What are you most looking forward to at PI LIVE this month?

Mattias Stadelmeyer: Meeting the industry and having some insightful discussions around current and future trends. I also always find the speaker sessions a great platform for what we can expect over the next year or so.

You guys are hosting the session “It’s time for change: Next Generation Performance Marketing” on Day 2. What are you hoping for attendees to take away from your session?

MS: In this session, we will look at how Blockchain and Open Platforms will provide a new generation of performance marketing, most importantly how will the technology offer new opportunities for brands and higher profits for publishers? How will it enable the development of new functionalities such as payments, reporting and attribution? How will it automate relationships between advertisers and publishers and help eliminate fraud and disputes and how will these new improvements change the way we work and interact with networks and partners. They’ll leave the session with a balanced view of affiliate marketing strengths and weaknesses and the evolutionary growth of affiliate marketing’s digital future.

Overall, what are you hoping to get from PI LIVE this year?

MS: PI LIVE has always been a great event where the best minds in performance marketing convene to discuss trends, we hope for more of the same this year. It’s also great to meet up with our clients, agencies and partners and hopefully meet some new faces too. 

Technology has been a huge part of Tradedoubler this year, particularly with your recent DisrupTECH event and Incubator Scheme in supporting the next generation of startups. With the growing use of machine learning and blockchain, just how vital are they in delivering innovation and transparency to the affiliate channel?

MS: We believe that Blockchain will make affiliate marketing a lot safer and faster and will create a level of transparency that was previously unknown in our industry. There are a number of benefits of Blockchain that in our opinion will revolutionize affiliate marketing: Better transparency and control on publishers, easy access to affiliate marketing, undisputable attribution models, reduce fraud, shorter publisher payment delays, removal of adblockers, and many more. 

In the last few months, we have developed a Blockchain prototype. We have started to store data in the Blockchain and are now working to further realize these new opportunities. Technology is evolving at a high pace, but we are still at the beginning of our journey, as we are handling huge data amounts and extremely complex processes. We are very excited about this journey and are confident it will take affiliate marketing to the next level!

Speaking of transparency, Tradedoubler unveiled its open publisher API to enable automated, direct and transparent relationships between advertisers and publishers. Could you tell us a bit about how this works?

MS: We believe that being open is good for everyone. We have therefore developed an open platform with global APIs that allow all our business partners to use our platform, technology and functionalities to connect and grow their business. 

Our Open Platform concept basically means that we open up our technology platform via an API so that third parties can integrate with the company systems in their own applications. Partners can create own tools and applications as well as new business streams based on our platform. With the help of these APIs, you have a lot of possibilities: You can, for example, build customized dashboards to visualize your affiliate marketing activities. You can integrate with our reporting system creating overall reporting in your own system. You can build apps with the transaction and pay-out data for your users, and much more.

This new concept involves the benefits of enhanced transparency, direct relationships between advertisers and publishers, integration and – last but not least – innovation. We push for innovation because by opening up our platform to third parties we will see numerous new tools and new business models arising in the future.

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of Tradedoubler, congratulations! What have been some of your key achievements during your time as a company?

MS: Tradedoubler has been a pioneer of performance-related technology and a tech innovator since the foundation in September 1999.  As the first European affiliate network to offer performance-based affiliate marketing solutions for advertisers and publishers we grew very fast. In 2004 Tradedoubler had become Europe’s leading supplier of online marketing and sales solutions to over 700 advertisers and almost half a million quality publishers and was listed on NASDAQ Stockholm in 2005. 

Our development team has always focused on keeping us at the cutting edge of the market: In 2005  we launched our white-label solution for global digital partner management. In 2012, Tradedoubler was the first pan-European network to launch an integrated e-commerce and m-commerce affiliate offering. In 2014 we announced our business intelligence tool with detailed live information through customised dashboards. In 2015 we launched Cookieless Tracking, one year later User Journey Insights and Cross-Device Tracking. The same year we introduced our programmatic solution helping advertisers to identify potential new customers. In 2017 we acquired Metapic, a popular tool for Influencer Marketing and in 2019 we introduced our Open Platform concept and Blockchain solution.

Today 250 passionate colleagues, 2,000 shareholders and more than 2,000 advertisers and 180,000 affiliates create an incredible network across more than 80 countries with the mission to be the best affiliate network in the world. The journey of Tradedoubler over the past 20 years includes everything life can provide – fun and emotions, success and failure and stories of thousands of people that have been in touch and have shaped our joint journey to one great story. A very warm thank you to everyone involved!

Lastly, with 2020 on the horizon, what kind of trends to do you think will emerge and change the landscape of affiliate marketing?

MS: I think that it is the basics of affiliate marketing that will get a lot of attention. We are bringing a new level of quality to the affiliate channel via transparency, insights and advances in technology, especially around tracking. Through this, I think affiliate marketing will gain more traction within the wider marketing mix and we’ll continue to see the channel grow. 

Don’t miss out on PI LIVE on October 22-23 at Old Billingsgate, London. Tickets available here.