Zanox bolstered its heavyweight status in the performance arena on Monday, announcing that it would be merging with Affiliate Window in a very real bid to become Europe’s largest affiliate marketing network. This just less than a year after its acquisition of the UK-based company.

The news came as the dust failed to settle around Rakuten’s buyout of Ebates last week. PerformanceIN talked to Yaz Iida, chief executive of the Japanese company’s marketing arm, to discuss some of the deals wider, and perhaps more pressing implications.

Continuing the shakeups, Rakuten Marketing informed customers of a significant rebranding of many of its assets. LinkShare became Rakuten Affiliate Network and MediaForge switched over to Rakuten Display.

Is content really king?

The discourse around content marketing continued. Affiliate Window’s Robert Davinson recalled how restrictions on the rankings of ‘thin content’ by Google Panda signalled a turning point amongst affiliates to start producing high quality media, recentering it at the core of their marketing strategies.

And when the potential value of quality content was realised – gaining audience trust, fostering relationships, engaging new traffic and generating referrals – did everyone follow suit? IAB UK’s Clare O’Brien suggests that performance’s lack of integration with the rest of the digital marketing industry means it is missing out on the inherent revenue opportunities of content marketing.  

Retail therapy

Well underway into the fourth quarter, and with the holiday season looming ahead, Nosto Solutions put together a comprehensive guide on how to get your online store in gear to take on the busiest period in the retail calendar, including mobile optimisation, how to reduce bounce rate and leveraging data.

You will not be surprised to hear that personalisation will appear a few times on the marketer’s Christmas list, something that trbo’s chief executive looked at in detail with his breakdown of how to employ onsite predictive personalisation. This included tips for engaging with the price sensible, the comparing, the hesitant, the spontaneous and the faithful consumers.

Acquisitions and consolidation

With the latest acquisition of Adquant by Kenshoo and Dentu Aegis’s purchase of Covario, it is not hard to imagine the performance marketing industry becoming consolidated – a subject addressed in this week’s Boardroom Insights by Adform’s Jakob Bak.

The company’s CTO believes we should let consolidation wait until we have mastered the complexity of the digital advertising industry. And in this week’s INsider Questions, Matomy Media Group brings to the fore the issue of quality and quantity in performance marketing.