Kickstarting 2024, our first Three Minutes features Kirk Miller, Head of Casino at PureROI. Kirk spoke with Jennifer Kite-Powell, Head of Content at Okens Domains, about the future of performance marketing, why Okens gives PureROI peace of mind and future technologies that will change marketing.
Jennifer Kite-Powell (JKP): PureROI has seen incredible success over the last 18 months; what has been the company’s secret?
Kirk Miller (KM): PureROI was born out of the success of their sister company, Purecontent, which delivers content in large volumes in multiple languages with targeted outreach. Pure ROI evolved to do the same, giving value to our core affiliate partners. We have in-country writers and editors working in more than 100 languages, which means they can effortlessly launch new websites and gives us the power to test specific topics in weeks versus months.
I think that our laser targeting of specific geographies and products is a byproduct of carving out strong relationships with industry titans that can deliver traffic that adds tangible value.
And even with our success, we have challenges. In a nutshell, that’s competition. With everyone and their aunt bidding on the same keywords after enrolling in an online course about how to make $10K a month in affiliate marketing from a beach, cutting through the noise is harder than ever, but I believe that our focus on specialisation is the right solution to this new world order.
For example, I always say we don’t want to be bidding for ad space on poker in the US, where there is so much competition. I’d rather be hitting a Chilean audience excited about the next time Colo-Colo plays Universidad de Chile in the Chilean Primera Divisió.
JKP: Okay, I can hear the excitement in your voice; clearly, you love your role.
KM: Yes! I love learning about different cultures and how a piece of keyword research can open up an enormous rabbit hole on a topic you never knew existed before. Strange facts like how millions of people in India regularly bet on the price of cotton at the close of the NYSE each day. I always hope that one day, some of this will come up in a pub quiz!
JKP: What trends do you see heading straight towards us in 2024 that will affect performance marketing?
KM: Everyone says this, but I think eSports betting will be huge. Very few people have yet to match the messaging to this new and unique audience, but when they do, it will be its own market, not just a sideshow tacked onto traditional sports betting as it is now.
JKP: Speaking of performance marketing, what’s happening in that industry that has changed for you?
KM: First, change happens so fast. Performance marketing operates on an entirely different level than it did just a few years ago. The global pandemic certainly impacted this paradigm shift, and all of a sudden, as people around the globe were stuck at home, bored and with fewer of the usual outlets for their disposable income, the iGaming industry was sought out by a whole new audience.
New marketing channels that previously may have delivered a poor conversion rate were bringing in noticeable revenue. Even though things have calmed down slightly since we’ve all returned to our offices, it has still been an illuminating period for marketing iGaming entertainment to hitherto ignored demographics.
JKP: What technology do you think will shape performance marketing over the next several years? Is it going to change dramatically?
KM: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to change things, for sure. However, I’m not so sure those changes are going to be what everyone necessarily expects. Does it mean everyone can now create award-winning ad creatives with the push of a single button? Nope. Not yet, anyway – we’re not even close, in my experience. But, what it’s going to do, undoubtedly, is increase the sheer noise the consumer is bombarded with.
For example, now you don’t have to have a huge marketing budget to create 10,000-word articles for SEO or produce a million variations of CTA’s to split test – it’s all there for anyone with access to ChatGPT. I think the technology will enhance the people putting proper thought into their marketing rather than drowning them out. I have said this before and will say it again, but the good guys will benefit from the bad guys doing more and more bad stuff, making their good stuff seem even more impressive.
JKP: The igaming ecosystem has changed over the past decade from regulation to privacy concerns to shifts in SEO and tools for performance marketing; where do you see the industry headed in the next several years?
KM: Good question – it’s basically my job to try and predict this, so I can’t just shrug my shoulders! I think the colossal changes in how people search on the internet will change *all* digital industries, not just iGaming.
The younger generation doesn’t simply drop keywords into a box on a search engine and then scrawl through the SERPs looking for an answer anymore. They’re asking their “digital assistants” natural, conversational questions. Millennials aren’t typing “omelet recipes” into Google, for example – they’re asking Alexa, “What should I cook for dinner tonight? There are eggs, ham and cheese in the fridge”. So, how they receive the resulting information will be wildly different from the business model we are all used to.
So, how do we serve ads into that conversation? How does SEO change when people start demanding short, immediate answers in real-time rather than reading a whole webpage to find the info? I think we’re on the precipice now where our generation still relies on old-fashioned methods, but very soon, these will be redundant.
JKP: How has Okens Domains helped PureROI over the past 18 months as the company has grown?
KM: Every domain PureROI owns is managed through Okens Domains. Initially, we were drawn to Okens’ service because of the ease and transparency of setting up watertight WhoIs protection. Okay, I know that is a pretty dry, boring, technical factor, but it is definitely a significant factor. But after working with Okens for the past 12 months, I’ve found that their personal touch keeps us coming back for more.
Things like support tickets are answered within minutes and usually resolved the very same day; you wouldn’t believe how rare this is in this field. Okens has managed to make managing domains, which is usually a painful job we’d unload on a junior staff member, completely hassle-free.
Okens is the best at making WhoIs protection clear and easy to set up, and it’s usually very difficult to get a straight answer on this topic, even when working with the supposed experts.
JKP: So, more like advisors for the best domain privacy strategies, then?
KM: Yes. For example, when we want to try out a domain in a strange TLD, Okens tells us exactly what we need to do to protect our privacy.
Even some of the biggest operators out there have asked me to check with Okens on certain WhoIs setups.
JKP: This is sort of beyond-the-scenes techy stuff that anyone can do, so what’s the difference?
KM: Yes, but Okens adds a layer over the top of all that basic stuff – a genuine, family-run business feeling where you feel valued as a customer. So you get ongoing conversations with them versus the transactional, faceless queue system we’ve experienced before.