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    GPWA Daniel is offline Associate Editor
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series - Joshua Kelly

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    (This interview was originally published in the November 2021 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine.)

    Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

    I am Stoke-on-Trent (a city in Central England) born and bred, growing up in Trentham and then moving slightly up the road with my wife about five years ago. She is originally from Kent, so I have spent many years trying to “Stokie-fy” her southern accent, however, we unfortunately still say the words “castle” and “grass” very differently. We both took the big step last Christmas of welcoming a small puppy into our lives, a little Collie-poo called Maisie, who has been a source of angelic happiness, but also complete devastation, mainly to the house, but I wouldn’t change her for the world.

    How long have you been involved in the iGaming industry and how did you get your start?

    I have worked at bet365 for almost six years now. I initially applied for their graduate scheme and experienced a range of departments, including Telebet and Customer Service before I got offered a job as a Sub-Editor in the Design and Publishing team. I stayed in the department for about three years and in that time progressed to a senior position, however, by this time I felt like I wanted to try something new and out of my comfort zone.

    I had a friend who had recently joined the bet365 Partners team and through her I heard about the exciting aspects of the department. She also said how all the Marketing Managers had been a pleasure to work with, so when a job came up a few months later it felt like the jigsaw pieces were falling into place. I now feel I have integrated myself, not only within the team, but also with the bet365 Partners I manage and the iGaming industry as a whole.

    What do you know now that you wish you knew when you got started in the iGaming industry?

    I honestly think the sheer vastness of topics and information that the iGaming industry touches upon would have been useful to know. Before I got involved with this sector, I had never really given much thought to affiliate marketing and everything it entails, so it would have been a little less overwhelming at the start if I had known that the iGaming industry was much bigger than I had ever considered.

    What do you like most about working in this industry?

    For me, it is the ever-changing environment. Nothing stands still for long in this industry, be it a changing regulation in a market, a new offer coming out, or a new territory becoming available to explore. I think in some jobs it is very easy to get into a routine and before you know it you are in a rut, but there is no chance of that happening in this role as each day my inbox has some new interesting bit of information or some new challenge that needs resolving.

    With 63 million customers across over 150 countries and more than 5,000 employees, bet365 is one of the largest and most recognized operators in the world. What is like for you to represent a giant brand in the industry on a daily basis?

    I definitely have a sense of pride representing bet365 because, as a company, we strive to go above and beyond in all areas of our business. For example, one area we focus on in particular is compliance and responsible gambling, ensuring every market regulation is upheld and that partners not only understand, but also buy into the idea themselves of promoting our brand safely to users. I also feel a sense of good fortune working in my role, as I get to see how a company like bet365 works day to day and continually adapts to changing events around the world, which provides such a fantastic and valuable experience.

    In May, the bet365 affiliate program rebranded with the new name, bet365 Partners, explaining that it gave the program “a fresh look and feel” and introduced “improved features designed to support, inform and enhance the relationship between bet365 and its partners.” Please tell us about more about the rebrand and how it has benefited affiliates.

    At bet365 we have a long standing appreciation of all the work affiliates have done to assist in making bet365 what it is today. It is for this reason that we thought a rebrand to “bet365 Partners” was a more suitable representation of the strong relationships we have developed with our partners over the years.

    The rebrand also included a new and responsive website which provides our partners with a better user experience when browsing the site, generating invoices or checking out their stats. Another new feature was a re-imagined library filled with our creative in various sizes giving our partners the ability to look through and choose the creative that would be most effective on their sites. This rebrand is not just a static project, however. Additional updates will be coming to further benefit our partners, for example, a redesigned link management system, improved news and alert system in order to communicate important updates and enhanced visual dashboards to analyze data at scale.

    A new feature in the pipeline that we are very keen to provide for our partners is a detailed compliance section, which will be kept up to date with all the latest guidance, including our Compliance Policies, which will be made available for partners to access whenever they wish. We do also hope that our new site has not only benefited established affiliates, but also new partners that are taking their first steps into the affiliate marketing sector, providing them with help and support in order to give them the best possible chance of success.

    Please tell us about your typical work day.

    It is very hard to give an accurate description of a typical working day because as I have eluded to in other answers, my days vary greatly. I would say the majority of my day is taken up by providing support to my partners, be that over email, over the phone or even visiting their offices to have face-to-face meetings (pre-pandemic). Some other projects I am involved with include helping run our Fantasy Football and Fantasy NFL competitions. These are weekly competitions where partners and Marketing Managers compete to see who can achieve the highest point total each week, which as you can imagine, are extremely popular with our partners.

    What are the keys to a beneficial working relationship between an affiliate manager and an affiliate?

    From my experience, we need to be helpful, understanding, communicate effectively and be eager to share in the vision that a partner has for their site. On the affiliate or partner side (as we like to consider them), in order to provide the most beneficial working relationship, they should communicate effectively, be understanding and adaptable to changing market conditions, and realize that we want them and their sites to succeed as much as they do.

    What are some things affiliates can do to help retain players?

    I think getting the basics correct is a great start, such as making sure content on their sites is up to date, checking that all links work and take players to correct places and to make sure that all promotion is compliant for that market. However, it should also be about adding value to the user. Their site not only has to be appealing for initial player acquisition, but it should also focus on retaining those players so that they keep coming back to the site in the future.

    The focus for any long-term partnership has to be on the balance between the two and those that achieve this tend to be the most successful. At bet365 we are also always keen for partners to get in contact with their Marketing Managers in order to discuss any concerns they have, and from there we can review their sites, look at the stats and then make bespoke suggestions on how to retain and potentially increase player activity.

    What would your advice be to a person just jumping into the iGaming affiliate business?

    My advice would be to seek out and absorb as much information as you can, since so much is inter-related in the iGaming affiliate business that if you learn about one thing, it can quickly open a door to a completely different topic within the sector. Additionally, be open to learning new skills as many opportunities will arise surrounding tasks like compliance, legislation, display, data analysis, campaign planning and account management, just to name a few.

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

    Professionally it is has meant that I have completed the majority of my working hours at home as bet365 has followed all of the government guidance regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to me having to adapt to a very different way of working. For example, I much prefer talking to people face to face, however, video calling has been my life for the past year. But now, the majority of restrictions have been lifted I think it has left me with an appreciation of the little things, such as going around for a cup of tea with my grandparents, going out for meals with friends and giving my parents a hug.

    What are your hobbies? What do you do when you are not working?

    I use to go to the gym before COVID-19 hit. Since we went into lockdown, I bought a lot of home gym equipment so this is what I now do to pass the time. I am also a keen reader and film watcher, with The Lord of the Rings trilogy being my favorite film franchise. I am also a wannabe gardener, in the sense that I really want to have my own vegetable patch, but I currently don’t have the time to do it.

    And finally, I would quite like to take up golf properly at some point, however, at the moment when I strike a golf ball it is just as likely to go backward as it is forward!

    Do you gamble online or at land-based casinos?

    I would gamble at land-based casinos for an event such as a friend’s birthday, however, when I do have a bet it is mainly online. I used to be guilty of having a 20-fold football accumulator each week, which would return a ridiculous amount if I won, however, I now favor season-long bets, for example, a team to win the league or finish in the top four, etc.

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

    I am afraid I am a bit of a history geek, so my guests would probably be Emperor Augustus (First Roman Emperor), Henry VIII and Queen Victoria.

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

    I have a pet tortoise who is currently 22 years old, but will likely live to over 100, and therefore I will probably have to leave him in my will to someone. Any takers, please let me know!

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    GPWA Maria (17 March 2022)

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    universal4's Avatar
    universal4 is offline Forum Administrator
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    Thanks for doing the interview Josh.

    And as for the golf, maybe we should play, but I warn you, I am pretty sure I can beat you since the few times I have played a full round I almost always can double all of my opponent's scores.

    Rick
    Universal4

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    GPWA Maria's Avatar
    GPWA Maria is offline APCW/GPWA Program Manager
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    Thank you for the interview Joshua!
    Feature your Affiliate Program with us and enjoy the rewards!

    Regards,

    Maria Florides
    GPWA Program Manager
    GPWA.org | iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com | FinanceAffiliatePrograms.com | GPWAtimes.org | iGamingPocketDirectory.com | APCW.org

    Mob: +35796453758 | Skype: Maria.florides1 | Email: Maria@gpwa.org

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    Mattbar is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPWA Daniel View Post
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    Some other projects I am involved with include helping run our Fantasy Football and Fantasy NFL competitions. These are weekly competitions where partners and Marketing Managers compete to see who can achieve the highest point total each week, which as you can imagine, are extremely popular with our partners.
    And he does a damned good job of it too. Nice to read your interview Josh, keep up the good work.

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