Affiliates4u caught up with ex buy.at founders Malcolm Cowley and Paul Fellows, along with Matt Bailey, to discuss what the new venture Performance Horizon encompasses, and how Affiliates, Advertisers and Publisers can benefit from their new technology.
What is Performance Horizon - Can you supply a brief overview of the idea?
Malcolm Cowley (MC): First two things I’d like to say are its great to be back and to avoid any confusion we are not building buy.at 2!
The Performance Horizon idea was born out of needs in the market, previous experience and the vastly superior technology that is available today. Everything we are selling is built on our own true API which makes for an exciting proposition. This is not a service led play but more technology as a service enabling Agencies, brands and all performance related partners to supercharge their business, take more control and add a previously unavailable level of transparency. Lead generation in particular is an area we were keen to provide that transparency layer to. Brands want to spend more in this area and our business Leadsbox is perfectly positioned to help.
At our heart is a platform for managing performance partner relationships and making sense of the customer journey. You will find that many of the long running wish lists on all sides have been taken care of.
Do you have any backing currently or is it a private venture?
MC: Yes we have taken on investment from venture capital firm DN Capital who are backing our vision. It was important to me for the group to have the best start from day one, having their money behind gives us credibility and enables us to scale quickly from day one.
A platform for launching Performance Marketing Products, what areas of Performance will you be working with at launch, and do you expect to expand into other areas of the channel?
MC: We wanted to start in the areas we have the most experience in which is affiliate marketing (Performance Mash) and lead generation (Leadsbox) and get that piece right. In the future we will serve the needs of the clients we have as to how we incorporate other useful additions. Its natural for agencies to want everything in one dash and in order to make full sense of the customer journey which is part of our vision we would need to incorporate more of the performance piece.
What are the key factors that makes your 'unique technology platform' a must-use going forward?
Paul Fellows (PF): As the performance marketing channel matures, there is an ever increasing need for fast data analysis which allows the client to understand their traffic, spend, and performance. The ability to process, manipulate and present data as fast as possible is at the very heart of our technology. PHG's technical architecture has been designed to tackle a well known issue regarding speed of reporting, and ensuring that data is delivered to the end user as soon as it happens. There are various features within our system which demonstrate this, from the real-time stats overview page, through to the flexible pivot reporting section, which allows the client to see their data in the way they want to see it.
Can the Performance Horizon platform help Affiliates to maximise their web properties - have you any examples of how an Affiliate could do this?
Matt Bailey (MB): Firstly, the fact that our tracking will operate in real time gives affiliates the confidence to invest their time and resource in driving sales for clients knowing that they will have immediate visibility of the success of the campaign. Affiliates will also have access to never seen before levels of reporting that will allow them to optimise activity and understand what is successful and what maybe doesn't work so well.
Secondly, due to the way that we have built the system on the back of our proprietary API, we are able to add functionality incredibly easily and incorporate 3rd party tools without long development times. This means that if there is something that affiliates want, then we can either build it ourselves very quickly or integrate the best things that other people have built to help our partners drive sales.
What's on offer for Advertisers with Performance Horizon?
MB: First and foremost the opportunity to take greater control of their performance marketing campaigns, and fully understand the impact that it has on their all important bottom line. The functionality available within our interface is built based on the teams extensive experience of managing a whole range of performance marketing campaigns for clients and therefore incorporates the best elements of everything that we've ever wanted to do or been asked for.
As understanding of the performance channel grows, the most important factors for clients are the ability to offer bespoke approaches for individual partners, or groups of partners, and to have easy and quick access to the full picture in terms of data to allow them to make informed purchasing decisions for each partner, rather than operating a one size fits all approach across the whole campaign. Our platform has been built to allow this, putting control of the performance marketing activity firmly in the hands of those who understand it best.
Finally, Where do foresee the biggest growth for Performance related areas over the next
MB: My personal view is that more and more channels will move under the "performance umbrella" going forward. There is a growing desire to invest a greater percentage of marketing budgets into performance based metrics, regardless of which predefined "channel" it has previously sat in. I think increasingly, display and paid search will move to operate on a CPA metric and newer channels such as social media and mobile will move this way too.
This brings great opportunities for existing affiliates and will benefit Performance Horizon as we continue to offer a holistic performance marketing tracking, reporting and management solution.
For more information regarding Performance Horizon - contact Paul Fellows on firstname.lastname@example.org.