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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH STEFAN MÜHLBAUER
November 24, 2020
STOCKHOLM


The Netherlands is the birthplace of a long row of successful companies with global reach. The country's forward-thinking culture and digitally connected economy have a lot to do with this, and Masters In Cash is not an exception. Masters In Cash was founded in 2013 in The Hague, and has ever since built a strong footprint in the affiliate marketing sector, thanks to the company's approach to innovation, which involves strong partnerships and a strive to always stay ahead of the competition.

Topicster has taken the opportunity to sit down and talk to Stefan Mühlbauer, The Head of Business Development, about how he sees his new role at Masters In Cash and the challenges that lie ahead.

Topicster: Stefan, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today.

Stefan: It is a pleasure. Thank you for inviting me for this interview and for giving me the opportunity to share with you some insights about the industry.

1. Topicster: Stefan, you have extensive experience in digital marketing and since August 5th you have been taking the roles as Head of Business Development at Masters in Cash. Can you tell us a bit more about your previous work experience and how can you use your previous experience working with MIC?

Stefan Mühlbauer: I have been working with the digital marketing for the past 11 years now. Actually, I started my digital marketing carrier at a German dating company and now many years later, I'm back working with dating once again, it is funny to see how life goes around. The years in between I was more focused at content marketing with toys, membership sites and I have also successfully managed for 7 years a mainstream and an adult network parallel. With all these experiences, I think I have definitely seen a lot of things that make sense to implement also at MIC and of course a big Rolodex of contacts that are interesting for our future development and expand.

2. Topicster: Can you tell us a bit more what exactly MIC is doing and what are your strengths?

Stefan Mühlbauer: MIC is one of the largest direct dating advertisers in Europe. A big difference is that our offers are more chat orientated and run on a token system basis. That's quite an effort for us, but the revenue per user is much higher than in subscription based systems. Everything we run is our own, and we are very open to try new things with trusted partners. Our API is for example quite powerful. Another one of our USPs is that we have offers live in 24 different countries, all available for PPL and revshare. So we do have something for each and every affiliate out there.

3. Topicster: What are your company's focus areas, and what are your thoughts about it?

Stefan Mühlbauer: To be honest with you, that's shifting at the moment a bit. We were highly focused on revshare, which attracted a certain type of affiliates. In that way we were missing out a lot of potential, like media buyers, networks, etc. So, the focus shifted from revshare to also include PPL, to give every affiliate what he really needs to be successful and reach their highest potential. The revshare part is a big success story for us, but I am happy that the company is moving more into the PPL field and the API business. It definitely gives our partners more options, which until now was not a focus. With these new adoptions and approaches, I think we are capable of moving faster to increase our market share through continuous innovation while strengthening our partner relationships.

4. Topicster: How would you explain how affiliate marketing has evolved over the past five years and which tips can you give to people that are just starting with affiliation?

Stefan Mühlbauer: A lot of easy cash business has died out. Mobile, nutra, CC trials on FB, insta-bots etc. All those things are only a fraction of what they actually used to be. For our company this had no impact at all, since we always planned for a long term relationship with our partners. This is also one of the reasons that I moved over to Masters in Cash.

Some points that I recommend every hustler that starts with affiliation

- First try to master 1 traffic source

- Keep a close relationship with your reps and stand behind your words, don't over promise things.

- Attend shows in person once the Covid-19 is over, in person you always have a better opportunity to plant the seeds for the best deals and grow your cooperation with your affiliate networks.

- Be creative and do not try to just rip landers and creatives from others. Stay unique and think outside of the box.

- Most Guru Courses are shit. You need to try to do your own thing.

5. Topicster: What, according to you, are the top three things an affiliate should know to become successful in affiliation?

Stefan Mühlbauer: It is more often a mind-set question than a skill-set question, in my opinion. So I would answer: stress resistance, creativity and paying very close attention to the reporting and how the marketing is moving, the early bird gets the worm.

6. Topicster: 2020 has been a year marked by Covid-19, how has this affected MIC and how did you approach and solve the problems that the pandemic presented?

Stefan Mühlbauer: As a dating provider that is focused on online interaction its even been beneficial for us. Classical dating companies that are more focused on meeting face to face could have seen a drop, but not us. In fact, if anything, we have seen a growth which led us to hire in more people. I have joined MIC in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, because we were growing so much and someone had to handle all the accounts while we were experiencing this growth, while also growing other options as well. Three months hadn't even passed since I was hired and we already had to hire again a full-time AM to keep up with all the partners. This AM by the way, is from Honduras, her name is Isa and she is assisting our Spanish speaking partners. Vlad is here for our Russian speaking markets, me for all the DACH people and all the other guys are Dutch in our team. I think its very good to have people that speak your language when you try to grow your cooperation.

7. Topicster: With many people working remotely during the pandemic, how are you keeping your team motivated?

Stefan Mühlbauer: That is part of the top management, and I honestly think that they are doing a fantastic job. I think it was a good move to implement our flat hierarchy, regular calls with the team that are not only business focussed while trying new things like hiring people directly remotely. Like I explained earlier, we have just added three new guys to the team and all of them are located in different countries.
All the available tools out there; video chats, group chats and messaging tools are really helping our remote team to feel connected all the time.

8. Topicster: How long do you feel like we are going to be operating under the constraints of the pandemic?

Stefan Mühlbauer: Nobody really knows that, but I do think that it is not unrealistic that we will be able to go back to some kind of normality perhaps in March 2021. By that time, we will have had the pandemic for a year, it is going to start getting warmer, vaccinations should be in place and a lot of people will by that time already have had it. So, like everybody else, I do hope we will be able to see some light at the end of a very dark tunnel during the next year spring.

9. Topicster: What is your look at your current markets and do you have any plans on expanding them?

Stefan Mühlbauer: We are actually preparing to open up new geos, which are currently in the development process, and I am really looking forward to see how they will perform. Besides that, we are also improving the ARPU with a team of super smart and talented people. One of my additional tasks is also the monetisation of our internal traffic with our partners. But, our focus is and will always remain dating and to see how we can build the best offers for our affiliates, that will generate them the highest revenue.

10. Topicster: The internet has changed the way we discover and consume information. A content discovery platform is best described as a "recommendation engine". It provides a mechanism by which the publisher of a website can provide their users with a series of links to other pages that they might be interested in or find it relevant. Do you think this is the future of advertising, and where are you and MIC standing with your thoughts here?

Stefan Mühlbauer: The real question here is if our industry can adopt this type of technology, but it is definitely interesting and worth exploring. I guess relevant content is really the future and what type of technology will be needed for this, only the future will tell us.

11. Topicster: Where do you think MIC will be in one and three years, respectively?

Stefan Mühlbauer: Our goals are crystal clear here. Market leaders in dating across several different geos. We can not be a killer in all of them, but in fact we already are in some geos and are certainly at the top in many of them. I would love to see that we will expand this and be at the top in even more geos. Also niches are becoming more and more important. It is impressive to see how the shemale and BDSM offers are booming, and I think that in a few years there will be even more sub niches, allowing us to, like you said earlier, offer relevant content and please every user and make the most out of that person both for our partners and ourselves.

12. Topicster: Finally, affiliates love promos and bonuses, we have heard that you have a special promo in place for this year's Christmas, could you tell us a bit more about it?

Stefan Mühlbauer: That is true, we are actually having an Xmas lead rally. Every second week during the December month, we will have focus on a different geo. Affiliates that are sending the most leads will be getting some nice Xmas gifts from us, stuff that basically everybody loves. There will be iPhones, PS5s and JBL Speakers. All the countries we have here in the contest are real killers, so the publishers will earn big on the offers and get sweet stuff on top of it all. Additionally everybody that will make minimum of 150 leads in the geos will get some smaller presents, 150 leads is something we think is achievable for really every affiliate out there. You can read more about it here. I am more than happy to discuss with everybody more in detail and advise them how to make the most out of their partnership with MastersInCash. My Skype is s.muehli and Telegram Umbalabo - please feel free to reach out to me!

Happy Holidays Promotion | Masters in Cash
www.mastersincash.com

Topicster: Thank you Stefan, it was really a pleasure to sit down and talk with you today.

Stefan Mühlbauer: Thank you for having me.