Estimated Time 12 min
August 13, 2020
It’s time for a new episode from my series ‘’ Five Days Five New Faces ‘’ here on my channel Casino By Her. If you haven’t been able to watch the other videos, please go ahead and do so. I will introduce you to a lot of interesting character within our industry.
Today, I really wanted to touch ground with a very good friend of mine. She’s a really tough negotiator and she represent a very strong Affiliate network, which is called IBEX. She’s from Israel and her name is Rinat Shamir.
I will let you guys know HOW in the BEST possible way to maintain a strong partnership with your Affiliates and from the Operators side. Keep watching if you’re interested in this subject!
Disa: I’m so happy to do this interview with you!
Rinat: Yes, yes, yes! I’m also very happy to do it with you. Such a good idea!
Disa: Yeah, I know. I mean I’ve been speaking about this project with you for quite some time now. We spoke a lot about how important it is to highlight and bring awareness around all the people in our industry – especially women as well. As we both know we are very few.
Rinat: We are very, very few. We should absolutely speak about that too.
Disa: Absolutely. I spoke to Rhi regarding that you know, that there aren’t too many women in the industry. Women trying to break free and get high positions. So, I think it is still very important to speak about that topic.
Rinat: It is very important. I think this industry is dominated by men and you know… well I will take bring this up in the interview! But I completely agree with you and I think this is a really cool concept basically. I think we need to speak about this. Everyone should be aware of this. The more you speak about it, the bigger the change.
Disa: Exactly. Because people will be aware of different situations and being able to do something about it. Also, as women, we encourage each other to actually apply for the job you really want to have, try to climb and do progress in the company.
I will start with the first question to you and this is Rinat Shamir by the way, for everyone that is watching this episode. Why don’t you tell everyone how we know each other? Because I think you are much better telling this story than I am.
Rinat: Well, I will never forget that night. That is one thing for sure! Basically, we met in Berlin at the Conference, I think, 4 years ago? Corona confuses me completely. Something like that. It was at this birthday party which you organized for the previous Owner (He was the head of Acquisition). We already chit chatted before on Skype and everything, but from that night it was a love story. I found my little sister. That’s how we met and from that point it’s a history.
Disa: Because I remember this so well. I was working as an Affiliate Manager at Dunder Casino, and it was Adam Webber’s 30th birthday, our head of acquisition. It was on my plate to organize this party and all our affiliates and partners were invited, like some kind of VIP treatment to celebrate his properly. So that was the first time I met you in person.
Rinat: Exactly. We already worked together before of course, but it is so nice to see the people in reality and how it can change the dynamic and the person whom you always see behind the computer. I think it is very important to meet your clients in real life, it does change everything.
Disa: Yeah. Especially for you. Because you have such a charismatic personality. You’re always smiling, and I remember I told you in the beginning that you were so fierce, and that people almost were a bit afraid of you.
Rinat: I’m not scary, come on!
Disa: But I remember you said like ‘’ What do you mean by that?’’. I simply said that you’re such a fierce woman who was working for a big Affiliate network and men should be kind of afraid of you. Not feeling feared, but ‘’ Oh, this lady – she’s tough and don’t put up with everything!’’.
Rinat: Army girl!
Disa: Yes, the army girl! And you’re from Israel.
Rinat: Yes, that’s why I chose the green clothes. Just like an army girl. So, I could match during the interview.
Disa: Yes… and as said, I know you come from Israel. But why don’t you give a little background of where you come from and how you started to work within this industry, the Igaming industry from the beginning.
Rinat: So basically, as you said, I’m from Israel and I used to work in a completely different industry before I started to work in Igaming. I used to work for an Advertisement and PR agency. That’s what I used to study at the university as well – Marketing and Communications/ business. I was completely into that business and that’s what I thought I was going to do for the rest of my life.
I like PR, I like to arrange things. I think I’m really a salesperson, push stuff. That’s who I am. But I found out that it made me feel very bored to work for the local market, only the Israeli market. I wanted to do something bigger.
Then a friend of mine, who used to be in the Igaming industry (not anymore), told me that she thought I would do very well as an Affiliate Manager. So, I decided to seek the opportunity and looked at LinkedIn. I put my CV out there – and from that moment, the rest is history. That is how I entered the Igaming industry.
Disa: When you put your CV out there, on LinkedIn and tried to get a job as an Affiliate Manager, was there a lot of casino related jobs in Israel by then? Or how did you find out about IBEX where you’re currently work? Or have been working for a long time.
Rinat: Basically, I did not work at IBEX from the beginning. I started to work for a Casino (Casino online/operator). IBEX was my client, that’s how I got in contact with IBEX and how I met Nathalie. We had a really good contact and it was a client I could trust and everything, was always handled in time you know. I really liked the way the worked. I started to work for a Casino and after 1,5 years’ time, something around that, I decided I decided that I wanted to develop and seek a new opportunity within this industry. Then IBEX offered me a job.
In the beginning I always said that I knew they’re great – but maybe I wanted to relocate to London or something and that I might should’ve searched for a job there. It was my dream to move to London in the beginning. But then I decided that I wanted to go with this opportunity – and I am really happy I did. I think it was the best decision I ever took and yeah, I couldn’t add more to it.
Disa: …and of course, with these jobs that we have, or as an Affiliate Manager or any jobs where we have relations and clients abroad, we are consistently flying over for the conferences etc. We get to experience and explore the world in a different way. Even if you do not live in London, you have been travelling quite a lot during and throughout the years.
Rinat: I think I already replaced 3 passports during these years from all the stamps I have from all the years in the industry. You know Israel is outside EU, so every time you need to go back and forth and get all these stamps. I found myself just replacing the passports! I was flying on a monthly base I think, and I do think this is a lifetime experience, that you should experience. It made me understand myself better and develop. It does give you a lot.
Disa: Yes. These companies really give you an opportunity to travel and experience the world. As you said, develop yourself, in so many levels. You meet different clients, different backgrounds, different cultures, exploring new cities…we’re citizens of the world nowadays, aren’t we?
Disa: Just the way we like it. Why don’t you tell us a bit more about IBEX?
Rinat: Basically, IBEX is an Affiliate network – which specialize in the Casino industry. We are doing what we’re good at, which is to serve our customers and the publishers. But we’re also in the other hand, dealing with the casinos. We make sure that the publishers are getting the best help and we monitor their traffic and for them to achieve the best from it, the monitorization. For the casinos we make sure they have the best positions, the player acquisition and that everything is being handled perfectly. Getting them the best players and doing everything 100%, if not even more, if we can. That’s basically what we’re doing.
IBEX was built in that sense that we are working with exclusive affiliates, exclusive publishers and that we’re only running with casino related publishers, of course. I have the background and the history within this industry, so I have connections and know a lot of people. This is also have I’ve built my network. We also have our own channels and sources that we push through. We’re also developing traffic inhouse. We’re not just an affiliate network, we’re actually publishers ourselves.
Disa: I mean I’ve been working with IBEX throughout my whole career when I used to work for several casino operators. Which countries do you have available at the moment? What kind of traffic do you have at the moment? Let’s say we have some operators watching this. If they want to push more with you, IBEX, where can they expect traffic and players from?
Rinat: We were always focusing more on the European market, which include all the Scandinavian markets – Demark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. We also have all the German speaking, The Netherlands, Australia and Canada, New Zealand – which is outside EU. We have a little bit in the French speaking markets, but we’re focusing more on the white labelled markets. That’s where we see the main profit from.
We are always seeking new markets, and everything can be created. You know, those are the main markets, but we can also get traffic from other small markets not mentioned. Those I mentioned are mainly the biggest ones.
Disa: Yes. It’s a matter of supply and demand. So, let’s say that there are a few publishers out there who want to push a country or a GEO that you currently aren’t pushing, they can always sign up on IBEX website? Your platform?
Rinat: Of course! I can tell you about so many times when Affiliates signed up and told me they need traffic from ‘’ Guatemala’’, just to give you an example. It wasn’t Guatemala in the case, but it is not a problem to match what the client need. If there is a market we’re not having, I can also say ‘’ sorry, that’s not a market we’re focusing on right now’’. I think if we look at the bigger picture, we do try to give an answer and serve our clients in order to meet their demands. All the kind of levels, countries and whatever they are looking for.
Disa: That’s great. As I said, I have been working with you closely over the past years, with Nathalie and IBEX in general. I know for sure you do provide great KPI’s on volume – but also, value. Sometimes, obviously, you will push more volume, or you need less volume but higher value. It is a two-way street and it depends on your traffic and the Casino operators.
What do you think Casino operators in general need to have in mind when they start to work with an affiliate network for it work properly? Because it is not just about the traffic you’re sending. The partnership has the be there. What would you say is the biggest mistake the operators do? What can they do to make sure they are maintaining a better relationship with their affiliate networks?
Rinat: So…basically I think it is a really great question. Go Disa. It is a really good question for the simple reason that people in the industry, in general, know that that product is the money. Many people don’t really what is meant by that. I think it’s really wrong. We are here to give the best of everything we can. But there is so much more. There’s a lot of trust also. It is very important for us and that is why we have been running our business like this for the last 9 years.
More than that, especially for small sources like smaller SEO sites, mailers or stuff like that – it is very easy and comfortable to work with us. Basically, you can test with a few brands where it’s going better for you or not. You will still have time to do your marketing and other things from the side as you don’t have to deal with 20 affiliate managers and just focus on 1. You will still get the answers and everything you need at instant, at one place. There is no stress and you won’t have to rush things. The payments will also be on time.
As I said in the beginning, the trust and the relationship are really important. I am very loyal to my clients. People who worked very closely with me over the years – can’t say anything else. First off, I am very loyal to myself as well, that’s who I a as a person. It is so important that I can trust you, that you have a good name and that they’re good people. It’s also a big part of the game.
Disa: Yes. I couldn’t agree more. From my point of perspective, I used to work for a Casino (an operator) and now switched side to an affiliate network. I’ve seen the struggle – the good and the bad. There’s pros and cons from both sides, which I think is very important. You have to go into a new partnership, either if it’s from the operator side or the affiliate side, working with a casino, with a great partnership. Both of you are responsible to make sure everything goes well.
If you’re a Casino with a tight and small budget – You have to be very strict, with your affiliates. Just be honest from the beginning and set up a plan. Set up a plan. ‘’ Okay, I can only do 20 players and have a cap (set number of players) on certain things ‘’. On the other hand, from the affiliates side, you need more time to grow the traffic and see what works for that casino. So, it is key to have a very open conversation and as you said: Always make sure to be there when needed.
You will meet clients who are like you and me, very chatty. We like to be out there. Then you have other clients who like to base everything on their excel sheets, they rather not spend time or have a weekly skype conversation. You need to tweak your relationship and give your client what they are requiring.
Rinat: Definitely. I couldn’t agree more. I think this is also why our business relationship, if I put our friendship relationship on the side, is so good. We could really understand each other and our mindset. In the end, you should dance the dance. You should really feel your client. This is the most comfortable feeling. If it doesn’t work – there’s enough fishes in the sea. So, all is good.
Disa: What would you say have been the most rewarding part of your job? What have been the most rewarding part of your journey?
Rinat: I think, basically, when I moved to Amsterdam. I think it was a big switch in my life because, as I said, as you mentioned in the beginning, when I started at IBEX, I used to travel a lot. I told myself, why do I have to travel so much every month if I can just simply move. I think that was a lifetime experience that I also did not wanted to give up on. That part was definitely the part that changed my life.
See me now! I’m still living here, and I can understand that this was the best part. Maybe not the best, but, exciting part with this company. Without them (IBEX) – I wouldn’t be able to do that. They’re in Israel and of course as an Israeli, I like to go visit Israel. My company and my people are there. But it is great that you can experience the European lifestyle and visit your clients more often and easily. You don’t need to handle all the rest.
Disa: I mean, especially, this industry – is yet very young, in that sense. I agree as well! It is so rewarding that the companies allow you to work from wherever in the world more or less, if the company give you that opportunity. Most of the companies, or maybe not the most, but many companies do that! It is so beautiful for the employees that they can still fulfil their dreams and live in a different country or city, from where they grew up… and yet having their career in front of them! Do what they actually love and that’s just a win-win for their companies and employees.
Rinat: Exactly! I think it is really smart actually and the companies should understand that if they see potential in someone, they need to raise it. They need to invest in her or him. Not just to break their legs, if you know what I mean. They need to push the employee to go up in the company and by the end of the day: It’s a win-win situation. Both sides will benefit from that.
That’s what I had at IBEX. I wanted to go up. I already a lot of people before but because I’m social, fun and everything. Fun on the side, the business really helped me to achieve my goals and get to the next level. I couldn’t be more thankful than that.
Disa: Bravo IBEX.
Rinat: If Nathalie is seeing this now! It is not because I want you to raise my salary!
Disa: So, I’m going to round up this interview with four fast questions. Or 4 questions that I want to direct to you, in order for people to get to know you a little bit more.
Would you rather choose PPC ( Paid links and positions on search engines online) or SEO ( organic traffic from search engines and websites online )?
Rinat: To be honest, I’m still thinking about it. I’m not sure… maybe SEO? But don’t take me by the word – it might be my future client or job! I don’t know… but maybe SEO.
Disa: Would you prefer to live in Stockholm or in Oslo?
Rinat: I haven’t been in Oslo yet. So, it’s a bit hard to say. I heard really good things. Stockholm is in my heart; you know I told you already – I love Stockholm. I like Sweden, I could come there like 5 times a year, easily! So, when I’ve been in Oslo, I’ll let you know.
Disa: I know you love Stockholm and you do have a thing for Swedish people. Obviously, you like me and many other colleagues.
Would you consider yourself to move back to Tel Aviv at some point?
Rinat: Definitely. I really miss my home. By the end of the day, especially for people who haven’t visit Israel yet, does not understand what a magical place it is. I feel, I mean I felt, really lucky to live there and near the sea. Such amazing weather, such amazing food and it is a really fun place by the end of the day. You can do whatever you want and I think now when I moved to Amsterdam, don’t get me wrong as I don’t say Amsterdam is not a nice city, there’s a lot of things I appreciate more with Tel Aviv… which I did not see before.
You can clearly see the difference when you live in a city where the sun in always shining. Where there’s sea and the days are longer. I think by the end of the day, I like that Tel Aviv combines that with the city life. This is a small city, so there aren’t many places where you can find this in the world. That’s one of the reasons why it makes it so unique and different.
Disa: I’ve been there for 24 hours. For a very short meeting. I can’t say that I saw Tel Aviv.
Rinat: I believe you saw the hotspots.
Disa: Yes. I went to some hotspots. I went for dinner, a cocktail bar…which was amazing as well. I really loved the vibe in Tel Aviv, and I wish to go back in the future.
Rinat: Yes! With me!
Disa: Yes, I would love to go there with you and explore. Now to the final question.
What do you think your clients appreciate the most about you?
Rinat: That I’m a very loyal person and I’m not saying this, only because it’s me…I do think I’m a loyal person and that’s a drive in me. If I’m doing something, with all the fire inside of me; I’m doing it all or nothing at all. For me, everything should be 100%.
That’s a reason why I’m still with IBEX by the end of the day. I like to invest in things, just like in a relationship, work or whatever there is. If I do not invest in things, there’s no reason to start things if you know what I mean. Why would I start from the beginning? In order to do so, you need to be loyal to yourself, the process, your work and the company. Otherwise win during your progress. That’s why I believe people like to work with me.
Of course, I’m not just saying you need to be loyal internally – but also on the other side, outside.
What else…I think I’m a fun person to work with. I can be very silly- but yet professional when needed. Ufff… I’m good at telling you a lot of good things about myself! I think we can stop there!
Disa: Yeah, I think you’ve given a right image. You’re very loyal, professional and you’re a great person to be around. I for sure enjoyed my time when I was working with you. Now; I just enjoy working next to you. We give each other great tips and advices when we see each other while travelling around the world.
If people watching this and don’t work with IBEX, they should obviously do that and work with you as well! They will have a lot of fun times.
Rinat: Definitely. I think what is most important by the end of the day, is to take it easy and enjoy the process and don’t stress. It’s fine, we all do mistakes in the beginning, I did mistakes. This is how you grow up and within the company and that’s the most important tip I can give – Just be yourself.
Disa: Just be yourself. Thank you so much for!
Rinat: I’m so happy to see you, even though it’s only via the camera! Unfortunately, Corona/Covid19 doesn’t let us visit each other! But we will.
Disa: I know, I know. But we will see each other soon, I guess. You were supposed to come over to Malta and meet some clients in July hopefully?
Rinat: I hope… we have to see how it progresses. This is the longest time over the last 4 years, since I’m staying home. I think it was 3 months ago, when I managed to ‘’escape’’ to Tulum, Mexico… and from that trip I came back to my cave in Amsterdam. So, I didn’t travel since then. Malta would be great in July. It depends on the situation.
Disa: We’ll see. We are taking our pre-cautions and hopefully we’ll see each other soon and catch up, face to face.
Rinat: Would love it!
Disa: Thank you so much and I’ll speak to you soon!
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