How Affiliates Can Prepare For Emerging & Legal Markets
Now that online gaming is a global industry with emerging and regulated markets becoming more prominent and public, affiliates need to know how to capitalize on this ever-changing international legal landscape.
Affiliates need to understand that with regulated markets, everyone will have to play by the rules of that country and adjust their business models to accommodate how to tackle these legal markets and make the most of the them.
Do your market research and understand these new emerging and legal markets and everything about them. Don’t just learn the online gaming side of the country but do some research on the culture, demographics, languages, legal restrictions, requirements, population count, gaming statistics and advertising laws.
As always, start your research on the web and then you might even want to contact or network with other affiliate who are there now. Most importantly, talk to the gaming operators that are legally licensed and currently operating there or have obtained their license and will be setting up shop in 2013.
Analyze whether this market is right for you. After you’ve done your research to figure out if that is the market you want to be in. For example, if you want to enter the US and get an affiliate license in Nevada, then you will have to do your due diligence and figure out all that is required to enter that market as an affiliate legally. There is a rigorous list of requirements that have to be met and reviews by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Other markets such as Germany, Belgium, and Denmark will all have their strict guidelines as well, so do your analysis of each market and what is required before you go there and start operating as an affiliate.
Also, size up the market and do a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) for each market you go into. This will give you an overall birds-eye view of what your up against and what you will need to do to be successful.
Always keep updated on the new and emerging markets. The EU and USA are two large markets that are legalizing and opening up to operators and affiliates quickly. CAP will have the latest information for you to stay up to date so use that to your advantage. Get on the CAP forums and talk to other affiliates who will know about updated information as well.
Go to industry affiliate conferences when you can as they have many speakers and it’s a great way to talk face to face with operators and legal counsel who often attends these conferences.
There’s a lot to learn about going after emerging and legal markets so it’s important to recognize that they will all be different. They will all have their unique cultures, laws, languages, opinions, attitudes and mix of people.
Once you settle in on the emerging & legal market you want to go into, start regionalizing your brands and advertising strategies. Have your web sites translated into the appropriate languages including using banners, newsletters and all your content that will appeal to that market.
Here’s your chance to become a little patriotic with your branding and speak to your audience so they will connect with your messages and promotions.
It’s important to find out what products players in that region or country will connect with. For example, if you’re going into the EU, then most likely you will have a wide range of offerings, but with sports you would focus mainly on Soccer. If you were going into Canada, you would look at Hockey content; US markets you would focus on Football, Basketball or Baseball with updated news content etc.
It’s important to target your game to appropriately to males and females. Men for example, just like in a land-based casino will play the table games like poker, black jack and bet on sports. Women will prefer slots, video poker and bingo games.
Here’s your chance to dig a little deeper into each market demographic and psychographic profiles and start to segment your offerings to the selected target audiences. When it comes to determining the areas you want to specialize in, then concentrate on building your niche and stick to it.
If you’re going into an emerging and legalized market, make sure the operators you’re promoting have all their licenses in place and are committed to that market or country. Usually if they have been approved and gone through the lengthy licensing, review and approval process, then they will surely be in for the long haul.
If they are a large well-established gaming brand, then they should have a solid affiliate program in place for you to sign up with and start promoting their products. There may be some guidelines or restrictions in place for each affiliate program as they must also adhere to the online gaming laws and abide by them along with the affiliates that they work with in that country.
It’s important to find out if affiliates must be licensed to operate in that market or country. When you’re doing your research you might want to look at that first before you go any further.
Find out what is required, the cost and time involved so you can determine if you really want to commit with a full bona fide license and the guidelines that come with it.
Once you’re in that emerging market and you’ve been operating for a while, you will need to evaluate your ROI and if you think you have learned and are earning enough to make it profitable over the long run.
Any new market is a commitment, so make sure you are constantly evaluating your financial numbers, traffic, successful campaigns, areas of improvement, operators and if you’re reaching your goals and the level of success you planned to achieve.