Affiliate Huddle 2018

Last week we attended the fifth Affiliate Huddle event at the Congress Centre in London.

Among hundreds of performance marketers, we had the opportunity to share knowledge and attend insightful debates around Affiliate Marketing. It was also a great chance to network with industry peers, which was so well attended by a strong, diverse mixture of advertisers, affiliates, networks and agencies.

Starting with the announcement of the IAB/PwC Affiliate Marketing study, this year’s event covered a great range of topics, including several talks around the impact of GDPR on the industry, the meaning of AI for performance marketing, as well a series of panel discussions.

 

Highlights of the day

Results from the IAB UK and PwC Study

The headline of the event was the unveiling of the IAB UK and PwC annual industry benchmark study, with this year data focusing only on the affiliate networks, SaaS platforms and major in-house affiliate programmes.

The study reveals a positive story for the industry. Key summary from the study show:

  • Advertisers spent £554 million on affiliate marketing in 2017
  • This generated £8.9 billion sales, up from £8.1 billion in 2016.
  • The market grew 15.1% year-on-year.
  • Affiliate spend on smartphones grew 49% year-on-year.

You can catch up on a full rundown of results here or watch the live presentation here.

 

Series of talks and panel sessions

The day was packed with many talks and panel discussions, all encouraging debate on where the industry currently stands and covering some thought-provoking topics.

After the reveal of the IAB UK’s Affiliate Marketing spend report, the event kicked off with a great talk by Anthony Clements (Connected Path) discussing attribution and the impact on the affiliate channel.

The rest of the morning saw additional speaker sessions including a series of 5-minutes sessions, with a talk on real-time deals personalisation by Simon Bird (RevLifter) and Micky Khanna’s presentation on GDPR.

Post lunch, the first session of the afternoon was a panel with “new faces” of the industry, including Jade Bassett (Direct Line Group), Elliot Myers (GymShark), Graham Murray (AO.com), Lisa Cameron (Leisure Pass Group) and Eleri Jones (The Rodial Group). It was a very entertaining session and provided interesting observations.

 

How to Grow a Mature Program | Tradedoubler

Following on from this Tradedoubler’s Senior Client Development Manager, Mouna Laaragat and Partnerships Manager, Harry Avent delivered a 20 minutes session, sharing tips on “How to Grow a Mature Program”.

Setting the scene with how to identify a mature program and associated challenges the session underlined the importance of relationships between advertisers and publishers and covered topics such as influencer marketing, innovation and data-driven insights.

Here are the key points of their session:

  • Adapt to the growing market

Advertisers need to look at the market, consider emerging partners and opportunities, embrace innovation and new publishers.

  • Review your pay-out model

Standard flat % CPA isn’t a “one size fits all” solution and advertisers need to innovate in rewarding their partners.

  • Build strong relationships

Having a strong relationship with affiliates is key, and advertisers should take time to meet face to face and to communicate with affiliates.

  • Leverage the data

Advertisers should take advantage of the data and learn from it so they can optimise and improve campaigns accordingly.

Staying open minded, sharing internal learnings and feedback to partners and listen and learn from the data were also some of the key take-homes.

 

Other sessions in the afternoon covered a great range of topics including an insightful talk on what AI means for performance marketing by Sri Sharma (Increasingly) and a lively discussion on influencer marketing in a panel featuring fashion blogger Ana Luisa De Jesus.

The event rounded off with the ‘Ask the Networks & Tech Providers’ panel where participants debated the affiliate industry challenges and hot topics.


According to the co-founder James Little, this was the “biggest conference so far”. The Tradedoubler team gave some feedback on the event:

 

 

Chris Russell-Smith, UK & IE Country Manager

“This year’s Affiliate Huddle was a well-paced day with an interesting and varied agenda and it’s always good to see so many old and new faces. The use of Sli.do with the panel sessions adds an interesting dimension.  It’s great to have events like this, that allow the industry to meet, address important topics and share knowledge and experience.”

 

Clement Labbe, Project & Operations Director

“Affiliate Huddle has grown year on year and it’s always a great opportunity to network and gain insights. There have been some great sessions, from the reveal of the IAB & PwC Affiliate Marketing Spend Report to talks covering hot industry topics such as GDPR, Attribution and AI. The series of panel sessions in the afternoon were also very interesting.”

 

Mouna Laaragat, Senior Client Development Manager

“Personally, I think it was an amazing experience. We had the opportunity to learn a lot from the other actors in the industry: having everyone in one place allows us to catch up with publishers and advertisers who we haven’t seen for a while. It is the moment we can take time to remind ourselves the basics of affiliate marketing, and exchange expertise with our peers. It is with a lot of excitement that we have presented “How to grow a mature program” as a great number of attendees have been able to relate to it and are probably facing this challenge. Moreover, most of the key points to take away from it have been recurrently mentioned at different moments throughout the day: relationships are key in our business, listening to partners and transparency are essential which is exactly what the huddle facilitate to do. To summarise I think the Affiliate Huddle is a great event to be able to share industry trends and updates and it has been a pleasure to be part of it.”

 

Harry Avent, Publisher Development Manager

“The Affiliate Huddle was a truly great experience for me. As a relative newcomer to the industry and a first-time speaker I found all those who were involved in the organisation to be incredibly friendly and helpful. The speech topics and panel discussions were extremely insightful and it was great to hear from people who had so much experience in the industry give their say on the affiliate industry and where it is heading. I loved the opportunity to speak and reconnect with people in our industry, it helped me to ease into our talk and relax more, hopefully giving an entertaining and insightful talk. The Affiliate Huddle is fantastic for the industry and I would jump at the chance to be involved once again.”

 

To sum up, this was a brilliant event, with insightful talks and some great panel discussions. It was also great to catch up with old colleagues and meet so many new faces from the industry.

Thanks to James Little and Kelvin Newman for putting it all together again this year.

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