Sasha Boerma at PM Talks: Why should we distinguish between the British and Irish markets?

Sasha Boerma boasts a wealth of experience in the iGaming industry, having led affiliate teams for several prominent companies. Currently, she serves as the Head of Affiliates at Coastline Gaming, a top-tier Gaming & Online Casino provider in Ireland. Sasha’s primary objective is to establish sustainable partnerships with affiliates for the company’s brands.

During our conversation, I had the opportunity to delve into Sasha’s ideas and strategies for effective affiliate marketing. Together, we identified critical challenges in modern affiliate operations and explored ways to bridge the gaps that prevent affiliates from delivering exceptional results. Additionally, we explored security concerns and how they impact the affiliate marketing landscape.

Tell us about the company you work for and the Irish market in particular? Are there any specific differences between Ireland and previous markets you were focused on?

Coastline Gaming is a company that prides itself on its trusted and established Irish heritage, with a strong background in retail. As Head of Affiliates, my primary focus is to establish sustainable partnerships with affiliates for our company’s brands.

I have worked in several prominent companies in the iGaming industry, but the Irish market has unique characteristics. While it closely follows the UK, there are also big differences, for example, having a primary focus on sports betting, with horse racing as one of the most developed niches, while online gaming comes second.

Paddy Power, Mr Green, and Casumo are among the key players in the Irish market; however, the fast-growing affiliate space brings new names and creates new opportunities for new players. We pay great attention to established affiliates who build their reputation on quality reviews and organic audiences. Additionally, we forge partnerships with media buying and retargeting experts to bring in and retain players. As a company, we are constantly facing critical challenges in modern affiliate operations and addressing security concerns that impact the affiliate marketing landscape.

What should new affiliates consider before starting their new project in the Irish market?

Before starting a new project, new affiliates must consider several critical factors. Firstly, the Irish market is often confused with the UK, which is strictly regulated therefore, it’s imperative to have a clearly defined strategy on how to deal with that crossover. Additionally, building a unique and strong strategy that fits into the Irish culture is essential.

The Irish market is more conservative, so it’s crucial to keep this in mind when it comes to branding. Focusing on the cultural nuances, which the Irish are extremely proud of, is a good marketing approach. Just a simple example, using the four-leaf clover, the colour green, Paddy’s Day, and other Irish cultural symbols can help affiliates solidify their positioning.

Regarding any red lines that should not be crossed in the Irish market, affiliates must be mindful of the conservative nature of the Irish people. They must avoid any marketing tactics that could be seen as fun but, at some level, offensive or disrespectful. Adhering to these guidelines will help new affiliates to establish themselves and build successful partnerships with top brands.

What are the 3 aspects you consider when choosing new affiliate partners?

Firstly, relationships play a crucial role. Have I worked with them before, or have they been tried, vetted, or recommended by other colleagues in the industry? Transparency is another crucial aspect that I consider. It’s essential to have open communication with affiliate partners, sharing challenges, wins, improvements, results, successes, and failures. This transparency helps to build trust and allows us to work together towards mutual success.

Finally, collaboration is critical. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of what our affiliate partners need from us to get the best from their players. By working collaboratively, we can build strong partnerships that deliver exceptional results for both parties.

How would you describe modern affiliate marketing compared to a few years ago when you started? Would you highlight any new trends or changes?

Modern affiliate marketing has undergone significant changes compared to what it was a few years ago when I started. Google’s updates over the years have had a massive impact on the industry. For instance, SEO affiliate sites are no longer getting the same love from Google as they used to, and big listing fees and CPA’s are being demanded, making the ROI on these deals hard to justify.

As a result, we are witnessing a shift where medium-sized sites are being bought by big networks, and affiliate marketing budgets need to be split between player acquisition and branding for it to be feasible. Additionally, new avenues need to be explored to drive player traffic besides traditional streams. Overall, modern affiliate marketing has become more complex and challenging due to these changes, however, with my experience and expertise, I believe that we can navigate these challenges and continue to establish successful partnerships with affiliates for our company’s brands.

Can you name your favorite company and entrepreneur in terms of their business model, charisma, and productivity?

A company and its entrepreneurs that I admire for their business model and productivity are the guys from Dreamlead Affiliates. I know them well and their story of how they became affiliates and how they pay it forward by teaching, investing, and developing others in the industry is inspiring.

Their core values and beliefs of sharing information and investing in others are incredibly powerful, and I share this belief wholeheartedly. I believe that knowledge shared is power, and investing in others can lead to mutual success.

Are there any specific directions or trends you think we all should bring more focus on in affiliate marketing?

One direction we should all bring more focus to in affiliate marketing is educating operators on player ROI expectations. It’s essential to recognise that players need at least 3 to 6 months to show value, and a solid CRM and VIP strategy needs to be put in place to harness that player value.

While affiliates can bring traffic, it’s a shared responsibility to ensure you’re maximising the value of those players. Therefore, I believe that educating operators on this aspect is critical to building successful and sustainable partnerships with affiliates.

Another trend we should bring more focus on is splitting the affiliate budget into branding and player acquisition. By focusing on both aspects, we can ensure that we are not only acquiring players but also building strong brand awareness, which is essential in the highly competitive affiliate marketing landscape.

Ready to start a conversation?

The key for us as a true B2B iGaming software provider is to help gaming operators implement bold ideas and unleash unlimited creativity.

Everything is possible.
Contact us