With just three days remaining until Earlybird entries close for the Performance Marketing Awards 2014, the pressure is certainly on for those still yet to submit their entry!

If the entry deadline has managed to sneak up on you there is an extra week to submit your case for a Performance Marketing Award, with late entries closing at midnight January 31 2014. (Please note that additional charges apply to late entries)

If you’ve got your eye on the Best Managed Affiliate Programme award then you’ll have to fight off the likes of Tradedoubler, who have picked up the award two years running. We spoke with Tradedoubler’s Ky Ismet on their win with Hotels.com in 2013.

Ky reveals what he feels is the secret to a successful affiliate programme, how important it is to work closely with your clients to meet your objectives and highlights the topic of multi-channel consumer engagement as a trend to watch out for in 2014.

How did it feel to win such a competitive category?

Ky: Tradedoubler was delighted to win the Best Managed Affiliate Programme award for a second year in a row at the 2013 PMAs. The award was a testament to the strength of our relationship with Hotels.com and our collaborative efforts in building an innovative and appealing affiliate programme. The high calibre of the fellow nominees in this category only emphasised the progress we have made on the Hotels.com account, which we were proud to showcase during 2013.

Why are events such as this important to the performance marketing industry?

Ky: Knowledge sharing is increasingly important in a fast paced, competitive industry such as performance marketing.

As a network we look to celebrate success and share best practice wherever possible, from the research and delivery of our market intelligence to product development.

Events such as the Performance Marketing awards generate awareness for the latest innovations in affiliate and commend those who continue to push the boundaries. Similarly we look to share our own network learnings at our Connect events several times a year, again giving our clients and publishers the opportunity to showcase new findings. For example at our Travel Connect event we presented a case study with Hotels.com.

What do you feel made you stand out from the other contestants to make yours an award winning entry and do you have any tips for future entrants?

Ky: Hotels.com had ambitious objectives and we worked closely together in order to meet these. Our entry highlighted international growth, mobile innovation and partner engagement across multiple channels. However it was ultimately the compelling results that we were able to deliver that really set us apart. For a mature programme like Hotels.com to continue to grow and reinvent itself is really exceptional.

What industry trends do you foresee in 2014?

Ky: We have seen the introduction of new technology developers in 2013 and expect to see more innovation with regards to targeted messaging, new customer acquisition and retention this year.

Multi-channel consumer engagement will continue to be a large focus for merchants and publishers alike, with more emphasis on mobile. Tradedoubler will continue to drive home the importance of the mobile channel with exciting plans in the roadmap for 2014, building upon the developments of last year.

In the travel sector we are likely to see even more of a focus on margin and program efficiency. This will ultimately lead to merchants looking into new ways to incentivise partners.