Published: 14 November, 2023

Drilling deeper into the data

Simona Stojanovska, QiH Group Partnership Manager, says better communication regarding data could help operators maximise their relationships with affiliates

Given the level of competition in the iGaming industry today, most gambling firms are well aware that collecting and analysing data is one of the key ways to gain deeper insights into their customers and stay ahead of the curve.
Many have large business intelligence (BI) teams that work to help the various other departments within a company to make data-driven decisions.
But some are missing a trick when it comes to how well the rationale behind these decisions are shared within that organisation and in turn with its partners.
As a company, QiH Group is very data-driven and we too have a BI team that supports us in our work. However, this wasn’t always the case. When I joined QiH three years ago, it was a much smaller company than it is today. This meant I had to analyse the data myself, but having this experience has really helped me understand the importance of data. Even though the company has now grown to a size where we have our own BI team, I still regularly delve into the data to both pre-empt and deal with operator questions.
Unfortunately, my contacts at my partners are often unable to do the same. While it’s clear our operator partners have large amounts of data within their organisations, the specifics are often not shared with affiliate managers. They are sometimes simply served with decisions made by data but not given the data itself.
The feedback I get suggests affiliate managers are often handed documents and simply told to scale activity with partners that are working or pause activity if the numbers aren’t positive, but that they are given little further detail. However, the details are crucial when it comes to optimising partnerships.

Improving performance
Many deals that aren’t performing well can be improved if all the data is available and interpreted correctly. If I’m in a situation where a partner says that value doesn’t currently look good, my first thought is always to look into the data to find out why it doesn’t. I will ask for granular data so I can go in on my side and check traffic on a deeper level by traffic source. I will also ask whether the issue is net gaming revenue (NGR) related or if they are looking at ROI from a deposit value perspective. These different elements help me understand how an issue can be solved, but if they don’t have that data, it makes it tricky to propose solutions.
We also need to consider our own investment in the campaigns. As much as it impacts a partner at their end when something is not right, it also impacts us at our end. We use data to make commercial decisions about where partners appear on our sites and whether as a business we want to adjust our spend on certain campaigns.
Another issue is that some operators are still reluctant to share deposit data, but it is hard to optimise traffic and grow a partnership if we are working blind on this front. Relationships where operators are open to sharing data on player values work better than those where they aren’t. When both the operator and the affiliate have visibility over the same data, it’s easier to make sure the approach is properly targeted and that budgets are allocated accordingly.
Deposit data also helps me take a more proactive approach. For any deal, I will check the data patterns and, if I see something that is not ideal, I don’t wait for the partner to contact me. Instead, I will contact them and ask if they are seeing something similar with their other partners and perhaps explore whether or not they have a different offer they can share.

Keeping up with the competition
When I approach partners and tell them they are not converting as well as expected, they will typically ask questions about how they can improve.
A common one is how they compare to other brands we are working with. I never give them specifics on other brands, but I will be open and honest about whether or not they are underperforming compared to other operators. If the partner has only a deposit offer I might share that other operators, whose offer also includes a bonus, are currently converting much better and suggest they try something similar.
Overall, we are now delivering more than 12,000 first-time depositors a month and there is no reason we can’t share these among our various partners. Our numbers have grown quickly over the past few years and by optimising the offers of our partners as much as possible, we believe they can grow much further. Using data is one of the key ways we maximise our partnerships as it helps us solve challenges and find opportunities. Brands that work with us to do this are far more likely to succeed than those who don’t. Simples.

As much as it impacts a partner at their end when something is not right, it also impacts us at our end. We use data to make commercial decisions about where partners appear on our sites and whether as a business we want to adjust our spend on certain campaigns