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    GPWA Gary's Avatar
    GPWA Gary is offline GPWA Editor-in-Chief
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    Default Affiliate Manager Interview Series -- Tanya Littlefield -- Everest Affiliates

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    How long have you been in the online gambling industry? Why did you decide to enter the field?
    I started working with Everest Affiliates in October of last year, so Iím still relatively fresh in the industry. I was looking for a job which would allow me more creative freedom, regular interaction with all different types of people and a great work environment. Working at Everest and in online gaming was a natural fit.

    Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of affiliates from different backgrounds, time zones and languages. The nature of the industry requires you to jump all-in from the first day, so the experience Iíve gained makes me feel like Iíve been with Everest much longer.

    What separates Everest Affiliates from other affiliate programs?
    Everest Affiliates is unique for a number of reasons, but what stands out the most is our localized approach. As a European-focused operator, our affiliates come from dozens of language markets, and we have catered our program to best serve their needs. In addition to software translated into 15 languages, our affiliate portal offers content and support in each language as well.

    Most importantly, each affiliate is assigned an affiliate manager who knows their market inside and out. Our affiliate managers come from around the world and are native to their market. Each manager is able to tailor his or her expertise by market and offer advice, customized content and localized promotions to the affiliates. With numerous account managers across all markets, our managers are very accessible to all affiliates, making Everest Affiliates really stand out from other brands.

    Additionally, the Everest brand is incredibly strong in Europe, and to that end our affiliates are supported by brand recognition as well as localized promotions. Additional mass-media campaigns across Europe, combined with continuous PR initiatives executed by local on-site market representatives, further leverage our brand and ensure high conversion rates and player value. Events such as EPEC (Everest Poker European Cup), the Spanish Poker Tour, Hungarian Freeroll Championship and All Polish Poker Open offer our affiliates strong localized live events to further excite and grow their player base.

    With a global focus, what kind of hours do you keep? How do you make sure youíre accessible to affiliates during their working hours?
    I still keep pretty standard hours despite the time difference. The time difference of 5 or 6 hours to Europe doesnít seem too great. There are still plenty of working hours that overlap in each business day. Most affiliates donít keep your standard 9-to-5 working days, so generally our hours overlap more often than one would think.

    Twitter has helped me stay accessible over the weekends and late night. For example, I may get a Direct Message from an affiliate on a Sunday evening UK time needing help with troubleshooting. The message goes straight to my phone so Iím able to help them work out their issue right away, even in the middle of the night.

    This year you ran a promotion where if certain players who qualified on Everest Poker for the World Series of Poker Main Event cashed in the event, Everest Poker would match all the prize money up to $1 million to be distributed among all qualifiers. Well, Antoine Saout did it! The Frenchman reached the final table to earn the bonus for his fellow Everest players. How did Saout qualify? And how much will each player receive thanks to Saout?
    Itís been incredible! You can imagine how much support he had with all the other players which was part of the aim Ė to create a real spirit between our qualifiers. For the last three days of the Main Event I think I was refreshing the chip counts and live blogs every five minutes.

    Antoine qualified through our WSOP Sit & Go Steps at Everest Poker. Fifty-one Everest Poker Main Event players were able to cash in on Antoineís success, splitting the $1 million prize pool, so they will each walk away with an additional $19,607 in their pockets.

    The $1 million match promotion was one of several Everest Poker promotions at the WSOP this year. Everest Poker qualifiers were privy to an assortment of VIP services such as access to the Everest Poker lounge at the Rio, our Penthouse at Caesarís Palace and our 4th of July party at Pure. We also gave players extra money to bring a friend along for support in Vegas. Our aim is for Everest Poker qualifiers to leave Vegas not only with extra money in their pockets, but amazing memories of their once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    Was Everest insured in this contest (and thus an insurance company is paying out the $1 million)? It certainly cost us but we reckon in the long run it will pay as we have shown that we offer our players so much more than just the buy-in and itís those extras that are attractive to poker players.

    Localization is a critical component of Everest Affiliates. How do you work with affiliates to ensure they have localized content and information?
    Like I mentioned before, localization is focused on primarily through our diverse affiliate team. We have affiliate managers who are not only native speakers in all our markets, but come from the countries they are representing. To that end, they know the culture and details of their markets to the fullest extent, and it is their expertise that really provides that localized feel.

    Localization also comes from our in-depth knowledge of our affiliates. We learn as much as possible about our affiliates - how they promote, what works best for their players, where their traffic comes from and more. That combined with an award-winning affiliate team lends to our unique and customized approach to each of our affiliates.

    You also have your own Twitter account. How has this helped you market Everest Affiliates?
    Do you see more affiliates and affiliate managers utilizing Twitter? Iím a bit of a Twitter addict. I started my account (@tanyatweet) specifically to reach out to affiliates and get more personally involved. Twitter has helped me direct attention to our newest promotions and news, as well as get our affiliates more involved in the discussion.

    Recently, we created a new account, @EverestAff, that is specifically geared toward the latest news most pertinent to our affiliates. @EverestAff is a way we can reach out and update our affiliate base on new promotions, changes or opportunities going on at Everest without the wait for the next newsletter or email update to go out. Twitter has been an excellent resource to give updates and news in real time across the globe.

    In general, we try to incorporate as many social media initiatives for our players and partners as possible. One of them was for the WSOP, where we created the Web site, where all comments made with #evpwsop would be viewed on the site and on the Everest Lounge big screen during the WSOP. Players, Everest employees and affiliates on Twitter participated. Twitter has changed the dynamic to create a real-time conversation, and I think affiliates and account managers are realizing that. I highly advise everyone to sign on and begin tweeting.

    Most of the affiliate managers we talk to say building trust with their affiliates is critical to success. How do you go about building trust with your affiliates?
    We are looking for a strong long-term relationship with all of our affiliates, so trust is absolutely crucial to achieving this. Trust is built through a number of channels, and it is the combination of all of them that makes a solid relationship between my affiliates and me. Most important, in my opinion, is transparency. Affiliates are looking for an honest and open relationship, and transparency is critical to that end.

    Trust, in my opinion, is also based on what you know about not only the program, but your affiliate manager. The combination of emails, forum discussion, Twitter and affiliate conferences altogether create a personality and a relationship that allow for trust to develop.

    Getting involved in the forums, showing a little personality through Twitter and taking the time to know more about the affiliates rather than just the details of their site are all extremely important.

    Besides trust, what are the keys to building successful relationships between affiliates and affiliate programs?
    For a strong relationship between an affiliate and affiliate programs, the key component again is transparency. All data and reporting must be transparent, accurate and reliable. Affiliates need to feel confident not only with their managers but with the tools and backend reporting required to run a successful business.

    Communication is also a backbone to a successful relationship. Accessibility to a dedicated affiliate manager and the entire affiliate team is important to ensure that all affiliates receive the assistance needed to successfully affiliate with Everest. Ensuring solid communication is one of the reasons we have affiliate support in many languages.

    Finally, treating each affiliate relationship as unique. No two affiliates have the same needs and requests, so itís pertinent to know exactly what your affiliate is looking for to best serve them. With long-term relationships, the emphasis is not only about the money or the players, but what more we can help our affiliates with - including custom content, SEO assistance and tailored promotions.

    If you wish youíd known one thing about the industry before you entered it, what would it be?
    I wish I had known about the industry sooner! Prior to my work with Everest Affiliates, I was not fully aware of the strength and size of the gaming industry. There is such a great vibe from this community, where everyone works hard and plays hard. I wish I had known this years ago, so I might have joined sooner.

    What advice do you have for someone just starting in the industry?
    The gaming industry has a great community feel that you simply wonít find in other industries. My advice is to get involved and ask questions. Industry forums, like GPWA, social media and other outlets are brewing with ideas and content. Make sure you take advantage.

    If you could have dinner with three other people, living or dead, who would they be and why?
    First I would have to say Socrates. Iím a pretty big philosophy/history dork and Iíve probably read about Socrates a million and a half times. I would love to get in a debate with the greatest (and most annoying) debater of all time. Weíre both talkers, so I think it would be pretty interesting.

    I would also love to sit down with my grandfather on my motherís side. I never got the opportunity to meet him, and from all the stories Iíve heard over the years, he seems to be a really interesting guy.

    Finally, John Cusack circa 1989. I have a minor obsession with the movie ďSay Anything.Ē Iím pretty sure every girl who grew up in theí80s andí90s can agree with me on this one.

    You attended the University of Wisconsin during undergrad, notoriously one of the biggest party schools in the country. Did you enjoy your time there?
    How do you think the Badger football team will do this year? I was at UW for two years before transferring to Tufts University back in Boston. I had a great time, especially during football season. The Badgers keep surprising me each year but getting a little bit better than the year before. I think theyíre seriously underrated, but hopefully this year will be their year.

    What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?
    I just re-read The Time Travelerís Wife. Itís an amazing book with a little bit of sci-fi mixed in with humor and romance. I re-read it because I had heard it would be coming out as a movie and I wanted to brush up.

    What is your favorite movie? And why?
    ďDr. Strangelove.Ē I was a History & Political Science double major and that movie plays to my geeky historical side.

    If you could change one thing about the online gaming industry, what would it be?
    I would eliminate any hurdles gaming affiliates have that make it difficult for them to work. The gaming industryís affiliates and operators should be able to compete like any other industry-including PPC, Google advertisements and other hurdles that make operating more difficult.

    What are three things that no one knows about you?
    Iím a fairly open book, so I doubt there is anything that at least one person doesnít know about me. Three things that most people probably donít know about me might be:
    1. I wake up to chug orange juice religiously at 2 am.
    2. My middle name is Herrick.
    3. I openly yell at the computer screen while playing poker online.

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  3. #2
    ZEDPOKER's Avatar
    ZEDPOKER is offline Private Member
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    Nice Interview

  4. #3
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    TanyaEverest is offline Restricted Account
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    Thank you! Thanks, GPWA for posting.

  5. #4
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    ironman2000 is offline Non-sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Great Interview...................

    thanks for sharing some of insights into this wonderful and sometimes volatile industry of ours..........

    Have a fantastic weekend


    SKYPE= ironman20001

  6. #5
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    Nice interview!

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    GFPC is offline Private Member
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    nice interview and some great comments!!!!


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