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Five performance insights

Five performance insights


Performance marketing's an intricate channel to those on the outside looking in. There are few resources aimed at anybody new looking to gain basic knowledge on the concept - the yearly a4uexpo London conference is one of those few resources.

The event’s Knowledge Zone provided an intimate environment to not only discuss some key topics currently occurring in the industry, but also give those new to performance marketing a basic grounding. It proved popular, often so popular that attendees clamoured at the rear of the Zone to hear the information being bestowed on the seated audience in front of them.

Mark Haviland, Managing Director at Rakuten LinkShare, helmed a session titled, ‘Advertiser and Publisher 101: 10 Insights’. He used performance as the base for an interesting presentation that was perfect for any rookies who were new to the space. If you missed it, here are our top five takeaways from Haviland’s session.

Marketing’s complex

An obvious statement, but one that should be ignored by performance marketers at their peril. Haviland specifically alluded to the complexity of the UK. He believed the sovereign state to be one of the most elaborate marketing environments on the planet.

One slide displayed figures taken from a November 2011 SkyID report that showed 50% of advertisers use seven or more channels. Finding like this have caused a rethink into how marketing departments operate. Many are now split into so-called ‘silos’ that are responsible for a single consumer engagement channel.

Display landscape

There aren’t many channels that provide clearer evidence to complexity than that of display advertising. The sheer volume of companies involved in the marketing subsection can be incredibly overwhelming at times as shown by the image above.

Consumers are complex too

A4u recently touched on consumer rationality as part of its coverage of Dr Mike Baxter’s keynote at a4uexpo London’s. When it comes to purchasing Joe consumer can bring about many a headache to even the most seasoned marketer.

Consumers aren’t only pigeonholed into the gender category. There are other aspects to their background that demand much consideration when tailoring campaigns including race, culture, religon, language, nationality, politics and socio-economic whereabouts.

We’re not going to go into detail on UK immigration policies on these pages – that’s best left to the broadsheets. It is worth noting, however, that much of the various complexities in the UK’s marketing landscape could be blamed on the ease with which people move across the country’s borders. Such policies have both positives, thanks to the mix of talent entering the country, and negatives in just how complex it is now for marketers to target consumers.

Emergence of internationality

The European Union is doing its level best to erode the borders of its member states, a fact that major hardware manufacturers are trying to ignore when launching products. For example, Amazon’s Kindle Fire was launched in the UK almost a year after it started shipping in the USA.

Cross-border commerce

Findings from the annual EU digital scoreboard revealed that while 58% of internet users on the continent shopped online, only one in ten have purchased from a website based in another EU member state. The percentage is some way from its 2015 target of 20%.

Language barriers and red tape, such as the refusal to deliver, were the biggest problems. We have to ask why these are still problem in the mass globalisation of today’s businesses. Language can easily be solved with the help of freelance translators and competition among couriers is driving shipping costs downward.

Affiliate is on the up

Rakuten LinkShare’s recent research collated by Forrester was reported on some time ago by A4u, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important now. Haviland chose to bring up several of the report’s key findings again to prove the value affiliate marketing holds today.

CPA spend is on the rise, which is good news for the benefactors of an advertiser’s income. New customers are being announced all the time. We can vouch for this at A4u - barely a day goes by without us receiving a press release announcing a client win.

CPA’s purpose of rewarding consumer action is an obvious pro for advertisers. However, Forrester’s research has also shown promotions to have a positive impact on brand reputation, which is a big plus that’s sure to drive even more client expenditure.

General perception regarding the type of customer affiliate marketing attracts veers towards that of the money saver. Voucher sites can be blamed for much of this image, but they needn’t be as the perception is clearly false. Forrester has proved the affiliate model not only attracts higher spenders, but often closes the sale too.


Businesses' models are now being built from the ground up to give consumers a virtual shopping list. Fashion outlets are vying for consumers’ impressions by attempting to collate the season’s best clothing under one, easy-to-navigate roof.

Social’s having its say on the topic as well. Take Facebook’s attempts to join the already established sites like mytrouvés, Polyvore and Lyst. The network’s hoping to give consumers the means to bring together items they’re looking to purchase in one place with the launch of its Want and Collections features.

The impetus of the performance industry no longer appears to be on giving consumers a site where they can purchase goods. Instead, web development hours are being spent on providing consumers with a catalogue of products that makes it easy to curate potential purchases.

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Simon Holland

Simon Holland

Simon is the news and research reporter at Existem. Previously a technology journalist, he now spends his time investigating both future and developing trends in performance marketing whilst producing editorial content for

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