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Chodak Moments: Part 3 – The future of the affiliate sector

Chodak Hunter is the owner of marketing recruitment agency Black Yak Digital. With a recruitment career spanning 18 years, Hunter’s expertise falls within the digital marketing sector – predominantly gaming and affiliates – and he started Black Yak in May of last year.

“With Black Yak I wanted to take recruitment back to basics and to the days where it was respected,” Hunter explains. “When it was an extension of someone’s business and where the recruiter fully understood the industry they were recruiting within, along with the dynamics of the company, sector and person centric approach.”

In the final part of his affiliate guide, Hunter gives his opinions on the state of the industry, and assesses where he sees it going moving into the future.

CH: It’s a volatile time for the British igaming industry right now. However, this is not reflected in other industries where affiliate marketing still continues to grow year on year. It is quickly becoming a respected marketing vertical and more understood as a valuable marketing medium taking up a larger space within the marketing mix.

With the introduction of GDPR in May I believe that there has been a lot of fretting in the industry and many operators and affiliates not quite knowing what to do and which way to turn with the lack of any standardised approach from operators as yet. However, I feel confident that once this has been fully brought in and there becomes a level playing field and everyone is on the same page that the confidence will again begin to grow .

I feel that affiliate managers particularly within igaming companies have been tasked with checking quality and being on the lookout for fraud and other unscrupulous traffic for many years. Therefore, I don’t really think that this will change the dynamics of the role or the industry too much. Nor do I

think it will have much of an impact on quality orientated affiliates. I think it will however impact the amount of work involved and therefore, more of the small and expanding affiliate organisations will need to look at areas they need more help with to ensure that they are remaining fully compliant. Hence, administrative staff may need to be recruited to constantly check and ensure any  display copy isn’t out of date or in contravention of the guidelines. I think it will tighten up affiliate companies and also ultimately make them stronger. It may also improve the relationship between operator and affiliate regardless of the size of the affiliate, as they will be forced to have more dialogue.

It will also ensure that any non compliant and smaller companies fall away, which ultimately will make the industry less competitive and ensure the customers are getting the very best quality. I feel that over the years the barriers to entry for affiliates in the gambling industry have fallen away somewhat and with that the quality has lessened. Therefore, for genuine budding affiliates wanting to do things correctly this should be a good thing.

The finance industry went through the same thing a few years ago and now is a much better industry for it. I believe igaming will follow suit and towards the end of this year will become a lot less volatile.

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