Congratulations are still in order following your win last year. How did you enjoy the evening?
"We always approach the awards with trepidation because alongside our clients we've enjoyed a lot of success over the years and are convinced that sooner or later this good fortune will run out! I think the thing that gives us most pleasure is seeing the hard work our more engaged advertisers put in with their respective account managers rewarded.
"It's fantastic to see Sky, Red Letter Days, Debenhams, BT, RAC and Expedia triumph knowing how hard the teams have worked on those accounts. And of course, from a network perspective it's great to be able to tell everyone who works day in day out behind the scenes that their hard work is appreciated by the wider community."
Eight months have passed since the awards ceremony, how has winning one of our awards aided you on a day-to-day basis?
"We love exhibiting the awards in the office and we're immensely proud of them but you're only as good as your last meeting so it's crucial we remain focused as a business on delivering excellent service in a transparent and ethical way every day."
What do you think it is that makes the community vote for your network year on year?
"I can only make an educated guess but I've always maintained that ultimately a network has to do three things well: tracking, reporting and payments and these three things sit at the heart of our business. This may sound relatively straightforward but in order to ensure we maintain high standards across the board there are dozens of people working behind the scenes to ensure all the processes run smoothly.
"Beyond that we've always been determined to be open and honest, so whilst we don't always get everything right we'll always work tirelessly to ensure we resolve the issue, no matter how big or small."
Is the competition hotting up between other networks in the space?
"There have been some interesting network developments this year as well as a number of high profile individuals from those networks leaving to move into the agency or affiliate space. There's no such thing as an easy client win these days and this is where the competition between networks is hottest.
"Whether it's the economic climate or something else there hasn't actually been a huge amount of big advertisers switching networks but that said we do have a few new high profile merchants launching over the next few months."
Do you feel that as a network you made as much ground during 2011 as in previous years?
"2011 has been an interesting year for us with many of our bigger projects happening behind the scenes. One of these has been focused on harmonising the Affiliate Window and buy.at platforms as well as the speccing out of a whole new reporting interface and the population of the Darwin Marketplace. We've also being doing a huge amount of work around compliance, investing heavily in our infrastructures to protect both advertisers and affiliates from fraud and unethical activity."
What new factors within the Performance Marketing space do you think are keeping networks on their toes?
"As an arbiter a network will always face scrutiny from all sides, so we have to ensure we're delivering the highest quality service equally to agencies, affiliates and advertisers. This is a difficult thing to balance and continued investment in all three is a constant. From my perspective I've been really focused on the emergence of mobile in the affiliate channel, ensuring we're well prepared for a surge in both interest and traffic from mobile devices."
How do you see the network space changing over the next 6 months, if at all?
"See above! We've seen mobile traffic nearly quadruple in the past year and that growth will continue to accelerate. We'll see a tipping point, maybe not in the next six months, but in 2012/13 where advertisers will expect a mobile affiliate strategy alongside their traditional desktop affiliate programme.
"By the middle of next year we hope to have some exciting rollouts as a network as well as launching some fantastic new programmes. Ultimately we're all working hard to ensure that, even if we don't strike lucky at the awards next year, we're making some positive changes to the industry.
Interview with Strategy Director, Kevin Edwards at Affiliate Window.
Save the Date - 15th May 2012
The Performance Marketing Awards will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on 15th May 2012. If you would like to be a part of next year’s awards, by sponsoring the event or booking a table contact Stuart Pringle email@example.com or phone 0117 203 3013.
For more information or for any queries on entering the Performance Marketing Awards contact firstname.lastname@example.org.