Interview with: Nicc Lewis, VP Marketing at Leverate

Nicc Lewis is VP Marketing at Leverate. He is responsible for the company’s marketing endeavors including product launches, strategy, campaigns, online and offline marketing and branding. Nicc brings more than 10 years of executive level marketing experience in the digital marketing industry.

  1. What has been happening in the Binary Options/Forex Industry over the past year in terms of new brands, new competitors?

The Forex market is growing steadily as a mature market. We are seeing constant growth in new Private Labels in traditional EU markets, but we are seeing a big increase in demand for our LXLite product which extends Leverate’s license, compliance, risk management and PSP to new start-ups looking to enter the regulated market. We also saw a rapid growth in China and new Chinese Brokers.

Binary Options is another area in which we are experiencing high demand for our product, which has created some differentiation in the market. We are seeing a demand from Binary clients looking to extend their offering onto Forex, as well as Forex clients who are starting to consider extending into Forex.

  1. What direction is the industry going in terms of growth?  

We have seen tremendous growth during the past couple years and will continue to see growth in various directions.

Geographically, we have seen steady growth in the traditional EU markets and see APAC growing at an exponential rate. Leverate has been heavily investing in these markets by opening offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai to service mainland China and Taiwan and by expanding our teams in the region to serve the SE Asia clientele. We are also seeing a lot of growth in Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, Belarus, basically what was the former Eastern Block.

In terms of technology, growth will come from brokers implementing better and more automated tools, like SIRIXActive, that can help increase conversion and retention rates as well as reduce marketing costs, thus increasing their ROI.

As far as marketing is concerned, a big priority is being put on affiliates, which makes absolute sense since about 70% of a broker’s traffic is generated by affiliates, however, if a broker wants to be able to compete in such a fast  ad competitive market, mass media is the answer. Again, there is a growth coming from Brokers who are Binary based looking to extend their offering to Forex and vice versa.

  1. How does the growth of mobile affect your possibilities?

Everyday online experiences such as checking e-mail, searching for information on the web, purchases, social media activity, etc, are happening on mobile devices more so than on PCs. As far as the trading industry goes, the changes we have seen in the past two years have been dramatic. In 2013, only 15% of mobile logins resulted in a trade, while the others just logged in to the mobile app only to check the status of their positions, exit a position quickly if the market took a downturn or to check their SL and TP trigger points. Today, those numbers have increased significantly and as traders become more interested in trading on their mobile devices, tech providers must develop innovative and attractive new platforms that offer a full range of trading options, as close as possible to being on a desktop PC, and that are available across multiple devices.

  1. Regulation – What are the new regulations, what do you think about them?

Recently CySec included Binary Options under Financial licenses and Israel regulated. We are seeing many countries looking at implementing new regulation, such as Russia. With EU regulation already mature, we see that there is place for every broker. We have demand from smaller start-ups who want to use our license under LXLite as well as large brands who use their own regulation, but implement our other products.

We see regulation as a positive step. Regulating markets legitimizes the industry in the eyes of the public and ultimately creates a cleaner industry and we can all benefit from that. Despite some seeing this as a restriction, regulation generates further sources of revenue.

If you look at the gaming industry as a crystal ball into the future you can see the benefits and increase in market size that regulation brings. We see many large European brands that floated on stock markets and 2015 saw huge mergers such as Ladbrokes and Coral, Paddy Power and Betfair, Playtech and Plus500. We expect to see more of these large mergers in the course of 2016.

  1. Developments – What are the latest developments on the technical side?

SIRIXActive is a major push into automated conversion and retention to enable brokers to grow their reach, decrease the effective CPA while also decreasing their costs. This is going to become increasingly important to brokers who will be looking to use more media campaigns to gain reach.

Mobile native is another key development, enabling all the habits and penetration of mobile usage with benefits for brokers such as communications (via push notifications for example). In markets such as China, mobile is a must, not a nice-to-have.

Supporting the Forex and Binary convergence. SIRIXActive makes the barrier to entry into Forex easier, while more features such as candlestick charts, long term options and “algo trading” close the par between Binary and Forex.

Social Trading is a must. SIRIXSocial was the first mass shared community available to brokers. Developments are both trader side, pushing more relevant information and masters to enable educated choices to traders; and, broker side with administration including promoted master (like an EA) and filtering of Masters from their traders without affecting the network.

  1. What do you think needs to be done in order for a new brand to succeed?
  • Start with a solid business plan and “go to market” strategy. Understand the initial market or markets you plan to enter, but remain focused in order to maximize your potential. The same is true in regards to understanding if you are better placed starting as a Forex or Binary Broker. If you are entering regulated markets, see which regulations apply.
  • Use tools like SIRIXActive, SIRIXSocial and LXCRM in partnership to maximize and optimize both your campaigns and your sales staff. There are two places you maximize your profit. One side is on the retention side, getting greater value per trade. The other side is the cost side, effectively paying less for each trader – i.e. lowering your eCPA (effective cost per acquisition).
  • Understand where you can be unique in the market, what strengths you have compared to competitors and drive home your advantages.
  • Generate a brand image that will enhance your reputation in the market and allow for good recommendations.
  • Make sure your tech provider(s) is your partner and have your success in mind too.
  1. What is your company’s uniqueness?

Experience – Founded in 2008, Leverate is the most experienced end-to-end solutions provider and the choice of over 130 brokers worldwide. Our experience. Our experience affords us the ability to really assist our brokers.

Technology – more than 50% of our employees are in RND. We produce innovative market changing products. We were the first to offer a wide social trading community with SIRIXSocial and we lead the way with user journey in our platforms with SIRIXActive.

Partners – our brokers are our partners. We look for their guidance in making our roadmaps and products. Our Binary, BX8 was developed and is continuing to be enhanced with the guidance of our brokers.

Global – we have offices in Israel, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kiev and Berlin. With that comes a truly global understanding, down to the details of how to adapt our products to the local market needs.

Author: Jason Williams

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