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    GPWA Daniel is offline GPWA Associate Editor
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series - Alona Sereda

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    (This interview was originally published in the July 2023 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine.)

    Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and where did you grow up?

    I was born and raised in Ukraine. I strongly believe that it's a country of talented people, beautiful nature, and high level of services that make it a desirable destination for tourists and a great place to live. In 2021, I relocated to Cyprus, but I must confess that adapting to the island lifestyle proved to be quite challenging in the beginning.

    Being a native of Ukraine, how has the Russian invasion affected you professionally and, more importantly, personally?

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a tremendous shock to me and to all Ukrainians. We never imagined that such a terrible war could occur. Since the 24th of February 2022, it has felt like time has stopped, and the war is the only thing we can think about, even if we are far away from the country.

    It is difficult to express the pain that we all feel for the people who were forced to leave the country. So many innocent people, including children, have lost their lives, and many more have been injured. It is heart breaking to witness.

    To be honest, only work keeps me from losing my mind during these dark times. However, Iím pleased with the fact that the entire civilized world supports Ukraine, and we are fighting for our freedom and the freedom of all of Europe. I hope that this bloody, brutal war will end soon and people will live in peace.

    When and how did you get your start in the industry and did you always want to work in iGaming?

    I started my iGaming career back in 2019 as an affiliate manager for a well-known iGaming company. I was excited to join the industry, but I didn't have any prior experience in it. However, I was eager to learn and work hard to make a difference.

    As an affiliate manager, my main responsibility was to manage the company's partnerships with affiliate websites. I had to ensure that the affiliate websites were promoting our products in the best way possible and driving traffic to our site. I also had to negotiate deals with affiliate partners, analyze their performance and provide them with marketing materials to use on their sites.

    I was fortunate to have a supportive and knowledgeable team that helped me grow in my role. Within two years, I was promoted to senior affiliate manager. It was a proud moment for me because it showed that my hard work and dedication paid off.

    To be honest, it was never my dream to work in the iGaming industry. It was a lucky chance that I got into the industry, and I am grateful for it. However, once I started working in the industry, I realized that it was an exciting and fast-paced industry with a lot of potential for growth and innovation.

    In February, you became the Head of Affiliates at Playfina Partners. How did this opportunity arise and what attracted you to the new position?

    While I wasn't actively searching for a new job, I came to the realization that I was ready for growth and advancement in my career. It was during this time that I was presented with an opportunity that piqued my interest, and I decided to carefully consider it.

    After giving it some thought and weighing the pros and cons, I ultimately made the decision to leave my previous company and take on this new role. I'm happy to say that it's been a positive change, as I'm now part of an exceptional team of professionals who are dedicated to their work and committed to supporting each other.

    What I appreciate most about my new position is the level of attention to detail that my colleagues bring to their work. From the planning and execution of projects to the way we collaborate and communicate, there's a shared commitment to excellence that is truly inspiring. It's a privilege to be part of this team, and I look forward to contributing to our shared success in the years to come.

    What is your typical work day like at Playfina Partners?

    My working day starts by checking their emails and messages for any urgent matters that need their attention. This may involve responding to queries from affiliate partners, addressing any issues, or providing guidance to team members. I spend some time reviewing data and metrics such as conversions, click-through rates, and revenue generated by affiliates.

    Also, Iím responsible for developing and implementing strategies to improve the performance of the affiliate program. This may involve identifying new promotional opportunities, optimizing existing campaigns, and working closely with other departments such as marketing.

    What do you like most about your role as Head of Affiliates?

    Being a Head of Affiliates is a fulfilling role that involves leading and inspiring a team, meeting sales objectives, working closely with other departments to achieve great results, and staying up-to-date with industry trends. Witnessing the professional growth and progress of team members, as well as the positive influence the department has on the company's prosperity, can also be gratifying.

    What do you know about the iGaming affiliate industry now that you wish you knew when you just got started?

    When I first started out in this industry, I wish I had known more about the different types of iGaming products and the target audience for each product. This knowledge would have helped me better understand the needs and preferences of my potential partners and helped me design more effective marketing strategies.

    Another thing I wish I had known earlier is the importance of building strong relationships with affiliates. Building relationships takes time and effort, but it is well worth it in the long run. Strong relationships can help you secure better commission rates and other benefits that can help you grow your business.

    Lastly, I wish I had known more about the regulatory environment and laws that govern the iGaming affiliate industry. Understanding the regulatory environment is critical to ensuring that you operate your business in compliance with the law and avoid any potential legal issues down the line.

    Playfina Partners boasts that it is "among the 'oldies'Ē in the market and have a strong understanding of issues and requests from partners on all sides." Can you please explain further?

    Our company was established by a team of experienced SEO experts who possess extensive knowledge and expertise in catering to the distinctive needs and requirements of affiliate and media buying teams.

    At our company, we are dedicated to providing our affiliates with top-notch tools and resources to help them succeed in their ventures. We strongly believe in building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our partners and offering them necessary support to help them achieve their goals.

    You mentioned the importance of the relationship between affiliate managers and affiliates. Many affiliate managers have told us that building trust is crucial to creating a successful relationship with affiliates. How do you build trust with affiliates?

    Building trust is indeed crucial to creating a successful relationship with affiliates in the iGaming industry. Trust is built over time through open and honest communication, transparency, and delivering on promises made.

    First of all, transparency matters - affiliate managers should be transparent about the terms and conditions of the affiliate program, the commission structure, and any other relevant information. They should also be open to feedback from their affiliates and respond to any concerns or questions in a timely manner. Moreover, they should provide regular updates on promotions, new games, and other important information that could help affiliates improve their performance.

    This could include providing guidance on marketing strategies, helping to troubleshoot technical issues, or offering other forms of assistance.

    What makes the Playfina brand unique and what does the program do to help affiliates attract and retain players?

    In terms of what makes a program unique, it could be anything from offering exclusive games or promotions, providing excellent customer support, or having a particularly user-friendly platform. Whatever it is that sets a program apart, it should be something that is attractive to potential players and makes them want to sign up and play.

    Playfina offers exclusive games and promotions, provides excellent customer support and has a particularly user-friendly platform. By doing so, it looks attractive to potential players and makes them want to sign up and play.

    To help affiliates attract and retain players, we at Playfina Partners provide a range of tools and resources to their affiliates. This may include access to marketing materials like banners and landing pages, as well as data on player behavior and preferences to help affiliates optimize their campaigns.

    What are some helpful tips for an industry newbie on getting the most out of attending iGaming events?

    Attending industry conferences is a great way to gain insights into the latest trends and developments in the iGaming industry, as well as network with other professionals and potential clients. Usually, I donít miss the main conferences like ICE London, SiGMA Europe, iGB Live! These are just a few of the many iGaming conferences that take place in Europe each year.

    Here are some tips to help you get the most out of attending iGaming events: Before attending the conference, make sure to do some research and plan out which sessions and events you want to attend. This will help you make the most of your time and ensure that you don't miss any important information.

    One of the most valuable aspects of attending industry conferences is the opportunity to meet and network with other professionals in the iGaming industry. Make sure to bring plenty of business cards and be proactive in introducing yourself to others.

    Remember that attending industry conferences is all about learning and growing your knowledge of the industry. Be open to new ideas and perspectives, and don't be afraid to ask questions and engage in discussions with other attendees. Take the time to explore the conference venue, meet new people, and enjoy the various events and activities that are available.

    Donít forget about workshops and seminars which are designed to help attendees learn new skills and gain insights into specific aspects of the industry. Donít miss the chance to take advantage of these opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skills.

    What are your hobbies? What are you doing when you aren't working?

    During my leisure time, I find great pleasure in engaging in physical activities that challenge and stimulate me. My regular routine includes hitting the gym to maintain my fitness levels, but I also relish playing tennis with my friends or hiking up the mountains to explore the scenic beauty around me.

    I believe that staying active and physically challenged is an essential component of a balanced lifestyle, and I make it a priority to incorporate it into my daily routine whenever possible.

    When you were growing up, what profession did you dream about getting into?

    As a child, I had a vivid imagination and a sense of wonder about the world around me. One of my earliest dreams was to become a train attendant, inspired by the romance and adventure of train travel.

    While my career path has taken me in different directions, my love of travel and my sense of wonder about the world remain strong, and I continue to seek out new experiences that enrich my life and broaden my perspective.

    Whatís your favorite TV show of all time and why?

    Actually Iím not a fan of TV shows but Iím impressed by Ted.com - a platform that hosts a vast collection of talks from experts in various fields, including science, technology, business, education, and creativity. These talks are delivered in an engaging and accessible way, making complex ideas and concepts more understandable for the general public.

    The talks are usually limited to 18 minutes or less, which encourages speakers to distil their ideas into concise and impactful presentations. This format also allows viewers to consume information quickly and efficiently, making it easier to fit into busy schedules.

    It is a valuable resource for anyone seeking to expand their knowledge, broaden their perspectives, and engage with thought-provoking ideas.

    If someone from out of town came to visit you for 24 hours, where would you take them and why?

    If someone is visiting Cyprus for only one day, there are several places that they could visit to get a taste of the island's culture, history, and natural beauty. Here are a few suggestions: Limassol Old Town with its charming, narrow streets, ancient buildings, and traditional markets of this historic district. Also, Ayia Napa which is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. I should also mention Troodos Mountains too with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

    If you could have dinner with five people, living or deceased, who would they be?

    I wish I could have dinner with Antoni GaudŪ, Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Andrews.

    Name three things that people reading this magazine donít know about you.

    1. Being fluent in Spanish, I enjoy travelling to Spanish-speaking countries to immerse myself in their culture, meet new people, and explore the natural beauty of each new destination.

    2. As a child, I dreamed of one day of opening an animal shelter to provide a safe haven for animals in need. I was deeply moved by the plight of homeless animals and felt a strong sense of responsibility to help them.

    3. During my time in school, I excelled in competitions that tested reading speed. I was consistently successful in these competitions and often emerged as the winner.

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