“Operators will have to be smarter in all areas and there will be no space for mediocre”
Vedran Karaman has a tremendous experience in the iGaming industry, as he held senior positions at companies such as Superbet and LeoVegas. After many years of working for major Gaming Groups, he decided to start his own agency. What tempted him to do so, what specifically does he do now and how does he help operators? All of this can be found out in our interview.
With years of experience in the iGaming and betting industry, you’ve managed substantial digital marketing budgets. Could you share some key insights or strategies that have consistently contributed to your success in driving player growth and maintaining profitability?
First and foremost, understanding player values and the contribution of each marketing channel to overall results is crucial. Marketing channels tracking and comprehending data are the keys to success. Whether working on the operator side or now, running an agency, the initial step has always been to ensure proper tracking and define marketing and commercial KPIs.
The second key factor is devising strategies tailored to the specific market, ensuring that promotions and campaigns are well-thought-out and don’t attract abusers.
Lastly, optimizing marketing channels (Google Ads, Social & Display, Programmatic, Affiliates, App Marketing) is very specific in our industry. It’s different from tourism or eCommerce, requiring a different approach due to high media costs and CPCs and big volatility in Conversion Rates. This demands meticulous attention and smarter strategies when it comes to budget allocation, bidding strategies etc.
Your experience includes founding a growth marketing firm specializing in the iGaming industry. What motivated you to start your own firm, and what unique value do you believe your firm brings to clients in this competitive industry?
I became fed up with the unnecessary meetings during my time on the operator side. I realized that I could make a more significant impact by transitioning to the agency side and focusing my time on creating value for the companies I collaborate with. Our unique value lies in a deep understanding of the iGaming and betting industry and player behavior, and a robust understanding of data and digital marketing strategies tailored for our industry. I spent significant budgets across digital channels and now we’re utilizing that experience to help other businesses.
It’s important to emphasize that we are not any kind of affiliate company; we are a growth marketing agency and consultants, assisting online gaming businesses in optimizing their budgets across all marketing channels. People in our industry sometimes mix it up.
As the Head of Acquisition at Pasino.ch, you’ve tripled paid FTDs and Sign-ups while decreasing CPA. Could you elaborate on the specific strategies or initiatives that led to such impressive results?
Very simple – firstly, we prioritized accurate tracking and ensured alignment of attribution windows across acquisition channels. We conducted in-depth performance analyses throughout the month, making necessary adjustments to bids and budget allocation based on conversion fluctuations and payday trends.
Next, we undertook a comprehensive restructuring of our paid channels, aligning them with industry standards. Incrementality tests were pivotal in understanding each channel’s contribution to the overall performance, allowing us to optimize accordingly and not just judge it by a last-click attribution. While it may sound simple, it involved a multitude of small tweaks and adjustments, spanning several months, to set us on the right track.
In your role as Global Director of Performance Marketing at Superbet, you increased the Digital Acquisition budget by 10x while maintaining CPAs. What challenges did you face during this significant scaling, and how did you manage to maintain efficiency?
The main challenge was finding the right people and managing the sheer amount of work. When I joined Superbet, the performance marketing department was non-existent, so my job was to scale user acquisition and building the team at the same time. Luckily, I have hands-on experience in the major channels, so it wasn’t hard from the technical side, but the days were sometimes too short. The key was, and always will be, to do things gradually, to expand step by step. Expand, analyze; expand, analyze—that’s how we maintained efficiency. Not a lot of changes at the same time.
With your extensive experience in the iGaming industry, what do you believe are the emerging trends or challenges that marketers in this field should be prepared for in the coming years?
This heavily depends on the market but the biggest challenge is regulations. Each country has its own, specific limitations. Second thing is saturation of markets and increasing competition and media cost. Operators will have to be smarter in all areas and there will be no space for mediocre.