Welcome to Coffee Qs, where we put a spotlight on the industry's rising stars and talented performance marketers. This week, Tom Dowdeswell, business development representative at Impact Radius, joins us to discuss his work, interests and latest developments in the performance marketing industry.
How long have you been working at Impact Radius?
I joined Impact Radius on September 18 last year, so close to six months. Time has flown by!
What’s your typical day-to-day is like?
We don’t really have a typical day-to-day. We do similar processes but in terms of the people we speak to, I can be talking to the CMO of a company or to the general media managers who use our software day in, day out, so it can be incredibly varied.
What do you enjoy most about performance marketing?
I really enjoy and like the idea of helping people and improving their job, their life etc. The solutions we provide makes a material difference to the bottom line of the companies we work with and also to the day-to-day life of the affiliate managers and marketers.
The software we provide for example is designed to remove 75% of the manual processes they’d be going through, so just in terms of workload it really allows them to take some off their plate and focus on other areas and really optimise the channel. That’s something I’ve really enjoyed doing - making a material difference to these people.
What do you think are some of the key trends happening right now in the industry?
What we’ve seen recently is the willingness and increased openness to running the performance channel in-house. In the last couple of weeks, companies are starting to understand the true value of the channel and want to optimise it in the most efficient way for them.
Another theme is artificial intelligence, not just in affiliate but across the board. We use AI and machine learning in our media manager products which basically tracks across all of the channels. We went to the Programmatic Punch recently and AI was right up there on the list of the most talked about topic
And some of the key challenges?
Historically, affiliate has had a chequered past with the saying “there’s no affiliate without fraud”. Affiliate Marketing is much bigger in the States but companies are starting to realise the value of the channel in EMEA. In terms of a marketing channel, it has the opportunity to be one of the highest performing/grossing channels. From an advertiser’s view, you’re only paying up to a certain desire or action, so companies that say that they don’t have time for affiliates, we turn around and say based on you only paying out for something you like, it’s the case of who and how you are running your program, rather than “if it’s a good channel” - this is one of the ongoing challenges.
Another challenge is bringing the same acceptability the affiliates have got in the States. That’s what we’re trying to demonstrate that it’s a viable channel if done correctly and if you have control of the transparency and the right tools to run the channel.
What are your thoughts on the company’s appointments of Adam Furness (APAC MD) and Scott Brazina (CMO)?
They both tie in really well with where the company is going. Impact Radius is projected to double in the UK over the next year and the appointment of Scott Brazina typifies the global approach to the business. We’re going to be going through a re-brand in the next couple of months so it really ties with the message that the firm is looking to push. Adam Furness also with his wealth of experience in APAC [where it’s growing massively]; it all ties in really well with the company's' drive to significantly grow and we’re looking forward to going from strength-to-strength with them.
What’s been your biggest career highlight so far?
Being interviewed by PerformanceIN is a pretty big honour. There’s also a couple of highlights which unfortunately I can’t mention yet, but since my time at Impact Radius I’ve been involved in some really big deals which will be revealed in the next couple months.
Aside from the affiliate world, do you have any other interest/hobbies?
I’m really sporty. I play Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Tennis, Squash. We’ve got table tennis here which can get very competitive during the lunch breaks. I moved back down to London six months ago from Gloucester and played for a really good Hockey team there. I’m still trying to find my feet/find the time to play where I am now. I’m really forward to the cricket season as that’s my main sport.
Outside of sports, I’ve got a couple of family members in London so just trying to see them as much as possible.
Three words that best describe you?
Motivated, resilient and laid back.
You’re currently based in London, what’s your favourite thing about the city?
Everything just seems to be happening in London. I firmly believe that when you’re young, the city is a great place to be, there’s always stuff going on. If there’s anything that’s going to happen in the UK, it’s going to happen in London at some point e.g. music, embracing the culture etc. It’s a fantastic place to be.
Lastly, any exciting things in the pipeline for Impact Radius?
We’ve just moved to our new offices, right opposite Facebook offices. We’re now in the heart of the city. I touched on the rebrand which everyone is super excited about. Just watch this space for some of the deals that will hopefully be announced; some really exciting things in the pipeline which we hope that can take us to the next level.