On Thursday 28th March 2019, we hosted DisrupTECH, a performance marketing conference, at CodeNode in London.
With the intention to bring together experts in the field of digital marketing tech and create an environment to exchange ideas, fuel debate and inspire every delegate with engaging presentations from industry leaders and influential tech leaders who have shown intentions to disrupt the affiliate marketing channel.
Taking place in London at CodeNode, the UK’s largest venue dedicated to technology events with fantastic transport links and located in the heart of London, the event was packed with many talks and a panel discussion, all encouraging debate and sharing insights into emerging technologies and best practice in affiliate marketing.
With guest speakers from Soreto, Tradedoubler, Global Savings Group, SimilarWeb, RevLifter, Philips, The7Stars, Mindshare and Increasingly, delegates were provided with insights on how to take advantage of the opportunities that lies with technology in our industry, and the event proven to be a great platform for advertisers and agencies to engage with publishers and an opportunity for everyone to make connections and learn from each other.
A Vision for a New Generation of Affiliate Marketing
Following opening remarks by Tradedoubler UK Country Manager, Chris Russell-Smith, it was time for Tradedoubler CEO, Matthias Stadelmeyer to kick off the event with A Vision for a New Generation of Affiliate Marketing.
During the session, Stadelmeyer talked about Tradedoubler product vision of an open platform that will enable automated and transparent direct relationships between advertisers and publishers using blockchain technology for the storage of data, he stated: “we at Tradedoubler, very strongly believe that being open, transparent and collaborative is good for everybody” and outlined how open platform and API “enable partners to develop using our platform to either integrate with own internal systems, connect with tools or build and develop own business streams like mobile apps or other applications”.
After briefly showcasing our recently released brand new publisher interface, he outlined the next steps including “continuous development and improvements of our publisher platform and interface” and the “launch of our advertiser and agency APIs and interfaces later in 2019”.
Stadelmeyer then outlined how “rising technologies like blockchain can help to revolutionise our business” making transactions safer, faster, more transparent and fully auditable for all parties and delivering a lot of additional benefits.
By using blockchain technology for the storage of data, transactional data will be accessible and fully transparent to eliminate fraud and enable the development of new functionalities around payments, reporting and attribution.
“The level of transparency that blockchains could offer is unheard of in today’s affiliate market space”
Find out more about our product vision for a new generation of affiliate marketing.
Referral Marketing Explained
Next to the stage, was Ricki Jones, COO of Soreto, who talked the audience how “social media plays crucial role in driving sales and influencing purchasing decisions” and outlined how “referrals can be a powerful way for brands to leverage their existing happy customers to win new ones”.
Setting the scene with the impact of social media on ecommerce, “it’s not only huge scale that social media has, it has a highly engaged user base, extremely active when it comes to interacting with the channel” Jones then outlined the process people go through when purchasing something and the thing it influence them.
“83% of consumers trust a recommendation from someone they know”
After outlining the role of referral marketing, the audience was provided tips to implement a successful refer a friend and social sharing campaign:
Tip 1: Make it easy
Tip 2: Give different options to share
Tip 3: Reward your customers
Tip 4: Make it easy for all
Tip 5: Promote the referral scheme
Tip 6: Get personal
Jones then concluded by summing up the benefits of referral marketing before taking questions from the audience.
The Growth of Personalisation in Technology
Following on, Alexander Hold from Global Savings Group, explored why hyper-personalisation has become normal and how companies like Facebook, Netflix, Google and Amazon have made us accustomed to only what we find relevant.
He stated “estimates done by McKenzie, indicates that Amazon retail business is driving 35% of its revenues through its personalised product recommendation” and added that “researches done by Cambridge and Stanford university show that from just 10 likes Facebook understands your personality better than a work colleague, from just 70 likes Facebook understands you better than a roommate and from just 300 likes, Facebook get you personality better than your own spouse”.
The audience were then reminded the important of targeted communication and how it can create revenue growth of 10% to 30%, before outlining how advertisers can create customer loyalty by personalisation and what is the effect of personalisation on the affiliate industry.
“Personalisation is not about high tech, it is about customer centricity”
After a couple of case studies from La Redoute, Dyson and Levi’s, Hold then concluded: “personalisation is an agile tool that has been re-energise thanks to technology, and we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to leverage this technology to drive truly personalised and memorable customer experience.
Competitive Intelligence for Growth Strategies
Following a short networking break, the audience returned to hear from Diana Golovko, Intelligence Consultant at SimilarWeb as she took a deep dive into 3 brands that had a significant growth in their affiliate traffic and undercover the lesson we can learn from them.
With the insights and the data SimilarWeb provide businesses, agencies, marketers and analysts can benchmark performance against competitors, reveal competitor’s online strategy, discover new opportunities, identify emerging trends and understand consumer intent and journey.
“It’s like seeing your competitor’s Google Analytics”
In her first case study, Diana outlined the important of choosing the right partner. As one of the world’s fastest growing OTA, Agoda’s growth is fuelled by referrals traffic and their strategy is to increase their share of referral traffic from partnering with established online travel agents. With 80% of their referrals traffic coming from TripAdvisor, the partnership resulted in high intent audience.
In the second case study, Diana shared why advertisers should invest in native advertising, using Wayfair, one of the world’s largest home furnishings retailer. In 2017, the largest source of referral traffic for Wayfair was from gumtree.com (a classifieds site), followed by sites spanning a wide array of industries, such as photography, general merchandise, TV and video. This year, Wayfair’s strategy was more focused on driving referral traffic from news and media sites, and as a result of a more focussed strategy, they experienced a 32% year on year growth in referrals traffic.
In the third and last case study, Diana unveiled Indeed’s strategy and spoke about the importance of establishing exclusive partnerships. As the number one job site in UK, Indeed’s focused on strengthening their affiliate partnerships to get more share of voice from each partner, which resulted in an increase in market share from 40% to 52%.
Dynamic Deals & the Future of Personalised Marketing
Following on from this, James Maley, Head of Business Development, EMEA & APAC at RevLifter, talked to the audience about personalisation, and how it can create brand loyalty and offer a clear value exchange for data.
After a short introduction of RevLifter and its leadership team, Maley reminded the audience about the benefits of personalisation “according to E-Consultancy’s Conversion Rate Optimisation Report in 2017, 93% of companies see an uplift in conversion rates using personalisation”. He then stated that “personalisation is not just about personalising towards the customer, but it’s also about personalising towards the retailers and actually we are shifting now from being able to dynamically serve content in real time to consumers but also hit the retailers needs as well”.
“There is a shift in customer expectation and the use of their data: value exchange”
Following on this, Maley tackled why retails often question the “incrementality of an offer and whether the sale would happen anyway” and outlined what do retailers want deals to achieve from personalised deals, before giving away some tactics for personalising travel deals based on rich data.
Maley concluded by talking about the future of personalised deals, covering the like of voice search, online to offline, advanced geolocation, brand direct to consumer, AI based machine learning and NLP.
“The best retailers will personalise offers more cross channel, sell more and be more tactical. The weaker ones who personalise less will fail quicker with one offer fits all”
Shortly after vacating the stage, it was time for our second networking break, and for our delegates to mingle with industry peers, before returning for the last two session of the day.
Q&A: How Technology will Impact Affiliate Marketing
Second to last, was our panel of experts moderated by Amy Lucas, Head of Partnerships & Business Development at Tradedoubler and including Will Leuchars, Sales Director at Increasingly, Mike Fisher, Direct to Consumer E-commerce Manager at Philips, Hannah Johnson, Affiliate Lead at The7Stars and Daniel Sichel, Head of Digital Performance at Mindshare, looked at how technologies have disrupted the industry over the past years as well as what’s on the horizon, discussing the kinds of impacts technology could have on how we work and the results we can achieve.
“New disruptive technologies are changing how we shop, how we sell and even how we experience our digital worlds”
After a short introduction from everyone, the panelists discussed what have been the biggest technological milestones in affiliates over the past few years and more specifically how those advances allowed us an industry to evolve.
The panelists then tackled what new developments are out there and how are we currently using them before discussing how will they evolve over time and what can we see being the future of the industry as a result.
“For affiliate marketers, understanding this new landscape will spell the difference between growth and decline”
Covering the rise of the consumer experience, onsite optimisation, data and automation, machine learning and AI as well as smart technology and brand experience, this was a brilliant panel, with very insightful points being discussed.
5 Things 2018 Challenged us With
Ending the afternoon, James Boden, Global Business Development Director at SmarterClick investigated the challenges of the last year and how as an industry we have faced and overcame them, including the ‘Death of the High Street’, ‘Brexit & GDPR’, ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and ‘Trust & Transparency’.
“There is more pressure, and reliance on our industry than ever before. With this reliance comes increased responsibility and thus a need for increased transparency”
Boden also provided the audience a sneak preview into the future and how disruptive technologies can be utilised to not only overcome challenges but improve customer journey optimisation.
He stated “voucher codes have always been a hot topic and for many retailers are viewed as a necessary evil. This is purely because of the way in which they are used and too often promoted” before unveiling Smarter Click’s latest solution ‘Smarter Codes’ for brands to “take control of their voucher code strategy and give retailers total transparency over their code usage”.
Following the last session of the day all our advertisers, agencies, publishers and tech partners were invited for networking drinks and to continue the discussion.
To sum up, this was a brilliant event with many insightful talks and a great panel discussion, offering a platform for advertisers and publishers to network, build relationships and learn. We were pleased to hear the positive feedback and to host such an inspiring and informative conference, showcasing learnings and best practice from industry disruptors.
From the whole Tradedoubler team, we would like to say thank you everybody who attended our first DisrupTECH event, and a huge thank you to all our sponsors including:
We hope you had as much fun at DisrupTECH as we did and are looking forward to seeing you all again next year, or even before!
“DisrupTECH was a great opportunity to meet fellow colleagues in the affiliate channel as well as learn about new products within the industry and offerings. As an AM of various leading affiliate accounts, it gave me some great learnings and ideas to go back to my clients with and further reach their KPI’s”
Sofia Carey, Acquisition Account Manager, Performics
“Very enjoyable and insightful event, we look forward to utilizing these opportunities to make our affiliate marketing smarter and personalised in line with current users’ behaviour”
Annalie Kaufman, Digital Marketing Manager, Superdrug
“I really enjoyed DisrupTECH, it was great to have such a diverse agenda with really punchy presentations. Definitely came away feeling inspired and would recommend it to anyone in the industry.”
Hannah Johnson, Affiliate Lead, the7Stars
“It was a real pleasure to be invited to take part in the DisrupTech panel on Technology in the Affiliate space. All members on the panel brought a different background and opinion to the table, which meant that the content was really interesting for myself and I hope the audience. We discussed very relevant and important topics that I hope will lead to continued conversations amongst anyone that listened.”
Daniel Sichel, Head of Digital Performance, Mindshare
“Tradedoubler’s very first DisrupTECH conference was extremely memorable. The conceptualization of the conference was top class with a great line-up of industry speakers, who shared insightful knowledge across topics. The format of the conference allowed for easy networking and I connected with a diverse set of decision makers across the UK affiliate industry. It was a pleasure speaking to the highly engaged audience and I am looking forward to DisrupTECH 2020.”
Alexander Hold, Global Lead Dynamic Solutions, Global Savings Group
“We found the event very beneficial and really enjoyed that there was a good mix of speakers and the informal setting gave us a great chance to get to know our industry peers. We also enjoyed the debate with industry experts, this was thought provoking and stimulating and really helped us to understand that the challenges etc. we have are not uncommon.”
Hazel Hanson, TPS Trading & Content Executive
Georgia Varti, Digital Marketing Manager | eCommerce
The Perfume Shop