Many companies have their eye on the new opportunities within the burgeoning African market – but how important is it to have an acquisition partner that has an in-depth knowledge of traffic acquisition and also understands the intricacies of each market? Catarina Marques, lead for the African Markets at Clever Advertising, unpacks the key challenges that face affiliates operating in Africa before explaining how evolving regulations may shape commercial models across the continent.
SBC: Tell us about your presence in Africa – how important is this market for Clever Advertising?
We have been working in the African markets for the past six years. These markets are diverse, with unique legislation, payment methods, and product-to-data costs. Collecting relevant information and expertise on its acquisition behaviour and localisation is imperative.
Our strong market research resulted in a good span of advertising and proven acquisition numbers to position ourselves as a go-to partner. These markets represent an important part of Clever’s globalisation plan. As a global company, we aim to excel in our performance worldwide.
SBC: In your opinion, what are the key challenges facing affiliates in Africa?
Localisation, payments and data cost.
Localisation, as stated before, is imperative. Each market is unique in its behaviour, culture and tech solutions. If a particular traffic strategy works well in South Africa, this does not mean it will necessarily work in Nigeria.
Payment solutions and payments flow. Some countries accept credit cards, others Flutterwave or Pesapal. In some countries, physical shops are a popular solution to place bets.
The cost of data is high in most African markets because of broadband limitations. This forces operators to run their products through unsophisticated platforms. As a traffic heavyweight, we must be critical on which partner to work with as one must be able to absorb Clever’s ability to drive high volumes of traffic.
SBC: Africa is presenting a whole host of new opportunities for betting and gaming companies. What can we expect from Clever Advertising in the African market?
Africa is on the radar of many international players, and we are seeing relevant moves from established brands. Clever, which is present in the regulated African markets, can guide the newcomers. We know how strong mobile is. We know that broadband is becoming accessible and phones cheaper. It does not mean we will have the same experience as the EU or the Americas but we know that it is a good growth indicator. Whenever a country regulates, we will act on it to provide the best service span to our partners. After all, we are their acquisition partner.
SBC: How do you think commercial models will evolve as more countries in Africa begin to open up and regulate?
Having more African markets regulated means more market maturity and scalability. With the increasing competition, we expect to see other players diversify their acquisition channels, like the affiliate channel.
Many of our African partners are local, and they are market leaders. Some externalised their businesses and work worldwide with impressive performance. To these leaders, the affiliate channel is no stranger.
SBC: Clever Advertising is operational in a number of jurisdictions now. Are there any new markets in the pipeline for the rest of this year?
We are a very fast-paced company and aim to have worldwide coverage. We are a ‘numbers-oriented’ organisation. We most certainly will be present in any market that becomes regulated but not restrictive to advertising.
SBC: As more mature markets begin to crack down on affiliates, how do you plan to adapt to the ever-changing regulatory environment?
We deal with a gigantic number of daily traffic, regulations, and restrictions. It is important to align internal processes with external demands. There is no better way to have it in perfect symbiosis than regulation and compliance.
We stated this before and keep it as a mantra: we are lean and agile. we can move and seamlessly shift our traffic. By having compliant internal processes, we are leaner and able to adjust any restrictions we may face.