Our Coffee Qs guest this week is Anthony Bingham, senior enterprise account manager at e-commerce and digital marketing services company Visualsoft.

How long have you been in your current role/company?

Anthony Bingham: Just over two years, but it feels much longer. It has been a varied and exciting 24 months.

Could you describe your role in one sentence?

AB: Making advertisers and publishers money, from account management to publisher relationship development and everything in between.

How did you get into performance marketing?

AB: I’d be lying if I said I had any idea I’d end up in performance marketing, or any marketing role for that matter! From a very young age, I was indecisive about the age old question ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’

I was always relatively strong academically so, for lack of a grand plan, I carried on into further and higher education hoping I’d find an interest or passion. After studying Business Management at university, I quickly learned I had a strong interest in all things marketing. After one of my marketing lecturers made me aware of opportunities at Visualsoft, I applied for a role within the Visualsoft Affiliates team. Since then, I’ve developed my skills, risen through the ranks and the rest is history.

I was specifically drawn to affiliate marketing as it allowed me to dive into and develop skills derived from a variety of aspects of e-commerce and digital marketing. Advertiser-side, we deal with e-comm systems, analytics tools and reporting data daily, whilst publisher-side you have the opportunity to incorporate all marketing channels into one overarching strategy.

What’s been your biggest career learning curve?

AB: In my first role here at Visualsoft Affiliates, the training wheels were quickly off and I was entrusted with more than 30 clients. Managing affiliate programmes in industries you have no previous experience in forces you to adapt to survive, but quickly I was able to source new, relevant opportunities in alien industries.

Do you have any industry “tips” for 2018?

AB: A few of the buzzwords in the industry right now seem to be artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data and IoT, but for the ‘average’ affiliate marketer these can often feel like a foreign concept, irrelevant and out of reach. I think to succeed in the affiliate industry, you need to focus on balance first.

You need to remember to find the right balance between advertisers and publishers, between ‘traditional’ publishers, tech partners and content, and between the known and the unknown. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach and as such you need to find the balance between doing what you know will work and utilising data to create and test new hypotheses.

What are your best networking ice-breakers?

AB: My first industry event with Visualsoft Affiliates was PMI: London 2016 where we hosted our own private bar with a selection of cocktails – lo and behold our stand was overflowing. I’ve always found a round of drinks to be the best ice-breaker!

If you can’t make it to the nearest bar, a simple explanation of who you are and what you do always kick starts a conversation.

Do you have a favourite Twitter account?

AB: I’m not active on Twitter. Shocking, I know!

If I had to recommend one social media account to follow, it would have to be The Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation (@blackjaguarwhitetiger) on Instagram. Animal videos, with the occasional meme, what’s not to love?

If you won the lottery tomorrow, you would…

AB: Seriously consider leaving my job and travelling the world, but then who wouldn’t be tempted to pack up and jet off after a lottery win?

But if it wasn’t millions of pounds, I’d still stick around at Visualsoft Affiliates, and hopefully take a more active interest in the commercial direction of the network. I truly believe we fill a necessary gap in the affiliate landscape, bridging the gap between advertisers and publishers, working as both agency and network.