As an affiliate, have you ever wanted an affiliate manager to add a touch of spice to your promotional campaign? A month ago, a vibrant new affiliate manager joined the Share Results team and she’s already a hit with affiliates and merchants alike. Her name is Hiba and she keeps the office entertained with her intelligent feedback, bubbling personality and sharp, witty humour. Hiba is a welcomed addition to the team and we thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce you to her via an interview.
Name: Hiba Agha
Role at Share Results: Affiliate Manager
What kind of work did you do before joining the Share Results team?
I was Manager of Research at United Way Ottawa and did socio-demographic research. I also worked briefly for the International Bureau for Children’s Rights, UNHCR, UNESCO, and as a teaching assistant at McGill University. I have never had a gem job at McDonald’s.
What was your first foray into the world of online marketing like?
I had a MySpace account but never used it or understood what it was meant for. Facebook was the first social networking site I actually use, although before that, I perfected my typing skills with MSN chat. I love Facebook, as I get to connect with friends and family who do not live here. I like Twitter for getting up-to-date news and articles from my favourite news sources and magazines. I think that online marketing is interactive and the way of the future but I also think it is unfortunate that the ads and links that pop up when I am online are tailored to my lifestyle. I find that it creates tunnel vision and does not allow me to have choice over what I see and click.
How do you think your past work experience makes you uniquely positioned for your role with Share Results?
I have research and writing skills that make me well-positioned for affiliate marketing. I enjoy conducting research on the merchants, finding affiliates to recruit, and conducting competitor analyses. I also enjoy writing blogs, following forums and understanding the industry.
My last job also involved a lot of engagement and relationship building, which is important in this field too. These skills can be applied to customer relations with our merchants as well as our affiliates.
My last job lacked any creativity and strategic thinking, which is something I get to do in affiliate marketing and this is great as I am a big picture thinker.
What has been the biggest surprise for you since venturing into online marketing, and more specifically, the affiliate marketing world?
I have to say that my biggest surprise has been how developed this field is. For someone who had not really known so much about affiliate marketing, I find that all the forums and discussions as well as the technology and best practices associated with affiliate marketing are abundant. It was as though a whole world of online marketing, and specifically affiliate marketing, was out there and developing or changing all the time. Another surprise was how fast this field evolves. The rules, laws and guidelines are always changing, which is in direct contrast to the non-profit sector, which is generally slow to change.
Biggest lesson learned in affiliate marketing thus far?
The biggest lesson I have learned is how difficult it is to stand out in affiliate marketing. As an affiliate, having a website and putting up a banner does not make you money. It is all about being proactive, being creative and knowing your audience. The same goes for merchants. Having an affiliate program is not enough to make them money. They need to be competitive, creative, and keep their promotions up to date. As for affiliate managers, being proactive is also key.
What other interests do you have besides this position you hold with Share Results?
I absolutely love to travel and learn about new cultures, new foods and new music, and see the world. I am constantly aching to get up and go somewhere new.
What’s the last book you read, or album you listened to?
The last book I read was called Shantaram. It was about a man who escapes for an Australian jail and has the wildest experiences in India, which he also falls in love with and adopts as a home. It made me laugh, cry and want to visit India.
The last album I listened to was “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse as a tribute to a great lost talent.
What are you looking forward to most about working with Share Results and the online marketing industry as a whole?
I am mostly looking forward to learning everything there is to know about affiliate marketing and getting a little better at it every day. It is a job that requires multitasking and the ability to take on a new strategy when the existing strategy does not work. I am also looking forward to seeing how this field will mature and adapt to the ever-changing online world.
To read some of Hiba’s insightful blog content, click here. You can also keep up to date with her future contributions to our blog via Facebook
and on Twitter