Publisher Spotlight: RevLifter
Last week we caught up with Simon Bird, Co-Founder of RevLifter, to find out more about how their AI Marketing Technology service helps online retailers to take control of their promotions delivery and deliver incremental value.
How long have you worked in the affiliate marketing space?
I’ve been a part of this amazing industry for just over 15 years. After starting out in online rewards, I moved across to what was Affiliate Window (now Awin) for a role which saw me attracting brands to the network. I was the first person on the ground at voucher code sites Savoo (sister company of US coupon giant Savings.com) and I led an amazing team which saw Savoo expand into 13 markets globally and also pivot into the charity sector.
I’m still heavily involved in the incentivisation space through my co-founding of RevLifter: a revolutionary platform which enables brands to deliver personalised incentives to customers in the market to buy.
Research suggests the affiliate channel is still growing and, given the promise of RevLifter, I could easily see myself sticking round for another 15 years and beyond.
What have you seen change in that time?
It’s an interesting question which actually feeds directly into what RevLifter does and why it was founded.
For the most part, things have certainly changed for the better. The industry is a lot bigger and more professional than it once was and blackhat practices are largely a thing of the past. We’re seeing a renewed focus on content within affiliate marketing; something which harks back to its early beginnings. There is a clear pathway to future goals around a better use of data, as well as greater transparency between advertisers and publishers.
That said, it’s not all moved along as it should have. While the rest of the digital channels are embracing concepts like programmatic, a portion of the affiliate landscape makes money in the same ways that it did some 10 years ago.
Customers still go onto a retailer’s site, fill up their basket and migrate to Google in search of a discount or cashback to bring the cost down. This process takes the customer experience out of the retailer’s hands and onto sites which are packed with their competitors. We’re looking to change this through our technology, which is keeping things under the retailer’s control while adding personalisation and a data-driven approach to the mix.
Where do you see the industry going?
Truthfully, I hope we really lead the charge for data-driven practices and put ourselves above some of the other digital channels in that regard. We’re in 2018 now and customers expect things that are tailored to their interests. So many networks, advertisers, publishers and tech providers are talking a good game about data, but can they deliver on these promises?
In terms of incentivisation, it would be great to see data being used to give retailers the upper hand in communicating with audiences and building loyalty around their brands.
The short answer to this would be ‘growth’, though, as the industry remains a hotbed for creative talent.
What do you most enjoy about affiliate marketing?
From the perspective of someone at a startup, it’s hard to ignore the fact that affiliate marketing is still a very profitable industry. People have deliberated over the channel’s future and I don’t think processes like our customers Googling for voucher codes have helped in that regard. Yet, it’s still here – bigger than ever – and it’s looking forward to what could be a really exciting period.
I also enjoy the variety of the profession as, given that RevLifter can work for a lot of different brands, we’re not stuck to one industry. That’s been the same throughout my career on the network and publisher side of things, which keeps things fresh and engaging.
What’s the best thing about working for your company?
Affiliate marketing can be a bit cutthroat at times, but the reception we’ve got from members of the community since announcing ourselves has been nothing short of astounding. I love working for a company that people are genuinely excited about, as well as one that could change the incentivisation process for good.
Aside from the versatility I mentioned earlier, another great quality of RevLifter is that we’re global, so I get to attend a lot of different events, in different countries, where I’ll get the overview of big affiliate movements in those areas. It’s always been important for me to keep my eye on events in say, the US or Australia, as these markets are completely different to some of those in Europe.
Globetrotting is actually a great quality of the channel, to be honest; a superb incentive for any budding marketer.
How long have you had a relationship with Tradedoubler?
My relationship with Tradedoubler started during my time at Savoo from 2010. We were on all of the major networks and that list has stayed largely the same, ignoring the odd buyout, merger and folding.
Tradedoubler has always been great to us and it made perfect sense to launch RevLifter on there as well. Here’s to a bright future for us both!
Is there anything that you see drastically affecting affiliate marketing in the next 12 months?
It’s been said, spread and amplified for the last six months, but you cannot ignore the impact that General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have on publishers around the world.
The word on the scene is that databases are going to naturally shrink due to most sites having to go back through their list of users to regain permission to contact them.
Cookie tracking, a hallmark of the practice, will also need to be approved of and we’ve seen some really creative attempts at gaining this. Even so, most of the impact from GDPR has probably been felt behind closed doors. I know several publishers who have been discussing ways of becoming compliant without seriously harming their business.
It really isn’t all bad, though, as this should create better data, based on users who actually want to be communicated with.
What’s been your greatest experience working in the voucher space?
It was an honour to take the MD reins at Savoo and the seven years I spent there certainly goes down as a great achievement at face value. I really enjoyed expanding Savoo across the world, as well as pivoting Savoo UK into the Charity Sector. I also enjoyed helping to pioneer awareness and energy into how the affiliate industry and move into online to offline – basically how affiliates can play a role in driving consumers online into stores (and be rewarded for this). I authored a green paper working with the IAB as well as speaking at a number of events.
I still think my greatest experience is yet to come, though, as we’ve built RevLifter to make a serious impression on the affiliate landscape. It’s heavily inspired by all the conversations we’ve had with retailers about what we could do to make incentivisation a better, more innovative proposition for all involved. With that in mind, it should create some pretty amazing experiences for our team.
Do you have any upcoming promotions, new launches, or exciting news you would like to share?
In actual fact, we have our official global launch in April. Things have gotten off to a great start following our nomination for the Industry Disruptor Prize at the 2018 Performance Marketing Awards, which we’re keeping our fingers crossed for.
We’ve onboarded some huge names in the global e-commerce space and brought on several new staff, but all of this will become clear in the coming weeks.
Our technology might be new, but we’re already working on the next batch of features for it. An example of this is a messaging tout which will encourage users to reveal a special offer, complete with a time prompt to encourage them further. The RevLifter deal pages will also benefit from new algorithms that utilise self-learning to deliver the best outcome every time.
Our advice would be to keep an eye on RevLifter in general as 2018 looks set to be a big year.
Interested in working with RevLifter? To find out more please contact our Partnership Development team.
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