With entries now open for the 2019 International Performance Marketing Awards (IPMAs), this Q&A series looks back at the winners of last year, gathering insight into the growing international regions and inspiration behind the industry’s newly-decorated campaigns and companies.

As part of our IPMA Takeover Week, we caught up with Simon Bird, co-founder of RevLifter who on the award for Best Performance Marketing Campaign in APAC.

Tell us about winning an International Performance Marketing Award?

Simon Bird: Well, for those that missed it, RevLifter won Best Performance Marketing Campaign for the APAC region, with Vision Direct AU. It was an effort that had some really smart touches – like the use of data around weather (UV levels) to inform which lenses needed promoting. The results were fantastic and our team ended up reporting double-digit lifts in conversions and AOV.
Obviously you have a lot of competition on the night, so you’ll need to be confident of your chances – otherwise, you shouldn’t enter. The ceremony was amazing and we had plenty of people congratulating us afterwards. That’s one of the big advantages of winning an IPMA – its the draw and respect among global retailers and of course sharing our success with our client Vision Direct! 

Where does the value lie in winning your award for Best Performance Marketing Campaign in APAC?

SB: We’ve had the pleasure of winning a few UK Performance Marketing Awards. However, there is something about international acclaim that really speaks volumes, whether that’s to investors, clients or peers. Considering the global aspirations of RevLifter, we couldn’t have hoped for a better piece of publicity.

Awards like the IPMAs also validate your success in a very cut-and-dry manner. We’ve been called a “disruptor”, but that tagline only gets you so far. When you’re up on that stage after beating competition from around the world, people really start to take notice.

Above all, though, the award helped us prove that RevLifter can work for brands in Australia. It’s put us in a great position to attract more retailers over there and, with a bit of luck, claim another IPMA.

Has anything changed for your company since winning the award?

SB: I’d like to say a resounding “yes”! Not long after the awards, we started to build our global team. Jim Harriman is now our General Manager for North America, while James Maley has made a big impact as Head of Business Development for EMEA and APAC. RevLifter is currently available in the UK, US, Germany, Netherlands, France, Canada and Australia, with several market entries on the horizon.

We followed our success at the IPMAs by claiming three UK Performance Marketing Awards, for Best Use of Data, Best Affiliate Marketing Innovation and Best Performance Marketing Technology. RevLifter also won the “Innovation” prize at Rakuten’s Golden Link Awards, which acknowledges creativity and lateral thinking within the affiliate space.

We’ve moved our UK headquarters to a much bigger office – ideal for housing all the extra staff. Best of all, though, we’ve managed to attract a host of global retailers that have benefited massively from AI deals personalisation. 

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

SB: I think publishers and advertisers have to appreciate the nuances between markets. For example, APAC has China, one of the biggest online retail economies, as well as Bhutan and Nepal, which are two of the smallest. Even at the top end, there is an incredible amount of difference between somewhere like Japan and Australia. Getting the lowdown on customers, shopping habits and competitors is a good place to start.

It almost goes without saying, but you need to offer something different, especially in some of the more developed territories. RevLifter wouldn’t have enjoyed the same level of success in markets like the US and Canada by emulating the approach of a ‘traditional’ voucher affiliate. We’ve tried to do something different by personalising deals according to a blend of customer behaviour and retailer goals. No one has seen anything like it, which makes it easier to cut through the noise.

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

SB: The PMAs do a stellar job of championing the UK performance marketing scene. When you turn up to the Grosvenor and see awards being claimed by some of the biggest names in retail, it’s hard not to be impressed.

Of course, the industry is becoming more global. It’s now much easier to trade overseas and that has necessitated the founding of the International Performance Marketing Awards. As we move into an era that is defined by globalisation, we will need a body to reward excellence across markets. The IPMAs have a huge part to play in this ongoing development.

If you think you have what it takes to win the top international prize? Download the entry kit today.