PerformanceIN speaks with Bring Digital's MD David Ingram to discuss how BringConnected will become an industry disruptor to performance and affiliate marketing.
Tell us about your experience in performance marketing?
I’m the founder & managing director of Bring Digital, a specialist performance marketing agency based in the North West. The agency is six years old and employs 32 staff, specialising in search, affiliates and display campaigns for brands such as DW Fitness First, Ann Summers, Wynsors Shoes & Asics.
Prior to launching Bring Digital, I worked in brand-side roles, with my final position being in the search team at ecommerce giant AO.com
Why do you believe that BringConnected will be an industry disruptor? What can you offer that others can’t?
When initially looking to offer affiliate and partnership marketing to our clients, we considered managing existing accounts across our clients preferred or existing networks. As myself and the Bring Digital senior team come from an in-house background, we understood the need for a deeper level of insight from campaigns and we felt that Partnerize offered the level of insight required to grow and develop our clients' programs. This is the reason we came to the decision to work solely with Partnerize, as we wanted expert knowledge of the technology we’d be using and wanted to work with a provider we believed in.
We also understand that brands need agencies to lean on, but having an agency work with your existing network can result in doubled costs, communication issues and can be time-consuming.
We launched BringConnected as a solution to this problem. It’s a platform that has the proactivity around recruitment and growth that you’d expect from an agency, but the commission-based fee structure, access to publishers and state of the art technology you’d expect from a network. We work as an extension of our clients' in-house team and we are accountable for driving results — if our clients don’t see the results, then neither do we.
Can you tell us some recent client partnerships or results you’ve delivered with BringConnected?
We started working with the fast-growth ecommerce brand Merlin Cycles at the beginning of this year. After migrating their existing publishers onto BringConnected, we were able to grow the programme by re-engaging their existing partners, actively recruiting new publishers and expanding the programme into international territories.
We re-engaged the publishers with an innovative tiered commission structure, being smarter with the commissions we were paying and offering extra incentives to help us reach our goals. This delivered revenue growth of 23% to the client in the first quarter, without any incremental costs.
How will BringConnected help other brands grow with affiliate marketing?
We will re-engage and excite any current partners brands may have whilst actively recruiting new partners and growing brand signals internationally.
Along with growing publisher numbers we’re being smarter with commissions; segmenting commission structures based on performance and profitability. We have a first-class analytics team in-house who regularly review performance at a granular level to ensure maximum profitability for our clients - it is a performance channel, after all.
How do you believe affiliate marketing is changing?
It’s a really exciting time for affiliate marketing at the moment with new partnership types emerging constantly. Whilst traditional partnerships like voucher and cashback continue to grow, we’re also seeing increasing interest and sales growth coming from influencers and brand-to-brand alliances.
Thanks to this growth, brands and publishers are becoming increasingly commercially savvy towards the channel and it’s important that we keep up. This is one of the reasons we’ve chosen to work with Partnerize, as the technology is second-to-none and the level of data and segmentation available allows us to really drive the channel forward for our clients.
Do you have any tips or advice for businesses who haven't yet used affiliate marketing and are interested?
Firstly, do your research as there are so many networks out there it’s important that you choose a partner who fits your business needs and budget. Consider the types of affiliate partners you want to work with and if they’ll fit with your brand.
We’ve worked with clients who in the past have just played a numbers game with their partners and added anyone and everyone to their program. We believe you should be choosing the right partners who understand your business and share joint objectives. This allows real brand alliances to form as your partners become an extension of your business.
What do you think the future holds for affiliate marketing?
Data is key at the moment — looking further into attribution and using more complex commissioning strategies. When analysing accounts we often find that there are contributors in the buying journey who aren't being rewarded under a standard last-click model, yet if they were removed from the programme there would be a negative impact on sales.
Working on tiered attribution models allows us to build stronger relationships with smaller partners as well as brand influencers who are rarely rewarded on last-click models. I believe that to grow emerging partner types we need to delve deeper into data and be more strategic with payment — that's certainly where BringConnected see the future of partnerships.
Lastly, what’s in the pipeline for BringConnected?
As well as growing our current programs and our client base, we’re looking to grow our presence in the industry. We’ll be attending more events as well as holding our own events in both Manchester and London. We’re hoping to build communities within the industry to share stories and ideas. And, of course, we have our eye on some industry awards to add to the collection!