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Q&A: MDNA's David Ayre on Treading the Line Between Display & Affiliate

Q&A: MDNA's David Ayre on Treading the Line Between Display & Affiliate

Powered by Admedo, MDNA’s background has been as a technology company, but its expertise in affiliate marketing, combined with a transparent approach, gives it a unique placement within the performance industry.

PerformanceIN is excited to announce MDNA as a key sponsor for Performance Marketing Insights: London, and with the clock ticking down to the event, we caught up with the group’s performance director, David Ayre, to talk about what we can anticipate from this year’s conference, MDNA’s positioning between display and affiliate, and more.

Why was it important for MDNA to sponsor Performance Marketing Insights: London this year?

David Ayre: We are very excited once again this year to be attending, and to sponsor the event. MDNA has attended two of these events now and we have found them to be very useful for us. We've met a lot of great contacts through the stand and it really is the best opportunity for networking with our industry peers.

As a new publisher within the affiliate industry, connecting with advertisers and agencies is key to our business and Performance Marketing Insights provides us not only with a platform to do this, but also the chance to learn from veterans of the industry.

What’s changed for the company since we last saw you at PMI?

DA: In the last year, we have made significant changes to our technology platform and to our core business structure. The release of new platform has enabled us to compete with much larger players in the industry than ourselves, but has also meant that we have been able to fast-track our plans to create a one-stop platform for all display activity, that is both usable and cost efficient for our clients.

In addition, we have started using our industry knowledge to provide a performance marketing consultancy to a number of clients, who are either just starting out on their affiliate journey and require some support, or lacking the required resources to maintain and nurture affiliate relationships. So, it is an exciting time for the brand and I am sure next year we will see many more developments as our brand goes from strength to strength.

How would you describe MDNA's position in the world of performance marketing?  

DA: In a word, unique. I know everyone says this, but MDNA are the only DSP that can offer clients programmatic retargeting and prospecting activity on a true performance commercial model. Performance and transparency is at the heart of everything we do at MDNA and we believe that this is crucial to our position in the world of performance marketing.

The industry is ever changing and this will no doubt continue in the future, but what hasn't changed is the advertiser’s right to work closely with their partners and understand exactly what they are doing for them and how they are doing it. This is our guiding principle and as we grow, we keep this close to our hearts.

As a leader in programmatic, what developments and challenges have the sector's members experienced within the last year?

DA: The sector has always had challenges, but, in my opinion these stem from a lack of transparency from the start. A lack of understanding of something always creates uncertainty, but developments in the education of advertisers and agencies in the last year has helped us grow out of this.

Partners such as MDNA are democratising programmatic advertising and overcoming the challenges by creating a collaborative approach to programmatic, this is opening the world up and helping us see past any challenges.

What’s the advantage of attending PMI for those working within programmatic?

DA: Programmatic is relatively new to the PMI, and to the affiliate industry in general. Too often, I have conversations with affiliate managers who explain that they are unable to work with us because “display” is managed by another person in the company.

For companies like ourselves in programmatic, our job is to educate and help bring clients closer together in the way their marketing is managed. Tying together channels - even just online - so brands start to think holistically is our role and by attending PMI, we can start to educate at all levels of the business and bring clearer thought processes together when marketing plans are being devised.

Are there any particular sessions that are simply unmissable for you this year?

DA: The sessions are always very educational and I am definitely planning on making the most of them this year. Obviously, working within programmatic, and close to Trinity Mirror, I will not be missing the first session of the event to gain more of an insight into programmatic from a publisher’s perspective.

New publisher models, tech and content seem to be playing a heavy role in this year’s agenda and I am always interested to see what the new opportunities within affiliate are. I will definitely be attending Clare O’Brien’s session on Day 2, about how performance can chime in on content and native.

Any parting words before we see you in October?

DA: Just to say a massive thank you to PerformanceIN for their events this year, it has been fantastic, I have learned a lot, talked a lot and drank a lot, so it must have been a successful one. I am looking forward to October as we love to get visitors on our stand (Stand #10), but if you want to talk to us before then please do get in touch.

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Mark  Jones

Mark Jones

Editorial Executive at PerformanceIN. Mark reports performance marketing news and manages PI's network of guest contributors.

Originally from Plymouth, Mark studied in Reading and London, eventually earning his Master's in Digital Journalism- before making his return to the West Country to join the PI team in Bristol.

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