Alex Beecham, Checkd Media: a two-way conversation is crucial for entry to new markets
Entering any new market can be tricky, but according to Checkd Media Managing Director Alex Beecham, working with operators can help ensure high standards to engender long term market trust.
Speaking ahead of Betting on Sports Europe, Beecham outlines some of Checkd Media’s plans for global expansion as he highlights the importance of a ‘two-way conversation’ between operators and affiliates.
How should affiliates and operators work together when entering new markets?
Anyone that has looked at or moved into a new market will tell you that no two are the same, regardless of how many similarities and parallels you may be able to draw. Preliminary conversations are crucial and incumbent knowledge is highly valued as part of the due diligence process.
There needs to be a close working relationship between operators and affiliates as there are many ways in which we can mutually benefit by sharing information, plans and insights on new markets, their demographics and customer betting preferences.
In the past, operators have approached Checkd Media to ask when and how we are planning to enter a new market – including recently in Brazil – proactively offering insight to help determine our strategy. This demonstrates how highly affiliates can be valued. A two-way conversation is crucial for entry to new markets.
As a long-standing affiliate in the UK market, you will have seen many changes to the regulatory landscape and attitudes towards responsible gambling. How does this impact your approach to entering new markets?
Mature markets should lead the way on responsible gambling and the current review of the UK gambling act shows that it is also a constantly evolving landscape which should be regularly re-examined in line with current trends.
The main consideration for any new market entry is that responsible gambling needs to be at the core, with what would be judged general industry best practise upheld. New markets may be behind the UK in terms of responsible gambling requirements but, in our opinion, the UK commitment from affiliates and operators here should be considered as part of any new market approach.
Operators and affiliates should both get on the front foot and collaboratively ensure high standards to engender long term market trust.
What is your approach to new markets?
Something that applies to any new market is that affiliates should localise their content and offering, including not just language, but branding, product, and tone.
In the states, we have launched FlashPicks, which is designed for a domestic audience, with content provided by a team of experts in their field to offer free picks and betting tips across the full range of US sports. FlashPicks features sign-up deals with tier-one operator partners FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars and PointsBet, with more to follow in the coming months, while the brand is being boosted to players through a series of key partnerships with tipsters and micro-influencers on social media channels. Various iterations of the FlashPicks product will follow later this year as we keep adapting to the audience.
Is Checkd Media currently planning an entry in other new markets?
Using local country managers to get plans in place first would be essential for ourselves. In the US, we have local market expertise and it would be the same in any other new territory we enter.
This shapes product, communications and the marketing strategy before going live and helps establish credibility with the customer and the operator. If you don’t get this launch plan right then you can forget about any quick growth.