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  1. #1
    GPWA Daniel is offline Associate Editor
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series - Anastasios Ioannidis

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    (This interview was originally published in the April 2021 edition of the GPWA Times Magazine.)


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

    I am native Greek, but I have lived and worked in various European countries such as Austria, Cyprus, Malta, Spain, Poland and the U.K. Since 2018, I have been living and working again in Malta where I used to live and work between 2007 and 2009.

    You have been involved in the iGaming affiliate industry for almost two decades. Did you always want to be involved in the iGaming industry? How did it all come about?

    It all started back in 2006, a few months after I completed my postgraduate studies in Austria. An Austrian friend told me that he saw on an Austrian job portal an ad for “Marketing Manager for the Greek market’’ at an iGaming company (Bet-at-home.com). I applied and my journey in the iGaming industry started.

    The industry has changed dramatically since you started in the business. What are some of the positive changes you have seen and what are a few of the negative changes?

    Mobile technology has had a huge impact on the iGaming industry in the last decade. You only have to look at the number of online bookmakers and casinos that now have dedicated mobile apps available, which can be installed on a tablet or mobile phone within seconds. One of the major developments over the past decade is the introduction of live dealer casinos. There is constantly increasing demand for online gambling and this has led to the ever-increasing number of online casinos.

    A negative change is the market saturation. The market is flooded, especially since it has become so easy to build and launch a casino site. This has resulted in reduced levels of quality as operators are being pushed to their limits in an attempt to keep up with the market. This suffering quality of games could be detrimental to the industry in 2021.

    What would be your advice to an affiliate just getting started in the business?

    Customers respond to honesty. If you’re an affiliate known to give an honest opinion and facts about a casino and sports betting sites, when you give a good review, it will be more trustworthy. On that subject, as well as being honest, it’s vital for the affiliate to be well-informed. Testing and tracking information related to customer experience can help a great deal with this.

    The more data an affiliate gathers on withdrawal methods and reliability, user identification processes, and general customer care, the more rounded an impression of a site she/he can offer to her/his audience. The affiliates should focus on products/games that people love. Last but not least, it is very beneficial for affiliates to develop good relationships with the operators and their affiliate managers. There is an obvious benefit in having good relationships with the affiliate managers, to ensure they are sent press releases and given any new information on promotions, site changes, new games being added, etc.

    What are some of the keys to achieving a successful relationship between affiliate and affiliate manager?

    Frequent and effective communication is a major key to cultivate a successful relationship between the affiliate and the affiliate manager. The affiliate manager must listen to his affiliates, solve their problems quickly, understand their needs, bring new ideas to the table and provide all the necessary resources to help them become more successful.

    Being professional and understanding the core business of your affiliates is absolutely critical to being a successful affiliate manager, but it’s your personality that will make you memorable. There are many things that go into building strong relationships in business, but at the heart of it is being able to effectively communicate and create solutions to complex challenges. Affiliate management is no different. The most successful affiliate managers know that the key to success is having great relationships with your affiliate partners and doing things the right way consistently. At the end of the day, if you help your affiliate partners become more successful in the program, they will help you be a more successful affiliate manager.

    In January 2019, MRG was acquired by William Hill. How has it benefited the company and your partners?

    I joined Mr Green in April 2020 when it was already acquired by William Hill. The transition has gone smoothly for my colleagues and for me personally. Mr Green has increased its brand awareness and reputation even more and our partners have benefited a lot from the acquisition by William Hill, one of the most recognized and trusted brands in the global sports betting and gaming market. Our partners can now promote the whole product portfolio of both Mr Green and William Hill brands across multiple GEOs.

    Mr Green was voted "Online Casino of the Year" at the International Gaming Awards for three consecutive years. Can you explain why the casino has been able to secure these kinds of honors so consistently?

    Here at Mr Green, we value the customer's experience, above all else. Our dedication to responsible gaming and our focus on entertainment has won us many industry awards, including IGA Online Casino Operator of the Year for three consecutive years. We keep a fair, but fun, approach to casino entertainment, which has been proven to be hugely popular among our customers.

    How does Mr Affiliate work to retain players sent by affiliates?

    Our CRM department runs amazing promotions constantly for all of our customers which aim to keep the customer experience as fun and as fair as possible across the whole journey!

    How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you both professionally and personally?

    COVID-19 has, of course, affected me too both professionally and personally. Despite the remote work and the continuity of the business, I feel that we have somehow lost the natural communication with our colleagues. Personally, I cannot do the same things that I used to do before (meeting friends, going out, etc.). Hopefully this will finish soon and everything will be back to normal!

    What do you most like about the iGaming industry? What do you dislike or what bothers you most about the industry?

    I like to see how the industry has been changing across the years and how technology has been impacting the business dramatically. I am really very excited to see what’s next!

    More and more markets become regulated which imposes stricter advertising control and compliance requirements. This, of course, is not convenient neither for the operators nor for the affiliates.

    Tell us about your typical work day.

    My typical work day includes communication with affiliates, solving any issues/problems, searching and negotiating new deals, checking and analyzing KPIs of previous day and running the daily/weekly reports for the company.

    What's the office culture like at Mr Affiliate?

    William Hill International is a great place to work! There is a high collaboration across the affiliate team and each team member is ready to assist the other members when needed. Every colleague can grow very quickly within the company. It is worthy to mention here the various perks offered by the company: Free food and beverages at the office, fun staff events, friendly environment, learning training programs and sport allowance.

    Do you gamble yourself?

    I gamble occasionally and only on major football events such as UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League.

    What are your other hobbies? What takes up your time when you are not working?

    I like reading books a lot, traveling and sometimes cooking!

    What were you like in high school and in your younger days what did you want to be when you grew up?

    I used to study a lot. In high school, I wanted to learn a lot about economics, marketing and advertising. I remember myself studying the details of every single advertisement in newspapers and magazines! It was obvious for me which direction I wanted to follow when I grew up.

    What's your favorite movie?

    Forrest Gump.

    If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?

    Alexander The Great, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk.

    Name one thing that people reading this magazine don't know about you.

    I am big fan of Olympiakos F.C., the Greek football team of Piraeus.

  2. #2
    Cash Bonus's Avatar
    Cash Bonus is offline Private Member
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    Good interview and thank you for sharing. Transparency is also a very crucial key factor, as it establishes the trust between operators and affiliates.

  3. #3
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    Very good interview. Thanks for sharing.

    One thing, I want to add : MR Green was one of my favorite brands-casino , then WH bought Mr Green and we all know what happened

    These mergers are always bad for affiliates.

    @Anastasios - thanks for all your sincere answers, it is good to new and old people to loo deep into the text.

    One of the main things here in our industry is to worka as affiliate or AM - with big devotion and passion
    Seven times fall, eight times stand.

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    When it is so much needed to make an interview with affiliate program that is stealing... is it so hard to ask about the only important topic? I do not mean with whom the person wants to have a dinner or similar. I want to know about the robbery itself.

    This really looks like Lars von Trier drama (or just a normal family relationships), where everyone is just talking and talking about everything, but intentionally avoiding the only important topic.

    The important topic here is that incredible money were stolen and GPWA acts that nothing happens. This can work in family, where issues are swept under the carpet, until we all die. But business does not work like this. The money are not made and affiliate business is a farce. Because of Willhill, because of everyone working for them incl. some Anastasios Ioannidis, because of GPWA.

    Maybe the real purpose of this is to create the farce for god; then I am sorry for spiling it. But I am participating as well so all is good.

    But still: Willhill you are thieves. Anastasios Ioannidis you are a thief too, because you participate on it.
    We are all bloodsucking ticks, hungry, devious
    each one latched on to the ass of the previous
    when the last and the first latch on it can be shown
    ass-blood sucked by the first from the last is his own

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  6. #5
    Anthony's Avatar
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    Hi Sherlock, Please let me know what issue you are having.
    I am here to help if you have any issues with an affiliate program.
    Become involved in GPWA to truly make the association your own:
    Apply for Private Membership | Apply for the GPWA Seal | Partner with a GPWA Sponsor | Volunteer as a Moderator


  7. #6
    Anthony's Avatar
    Anthony is online now Affiliate Services
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    Sherlock, I have not heard back from you. If you don't want to reply publicly please send me a PM.
    I am here to help if you have any issues with an affiliate program.
    Become involved in GPWA to truly make the association your own:
    Apply for Private Membership | Apply for the GPWA Seal | Partner with a GPWA Sponsor | Volunteer as a Moderator


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