Can you offer some tips for those looking to get into performance marketing for the first time?
Performance marketing is a fascinating and fast-growing sector with high levels of expertise, so read the industry blogs and forums to get a good feel for the industry as you plan your entry into the marketplace.
Trawl your contacts book and LinkedIn pages to get introduced to anyone currently in the affiliate networks, agencies or clients to ask about what can and can’t be done and be prepared to sell yourself as a potential new hire.
Why is it so important to educate those new to the performance marketing industry?
DC: Education is vital to ensure that we’re all delivering on a common agreed goal of excellence. Industry veterans need to share their expertise with young people new to the sector. We have a team of mentors at Tradedoubler who are advising the start-ups in The Zoo Project and the entrepreneurs tell us that it’s one of the most valuable and important elements of the programme.
We need to make sure that we are giving them all the tools to help them drive sales and most importantly we need to communicate just how enthusiastic we all are about our industry. The first few months can be tough!
Is the industry doing enough to educate rookie performance marketers?
DC: I feel like it is improving. With initiatives like the Bursary Scheme, The Zoo Project business incubator and The Expo we’re definitely making inroads. The industry could always do with more coordinated education programs and investment in individuals and in new companies so that ultimately we can all benefit from overall economic growth. I would encourage people to think about how they could contribute.
Who should apply to the bursary scheme and why?
DC: It’s open to anyone with a good idea – whether that’s as an advertiser, affiliate or a technology partner – anyone who wants to get into the performance industry!
It is a great place to meet the right people from the very best companies, hear about the industry and get time with people who can really help you get your idea off the ground or help you join an affiliate network.
Do conferences offer an effective form of education for all levels of performance marketer?
DC: Absolutely – conferences are a fundamental part of the education process.
The Expo caters for all levels of expertise and the wide range of attendees and presentations means that you will always come away having learnt something and with some great ideas!
Why did you decide to sponsor the a4uexpo bursary scheme?
DC: We set up The Zoo Project at the end of 2011, as the first business incubator in the performance marketing sector, to help new entrants to affiliate marketing realise their potential. By sponsoring the bursary scheme we’re extending our support for new talent which is vital to keeping our industry on the cutting-edge of online marketing.
What pointers would you give to a bursary winner who's attending a4uexpo for the first time?
DC: Don’t be shy - we’re all friendly and here to help!
Take time to read the agenda thoroughly in advance and work out what you want to see or hear and who you want to meet. Make appointments in advance if you can and then fit in visits to the stands around your core schedule. That way you’ll have a focus, but you’ll also leave some room for those all-important chance meetings which might end up being the most useful of the day.
Pace yourself. Have fun at the networking party on the first night, but leave some energy for Day 2 and arm yourself with Berocca and a large bottle of water!