Meet the Team: Interview with co-founder & COO Darrell Heylar
As co-founder and chief operating officer of StatsDrone, what does a typical day look like for you?
One thing that is typical is there is no typical day. I usually start my day around 06:00am and synchronize our latest stats. Fortunately, I am now able to get all my latest stats for some 600 programs within 5-6 minutes. This is a huge time savings from manually checking stats. The day then moves to e-mails and Slack messages from the team. Once I have had a couple of coffees and ready to chat it is time for Skype and Zoom chats.
Depending on what was waiting for me on e-mail, Slack or Skype I can move onto other tasks for our many projects.
We are growing fast with a number of exciting projects in the works and building an outstanding team. Our growing team relies on us so we must be there for them and ensure we answer their questions or concerns as quickly as possible and therefore this is our main priority during the day.
How did you become involved in affiliate marketing?
This is always an interesting question. I had retired early and was enjoying my retirement and keeping busy with various things and volunteer work. My business partner who was just a great friend at the time kept asking if I would like to help and get involved. I resisted for a while but finally got involved. From the very beginning I was hooked and enjoyed the industry and the people I was interacting with. Meeting so many fantastic people at various conferences just pulled me in even further.
Where do you think the future of affiliate marketing is heading?
Everywhere you look in almost every industry there is affiliate marketing and continues to grow. The opportunities of affiliate marketing are endless as partners rely on new means to communicate to their customers/players. With this growing industry the need for tools and information to support affiliate marketing is even more important. With tools such as StatsDrone which has been developed by affiliates for affiliates is exactly what is needed along with our other projects soon to be released.
I strongly believe that those in affiliate marketing that embrace B2B and build on these relationships rather than strictly B2C will be the winners. Strong relationships are key in building a successful business.
Which websites or resources would you recommend to anyone starting in iGaming related affiliate marketing today?
There are a number of reputable websites that can be useful for anyone wanting to get involved in iGaming affiliate marketing. My favourite sites are Affiliate Guard Dog and GPWA where there is a wealth of information and where other affiliates, and partners can share valuable information or ask questions. Even though you may never know the people sharing on these sites you start to feel part of the community and know who you can count on for the best feedback. Other great resources include ThePOGG.com and Gaffg.com with a large number of affiliate reviews in their libraries. Finally I also use Google Alerts for iGaming news to help keep abreast of any other news that may not appear on some websites.
What are your favourite tools to use for your job?
StatsDrone is my number one favourite! Other tools we use and are necessary include Slack, Trello, and Skype. There are many other tools that the team uses however I can’t say they are my favourite but is a matter of necessity.
If someone could invent a tool to improve affiliate marketing, what would it be?
Time is a very precious commodity therefore any tool to help improve productivity is always welcomed. StatsDrone has been developed specifically for iGaming for now. This is one of the most complex industries in terms of tracking data and information. It has saved us a significant amount of time in better understanding our results and where we can make improvements. Unlike some other data aggregate software StatsDrone is gathering the data in a format that the industry understands, a common language. We still have work to do on StatsDrone but so far, we have an excellent tool.
Other tools would include better ways to integrate systems again to improve productivity.
Which feature of StatsDrone is your favourite, and why?
It is difficult to only identify one feature however one feature is the speed in which users can see their data. I can get all the data needed within 5-6 minutes for all our programs. Previously it could take well over an hour just to see our top performers and I would never be able to see what was happening with other programs. A great feature is the ability to see what our balances are for each program. We have had a few amazing surprises with significant balances that we were not aware of from some smaller programs that we would not have checked otherwise. I will often check our balances to see what is out there and who has not paid, or we need to follow-up with.
Another key feature and the most important is the accuracy of the data being displayed. We have spent a huge amount of effort to ensure the data is accurate without the need to add interpretation to the data.
Of all the features coming to StatsDrone in the next year, which one makes you the most excited?
Now that would be telling …. We have some exciting plans however you will have to wait, unfortunately.
If you were to give advice to someone starting out in iGaming or affiliate marketing, what would it be?
Embrace the industry, learn from your peers, collaborate with your partners and have fun. It is a great industry where everyone wants to be successful. Participate in forums and attend conferences to get to know people. I have met some great people in the industry that I would consider friends. With these relationships, you will know that you will be able to depend on each other and build successful businesses.