GPWA Times Magazine - Issue30 - October 2014

Meet Slava Sushko of Gambling Attack and Faizel Abdool of Lotus Affiliates, this issue’s affiliate manager interviewees. Before joining Gambling Attack, Slava was at Mobisoft, where she started an affiliate program from scratch. As she approaches her first anniversary at Gambling Attack, she says that for her the industry is like a family and building personal relationships is extremely important. Over at Lotus Affiliates, Faizel was chosen to operate their outsourced affiliate program because they wanted a seasoned veteran who could bring fresh perspective to the program and merge the old and the new ways of doing things. MEET THE AFFILIATE MANAGERS Prior to joining Gambling Attack, you spent two and a half years as an affiliate manager for Mobisoft, a leader in themo- bile device management industry. Talk a bit about your role with the company and how important affiliate marketing is to the mobile industry. I was thrilled to get a challenging offer from Mobisoft to start an affiliate program from scratch under another brand name. Of course, it is tough to get a new program up and running and that’s why it was even more enticing. I started with a small team of five and in less than two months we had af- filiates promoting our newly developed cross-platform app for smartphones and tablets. There was much to be done, from getting the system running to coming up with lucrative deals for affiliates while staying within the profit margin. Affili- ates will only invest in marketing your products or company if they are sure their consumers have trust in buying from you. So my primary task was to build a strong, trustworthy brand as well. Much effort was put into hiring a good technical de- velopment team to ensure a stable system operation. When these elements are in place, the task of attracting affiliates gets much easier. Affiliate marketing is an essential part of any industry and involves companies of all sizes. While mCommerce is no longer in its infancy, the real growth is still ahead of us. It’s a rapidly growing business with an ever-increasing number of people us- ing their smartphones for Internet surf- ing and shopping. The mobile industry undoubtedly sees continuous growth now thanks in part to the increasing capa- bilities of smart devices, and the growing availability of broadband, and this shows no signs of slowing down. Affiliate mar- keters should take a closer look if they haven’t done so already. You've been with Gambling Attack for al- most a year now, correct? What prompt- ed you to join the gaming industry? I have always been fascinated by gaming and marketing, and here I enjoy the mix of the two. It’s no secret that it’s a fun indus- try to be a part of; it’s exciting, fast-paced and unlike any other. Johan Huizinga tells us in his Homo Ludens that “play is older than culture, for culture, however inad- equately defined, always presupposes hu- man society, and animals have not waited for man to teach them their playing.” Play is something that comes from within, and I like to deal with authentic things. In short, combining gaming with affili- ate marketing, with which I have been involved for a pretty long time, makes it an easy, interesting, natural transition. Also, I would like to use my experience with mobile marketing in that area. As far as I can tell, most gambling affiliate sites don’t work with mobile traffic although it can bring in even more money at the same costs. What have you learned about the gam- ing industry in your relatively short time period working for Gambling Attack? Ev- ery industry has its peculiarities and gam- bling is no exception. There is tough regu- lation nowadays and everyone should keep an eye on upcoming laws in differ- ent countries to make necessary changes in advance and to foresee possible issues in order to be ready to provide necessary solutions for affiliates. This industry is like a family; everyone knows each other. What is different here, like in no other industry, is the extreme importance of building personal relationships with af- filiates. I enjoy organizing meet-ups and big events for our affiliate partners. That definitely makes it a fun industry. On top of that, we are always looking at new and emerging markets. It would be interesting to expand to Asia or Latin America. SLAVA SUSHKO Gambling Attack AFFILIATE MANAGER INTERVIEW SERIES Affiliate Manager Interview Series