Antonio Vega, CEO of IDM, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Antonio Vega, CEO of IDM, speaks about IDM and their pillars. He says that their main pillar is the customer whom they call the Boss because it is the customer who decides. Their second pillar is the people, culture, and behaviour and he adds that any organisation is only as good as the people who work in it. Their third pillar is technology and analytics – follow his story below.
How did you first get into the affiliate space? What is your background?
Affiliation is nothing new. While it is true that Amazon has made it fashionable in recent years, in the late 80s or early 90s, many of the companies that already had a presence on the Internet used affiliate systems for third parties to sell their products and services. It was at that time when I had my first contact with the world of affiliation, where being an affiliate of several companies to sell their internet access and hosting services, I obtained good results.
How did IDM take off?
IDM was born during a pleasure trip to the Canary Islands, Spain. Knowledge and experience came together with the desire to do something interesting, exciting, and motivating. A beautiful project to undertake. It took months before we made the final decision, as we were immersed in other projects. Finally, we started with the development of the first website at the same time as we set up the company. The reception of the operators has been very good, and thanks to their collaboration the growth is a reality.
Which are the affiliate sites that currently fall under your portfolio? Who are they aimed for?
We currently work on a single site, whose target audience is Latin America. In fact, we do not work in all the countries of Latin America, and we are incorporating new ones as we consolidate new countries. That is our strategy. The Latin American market is very large, and it is better to consolidate each country before following the path of growth. In the medium-term future we will start opening other more specific sites to consolidate our strategy in our market.
What can you tell us about your business model, concept, and culture? Which are the three fundamental pillars that the company is based on?
I believe that in the affiliate world, business models are somewhat homogeneous. However, the fundamental pillars on which the company is based can differ a lot from one company to another. In our case, our main pillar and asset is the customer. The customer must be the greatest asset of our company, to the point of naming him “The Boss”. The Boss is the one who decides where we are going, what to do, and it is the customer who, with his requests and needs, decides where we should go as a company. People, culture, and behaviour are no less important in a company. And this we consider our second pillar. Any organisation is only as good as the people who work in it. To win the war for talent, leading companies provide strong leadership and create an inclusive environment where differences are valued, and people can innovate to drive the business forward. As a third pillar we could name technology and analytics. Perhaps the importance we give to this aspect comes from my specific training in this area, but it has been well demonstrated with the incursion of Big Data and Business Analytics that good information management helps to make better decisions.
IDM offers various services. Can you walk us through them?
Our services revolve around digital marketing in general, although it is true that we have a clear focus on the iGaming sector. We develop sites, business strategies, online marketing strategies, technology, and business consulting, and, in short, we try to provide solutions to the needs of our clients, mostly in a digital environment.
What is IDM’s main objective?
Our main objective is to become the best partner that any company in the sector can have, as well as to offer the most accurate information and tools so that the Latin American public can enjoy themselves, playing responsibly. For IDM, customer satisfaction is the oxygen that keeps us alive.
What sets you apart from other affiliates and what makes you unique?
I could answer this question in many ways, perhaps focusing on purely business aspects, or quoting a famous quote from a well-known guru. However, what makes companies unique are the people in them. They are the ones who have ideas, who are creative, who strive and persevere every day to achieve the goals they set themselves. That is what makes us different; our human capital.
Do you create all the marketing material you need to promote in-house, or do you out-source it?
It depends. We don’t always have the same amount of work, which is a factor in producing outside, nor do we always have the same needs. There are things we know how to do very well, but we don’t know how to do everything well. That’s why we go outside when there is a job that we feel we need to do, or simply that we can’t tackle at that moment.
How important is social media activity for your affiliate business? How difficult is it with Google’s constant updates?
Social networks have become a phenomenon that is becoming more and more ingrained in the new generations. Undoubtedly, you have to be on social networks. For us, it is a key factor in consolidating our strategy. Social networks help us strengthen our brand and gain the public’s trust.
Regarding Google, it is a tedious task to chase any updates in order to be able to react in time. The fact that Google is the most used search engine and where we all want to be, creates a dependency and a fierce fight to be the first. The fact that so many companies in the world depend on this giant is a great threat. It can lead to huge losses if you are not in time to update yourself too.
How does technology play a part in your day-to-day? Have you already implemented AI-driven features?
Technology is everything to us. Without “0” and “1” none of us would exist as companies, as projects, or even as an idea. IDM tries to use as few technological tools as possible to achieve maximum performance. Sometimes, having all the technology to ourselves can be counterproductive.
I have a Master’s degree in Big Data, and another in Industry 4.0, which makes me a born consumer of new technologies. Although artificial intelligence is advancing by leaps and bounds, we have small tools that make use of artificial intelligence, but we have not yet taken a bigger leap. No doubt we will make the leap when we have to. It is not our time.
How do you choose your operators and how do you manage relationships with multiple operators?
In my opinion, operators choose themselves. In principle, as a company, we look for those who have tools that make our work easier, who have a good reputation as a brand, and whose business ethics are above economic interests. But why do they choose themselves? Because in the end, what makes an operator “good or bad” comes down to the relationship between IDM’s partners and the operator. If the relationship is good, fluid, and both understand each other, we collaborate and make great progress together. If not, it’s every man for himself.
What does working in affiliation mean?
It means having challenge.
What does it take for an affiliate business to thrive?
Constancy, passion, a lot of patience, and daily reading and studying. Nor should you forget that you have to surround yourself with the best. They, with your effort, will help you to achieve it.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favourite book, favourite quote, whether you are into Gaming yourself, etc.
I am a restless person by nature. I have had a passion for technology since I was a child, and I started programming in Basic at the age of nine. That means that any gadget that requires electrical energy to work will capture my attention. But so do gadgets that need another kind of energy; those that run on some kind of diesel. Cars, motorbikes, boats or planes. In fact, one of my hobbies is flying. I obtained my aeroplane pilot’s licence and advanced drone pilot’s licence a few years ago. In fact, I have also trained in this field, and I have my own degree from a Spanish university in Aerospace Techniques.
As far as sport is concerned, I have gone through many sports, from Karate to fitness, or from Muay Thai to shooting. I have times when time is scarce and I can’t be consistent, but I like sport. My latest hobby, crossfit.
I like to read, although I admit that I’m not much of a book person, I’m more into absorbing information from the net. However, one book that completely captured my attention was Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight, which tells the story of the Nike brand.
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SiGMA Africa up next:
During the span of a very exciting and surprisingly sunny November week, SiGMA Group managed to organise four separate conferences with 13,500 delegates drawn from across the world. Up next is SiGMA Africa. With three major shows in the works, the events are designed to enhance Africa’s high-growth gaming industry. SiGMA Africa unites the leading minds in this sector for a discussion on regulatory frameworks, economic development, and the creation of new opportunities for businesses looking to invest across the continent. With a record for attracting an audience from over 80 countries, SiGMA has the potential to set the stage with a global guest list of some of the best operators, suppliers, affiliates, regulators, and thought leaders in the gaming sector – bringing high-end innovation to the African gambling industry and driving sustainable growth throughout its nations.