For our latest Affiliate Q&A, we speak with Anthony Marshall, Vice President of Partnerships at Digital Fuel! Anthony has vast experience in performance marketing, sharing those insights with us, along with where he sees the USA iGaming market going.
Income Access (IA): Thanks for speaking with us Anthony! Can you tell us a bit about your background in the affiliate industry and current role with Digital Fuel?
Anthony Marshall (AM): That story begins in high school, 2007. I was terrible at school because I was so distracted with making money on eBay. Halfway through my last year at age 15, I had started flipping digital product activation codes and was doing quite well, which really was astonishing for my age looking back. Admittedly, I bunked off school every day and would head to my friends house to use his computer to run my little business and scour the internet.
By 17, I had my first mentor, had devoured tons of courses and had messed around with almost every toolkit of a digital marketer, which is when I started to play with popular affiliate offers at the time. I had unorthodox ways of marketing, but with enough tinkering and brainstorming they worked, and I would unlock these wonderful pools of traffic that would eventually become saturated before I moved onto the next puzzle. I have many wild stories of traffic generation from those days that would require another conversation to go through. Maybe another day!
Over the next years, I worked as a digital marketing consultant, pulling brands for UFC fighters, running a non-profit with a former Google Executive, to launching 6 figure landing pages for New York medi spas and designing sophisticated sales funnels for quarter of a million-dollar products for big corp. I started two Influencer agencies, one reaching massive revenue between Covid and 2022. But in all my businesses, I would always fall back to these roots of performance marketing, no matter who I ended up working with, or what the product was. There was an affiliate deal involved somewhere.
Finally, I met Toby Oddy and it all clicked together. I have always wanted to dive deeper into iGaming and Toby is widely known and respected in the space with a 25+ year iGaming history. We have very similar characters, so I was honoured to join his company to spearhead our performance marketing projects and develop my knowledge under his leadership.
IA: Before joining Digital Fuel recently, you had a lot of experience with performance marketing. What’s one skill from your previous experience that’s helped you start off with Digital Fuel?
AM: I have been at the helm of a few marketing agencies, but I have never sold anything as exciting as the products within this space. I proudly have a wide understanding of Conversion Rate Optimisation, Pay Per Click, SEO, Sales, Copywriting & High-Performance Influencer Marketing. Every tool I have brought from the last 15 years applies to the products and projects I am leading. It's going to be an exciting journey for iGaming over the next few years and I am delighted to do that with Digital Fuel. My main focus for now is to spearhead our sports betting affiliate sites, of which we have six currently live.
IA: Sportsbooks in the US are exploding right now, with new states consistently becoming regulated and new users to reach. What would you say the biggest challenge in sports betting for the US right now?
AM: Education. Ask 10 people if they know what a parlay is. And even if they do, show them an interface of the average operator, and watch the confusion on their face set in real time. But we're early days, and most bettors have only been around for a few months. This is only the fifth year of legal sports betting in the USA, which is easy to forget since sports is such an important part of American culture. But this is a small piece of iGaming that is rapidly growing and it's going to get incredibly interesting as it evolves.
If I had to speak boldly, which I am known for... I would argue that operators are still not doing the best job they can to teach new users exactly what sports betting is, how it works, and to provide the best user experience for a newcomer they can with their interfaces, but I do believe they will get there.
However, this is where I point the finger back to affiliates, as education really must start with us. We are the voice of operators and the affiliate industry as a whole is awash with the same campaigns done over and over, in a bidding war against who can tweak their ad accounts the best, or who can buy the most guest posts to nurture their backlinking profiles. It's the same in most verticals, but it's rubbish really, and it's rarely providing any real long-term value to the actuals brands we serve.
We've already seen some well-known sports betting startups leave the market. We must start educating our audience. We have to do our best to hold their hands and teach them how to sports bet. It's a symbiotic relationship that must evolve between Operator and Affiliate to ensure that we are all as one providing high quality, informative content to our audiences, and increasing the lifetime value of not only the customers we send to operators, but to the lifetime value of the sports betting industry as a whole. It really depends on us.
IA: At Digital Fuel, your goal is to fuel the growth of clients with your expert knowledge. Can you tell us a little about what sets Digital Fuel apart from the industry?
AM: Experience. There is nothing in the iGaming space that this team hasn't touched and besides Toby Oddy, we've got a roster of amazing talent that has been in the space for some 20+ years. You will struggle to meet a team of experts that have lived and breathed iGaming for as long as the Digital Fuel team has.
IA: With Digital Fuel DXP, you’re looking to evolve content management with a digital experience platform for iGaming. Can you tell us more about the product and how it helps users build their iGaming portfolio?
AM: The DXP story really starts with our CEO, Toby Oddy. For over a decade, he has led a team to deliver results for international brands in the iGaming, sports, entertainment, and leisure sectors.
Through his 25 years in the industry, Toby has accumulated a portfolio of more than 1,500 high-volume search-related web domains. That's when he found he needed a new kind of content management system to build multiple sites and apps from a single, central interface. It needed to be simple, it needed to be user-centric, and it needed to be lightning fast.
Hence the idea for Digital Fuel’s DXP was born. Having the ability to deliver enterprise-grade digital experiences is a game-changing competitive advantage in digital media today – both for the agency and for its clients, and it's something we're really excited to bring into the iGaming space soon.
For more information on Digital Fuel or to discuss a partnership opportunity, contact Anthony and the team today.