Albert Lazarito, VP of Business Development, CECashCECash Albert is the most recent addition to the CECash team.
CECash Albert is the most recent addition to the CECash team. With nine years of online affiliate management experience, his tenure includes PlatinumBucks and Silvercash. Along with his honors sociology degree and active MBA, his corporate management experience includes the Canadian head offices for Toys "R" Us, Polo Ralph Lauren, and operating his own mainstream marketing firm. His primary strengths are in sales, marketing, operations, new business development and business strategy. He is also a well known and respected panel speaker in the online affiliate market.
Arguably, the online adult industry had widely considered itself "recession free" or "recession proof." What are your thoughts?
In my personal experiences and the nine years of operating in the adult space, I personally held similar thoughts of our industry being recession proof. However, I am more than confident that our industry and non-adult-related industries would consider our economic conditions to be more challenging than ever. Along with the abundance of free content on the Internet, increased competition, increased credit card processing regulations, and a limited talent pool of professionals to select from, this equation reflects a declining online adult market. Although this may be perceived as a "pessimistic" outlook, like any market we are simply evolving. Our current time may very well be a market correction that is heading into a cyclical swing of a matured business model.
You have recently joined CECash; how would you describe your transition?
I joined CECash in mid-November 2008. I had a fantastic experience with the team at Silvercash and I certainly respect the operations and personal empire that president and CEO Mike Price has built. In turn, my transition to CECash has been exciting, chaotic, and humbling. With an amicable departure from my previous organization, I was presented with a number of amazing opportunities; however, CECash was simply the best fit. I have had a long-standing relationship with their management team and their commitment to secure me as an executive team member was an immeasurable statement that I will forever be grateful for. I am joining a rich history of affiliate marketing pioneers and most impressively, they were one team that was experiencing a growth phase (in the subscription-based paysite market) in a declining market.
My personal transition has been very exciting. Being born and raised in Canada, then moving to Riverside, California, and now into Los Angeles, is a journey that has really challenged me to become a better and more self-confident person. I truly believe that opportunity is presented to each of us; however, it takes courage to follow your dreams and leave your personal comfort zone. Needless to say, the CE team has been supportive with my personal relocation and there is no doubt their patience for me to be "settled in" is not only appreciated, [but] another sign of their long-term commitment to keeping their team members happy. The entire CE office has been welcoming, and I have the opportunity to learn from a talented team.
Operating in the subscription-based model of affiliate programs, it appears that traffic has become more challenging to acquire. Do you agree? And if so, why?
In my opinion, traffic has become more challenging to acquire ... ultimately making business more challenging to operate profitably. As previously noted, the abundance of free content on the Internet has detrimentally impacted the paysite model. The main challenges include the increased competition with other affiliate models (dating, cams, VOD and unlimited download models), payment solution regulations becoming more strict, [fewer] webmasters with quality traffic entering the market, the decline of e-mail and SEO marketers, the convergence of DVD studios entering the online market, the rise of social networking, and the overall increased savvy-ness of the surfer. Beyond all of the above, the global economic conditions have rapidly declined, the previous business strategy of "imitation" has simply saturated every market sector, and more specifically, the pay-per-sign-up model is not in the best interest of the paysite operator for risk management and cash flow.
If you can provide one single piece of advice to an aspiring webmaster, what would that be?
The power of relationships is immeasurable. I am confident that establishing true and genuine relationships are important in every aspect of business. I believe "networking" is too transparent. With the lack of "personality" in our technical world, the online community is attracted to people who are strong relationship builders. Anonymity is a dynamic that is unique to our global market of doing business, so it is refreshing to do business with people you truly like and will take a genuine interest in your life. And it's those "real" relationships that will help you acquire traffic, assist you in locating a job in a declining market, help you be a better market researcher, help you be a better leader, and certainly the greatest benefit is when a business relationship can turn into a real friendship!
What are your primary objectives in your new position with CECash?
My primary objectives, or at least short-term goals, are to simply build their trust in me. In turn, the best means to build their trust is to perform, complement their existing management chemistry, and be a strong contributor to generating profits and new opportunities. I am confident I can accomplish all of these things and can allow the executive management team to be able to "sleep a little easier" at night. If this is accomplished then I have done my job. Trust can be built over years and lost in seconds -- I plan to be here for a long time!
This article originally appeared in the December issue of AVN Online. To subscribe, visit AVNMediaNetwork.com/subscribe.