Our new expert, Sheila Sotelo Farfan (Konek Solutions), explains what issues need to be addressed and what models to apply to have a gradual penetration in Latin American territories, with positive results.
By Sheila Sotelo Farfan, CEO, Konek Solutions*
Many companies see Peru (and other Latin American countries) as potential territories to expand their gaming businesses. Currently, lots of operators and system providers are looking for an opportunity in that continent. In order to successfully enter this promising territory, with a B2B or B2C approach, it is necessary to take into account different issues that I will analyze here.
THE MISTAKE OF USING THE EUROPEAN BUSINESS MODEL
For some companies, the easiest way to penetrate the LatAm market is by trying to adapt their proven European model to Peru or other Latin American countries. However, despite having technology and know-how developed for many years to respond to consumers’ behavior in Europe, this will not necessarily fit LatAm consumers’ culture, needs, habits and customs. It is key to understand that, in Latin American countries, adaptation to new technologies is not going at the same rate as that of European countries. In our region, consumers still are in a process of learning and gaining confidence.
THE NEED OF AN EDUCATIONAL PROCESS
Precisely, because gaming has less history in LatAm than in Europe, the learning curve of the collaborators will have a cost and a time that the company will have to assume. For this, an educational process is necessary to comprehend the evolution of gaming, the main concepts and limitations for a successful operation. Each country has different restrictions and laws, and, in order to be applied, strategies must be based on them. Therefore, our collaborators will have to know in deep the reality of the gaming industry in their operations center.
The development of technology and e-commerce has been growing in Peru. In this process, it is essential to generate customers’ trust and provide them an easy access to gaming. These customers highly consider safety as a main element a payment method brand should demonstrate for the person to decide whether or not to transact. Many clients worry about knowing the company with whom they carry out transactions. They also want this company to have a local office for their claims. It’s important to offer an integration with local payment methods, so they can have the option of in-person transactions.
In recent times, something that is working very well in Peru and other Latin American jurisdictions is for the company to have an ambassador who enhances the qualities of the brand. This ambassador can fulfill the functions of promoting and educating clients, in addition to generating an immediate impact on advertising for the gaming industry.
Although the affiliation business model is quite developed in Europe, in Peru, it is still in a very informal stage. Currently, we can find some web pages that are related to the gambling business in Peru. Many of them are developed in different countries from the one the company is operating in. The work with affiliates should be gradually introduced. It is necessary to select small groups or pages with local content that wish to be part of this business model, and grow based on a continuous work, focused on the needs of the participants.
*Sheila Sotelo Farfan has 12 years of experience in the land-based and online gaming business, focused in the Latin American market. She entered the sector in 2007, when she joined Intralot. Her work has been mainly related to the integral preparation and the execution of strategic business and marketing plans for companies that operate (or seek to operate) in the gaming industry, in emerging markets of the LatAm region.
Until the beginning of 2018, this executive jointly developed the business plan of the ApuestaTotal.com brand. Since then, she founded Konek Solutions and has been working there as an advisor. She is a professional in communications and has a Master in International Business from EAE Business School (Spain), as well as a Specialization in Digital Marketing from the CENTRUM and EADA Business School, also in Spain.