How will your approach differ from Urban Gillström's at the top of Tradedoubler?
One of the key differences between Urban and myself is our differing backgrounds. I come from a performance marketing background, working both in Europe and the U.S. I am also taking on the role of Tradedoubler’s CEO after transforming its performance in the UK & Ireland, so I already have a good grasp of Tradedoubler’s strengths and its weaknesses. I’ll be combining that industry and company knowledge with a clear, results-driven focus to ensure that we concentrate on what we are best at. We are going to deliver the value that all our customers, advertisers and publishers, are looking for.
Additionally, I hope to bring a strong operational focus to the business. Our goals will be clear and all of our resources focused on delivering them.
What’s your biggest priority and how do you intend to achieve it now that you are in the CEO role?
RW: One of our key strengths is our unique footprint. We do business in more than 30 countries and I don’t believe that any of our competitors can ever hope to match that. One of my initial priorities will be to make sure that the whole network understands our vision for the business and then focuses on implementation.
What will be your biggest challenge?
RW: While we have retained a strong customer focus within our client facing teams I believe we need to have even higher standards for delivery in our supporting functions. I will be working closely with our Finance and Technology teams to make sure we are working towards market-leading solutions for our clients.
Why do you think Tradedoubler’s share price is at a low ebb and what steps will you be taking to improve it?
RW: I don’t believe that the current share price reflects the inherent financial strength of the business. After all, we generated 3.5bn euros in incremental revenues for our clients in 2011 and we recently made announcements about clients such as Expedia, CDON, Three Mobile and HMV to name just a few of the big brands on our client roster.
I do believe that being able to communicate a clear strategy and focus for the business is absolutely key and we’ll be doing that at our upcoming Capital Markets Day where we’ll also define the operational deliverables around the strategy. After that, it all comes down to execution.
How do you hope to grow Tradedoubler in the markets it has recently launched into like Latin America?
RW: We have had a fantastic start in the Latin American market. Many of our largest pan-European clients have decided to partner with us as we expand into the region, so we are entering the market with immediate business. With the opening of our office in Brazil we are driving local sales activity as well.
How will you encourage the development and interaction of new and existing advertisers?
RW: One of my greatest disappointments on returning to work in the UK market was how stale and predictable the industry was becoming. It felt as though we, as an industry, were going through the motions and that we had lost sight of the real value we can bring to our customers through innovation.
Our approach at Tradedoubler will be to expand the reach and the quality of the new business we drive for our advertisers and work very closely with them to create the solution that is best suited to their needs, whether that’s a sophisticated Private Network solution for our bigger clients all the way through to a Public Network fully managed by Tradedoubler. The key is to find the correct fit for each advertiser.
On the publisher front, we are expanding our publisher facing teams globally in order to give even more local support in delivering the best and most relevant business for our advertisers.
Our goal is to bring a new level of engagement and relevance to international Affiliate Marketing. I don’t want to compete for mediocrity - I want to re-define our business.
Where do you see the future of performance marketing in three years’ time and how will Tradedoubler be taking advantage?
RW: It is clear that different types of traffic are evolving at an incredible rate, so keeping in touch with the cutting-edge trends among publishers is vital to the long term health of our business. While social and mobile are currently on the rise, the increasing speed of technology means new developments on an almost daily basis. Initiatives like The Zoo Project, the first-ever affiliate marketing business incubator which we launched in 2011, helps us keep in touch with the most relevant new traffic types and understand how we can harness these for our advertisers.
At the same time we get to give something back to the Affiliate industry, in a fiercely commercial world it’s a great feeling to be involved in supporting grassroots affiliates and aspiring entrepreneurs.