Jul 6 / 2017
Latest News / Editorial/

Meet Hardy Hekelaar, Affiliate Manager at Advidi

“Keep very good track of your cash flow – if you split your money on various networks, mind that you’re dealing with thresholds and payment terms that could mess up your cash flow to a point where you cannot pay your campaigns anymore and you lose the magic of the moment!”. We met Hardy Hekelaar, Affiliate Manager at Advidi, to talk about being a mediator between advertisers and affiliates and tips on how to make a business out of it.

Hello Hardy how are you?

Hey Marius, I’m doing fantastic. Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words about the great line of business we’re in.

How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?

The business was set up by two well-known entrepreneurs in the online marketing industry, and I joined them in 2015. As an affiliate network, we try to move where the opportunities are – just like our affiliates – so we opened up our iGaming vertical and have been expanding our brands and portfolio of affiliates ever since.

Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?

As an affiliate network, we function as a mediator between advertisers and affiliates, so the company is set up to cover the different verticals we’re in on both the advertiser and the affiliate side. Each vertical is run by an autonomous team that draws on the greater company experience, which allows for advanced specialization and focus on our individual markets. We’ve grown a lot (to over 70 employees) and we’re still expanding. In particular, the iGaming team takes a firm part in this growth.

With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?

We’re always working together with our affiliates and advertisers to stay on top of these trends, so we’re used to adapting quickly to changing markets and changing sources in the affiliate industry. If you watch the landscape closely, you probably expected to see some of these consolidation efforts playing out the way they have – I don’t think there’s anything really surprising going on.

Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets ?

We’re focusing on Scandinavian markets, Germany, UK and the Netherlands, of course, as we know this market and know the right affiliates.

How do you find Dutch market and competition?

On the advertiser side, we have solid casinos with competitive payouts with which we attract our affiliates. However, I know CPCs are high on Facebook – our affiliates bid on the same (small) target group, driving up the competition in terms of needed payouts and conversion rates.

Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?

As for our iGaming vertical, we see a lot of growth as we see many of our big nutra Facebook affiliates testing iGaming with proper ROIs, as well as reeling more and more iGaming affiliates in with our global presence at shows and our good reputation.

What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your sites?

We are growing in this space with a complete hands-on mindset. I put in a lot of time with affiliates from many diverse verticals to prepare them for iGaming, and we hand-pick the ones who we know can succeed. When you go through us, the process is refined and professional. We communicate often and make sure affiliates and advertisers are always getting the best deal. It’s how we prevent frauds, keep our growth constant and earn valuable referrals.

What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?

Our affiliates have been focusing a lot on mobile from the very beginning, so we always look for mobile optimizations with our advertisers and assist our affiliates with targeting mobile sources based on historic data. As for the challenges, there’s a greater level of reliance on third parties (such as carriers) in mobile, which adds a layer of risk, though it’s not anything we’re unaccustomed to.

What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?

The biggest challenge will always be to adapt as quickly as possible in this ever-changing online environment. We have to think two steps ahead at all times since we’re reliant on not only our partners, but also on sources, regulations and many more factors. I think the same applies for the wider affiliate sector; what may work now may not work 6 months from now, so always make sure you’re ahead!

What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?

First and foremost: focus. We see a lot of guys come and go very quickly as they try all casino offers on all sources. Find out what works best for you and optimize within that range. Second, keep very good track of your cash flow. If you split your money on various networks, mind that you’re dealing with thresholds and payment terms that could mess up your cash flow to a point where you cannot pay your campaigns anymore and you lose the magic of the moment!

Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?

I don’t play slots to be honest, but if I won 1 million Euro, I’d probably put it all on red with Roulette to see if I can double the profits haha!

Are you ready for Affiliate Grand Slam Bucharest and SiGMA17?

I’m really excited to visit both events – very curious about the exclusive event in Bucharest to see our current partners, but also the ones we don’t work with yet so we can establish new relationships… then say cheers at the SiGMA17 event to the money we’ve made together so far!

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

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