PROFILE WHO’S WHO | Edu Huarte This month: Carousel Group’s Marketing Director
How did you first get involved with the gaming industry? Four years ago I joined one of the top Spanish slot machines manufacturer to create and manage their gaming startup accelerator.
What attracted you to this sector? The attractiveness of the project hooked me, but then I fell in love with the industry because of its people and dynamism. Everything changes so fast that it’s impossible to get bored. Also, who doesn’t love sports? Having a job that in some way is related to sports is amazing. Doing one of your hobbies for a living is a dream come true.
What were you doing prior to the gaming industry?
Before working in the gaming industry I founded to build and analyse surveys. We had some major challenges and so after two and a half years, and burning a lot of cash, we chose to stop! I learned so much in that experience that I tried again with much more success. We created which may sound strange to countries such as the UK, but it was ground-breaking here, and in nine months we reached break-even. We sold the company to a forward-thinking dealership, and the rest is history!
What are you responsible for in your current position?
I’m the Chief Marketing Officer, so I’m responsible for a large part of our P&L. Marketing in the digital age is much wider, and so my role includes the whole player journey, from brand discovery and activation to retention and reactivation.
What have been the biggest industry changes you’ve seen in your time? I’ve seen many legislative changes in Europe and Latin America that have caused us to rethink our strategy a number of times. And it looks like these types of changes are going to keep occurring in the coming months and years. Actually, these changes are one of the reasons why this industry is so dynamic. Everyone has to be very fast and agile to adapt to the new business environment and I love that.
What are the biggest positive factors for your sector right now?
The sector is taking care of its reputation. It’s no longer about making easy money, but
about becoming a reputable and socially responsible corporation and that’s very positive, and very important to me.
And what are the negatives ones – the obstacles to growth?
I believe market saturation, increasing costs to acquire customers and decreasing player values are the most negative factors and obstacles to growth.
Movie: Pulp Fiction or Goodfellas
TV Show: Lost
Looking at your entire career, what do you think was your smartest move? My smartest decisions have been to try to always live outside of my comfort zone. It may sound cliched: but it’s true for me. I’ve been working in very challenging environments for the last decade and that’s something that has pushed me to learn a lot about many different things in business, marketing, strategy, people, and being better at my job.
And the dumbest one?
I believe my dumbest move has been to make a counter-offer to someone who already said that he wanted to leave. If someone says that just leave them go. It’s not very healthy to have someone who is not happy with his job.
Band: Metallica and Imagine Dragons Book: Market Wizards
Food: Spanish Omelette
What do you think the igaming space will look like in ten years’ time? I think a big change is coming; people are less tolerant of monopolies, and their size will be their disadvantage. Some of the companies we know right now will disappear and others will be the leaders; hopefully ours will be one of them!
If you’d never embarked on this career, what other line of work would you have liked to pursue?
I would have liked to become a stock trader. CIO MAY 2019 79
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