In the latest edition of Women in Gaming, we speak to Maria Tsnompilantze, Head of Marketing at PlayAttack. PlayAttack is the affiliate program behind 5 major brands including Frank Casino and SlotV.
Maria recently moved to Head of Marketing from her previous position of Content Manager. We caught up with Maria to hear more about her new position and how she finds working in the iGaming industry…
Affiliate Industry Review: What excites you most about becoming Head of Marketing at PlayAttack?
Maria Tsnompilantze: “It’s a massive learning opportunity. I was already working at PlayAttack as a Content Manager, so I’m grateful that the company has chosen to trust me with this new position.
For me, this role is a chance to be more creative and more technical. I’ll get to develop strategies, build relationships and more. I’m a huge believer in lifelong learning, and I think this new role will organically push me to become a better professional.
I always viewed PlayAttack as more than merely an affiliate program tasked with “recruiting” affiliates. Our program has a marketing team behind it, which is pretty rare and highlights our commitment to staying creative and useful to our affiliates. We’re relatively new in the European markets so this comes with new challenges and experiences.
Finally, and I have to mention this, as this is not something that can be taken for granted; our team is a bunch of superstars — creative, helpful, and bright. These people inspire me and make my job so much easier, and for this, I can only be forever grateful, both professionally and personally.”
AI: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of working in iGaming?
MT: “I’d say it’s definitely the uncertainty factor. There you are, thinking you have everything under control, and you have a game-changing regulation coming up to disrupt your plans.
Players are maturing to the level where the expectations have risen considerably and they and won’t settle for less. So it’s now more important than ever to not merely get things done but to focus more on user experience, customer satisfaction, and personalization.
It’s not even just about offering a high level of service anymore. It’s essential to create a brand that stands out from the crowd and addresses the target audience’s needs. Player acquisition and retention are becoming more costly, and it has become more challenging to come up with sophisticated but, at the same time, straightforward ways to promote your brand.
On the other hand, the national regulators continually re-evaluate their policies and impose further restrictions. The iGaming industry is changing so rapidly that it’s sometimes hard to keep up and tricky to advertise.”
AI: What kind of trends do you expect to see in iGaming affiliate marketing in 2021?
MT: “The online streaming industry has seen an increase, especially during the pandemic, so this is definitely a trend that will still be relevant in 2021. PlayAttack has been already taking special care of the casino streamers we work with — we even have a separate project called “Stream Apocalypse,” where we organize contests to keep our streamers motivated and engaged.
Communicating with your audience through engaging and useful video content that feels more personal is important for affiliates. Then there’s voice search, which will prompt affiliates and operators to adapt their content, use more natural language, and become more personal rather than scripted.
Offering an immersive gaming experience to the players is also important. With new game releases all the time, its harder to grasp players’ attention. I anticipate that making the right first impression now that users’ attention span is diminishing will be a top priority for the businesses working in the iGaming industry. Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking will be valued more than ever in 2021.
Finally, I believe that the industry, especially operators have not been using social media channels to their fullest potential. Let’s face it — it’s more challenging for a casino to come up with engaging content as opposed to a sports betting platform. Therefore, I believe we’ll be seeing more social media campaigns in 2021 to compensate for that — contests, Q&A’s, and other interactive concepts.
AI: What are your ambitions within the industry?
MT: “PlayAttack’s main goal (generically speaking) is to establish ourselves as the go-to affiliate program for affiliates who want to work with diverse and reputable online casinos operating in Europe. Our ambition is to be the best, not necessarily as compared to our competitors, but mainly in terms of using our potential to the fullest to achieve the best possible results.
We are using our very own affiliate marketing software, which gives us the opportunity to be flexible and adjust to the needs of our affiliates. One of our ambitions is to definitely further improve our platform by taking the suggestions of our partners onboard. Transparency and trust are crucial in our industry, so we do want to establish ourselves as trustworthy professionals that affiliates can rely on.
We’ll be working on supporting our brands and improving customer experience, but we will also focus on the entertainment aspect.
Personally speaking, my ambition is to help PlayAttack achieve these goals.”
AI: What advice would you give to someone starting out in their affiliate marketing career?
MT: “Sometimes, people place less value than they should on planning and strategizing before they dip their toes into affiliate marketing.
Let’s be honest. It’s very easy to create a website nowadays. And this easiness, often comes with uninformed decisions and rushed projects that will most likely fall short when they come face-to-face with their competition. Therefore, my main advice would be always to plan. It’s not just about the brands you choose to promote. It’s about picking a user-friendly design, the right content formats, the effective engagement strategies.
The second piece of advice would be to focus on quality rather than quantity. The frequency of posting is undeniably an important factor. Yet, in my opinion, it is slightly overrated. The most important thing is to stay useful and relevant. It’s not just about answering the Five Ws; it’s also about telling your audience why your story matters and how reading it will help them.
Finally, and I think most importantly, I would advise them to focus on building trust and cultivating a sense of belonging. Affiliates should always test the brands they are promoting and offer an unbiased analysis to earn their audience’s trust.”