Q&A: Alessandro Valente, Co-Founder, Super Afiliados
How would you describe the current igaming affiliate landscape in Brazil?
It’s finally flourishing and consolidating, with really interesting local affiliates professionalising their strategies, motivated by the movement of major global operators.
However, the local operators are far from being supportive. Some of the newcomers, which are spending fortunes on TV advertising and sponsorship, don’t offer affiliation, and some are still thinking of affiliates as the local offline agents selling credits illegally.
The rise of affiliate marketing in the country and region is also contributing to this growth. Some affiliates from other industries, tired of living on the promotion of info-products and other stuff, are migrating to our industry. It only takes a minute for them to understand the potential of igaming and make their move, and this is exactly when Super Afiliados comes in very handy.
The country is in the midst of a drawn-out process to legalise and regulate online sports betting, among other forms of gambling. How are you preparing for this?
We’re currently researching and exploring new methods to generate traffic, and this has already shown good results in the short term. Super Afiliados has also invested in our sub-affiliates over the past year, bringing them up to speed with the changes that could eventually happen once regulation starts.
What are the main changes the market needs in order to strengthen the position of affiliates?
As far as the global operators’ presence and investment are concerned, I would recommend the localisation of their team and affiliate product to meet local expectations, as well as educating potential new affiliates to become the rising stars of the future.
Unfortunately, local operators are not yet investing enough time, energy or money into this segment of marketing. Some are not even accepting affiliates, which is a total wasted opportunity. Perhaps by the time they decide to take this route, the affiliates will be long gone to the foreign companies.
What is the policy of the leading search engines towards online gambling in Brazil, and how does this affect the type of acquisition activity you are able to undertake there?
The majority are not accepting anything gambling-related; some people get their ads approved and all of a sudden, they’re suspended, and they start all over again. We need a regulated market to be able to play like in any other developed country.
What proportion of your traffic comes from mobile as opposed to desktop, and what challenges is this presenting you with?
The vast majority of the population is on mobile and some households don’t even own a computer. However, we take a diverse approach to our acquisition strategy which includes mobile apps and a strong social media presence.
All our websites are responsive to cater for desktop, tablet and mobile. On some of our websites, the proportion of mobile users can be as high as 90%, while others could be as low as 60%, but certainly never less than that.
Your network spans a number of LatAm territories. Other than Brazil, where are you seeing the most promising growth in traffic and business?
Brazil itself is a challenge because of its diversity and vast territory, so conquering each region is not that easy. Customer behaviour and preferences may have an impact on results and catering for each region is already very hard.
However, in countries like Chile and Peru, where we are now planning to expand, preliminary tests have produced interesting results and apparently it will be less complex to penetrate those regions. Our focus remains in Brazil for the rest of 2021, but in 2022 we will be looking at those other regions with more focus.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in LatAm?
Considering that some of the companies operating in Brazil or planning to enter the country are not even ‘tropicalising’ their business enough, this is the still the initial challenge, but they will eventually face the need to look more local by employing Brazilians in the customer service team and other areas of the company.
Super Afiliados also helps operators in the process of adapting themselves to better cater for the local market. This is a necessary part of our process because Super Afiliados’ revenue is related to the success of the operator, and whether they can convert and retain customers.