With entries open for October’s inaugural International Performance Marketing Awards (IPMAs), this Q&A series looks back at the winners of the Awards’ ceremony last year, gathering insight into the some of the past winners and inspiration behind the industry’s newly-decorated campaigns and companies.

Today we’re speaking with senior marketing manager Katie Woodward from Acceleration Partners who won the award for Most Effective Large International Agency.

Tell us about winning an International Performance Marketing Award?

KW: To say we were ecstatic would be an understatement. Although we’ve been helping clients expand their affiliate programs internationally for quite some time, we officially launched in the UK early in 2017 with the addition of Helen Southgate as our Managing Director, EMEA. To be recognized by such an esteemed group of judges not too long after “going global” ourselves was – and still is – a huge honour.

Where does the value lie in winning Most Effective Large International Agency?

KW: Navigating multinational brands through the opportunities and challenges of global performance marketplace is not easy. It requires a team of smart, experienced, culturally-savvy people who are on the ground and who can objectively assess partners, platforms and potential customers. Winning this award demonstrates to the international performance marketing industry that Acceleration Partners not only has these capabilities but that we deploy them in ways that put our clients’ brand first and places a premium on profitability, performance and transparency.

Has anything changed for your company since winning the award?

KW: I think it’s enhanced our global visibility. AP has a strong, well-respected reputation in the U.S. for our approach to affiliate program management, but it can sometimes take an award like this for others to recognize that our Performance Partnerships® approach scales and applies globally. We’ve definitely seen an uptick this year in both companies outside of the US wanting to work with us as well as companies within the U.S. seeking our services to help them take their program global. 

We’ve also really developed a strong, dynamic team in the UK/EMEA region who have incredible performance expertise and we’re rapidly expanding our team and scope of services in the APAC and LATAM regions. 

In your opinion, what kind of attributes stand out in succeeding in such regions including, APAC, LATAM, and MENA? 

KW: To stand out and be successful at global program management, a company needs to have people on the ground in each market who have both deep cultural and affiliate program management expertise.  

If an agency uses part-time contractors, services management resources from out of the region or hires people who are brand new to the industry without experience or training, it’s unlikely that their clients’ affiliate program will succeed in a region like APAC, LATAM o EMEA. 

Last – but in no way least – I’d say another attribute for success is having an established language support systems and/or local language resources. Clients want real support in this area to ensure that communications with partners will be clearly understood. Google translate does not suffice and should not be used for newsletter communications and updates to partners.

The international affiliate space is complex, with a multitude of different networks, technologies, partners and systems.  To stand out and excel, agencies must understand how to bring all these pieces together to create a single, comprehensive program and have the technology to integrate reporting from multiple networks/platforms.

What’s your take on the IPMAs as a vital aspect of driving the industry forward on a global scale?

KW: Because the IPMAs recognize the top performers in the industry in an objective and independent manner, it’s a way for those within the industry to see what the leaders are doing to innovate and improve performance marketing; to learn from one another. 

Our team knows from first-hand experience that the application to just be considered for an IPMA is a high hurdle The IPMA committee doesn’t leave any stone unturned in their questions and really requires the candidates to provide substantial examples and evidence of what they are doing to move the industry forward. 

As Thomas L. Friedman writes about in his book by the same name, the world is flat. To truly compete, companies must understand how to collaborate and work together on a global scale and the IPMAs recognize performance marketing companies who are doing just that.