GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 28 - April 2014

The experienceAlex Smithgainedwhileworking asmarketing officer for TheDoveService, a charity that helps people suffering from loss and life-changing illness, served himwell when hewent towork in affiliatemarketing for bet365, which is located in the same citywhere hegrew up. Alex tellsus that hequicklydiscovered similaritiesbetween the two jobs. Both requiredhim to lookat thewebsiteand identify areas that needed improving inorder tomake the siteamore effectivemarketing tool for theproduct beingpromoted. Inboth situations, Alexdidwhat needed tobedone.Way togo, Alex! MEET THE AFFILIATE MANAGER Prior to joining bet365, you spent two years as the marketing officer for The Dove Service, a charity that helps people suffering from loss and life-changing ill- ness. It sounds like a fantastic charity – canyou tell usa littlebit about yourwork there? It is a fantastic charitywhich does some vital work in Staffordshire where the charity is based.My role asmarketing officer had a variety of marketing-based tasks. Prior to my appointment, no mar- keting officer had been in place so I was startingwith a blank canvas and the first thing Ididwas to createa concisemarket- ing strategy to give the charity a clear di- rectionofwhere itwanted tobe. Included within this strategy was developing the charity’s presence on social media, be- ing proactive and attending networking events in order to raise awareness of the charity, developing thewebsite intoanef- fectivemarketing tool anddeveloping the sales training courses. What have you learned about bet365 and the industry in general since becoming a partof it? I alreadyknewquiteabit about bet365 as it is a company in the same citywhere I grew up. It’s amazing to see how far the company has come in such a short time and I feel privileged tonowbe a part of it. Although inmy opinion you can never have enough knowledge about yourprofession, Ido feelmyroleatbet365 means that I am extremelywell placed to be able to remain at the forefront of the online poker industry. I feel as though I am best placed to serve poker affiliates in our industry as a result of areas I am as- sociatedwith in thebet365business. The affiliate marketing industry is very fast paced and no day in the office is the same, which is great as I thrive on the diversity of the role. It’s certainly an exciting industry tobe inandone inwhich youhave to ensureyou areperforming to thebestofyourability inorder toenhance yourworking relationshipswith affiliates and colleagues. How different is marketing for a char- ity frommarketing for an Internet gam- ing company? Any ways in which it is the same? The two are very different but there are all also some similarities. Charity marketing is all about ensur- ing that people in your target market knowwho you are and the cause you are supporting by using a range of different mediums. In the Internet gaming mar- keting industry you are representing an international brand and you need to ensure that your marketing efforts are carriedout to thebest of your ability. The similarities come in the form of looking at and seeing howwebsites can be developed to become more effective marketing tools. One ofmy roles in char- ity marketing was to look at the website and seewhere it needed improvingwhile working within a restricted budget. This allowed me to take this experience into my affiliate marketing role and develop it further. Whenyouwerestudyingat theUniversity of Chester did you ever picture your- self working in the gaming industry? I have always had an interest in the online gaming industry due to my keen inter- est in poker and sports, so this industry is the perfect fit for my passions. I feel as though having a career in an industry that you are passionate about brings out peak performance because you are doing something that you enjoy. I also actively bet on football, and placing accumula- tors on Saturday afternoons definitely makes an already enthralling sport all the more interesting. Don’t ask for me any tips, though; a win doesn’t come around toooften. Your focus is on bet365's poker product. Are you a poker player yourself? If so, whendidyoustartplaying? Idoplaypok- erbutnotasmuchas Iused todue towork and other commitments. I first got into poker playing with friends at each oth- er’s houses every Thursday when I was in sixth form. Once I started university I began playing online poker once aweek. I found it quite exciting to do so and al- though I didn’t spend or win big I cer- tainlymanaged to pay for a few student nights out with my winnings, which is alwaysuseful at university. bet365 was recently named the Best Affiliate Program for Poker at the iGB Affiliate Awards. What does that recog- nition mean to bet365? And how will it helpyou recruit newaffiliates topromote your product? First it’s a great award for AFFILIATEMANAGER INTERVIEWSERIES ALEXSMITH bet365 AffiliateManager InterviewSeries