Alexander Vasekin. CRO at PropellerAds. Well done is better than well said

Professional growth, personal challenges, risks and affiliate marketing
Alexander Vasekin PropellerAds interview roma seet

Alexander Vasekin, is a Chief Revenue Officer at PropellerAds, one of the biggest companies in the affiliate marketing industry. Alexander is in charge of overall revenue of the company. Aside from his daily operation tasks he also finds and develops new businesses and projects which can potentially generate additional revenue for PropellerAds.

This interview is a must read for anyone who is interested in personal growth, career development and current state of Affiliate Marketing.

Get in touch with Alexander via Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/vasekin/


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Leadership and execution

Alexander Vasekin PropellerAds interview roma seet
Alexander Vasekin. CRO at PropellerAds.

What was your biggest professional challenge ever?

When I decided to close my own business – a web development & media agency company – and joined the PropellerAds Team in the middle of 2014.

My first challenge was to build a new Creative Department from scratch. It was a completely new process for the company, so nobody expected possible results at that point. But after several months we got fantastic results and in that moment I realized that I’d made the right decision.

 If they can do it, why can't you Click To Tweet

What do you tell yourself when you face a challenge?

Just do it 😉  People often struggle with routine tasks that many have mastered before them. So if they can do it, why can’t you?

Also, I clearly understand that mistakes sometimes happen. It’s normal, and you shouldn’t make a big deal about it. Just keep on working, keep on trying and the results won’t be long to come.

Little things often tend to have a significant impact on the bottom line Click To Tweet

What do you consider the biggest success within PropellerAds?

In PropellerAds, several business divisions are related to Web Push Technologies. When I was in charge of the Push Business division, we’ve created a great enterprise and built an excellent ecosystem: Push Ad Format, Propush.me, Offer API (RTB/Waterfall ad exchange) etc. 

I’m proud of the fact that PropellerAds was the first company to establish Push Notifications as an advertising format and has been in the leading position in it ever since.

Alexander Vasekin PropellerAds interview roma seet mac kyiv
PropellerAds team at MAC conference, 2019

What contributed to that success the most?

Frankly, you just need to be in the right place at the right time. I think, these are the factors that helped us achieve success:

  • We’re a well-known ad network with several ad formats
  • Hundreds of thousands of publishers and advertisers trust us
  • We have an excellent ad network technology
  • Our processes are ready to scale if we decide to implement additional ad formats. 

Our main goal was to make people believe that push can become the new ad format and get proof of concept. And now it’s obvious that we’ve reached it, and even more.

When you’re up against the wall, when you feel like you’re facing a dead end, try looking at the situation from the outside and from different angles. Click To Tweet

What is it that most of the others neglect and you never do?

I always try to have the broadest possible view of the situation and evaluate it from different angles. It’s a lucky coincidence that I have upgraded my “helicopter view” superpower in PropellerAds 😁 It helps me see all those little things that you can miss at a first glance. And these little things often tend to have a significant impact on the bottom line.

When you’re up against the wall, when you feel like you’re facing a dead end, try looking at the situation from the outside and from different angles. Highly recommend it!


Self improvement and inner growth

The main secret for a good work week is a good rest on the weekend. Click To Tweet

What books helped you to grow over the course of your professional life? 

Reading books takes a lot of time, so I prefer shorter summary articles on the current agenda and additional professional education. For example, during the MBA program you get a lot of information from hundreds of books in a very quick and efficient way. So I’d recommend getting involved in various educational programs, it could be more worthy of your time and faster than just reading a book.

I have a particular interest in several topics and focus my education on them: Operational Management, Project Management and Strategic Management. 

But sometimes I read books too, for sure 🙂 Mostly on vacations.

How do you prepare yourself for a new working week?

The main secret for a good work week is a good rest on the weekend. You need to be able to reduce stress and restore balance in your free time to be more productive and engaged during your business hours.

After some mindful resting, on a Sunday night, I usually plan my tasks for the upcoming week. It helps me structure my thoughts and make the work process smoother and more productive.

But, of course, in such a large company as PropellerAds and in my position, one does not have the luxury to ever forget about work. My job demands involvement. I believe that a good leader cannot be detached from the company processes but rather must be deeply immersed in them. So, for me not a single day off goes by without analyzing statistics and reading our chats in Telegram.

What do you do differently?

There are no secret recipes for success. Everyone does the same things, the main differences are how and with what approach you do it. I am motivated by the quote of Benjamin Franklin – “Well done is better than well said”. If you are sitting idle, the result will never come.

What lectures or talks can you advise anyone to watch?

I am always compelled by lectures related to self-motivation and speakers who tell stories of their own success. After all, only practicing speakers can deliver real value in their talks. For example, there are a lot of similar videos on TED. When watching them, one can easily slide into envy. But it’s very important to critically process the information you receive and instead of getting envious, cultivate the motivation to reach the same heights. 

How do you stay productive during the day and what you do when you can’t do anything?

Getting enough sleep is important to stay productive.

Of course, sometimes it’s not enough when things get tough. In this case, I try putting the task off and doing monotonous, routine stuff instead or taking a short break. All in all, switching the activity helps me start the day over.


Affiliate marketing

We are even thinking about releasing our own ad fraud protection software. Click To Tweet

Is ad fraud a big problem for the industry in general and PropellerAds in particular? 

Yes, this is a really big problem indeed. No wonder that more and more fraud prevention solutions are entering the market. We also devote a lot of time to addressing this issue and develop our own internal products that solve it. In addition, we have a huge Policy team that monitors the quality of traffic by minute. We are even thinking about releasing our own ad fraud protection software.

Lately, I’ve seen a huge number of networks that don’t have their own inventory, which means they are simply reselling someone else’s traffic. And this is where ad fraud appears.

I am sure that Popunder and Push Notifications will remain in the lead. Click To Tweet

Can affiliate marketing be 100% white hat kind of thing? Give us a few examples?

Yes, absolutely. Take verticals such as eCommerce and Lead Generation, for example. They are 100% white-hat. Also, PropellerAds has many big advertisers that work transparently and without any cloaking mechanisms.

What do you see as the biggest format in your portfolio for the next 3 years?

I am sure that Popunder and Push Notifications will remain in the lead. Perhaps, the Interstitial ad format will occupy the Popunder niche.

Google and coalition for better ads seem to be on a ride on popunders.  Many of the major adult sites are already taking the pops down. Your thoughts on the regulations? Will pops be substituted?

We do not foresee and do not expect any radical changes for the Popunder market.

What is the biggest threat you see for your company in terms of any sort of regulations by major technology players or legal institutions?

I believe that the establishment of legal standards is beneficial to the market and we are closely monitoring the situation. But when “big players” get into the game, it is never good news because they rarely act on anything but their pursuit of commercial gain.

Do you know what are the biggest verticals that are run via propeller ads?

Sure. Our top verticals are Finance, Dating, Sweepstakes, eCommerce, Utilities, CoD, Microloans. We cover almost all popular verticals, except adult.

Is there anything I didn’t ask you and you would like to tell me about?

Quarantine is the time when we all suddenly lost the most important thing – communication. So we launched a new online project – Affiliate Leaders Online. A full-fledged analog of an online conference, only in an even more exciting format.

Thanks for the interview!


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