Rarely does the affiliate market in Eastern Europe feature in digital press coverage beyond a scattering of stats and regional comparisons.
That's why, given the opportunity to talk to Juris Čirkovs, CEO of Latvia-based DoAffiliate.net, PerformanceIN wasted little time in getting the ball rolling.
We talked to Juris about what it takes to set up an affiliate network in this part of the world, and the trends that can influence day-to-day operations.
What's the story behind DoAffiliate.net?
Juris Čirkovs: Before creating DoAffiliate.net as a finance affiliate network, we provided IT solutions to banks. That was how we first got familiar with the channel. We knew the niche had flaws, and with our IT experience we could improve accounting accuracy. For that, we had to come up with our own unique IT solution.
At DoAffiliate Our strongest point is the IT knowledge we acquired while working with banks, so we had to expand the knowledge and create a network.
When our own platform was built, we started to gather publishers and the reason it went so well is that they loved the system we built. Our accounting accuracy was one of the best available and this aspect has kept improving up to this day. Right now, DoAffiliate.net has over 200 campaigns and 3000 publishers for the finance market, which is continuing to grow itself.
From your perspective, what's the state of digital marketing in Latvia at present?
JC: Digital marketing is something that changes all the time across the world and Latvia is no exception. All tendencies and trends are industry-specific. Financial services, for example, has a very different set of digital priorities than the entertainment sector. What's important to a high-tech financial brand might not be as important to a retail group. This is something we work on daily, because each country has it's own working model.
DoAffiliate.net is based in Latvia, but our working field is way bigger. At the moment we cover Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and Mexico. Latvia was a good place to start, because a lot of world-class brands in finance are actually Latvian companies, and that gave us an option to increase the number of countries we can work in.
What affiliate-related trends dominate this market?
JC: We are focusing on finance, because this is the field where we have worked from the very beginning and know every little aspect of it.
It is hard to say what trends dominate in the market, because as long as affiliate focuses on one niche, it can get noticeable results. If there is one new trend in terms of platform, then it is CPI offers for apps which has been a growing market. But any trend and every niche can bring results as long as it is taken seriously.
Within the last six months to a year, what stands out as the company's major milestones?
JC: We invested in our resources to provide payouts to publishers before we receive money from clients. This particular feature is called Fast Payments and it means our publishers can receive money for their work a few times over the course of the month.
Another huge aspect was increasing the number of countries we work in. The last countries we added to the list are Mexico, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania. An important part of what we do is that we provide accounting not only automatically, but also confirm all this data with our clients. This helps to improve conversions and increase income for our publishers, which has always been our number-one goal.
What developments can we expect to see within the next six months from DoAffiliate.net?
JC: Overall our main priority is to increase income for our publishers and provide them the opportunity to earn as much as possible. This is the reason why we focus on accounting and report forms; we differ from a lot of networks due to the fact that 95% of our campaign data is available right away in both clients' and publishers' profiles.
We are also working to improve the speed, security and accounting in our platform. As part of this, we are using a cashing structure, which makes data to process in the background and means clients and publishers receive everything as fast as possible. For accounting we have sorted all data that allows us to have huge databases, which provides easy configurable reports. Having a postback method also gives our publishers an option to receive all transactions to their websites via API.