With entries open for October’s inaugural International Performance Marketing Awards, this series looks back at the winners of the Awards’ UK ceremony in April, gathering insight into the mechanics and inspiration behind the industry’s newly-decorated campaigns and companies.

Today, we’re talking to Rob Berrisford from Button, this year’s winner of the Best Affiliate Marketing Innovation award at the Performance Marketing Awards 2017.

First of all, let’s have a recap. Could you give us a quick overview of the campaign that won you the Award?

Rob Berrisford: Our submission was focused on Button’s platform and our mobile affiliate solution. We’ve learned from publishers and advertisers that mobile is plagued with challenges, and Button’s platform is designed to solve them. We’re bringing the principals of sophisticated mobile marketing and measurement to the affiliate space, and the adoption we’ve seen among our partners proves there’s an appetite for something new.

What is it about this technology that’s pushing boundaries within performance marketing?

RB: Traditional affiliate companies were built for the desktop era, meanwhile Button was built for and meant to solve the unique needs of today’s leading mobile companies, especially for loyalty and deal-oriented brands.

We’ve tackled one of the biggest weaknesses we’ve seen in mobile affiliate, where marketers have traditionally been limited to a one-size-fits-all approach to customer acquisition and associated offers and commissions; through our customer segments, we offer the ability to bring first-party data to our platform thereby empowering our merchants to pay only their desired amount to acquire new customers or re-engage existing ones. Better yet, we offer immediate reporting and the ability to dynamically change offers and spend in real-time, built right in.

Additionally, Button’s attribution and affiliation have proven so accurate that we have a near zero missed order rate for our partners, fixing a common pain point for affiliate marketers frustrated by inconsistent mobile tracking and reporting.

Could you touch on the process of how the idea of Button was arrived at and built into a complete product?

RB: As one of the executives at Rakuten, Button’s founder Michael Jaconi was able to see first-hand how mobile was changing everything across the digital landscape. He realised that growth wasn’t being driven through Apple or Google, but by companies inventing new marketplaces based on the trends and behaviors mobile was introducing – this idea of always being connected, payment credentials available with a simple fingerprint, and a vibrant new economy of services that satisfied daily needs.

However, what was lacking was a consistent linking protocol that allowed businesses to partner and collaborate on mobile. And for the consumer, the infrastructure wasn’t there to allow them to book similar services from app or mobile site to another. Booking a hotel from a flight app, calling an Uber from a mapping app, ordering delivery from a restaurant app – this all made sense for both the businesses and the consumer.

Button was created to make connecting these amazing services and companies easier for businesses, big and small, while providing a powerful new revenue stream – giving consumers their next action with the touch of a Button.

What are the biggest day-to-day challenges faced by a company such as yours?

RB: Because our affiliate technology is new to the mobile space, there are generally no decision makers when it comes to performance marketing on mobile. Additionally, there’s very little or even zero industry data to benchmark against when it comes to justifying the investment our partners make. Each company is different and having a granular understanding of how we play into their overall business goals is important, but can often be challenging to showcase the value that we bring compared to other technologies. We’ve been incredibly fortunate with the success we’ve seen in our partners thus far, as they’ve become Button’s biggest advocates.

If you could improve the product, what would you do?

RB: We’re constantly evolving and improving our product, and the team has been since day one. Because engineering teams are far underserved in a majority of companies, especially those focused solely on mobile, we’re continuously striving to make Button’s technology as simple as possible to integrate among developers. I think we do this well now, but it can always get easier.

What’s been Button’s biggest success to date?

RB: As mentioned, Button’s technology is still new to the mobile space, especially the overall affiliate industry. Breaking into this space with the range of partners we have today speaks to the adoption of mobile affiliate. The success we’ve seen with our partners such as Hotels.com, Foursquare, Quidco, Uber, Groupon, among many others – driving tens of millions in consumer spending – has been an incredible accomplishment for the company.

Finally, what for you is the most exciting trend or development in performance marketing right now?

RB: Affiliate on mobile is just beginning to take off, so watching this progress and being at the forefront is exciting. We’re also keen to see the various use cases among specific industries; for instance, the potential for mobile affiliate and performance marketing among the travel space is big – and one we’re excited to watch.

Entries for the International Performance Marketing Awards close July 4. Download the entry pack for more insight into the regional and channel-based categories that could see you, and your overseas teams, crowned international performance champions.