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Meet the Manager: Web Partners' Cynthia Milano

By Stephen Carter

Head of content

Cynthia Milano, affiliate team leader at Web Partners, lets us into the secrets of what keeps her so driven after 23 years in affiliate management, why you actually win when you lose and what she loves about dancehall music.

Explain your day-to-day as an affiliate manager in 15 words or less. I review communication channels, prioritise needs, accommodate affiliates, mentor the team and run reports.

Where are you based for work? Show us the view from your desk!  Web Partners’ offices are located in the Central Valley of sunny Costa Rica! I work three days from home and two days at the office.

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How did you get into the industry? Did you know about igaming beforehand? Twenty-three years ago, I was working in the marketing department for a bank in Costa Rica. I took three months’ maternity leave and when it was time to return to my job, I came across an advertisement from a company recruiting part-time personnel. I thought it was an excellent option at that moment of my life and I applied knowing absolutely nothing about the igaming industry. To this day, I think it was the best professional decision I’ve ever made!

What excites you about your role? What do you most look forward to? The affiliate marketing industry can be highly competitive so determination is a quality that helps me stay ahead. I think working that bit harder or being more innovative than our competitors can give our programme and affiliates an edge, ensuring better results. Being highly self-motivated is also important to sustaining a long career. I need to keep on top of industry trends and technical developments so I am always honing my skills.

What is your biggest current challenge as an affiliate manager?  For me there are many challenges but fraud is one of the most important. Working with affiliates means creating partnerships with third parties. In the fast-paced world of igaming, it can be very hard to vet every partnership and perform due diligence. The inherent risk of working with affiliates is that you are working with the unknown, allowing fraudsters to take advantage of situations.

Which skills are essential when developing strong networks with affiliate partners? Are these the most essential qualities to being a successful affiliate manager? Interacting with people is a large part of an affiliate manager’s day-to-day work. Whether it’s through email, phone or in face-to-face meetings, we all need to have great social skills and build relationships easily.

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Building relationships is an especially crucial part of the role. There will be times when the unexpected happens and you need to call in a favour. It’s a lot easier to resolve problems if an affiliate manager is on friendly terms with everyone in the industry. Affiliate management also involves juggling a lot of different projects, so it’s crucial that we’re highly organised. A good affiliate manager will be able to run numerous projects at once and keep on top of the small details as well.

Who are your favourite partners to work with and why?  I enjoy working with all types of affiliates, as their needs vary from one to another and that allows me to stay active and focused throughout the day. However, I must say I like to work a lot with social media and SEO affiliates.

What makes Web Partners unique in the industry?  We have established a proficient and comprehensive marketing affiliate team. Our dedicated account professionals exhibit remarkable responsiveness and adaptability while skilfully managing accounts with a passionate commitment. Every member of our team is driven not only by their exceptional skills and experience but also by a genuine passion for their work.

What is the most overhyped sector trend or product, and why? You can’t say ChatGPT! For me it is remote/hybrid working. It’s not that I don’t believe in the importance and relevance of getting remote and hybrid work “right” in a world grappling with the realities of Covid-19. It’s also not that I don’t believe that remote and hybrid working are part of the future. But perhaps people are losing valuable social skills that from my perspective are imperative to being social individuals.

What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self? My advice would be that losing is winning. When you are 15, you have great expectations about the future and start preparing yourself to succeed in everything you do. When the first failure happens, you are not prepared for it, but looked at in retrospect: when you lose, you actually win! What do I mean? Well, I mean you gain experience, self-management, valuable lessons and, most importantly, the ability to overcome any situation. That is in reality what success is all about.

"I need to feel that pump of energy all the time, so I listen to dancehall music"
Cynthia milano

Tell us something most people don’t know about you or would be surprised to learn. My music preferences! Every time a person gets into my car or approaches me while I am concentrating or focused, they are usually shocked about the music I am listening to. I need to feel that pump of energy all the time, so I listen to dancehall music. I know, it’s weird, ha-ha! Wellbeing has become an important focus across the industry. How do you look after yours? What role does the company play?  A person’s wellbeing encompasses physical, mental, emotional and financial health. My motto in life is to enjoy everything I do every day, no matter how big or small, personal or professional. If it is important to me and if it contributes to my happiness, I enjoy it. Nowadays 58% of the world’s population is spending one-third of their life at work. So creating a positive work environment that supports employee wellbeing should be a critical concern for every business leader. My affiliate director cares about us as a team and focuses not only on results and statistics but the overall wellbeing of ourselves as human beings. That aspect means the world to me.

Where can affiliates find you online? Reach out to me on LinkedIn.

Are you an affiliate manager or know someone who is and would like to be featured? Get in touch with Amy Cunnington.

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