JOBS IN GAMES: Strategy Director career profile

Our Jobs In Games special, in association with OPM, continues to explore the various career paths open to those in the games industry.

Today, we talk to Alex Croft, who is Gem’s Group Strategy Development Director – but what does that even mean?

How would you summarise your role?
Very broad and never dull.

There are various elements to my role which make it both interesting and challenging – looking to develop new service propositions and offerings, maintain and improve trading relationships, and also to capitalise on the unique position that Gem Group enjoys in being able to offer all of our partners a ‘one-stop’ service solution for all manner of different retailers, suppliers, brand owners and manufacturers.

How did you get your job?
Gem had identified a desire and requirment to expand and diversify into a variety of new and different business areas – all aimed and improving the overall service offering, revenue opportunities and ultimately to help ‘future-proof’ the business. As I had spent a significant amount of time in the ecommerce, multichannel and digital marketplaces, in addition to having a fair amount of time in both retail and the software industry, the ‘fit’ was a good one.

What special skills or qualifications did you need?
It sounds like a clich but the best qualification is time and experience within the marketplace. I have been in the software and entertainment industry for more years than I care to remember, and within that time have been lucky enough to make some great friends and forge some strong relationships – that is a key part of longevity and success in business.

Combine these with a strong set of products and services to sell and there are always opportunities out there. Ialso have a languages degree which has been handy along the way.

What is the best part of your job?
I work with some great people who are passionate and driven – with an industry that is both exciting and ever-changing it is always a buzz to explore new ways of doing things and innovative ways of offering content, technology and services.

What is the worst part?
The M25.

What tips would you give to anyone applying for a similar position?
Do the hard yards, understand the customer, keep it simple, listen.

What are your long-term career plans?
Keep enjoying it, always add value, embrace change.

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