP FOR FREE and join the Digital Marketing MixerHERE

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Affiliate Announcements

Mr Gamble is the fast growing iGaming affiliate taking the world by storm

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Player-friendly approach to casino comparisons sees audience grow to new highs 

In January 2019, two iGaming enthusiasts from southern Finland, Paavo Salonen and Jonas Kyllönen, created an affiliate site which follows a different path to competitors in the sector – Mr-Gamble.com was conceived to provide a user-friendly service that details the key benefits for different online casinos.

In a little over a year, the team at Mr-Gamble (owned by CashMagnet Ltd) has grown from two to sixteen people, and their site is attracting millions of views and an audience of thousands, eager to find a more discerning comparison site for online casinos.  With such impressive growth, the company is now moving to bigger offices in their adopted home town of Tallinn, Estonia.

Putting the players first has been key to this success, with the team’s focus to build a casino comparison site which highlights the various benefits from leading online casino operators.  Easy-to-use filters allow players to match specific search criteria to their needs, such as high quality casino bonuses, with a brand promise to help users “find a 200% bonus in under one minute”.

 

Moreover, with responsible gaming high on regulators agendas for 2020, not least due to COVID-19, Mr-Gamble’s onboarding policies for new casinos include strict criteria to ensure player protection.  Time-out periods, self-exclusion options, financial limits, and more are all in place to reassure players that beyond the entertainment factor, their well-being is key. 

Jonas Kyllönen explains, “While our competitors focus simply on the bonus offer and a select few aspects of gaming, Mr-Gamble.com highlights things like hidden T’s & C’s and other small details that make up the overall quality of a casino’s service and the bonuses they offer. We even include a section purely for casinos that offer free spins, allowing players to find free spin offers without deposits.  This sets us apart from old school affiliates and builds trust with our audience, resulting in a high proportion of returning visitors.”

Kyllönen, who leads on all aspects of marketing for Mr-Gamble, also realises that staying plugged in to media platforms such as Twitch and Instagram enable the company to attract some of their users from the elusive millennial market.  

“In just six months”, says Kyllönen, “we became the most watched slots channel on Twitch in Finland, and alongside our Instagram following, this allows us to stay in touch with our audience across multiple touch points – it’s been key to our growth. We still see SEO and PPC as the main pillars of the casino affiliates sector, but complimentary channels like Twitch are both entertaining and good for business.”

This well-rounded approach to the casino comparison sector is both innovative and forward-thinking, standing the company in good stead for the coming decade, during which adapting to change and staying on top of market trends will separate the men from the boys.

Mr Gamble’s affiliate offering is already well-established in Finland, and in April 2020 Mr-Gamble expanded operations to more English-speaking markets including the UK and Canada. The company also plans to target the US market, with licensing currently underway, and is looking at opportunities in Asia. 

Alongside Finnish casino enquiries, the company invites English language operators from international markets, particularly in the UK and Canada, to contact silver@cashmagnet.money for more information on deals and listings. 

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Affiliate Success

Exclusive Q&A with Marinos Shiapanis, CEO at Campeón Gaming Partners

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Exclusive Q&A with Marinos Shiapanis, CEO at Campeón Gaming Partners

 

We shall begin with the iGB award. How do you feel after winning this award? Had you expected this award?

We really didn’t. This was our very first time being nominated at the iGB Affiliate Awards and, given the fact that the competition was really high, we were not expecting to hear our name. Needless to say, we were – and we still are – overwhelmed and very excited. It was a team effort, and this is why we celebrated as a team after receiving the award in London.

This is the first time Campeon has been nominated for iGB Awards. And you hit the bull’s eye in the first instance itself. How do you see this honour: as a reward of your hard work or as a stepping stone for future innovation?

I think it is a little bit of both: it is definitely a reward and a recognition of the whole Campeón Gaming Partners team’s hard work and effort, but, at the same time, this is a stepping stone for us to do more, invest more in innovation, expand and further develop across all sectors. The whole team, and especially the Affiliate & Partnerships team, really devoted themselves to the company and they are the reason we have managed to win this award. Such an award is extremely important for us, as it shows how far we have gone in such a short period of time; we have managed to slowly establish ourselves in the iGaming industry, become a familiar face for affiliates in the market, expand our network and grow as a team and a brand. However, winning this award doesn’t mean we stop here; this is not just a motivation for us, but an obligation as well to work harder, focus more and deliver even better results. I think you will hear more of us the coming months.

The award recognises how Campeon stood out in terms of “transparency, inclusiveness and continuous support”. What are the things unique to the affiliate program of Campeon Gaming Partners?

Since the beginning, our vision was to create an affiliate program that would not only attract affiliates, but it would also keep them engaged. We started off with a small network and as we were building it up, we were also improving our program. Today, our network is comprised of over 1,000 affiliates and our affiliate team has managed to establish personal relationship with each and every one of them. To us, it’s crucial to put a face to the name; it’s not just about numbers, it’s about having a person who you know will listen to you and deal with your issues no matter how big or small. This is our way of thinking: we treat each affiliate’s request as equal, and I believe that our affiliates appreciate this.

In early 2019, our team dedicated themselves into redesigning the program’s strategy, aiming at building stronger, more interpersonal relationships with our partners, and providing them with better models in order to maximize their profits. At the same time, we optimized the affiliate experience, from the registration of the player, all the way to the affiliate statics’ analysis we have successfully merged, integrated, and incorporated all of the Campeón Gaming Partners’ brands into new platforms, ensuring that no affiliate activity was ever disrupted.

The award also mentions how Campeon offered tailor-made program to the affiliates. Could you shed more light into the deeply customizable affiliate programs of Campeon Gaming Partners?

Each affiliate has his or her own needs that looks into serving through a program. At Campeón Gaming Partners, we understand that, and every time we onboard an affiliate, we go into deep discussions with him or her to understand what they are looking for in our program. I think the most important fact for our affiliates is that we assign them their very personal point of contact, who is there for them whenever they are in need. So, when we onboard a new affiliate, we first assign him or her their point of contact, who makes sure to talk to him or her, understand his or her needs and goals and together they create a program tailor-made to the affiliate’s needs.

What are the qualities that you look forward to in an affiliate? Not all affiliates are likely to become successful, right? Based on your experience, what separates the successful affiliates from the rest?

We want our affiliates to treat us the same way we treat them: with respect and transparency. We always do our best to accommodate our affiliates’ needs, so we are looking into building partnerships based on trust. I think this is the most important part for us.

Regarding the second part of your question, I believe that definitely industry knowledge and audience play a significant part in separating successful affiliates from the rest. But besides these, I think that players are looking for affiliates who will be honest with them, affiliates they can trust; I believe it is the only way to build up a players’ audience.

New new social media platforms are increasingly micro-targetting the end customers and automated CRM tools are getting more and more advanced. In this scenario, how do see the future of affiliate marketing evolving?

I believe that affiliate marketing is already changing and with these new tools it will change even more in the future. We are now entering a new era: the digital and customized era. Customers are increasingly becoming more and more demanding; they now know they don’t have to compromise anymore with mass solutions, so they are asking for customized ones. They demonstrate their needs and preferences and demand for an experience tailor-made to them. I believe this is where affiliate marketing will focus in the future, and all the new or upcoming tools available, will give us the advantage of analysing the customers’ behaviours and providing the best solutions to them. Affiliate marketing of the future will evolve around customized player’s experience, in my opinion.

Finally, tell us about any big announcement in the near future. Expanding to more countries? Launching or integrating new products? Or a new marketing campaign? Our readers will be eager to read something first here.

A couple of weeks ago, we launched our first Pay N Play platform for the Scandinavian market, SvenPlay. In a few days, we will be launching our brand new, themed platform, Sons of Slots. This is a challenge for us, as it will be the first time we are introducing such a themed platform to our players. The Sons of Slots story goes back to the motor gangs of the US and it all evolves around that; rough street battles, leather jackets and ripped jeans, long hair, and endless road trips on their Harleys. This is what inspired us and we wanted to bring something very exciting to our players. Entering the Sons of Slots platform, our players will be transferred to a new world, the world of American motor gangs; they will play their favorite games in a new, adventurous environment, with exciting features, which will take their gaming experience to a whole new level. To bring this project to life, we have invested heavily in technology and this is why we partnered with a major agency, MaxCreate, specialized in bespoke front-end design, in order to be able to offer more flexible and versatile platforms to our players and to our affiliates.

I think 2020 is our year, and people will hear more of us: exhibitions, PR, awards… We will make it happen.

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