GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 26 - October 2013

AFFILIATE MANAGER INTERVIEW SERIES You’ve just joined Affiliate Edge, but you’ve been working in online gaming for the last six years. What did you do, and with whom did you work prior to this recent move to the affiliate manage- ment side of things? Before joining AE I was work- ing in customer support for the brands we promote. I did this for two years before being promoted to a team leader role. I worked with a small group of CS advisors for a year until I was promoted again to the cashier department, where I was heavily involved with the verification process, and helped with the processing of payments. When I joined the Club World Group, it wasn’t a group; it was a solo casi- no in its early years. It’s been great to watch the company grow so fast knowing that it’s partly down to me, and it’s also great that the managers here have recognized my hard work and have decided to give me this chance to progress further and learn more about this great industry. What made you decide you wanted to make the leap from the opera- tor side to affiliate management? I heard that the position was being posted internally and I was interest- ed immediately. I spoke with Martyn about the role and after some ques- tions about what it would entail I decided to go for it. After six years of working as the first point of con- tact for players, I wanted a change, to learn more about the industry. Affiliate management sounded like something totally different to what I had done before, a challenge. Your first day on the job was at the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference. What was that experience like? It was kind of nerve-racking walking into a roomful of people that I didn’t know. It felt like Martyn was getting me back for years of bald jokes and was leading the lamb to slaughter, but everyone was friendly and Martyn did a great job of introduc- tions. I managed to meet some of our affiliates face to face, which was nice. The fancy meals and beer were good, too! All in all I had a great time in Amsterdam; it was an eye opener. I’m looking forward to meeting more people at the next event. This question may be a bit unfair as you are still early on in your new position, but what role do conferences play in Affiliate Edge’s marketing plans? How important is face-to-face contact with affiliates in terms of building and maintain- ing relationships? To me conferences seem very im- portant, especially with me being new. It’s hard for affiliates to trust someone they don’t know, so con- ferences give me that platform I need to get myself out there and show how I would be a good partner to work with. I can understand why affiliates sometimes find it hard to make new relationships. A lot have had bad experi- ences in the past, and this is their livelihood, after all. Putting a face to a name also helps you understand each affiliate’s individual character traits – they’re humans, they don’t want to receive canned e-mail. Knowing a person can help you give that personal touch when back in the office. Some of the banter I have seen so far between affiliates and Martyn has been incredible. I hope one day I have the same kind of relationship with the people I work with. You’ve only been on board with Affiliate Edge for a couple months, but are already a fairly active member on the GPWA forums. How do you see the GPWA fitting into Affiliate Edge’s marketing efforts? And why is forum participation impor- tant for affiliate programs? The GPWA gives me and AE the platform we need to show that we are reliable and we care. But what’s special about the GPWA is the fact it gives affiliates the chance to voice their opinions and then gives programs the chance to put their side of the story across, too – all in a civilized manner – until an agreement is reached. Being active on these forums is a big part of my job; I need to make sure that existing and potentially new affiliates know I am there for them should they have any questions. Affiliate Edge provides affiliate management for nine online casinos. What do affiliates need to know about Affiliate Edge in order to effectively market their brands? What distinguishes the Affiliate Edge brands from other online casinos, both in terms of the player’s experience and what you offer affiliates? Affiliates need to know how to pull off various types of creatives that are available, such as flash games, links and banners, and also how to ID track their campaigns, which is very easy to set up, very easy to follow and can help massively when trying to factor what is working and what isn’t work- ing. Our reporting is in depth and allows affiliates to see a lot of data on their results. Being able to use STEPHEN CROFT Affiliate Edge “What’s special about the GPWA is the fact it gives affiliates the chance to voice their opinions and then gives programs the chance to put their side of the story across, too – all in a civilized manner – until an agreement is reached.” Affiliate Manager Interview Series