Performance marketing in Germany has been evolving at a steady pace over the last few years. One of the country’s main protagonists, Belboon, gives us its opinion on market share, attribution, incremental sales and EU data protection reform.

Read on to hear the performance marketing network’s managing director, Manuel Kester, share his thoughts on the industry.

The German Performance Industry Seems to be as Competitive as The UK, How is Belboon Maintaining its Market Share?

Manuel Kester: Yes, I would say that is definitely true, the German-speaking performance marketing sector is very competitive. Belboon is one of the three leading performance marketing networks in the German-speaking market and is able to call on its ten years of experience in the affiliate marketing business to maintain our position. Since 2009 we have focused on the UK and France as our international growth markets. We offer our customers a broad range of services including retargeting and mobile advertising alongside classic affiliate marketing channels such as voucher codes and email marketing. In addition we are always working on new technologies and solutions to make our platform more attractive and user-friendly for our advertisers and publishers. Over the years, Belboon has become known from both the publisher and advertiser side as having an excellent level of customer support, thanks to its fast reaction times.

Is Belboon seeing a multi-channel desire from clients looking to integrate other performance channels in their campaigns such as display and search?

MK: We have a very broad range of services, which makes it easy for our customers to be active in several online channels. The combination of display and search is only just one possibility. We are seeing an ever increasing demand for the combination of the online and mobile channels. We have seen mobile traffic increase enormously. Belboon has seen an increase in mobile affiliate marketing of around 315% between the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2013. Apple products have made up the largest share of this activity, traffic from Apple devices makes up a total of 75% of mobile traffic. In the first quarter of 2013 64% of mobile traffic has come from iPads, which currently make up around two thirds of all mobile purchases.

What sort of demand are you seeing for last-click alternatives?

MK: We are seeing demand for alternatives to the “last cookie wins” model throughout Europe thanks to more detailed analysis of the customer journey. We are seeing some German partner programs use alternative commission models which also reward other affiliates along the customer journey in addition to the last touch-point. However, compared to the UK we are not seeing this as a major topic. In the UK we can see that because of the strong market presence of cashback sites there is a drive towards a model which rewards multiple points along the customer journey such as price comparison or voucher code sites. If there would be a similar development in Germany then I would imagine that an alternative to “last cookie wins” would emerge.

Are you seeing much in the way of incremental sales from affiliate marketing in Germany?

MK: Of course we believe that affiliate marketing can drive incremental sales and we see this as an important part of our performance marketing business. In Germany we are seeing the market change quickly which makes it even more important for us to keep up and offer the most up-to-date models of affiliate marketing

How close are you to offering affiliate tracking on mobile for all clients?

MK: After extensive testing, we have found that Belboon’s tracking technology is compatible with all mobile devices, whether this is tracked from the desktop site on a mobile device or from a mobile optimized website. Since m-commerce is still a relatively new development, only around 20% of our advertisers have developed mobile-optimized sites. However, over 80% of these have already implemented Belboon tracking on their mobile sites and we are working with the rest to help them to implement.

In addition, since 2012 we have also offered “cost per install” (CPI) tracking for mobile apps which allow advertisers to track when an app has been downloaded and successfully activated by the user. In addition we are also able to offer CPC campaigns for our mobile customers as part of our portfolio of managed services.

Are you concerned about the forthcoming EU data protection reform?

MK: Just as with all large performance networks, we keep up to date with changes to EU data protection laws. We keep our customers up to date with the most recent regulatory changes which can affect them and any changes to EUR data protection law will be no exception.

What innovations are Belboon working on for release over the next year?

MK: Belboon is always developing its network to help our customers to reach their goals. However, please understand that at the moment we are not in a position to announce anything new. But watch this space!