The Next Big Thing (maybe)

The Next Big Thing (maybe)

Michael Katz met a friend recently in London, and they strategized, theorised and hypothesised the what, why and how of marketing the next big thing for affiliates in the US and here's the results of this encounter.

Published 20th May 2016

“So what will you be touting ten years from now?”, a familiar voice whispered in my ear at the last iGB Affiliate conference that I attended. “I have no idea,” I replied. “Ten years ago when poker was booming and binary options was just a choice between zero and one, I would have said something with skill games that could be wagered on legally in the US.” “Well don’t rule it out completely old friend,” he continued. “With a US election looming and a new President about to be elected, I have a feeling that anything will be possible in the US within the next ten years.” And then he strolled off to the Ladbrokes bar to enjoy the free alcohol so readily available to loosen the ears of the passing affiliates. There’s nothing like the lure of a free beer or two and the smile of an attractive model to tempt affiliates into a booth disguised as a bar at the iGB conferences. And so I followed my old buddy and sat down next to him. “So what do you know that I don’t?” I asked with a cheeky smile as I turned around and asked for a Miller Lite with a vodka chaser. “Steady on it’s only 4:30. We have a long night ahead of us!” he laughed. “I’m not saying that anything is a sure thing but the word on the ground in the US is that once Barack Obama will no longer be President, the American government will look to make revenues from online businesses that have been deemed ‘illegal’ in the past. When you’re looking at this picture against the backdrop of the past ten years, you’ll see that the US will be reopening their doors for a whole new world of opportunity.” “That’s interesting but hardly concrete.” I retort. His answer was witty and mildly amusing “Funny that you mention concrete.

Apart from the Ten Commandments, there is absolutely nothing written in stone in this business.” “So what is that you think you know?” I persisted. “I know that more than one of the candidates in the race for President of The United States is looking to make a number of reforms based on economic necessity. And that these reforms could potentially include gaming both online and landbased. In fact I’d go as far as to add that it’s the main reason why the guy with the duck hairdo decided to put himself in the running. Imagine the Manhattan skyline with the Hudson in the backdrop and a small, but substantially profitable, strip of casinos down by the river.” He casually blurts out. “It will never happen and even if it did how would it affect our online industry?” A gazillion questions were pumping through my head now. “Here’s how out it’s gonna play out.” He stated matter of factly. “First there’ll be the land-based casinos. They’ll become regulated state by beautiful state. This will be within the first two years of a new President. Then, as we already know, where there’s land-based casinos, the Internet is never too far behind. The question is ‘have affiliates already had too many hoops put in front of them preventing them from marketing online casinos in the US?’ The answer is most probably yes. So then what?” And he continued “I’ll tell you then what. Every other thing that’s ever been in the grey zone opens up and becomes fair game for real-money. We’re talking fantasy games, lottery, bingo, backgammon..” “And financial?” I interject. “Ah financial.” He sighs. “Now that’s the biggest question. What could possibly entice the US government into offering online retail trading platforms, regulation and legitimacy within the shores of the land of opportunity? Surely the banks are already doing well enough? But perhaps the government isn’t benefiting enough from the existing financial giants? If that were the case, then regulation for retail forex and binary option platforms could well open up. But here’s the financial product of the future. Listen very closely as this is the first and only time I’ll say this out loud.”

By this point I was almost falling off my barstool with excitement. “Go on tell me something I haven’t heard before.” I teased. “Are you sure you really want to know?” he double checked. I nodded signaling him to continue “In one word I will describe the future for the entire online financial world. Hedging. Professional dealing rooms hedge every day. Every time someone makes a big purchase of one currency against another currency, the broker goes and hedges his potential loss while at the same time making room for his profit. Now imagine that you could be a part of that hedging system. It’s straight up gambling under the complete framework of a financial transaction. Each transaction and each trade is initiated by a bona-fide, regulated broker. “And it’s not just foreign exchange. It’s everything. From insurance policies to futures and puts to commodities. The general public will be given the chance to be on the other side of hedging. With a simple undisclosed formula, platforms can plug straight into the big banks and investment firms and list online all potential instruments that can be hedged against. There will always be two sides. The platform makes its money the old fashioned way, from the commission. That way there’ll be no incentive to see either side lose the deal.” I started to think about this for a moment, albeit a slightly drunken moment. “But where do affiliates fit into this?” “I was waiting for you to ask that.” He replied. “The Internet has changed since we started in this industry. Everything now is social word-of-mouth marketing. Influencers run the web now. It’s not like the old days when you could create a site in 30 minutes, slap in a few good keywords, piece it together with good content and buy a billion inbound links. The web has evolved and so had online consumer behaviour. These things have to be spoken about in videos by real people who can nurture and guide.” “It sounds a little far-fetched and very risky.” I add to the conversation. “You’re right it’s both. And it’s exactly that formula that will keep customers coming back for more. People like to believe in the unbelievable while, at the same time, take risks. It’s human nature. Why do people smoke when everyone is aware of the risk? In short, anything that can give a person a temporary increase of adrenaline while at the same time give them a chance of profiteering will be a success”.

It was true even though he had over simplified it. “So who will be providing this super technology of the future? This innovative experience that will change the lives of so many. And who will be the first media group to market it?” “Everything will be revealed after the election has placed into power the 45th President in the history of the United States of America.” He offered. “Until then the race is on to develop, strategize, theorize and hypothesize the what, why and how of Internet marketing for the next big thing.” And with that we each ordered another drink.

“Everything now is social word-of-mouth marketing. Influencers run the web now. It’s not like the old days when you could create a site in 30 minutes, slap in a few good keywords, piece it together with good content and buy a billion inbound links.”

“From foreign exchange to insurance policies to futures and puts to commodities, the general public will be given the chance to be on the other side of hedging.”

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