Jimmi Meilstrup, CEO of Vita Media Group, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
At Vita Media Group, for Jimmi Meilstrup and the rest of the team, reliability is one of the core values. Their idea is to bring fresh blood in a crowded industry with custom in-house built systems that can easily adapt to the market needs. That is why they started their own rewarding system as a part of their global affiliate strategy which has proven to a great formula for the past five years — follow his story below.
What is the idea behind Vita Media Group?
Vita Media Group is an idea created by a group of people willing to transform the iGaming industry for the better and founded on the principles of data-driven lead generation and retention engines.
That idea turned into a startup back in 2016. Since then, our mission isn’t delivering quality leads as an affiliate. We’ve mastered this point and we are way beyond it. We focus on creating a bond with our clients. Loyalty is a value on the top at Vita Media Group and happy players. This is our secret ingredient to cooking the magic potion. In this business, the competition usually delivers leads from point A to point B. Our job is to keep them happy at point B.
How has the company grown since 2016?
I am very happy to say that after 5 years of existence in Copenhagen, Denmark, we opened a second office in Skopje, North Macedonia in 2019. We got bigger offices. We expanded our team. We got better. I am very happy with the first 5 years.
In 2021, Vita Media Group was listed the 20th Affiliate in the world on the EGR Global’s Power Affiliates 2021 rankings. For us, this is a tremendous success after 5 years on the market.
Until our 10-year jubilee, we aim to become a name that has reshaped and improved the standards of the iGaming industry.
Do you consider the implementation of affiliate marketing techniques to be a major part of Vita Media?
Affiliate marketing plays a big role in what we do as a company. The better part of the story is how we do it; and this is something I am really proud of. We have our own developed Vita Marketing cloud which consists of a messaging platform, advanced tracking tools, retention and reactivation tools, a data management platform, a tournament game engine, and much more. Having thorough knowledge of the iGaming industry helped us and motivated us to develop our own tech internally (IP), which ultimately leads us to better cope with the challenges of the industry itself. We hope it makes us stand out on the market.
We developed Ekstrapoint.com as an ideal to reward loyalty. Nurturing your loyal users establishes a long-term relationship; the next generation in lead-generation & end-to-end loyalty for iGaming operators from data-driven and AI principles.
The idea of Ekstrapoint is that we give extra points to our players who play in free competitions on the website. They can also join competitions and win more ekstra points. Later, they can use their collected points to buy bonus packages, cool electronics, or other types of gadgets. At Ekstrapoint, we have a tournament engine that raises the competitive spirit of our users and provides them with extra value when engaging with our site. We also have a Recommendations AI that is always under work and progressing, so that we can learn better what our users like and offer them the best experience that will fit their needs.
However, this is not where the story ends. Ekstrapoint users can use their points to play at some of our online casino partners and have the chance to compete for bigger prizes. In general, Ekstrapoint is our two cents in the affiliate business because this is an affiliate model that attracts quality leads only. Last week we hit the 2 billion points milestone.
One of your company statements says that “Few seem to prioritize actually keeping people at B”. How do Vita Media Group increase customer retention for their clients? Do the custom-tailored points and reward systems play a big part in this?
This is exactly why we introduced Ekstrapoint to the market. We offer tons of free games that players can enjoy. We give them free Ekstrapoints (you see what I did there). The players can use these points in our shop to purchase cool gadgets. Another way of earning EkstraPoints is by signing up for our promo offers delivered from our casino partners and this is the chance our players get to earn more than screen coins only.
In the end, I am most certainly proud that EkstraPoint got us shortlisted at EGR Nordics Awards 2021 in the Affiliate of the year category.
Do you think Vita Media is a leader in turning promising leads into actual paying customers? Are Vita’s methods unique in some way?
Our methods are designed to deliver the best user experience possible. I am keen that happy customers are paying customers.
Looking back on the past year, people went through a lot of stress. That is why we worked on our products and techniques at the same time so that people’s leisure activities can be filled with fun and engaging online experiences.
Since January 2020 our EkstraPoint platform recorded a 20% revenue increase month over month. We got uplift in traffic as well! In a year full of uncertainties and a crucial focus on the pandemic, this result is a positive trend. It speaks about increased interactions on the platform and meaningful user experience. That is why we will keep investing in our product and I can gladly announce that new product updates are expected by the half of 2021.
Can you explain briefly what, in your view, is affiliate marketing?
Some may argue that affiliate marketing is a marketing method that has developed once the internet got broad reach. However, affiliate marketing has always been around.
The very idea of affiliate marketing surrounds about a connection between people. The more personal the connection is, the meaningful the outcomes of the communication are.
The basic explanation of affiliate marketing can be sensed between a conversation of you and your best friend. To keep it simple, assuming that your best friend enjoys great reputation in your eyes, you will trust him if he suggests you a place that he thinks is the best pizza place in town, and let’s say you end up dining in that exact pizza place. That right there is the essence of affiliate marketing.
Now looking it from a 2021 point of view with all the possibilities the internet offers, affiliate marketing is directly associated to sales performance, hence that is why it is considered as performance marketing.
What are the advantages and the disadvantages of this type of marketing?
This type of marketing is attractive because it is cost effective for the companies. It creates a win-win situation for both the company (seller) who has another sale enabled through the affiliate and for the affiliates who earn a commission every time they sell the product.
However, affiliate marketing can only be a partial tactic from the global marketing strategy of your company. You cannot solely depend on affiliate marketing and wait for your revenues to grow.
The end point of any marketing effort is your brand story. If you don’t have a developed strategy to communicate your key messages and to constantly build around the narrative and the perception the audience has about your company or product, then your affiliate marketing efforts cannot be efficient.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most in-demand skills. Why in your view?
You are correct. Even LinkedIn has acknowledged Affiliate Marketing as one of the Top 10 Hard skills for 2020.
Personally, I am really glad that Affiliate Marketing is getting in the spotlight. The starting point of all of your affiliate marketing efforts should be understanding your clients’ brand and their particular need. This comprehensive knowledge, and the personal touch with your partners will drive success in the affiliate cooperation. Meeting your partners’ need is also growing your business, as not everyone understands the value of the collaboration, and that is affiliate marketing.
In the ocean of all the digital marketing campaigns, activities and tools you can use, affiliate marketing deserves its recognition because it is built on the foundations of trust and reliability and focuses on the consumers.
With all of the said above, I can say that affiliate marketing has become such an in-demand skill because it doesn’t focus on segments such as the best engagement rate, or the most impressions. Affiliate marketing is a split responsibility where on one side you have someone highlighting the best product with the perfect campaign that the user wants, and on the other side you literally have affiliates that have any different kind of marketing commercials to “serve” that campaign for the final user.
It’s all about the user and if you don’t deliver, you won’t succeed.
How can affiliate marketing improve?
The competition in affiliate marketing today is on a very high level. It is really hard to stand out among all of the programs out there.
I personally feel that affiliate marketing can improve if it focuses on innovation, and if it puts things into perspective on the long run. When connected, these dots can deliver better campaigns overall.
Other than that, I think we still need improvement in parties being more diligent when it comes to payments, more transparent terms and conditions, and highlighting the importance of professionalism. Not many affiliates are responsive, and you cannot be successful if it’s one sided effort.
We highlight reliability as a value and we show our partners we are always here for them.
Our story at Vita Media Group was based on the idea to bring fresh blood in a crowded industry with custom in-house built systems that can easily adapt to the market needs.
That is why we started our own rewarding system as a part of our global affiliate strategy which has proven to a great formula for the past five years.
Have you ever been to SiGMA? SiGMA Europe, Africa, Asia, or Americas – which of these four expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2021, COVID-19 permitting? Have you been to the Affiliate Grand Slam Expo in Dubai?
At Vita Media Group, we are very fond of the mission that SiGMA is doing in the iGaming world. We have visited the SiGMA’s expos in Malta and Dubai and we intend to be present in most of them going forward.
Tell us a bit about yourself – after all, business is done with people, not just companies! Your hobbies, favourite book, favourite quote, etc.
I am an entrepreneur by heart and most companies I have built have started in my basement and that is my passion. To see an idea grow, to build a company together with passionate people; the right people are the key to any success – it’s all about trust and passion. Freedom under responsibility – that’s how people grow and that’s how your company grows.
I love football and still play, love family life and spend as much time as possible with my two boys. On top of this, I like to sail, I like winter swims, and being around the ocean. My favorite book is Atlas Shrugged a novel by Ayn Rand and my favorite quote is by the same author “I am, therefore I’ll think”.
Read more about SiGMA Affiliate Grand Slam here.
SiGMA Americas Virtual 2021:
The SiGMA Americas Virtual show will run from the 13th to the 14th of September, 2021. Features include a fully interactive expo floor, networking chat rooms, and a high profile line up of panelists. Beautifully designed booths come equipped with state-of-the-art product displays and chat box features, while attendees can visit the virtual stage, where a series of panels and keynotes will discuss key topics during the live 2-day conference. Explore the agenda and register here.