Publisher Spotlight: Top Benefit Schemes
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Rachael Wardley and I’m a Partnerships Manager with Top Benefit Schemes.
Can you introduce Top Benefit Schemes? What’s the story and the core business value behind the company?
Top Benefit Schemes (TBS) is part of the Top Online Partners Group, which also compromises our consumer business TopCashback, the number 1 cashback business in the UK. TBS is the specialist white label part of the Group which runs cashback and loyalty points programmes for some of the biggest companies in Europe, including Banks, Supermarkets, Insurance Companies and Employee Benefit Providers. In the Nordics, we operate the ViaTrumf Programme for NorgesGruppen.
The Group is privately owned by the original founders, who established the business some 15 years ago. We now have nearly 250 staff globally, with cashback programmes live in the UK, USA, China, India, Europe and Russia. The whole Group proudly operates to our “Fair Play” policy and principles, which ultimately means that every one of the team treats our members, merchants, suppliers, clients and staff in an honest, fair and open way, underpinned by a very ethical approach to business-driven by our owners.
Tell us about your co-operation with Trumf
We started operating the ViaTrumf programme nearly 5 years ago, since when it has grown from strength to strength and is now the largest cashback programme in Norway, and one of the leading programmes in the Nordics.
We work closely with the team at NorgesGruppen, in an effort to continually improve the service, by adding new advertisers, improving member communication and refining customer experience.
What do you most enjoy about affiliate marketing?
I’m a people person and love building strong relationships with Account Managers to help promote their brands. As I’m responsible for adding merchant’s on Viatrumf it makes my job a lot easier not having to source the brands/promotion offers direct.
Tell us more about Trumf´s audience and what types of advertisers do they work best with?
ViaTrumf members are customers of NorgesGruppen that shop at their grocery stores, earning Trumf points from their grocery shopping and through the advertisers that are accepted onto the ViaTrumf program. In total there are over 2m registered Trumf members, who represent a cross-section of the adult population in Norway, both demographically and geographically.
Advertisers from all sectors achieve strong incremental sales as a result of being on the programme, with travel historically being very popular. Obviously the challenges this year have meant that particularly overseas travel has been badly affected, but with the more customers moving to online purchases as a result of the actions taken to try and mitigate the significant health concerns, sales for other advertisers have grown rapidly.
What would you say are the biggest benefits for an advertiser working with Trumf?
Advertisers will see significant, tangible benefits from working on the Viatrumf programme including being able to drive strong brand association with NorgesGruppen’s very loyal, trusting and active member base.
For the larger advertisers, that provide a strong CPA, involvement with the seasonal promotional calendar of activity is a real benefit, with sales from being part of their email activity some of the very best we see globally.
How long have you worked in the affiliate marketing space? How long have you had a relationship with Tradedoubler?
Personally I’ve worked with Tradedouber Norway since I started with Top Benefit Schemes just over 5 years ago, prior to this, I worked with Tradedouber (UK) in a previous Account Management role providing rewards for the NHS. The wider Group has worked with Tradedoubler globally for virtually 15 years since inception, with TBS active with the TD team from day 1 in Norway. Indeed, TD was the first network we spoke to in the Nordics when we were to launch the ViaTrumf programme in 2015.
Have you seen a change during that time?
Clearly 2020 has seen huge changes for all of us, and these will continue to be felt for some time yet by every one of us. More generally, technology has obviously developed significantly over the years we have been operating, both our own and the networks that we work with, including TD’s. Probably most marked though is the change in consumer behaviour, and their requirements for improved customer experience, linked to mobile-first solutions and the ever-greater thirst for immediacy.
Where do you see the industry going?
In the immediate short-medium term, the impact of COVID-19 will inevitably drive everything, and for all of us, it will be a question of trying to support each other through the huge challenges this will continue to bring.
More generally, we think it will likely be more of the same in the sense that consumers will continue to want more, quicker and easier, which will have to be underpinned by technology-driven, mobile-device solutions.
Balancing those consumer demands, with the understandable need for increased regulation around privacy and data protection will prove to be interesting.
Where do you think is the Affiliate space heading to in the next year and what are the main market disruptions?
From an affiliate space perspective, we simply have to be able to be hugely efficient and agile to deal with those issues mentioned above. The next year is going to prove to be the most challenging that all of us will have ever known.
What’s been your greatest experience working with Tradedoubler?
We’ve always enjoyed working with the team and the people. Right from the early days when TD helped us understand the Nordic market as we looked to establish the ViaTrumf programme and introduce us to some of the key advertisers, the team have always been helpful. On a personal note, with great AM relationships at TD, I have learned about many local customs and traditions and if I could easily get across to Stockholm (without flying) I’d love to meet the team face to face 😊.
Do you have any upcoming promotions, new launches, or exciting news & plans you would like to share?
Obviously the recent issues have meant that a number of plans we had for some potentially very exciting new publisher programmes in the Nordics have inevitably had to be put on hold. That said, we remain very confident that TBS’s involvement in the Nordics will grow over the medium term both through our very successful association with NorgesGruppen’s Via Trumf programme, as well as our other plans ultimately coming to fruition.
In the immediate term, obviously, we have started to think about the promotions and activity required Q4, and I’d be delighted to talk to any advertiser about what is available for the ViaTrumf programme and how they might want to be a part of it.
Thank you, Rachael, for the interview and the insights!