Meet Lord Brar, VP Business Development at Adaptive
We met Lord Brar, VP Business Development at Adaptive for an interview about his company and thoughts about the industry.
Hello Lord, how are you? Are you ready for SiGMA17?
Hi Marius, I am good, thanks! And yes, I am absolutely ready for SiGMA17.
During my last trip to SiGMA16, it was raining all the time I was there. So, looking forward to (hopefully) enjoy Malta’s legendary 300 days of sunshine and the country itself.
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
I stumbled upon online gaming space completely by accident. As a performance marketing agency, we operate in a lot of verticals and are constantly being recommended offers by affiliate networks to test.
One of the affiliate managers who I really trust and respect, recommended me to try this casino offer that was performing well. Because I know he never asks me to promote average or under-performing offers, I decided to give it a try.
Since then, casino industry has been good for us and become one of our main verticals.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
We consider us a data and technology company more than an advertising company. We use a lot of proprietary technology to manage large scale media buying across many verticals and countries.
As for the structure, we work with a team who specialize in various aspects of the game. We have teams of media buyers who specialize in a specific traffic source. Other members of our team include – copywriters, graphics designers, programmers and data analytics specialists.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
No, it doesn’t surprise me at all. Business cycles always work this way. I have seen it happen over and over again in different verticals. Consolidation is a sign of market maturity.
In a way, it is a good thing. Once companies grow really big, they are not able to innovate at the same pace. This gives perfect opening for a “new guy” to come up with something really innovative and market disruptive.
A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?
It is something that we have given a serious thought to. However, there are lot more elements that go into making a casino successful and we are not sure that it is the best route for us right now.
We are currently focusing on doing what we do best – media buying and driving new customers to our partners’ brands.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
A more appropriate description of our strategy would be unique and innovative ways to advertise. Media buying is a really competitive game and you have to be on the cutting edge of innovation to make a profit.
Over next 6 months, our primary focus will definitely be finding newer ways and channels to advertise.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
Our current focus, in gaming industry, is UK, CA and NL.
We want to start testing Latin America as we have had a lot of success in those markets in other verticals. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to yet find partners who have successful brands that convert for us in those markets. But I see a lot of potential there…
How do you find UK market and competition?
We love the UK market. As a matter of fact, it is one of our main markets. Yes, the competition is really high there, but it has performed really well for us and our partners.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Right now, we are working on scaling our business.
On one hand, you can think of it as really exciting. On the other hand, it is extremely boring routine work. However, it is extremely exciting from the point of view that in future we will have capability to deliver more player for our partners and work with more partners.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
The move to mobile has been one of the best things to happen to us. Over 80% of our traffic is mobile traffic, and the more casinos that support mobile the more partners we can work with.
Think about it – mobile is the way people use internet now. This is not going to change anytime soon. As a matter of fact, this is the way things will grow in emerging markets. We can only look at it as a positive opportunity.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
The first and most important advice that I will give to split-test everything. Test, test and test everything – if you think you have tested everything, I am sure I can think of a few more things to test. Try to squeeze every penny that you can from each click.
To give one example, once we tested the placement of offer in first half of the page and second half. We were getting a lot more clicks by having the link in first half, but those links were not converting. The clicks from links in second half of the page were performing WAY better. It’s not something we would have assumed if we didn’t test this hypothesis.
The secondly. treat your affiliate business like a real business. With the amount of competition now, you have no choice but to treat it like a real business.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
No, I don’t. I am more of a poker and roulette player. I like to play people – and, I feel more energetic in presence of people rather than stare at screens. As a matter of fact, during AGS Tallinn, it took me a grand total of 2 minutes to lose all money I had for playing slots.
If I do somehow end up winning 1 million euros from jackpot, I’d go straight to roulette table and bet it all on number 13. I can only imagine the kind of rush it will give me…
Passionate about results-oriented advertising and an avid student of consumer behaviour, Lord has been acquiring, building and growing e-commerce and media companies since 1999.
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