Adtraction is the UK’s newest affiliate network, however, established in 2007 in Sweden, it is no stranger to affiliate marketing. The company is a key player in the Nordic market and now boasts pan-European coverage across its nine offices.
Adtraction is sponsoring the Beer Garden Meeting Zone at PI Live 2019. We took some time to talk to Adtraction's UK Managing Partner, Anthony Clements ahead of the conference to discuss the network's UK launch, affiliate market and what to expect from them at the show.
In recent years, we’ve seen more consolidation in the affiliate network space, why do you think now is a good time to launch a new network in the UK?
Anthony Clements: There's never an optimal time. As with most business opportunities, you could be sat waiting for the right time, when you're actually watching the right time pass you by. At some point, you need to take the leap, and that's the way we looked at it. The UK network space is still crowded, but it's less competitive now than it was 7 or 8 years ago.
I also think most of the industry is pretty surprised that the 'partner marketing' companies have been able to present something different to the industry, and have it become so disruptive.
Crucially, right now it doesn't feel like there's one dominant player that all sides of the marketplace identify as the leader. This means there's a gap for a company like us to present a different approach to the traditional affiliate network model; something that shakes up how affiliate programs are managed, measured and optimised.
You’re no stranger to affiliate networks, tell us why you chose to join Adtraction?
AC: There are a number of reasons, but it boils down to a similar view on technology, the European affiliate market and what cross-territory affiliate marketing should look like.
Adtraction has been built organically in the competitive Nordic market, which is an impressive achievement.
The UK affiliate market has matured over the years. Why do you think it’s the right time to launch Adtraction in the UK? What sets them apart from other networks?
AC: The affiliate industry has wrestled with its maturity of late. Most big e-commerce companies have affiliate programs, and the CPA-model has attracted its obvious publisher types. We're now re-branding the industry in order to shift it - hence the 'partner' marketing references.
Affiliate networks are currently too passive, sitting back and accepting an affiliate landscape that is predicated by the CPA model. In the UK this has driven affiliate marketing to simply be a race to get as close to the transaction as possible - in everything from traffic sources to transactions. We want to completely change that. Our view is that an affiliate program should be able to support a wide variety of traffic sources all under one roof. To do that, we need to change the way the program tracks, counts value, pays commission and validates. At Adtraction, everything from how tracking works to how payments are processed is based on the mechanisms publishers use to drive traffic.
We're trying some completely different approaches to publisher recruitment too, taking on board more risk to bring more upper-funnel publishers into Affiliate. And we're chiselling away at the people-based service model so beloved of affiliate marketing. Don't get me wrong, we do a lot of day-to-day work on affiliate programs, and we have a very experienced leadership team. But our work on affiliate programs is entirely dedicated to growth, recruitment and optimisation.
PI LIVE is just around the corner. What do you think will be the key themes to come from this year’s conference?
AC: Last year's theme of making the industry 'better' for publishers will definitely continue, as I don't think nearly enough has been done in this area.
In a year when we've lost two more long-standing affiliate programs in House of Fraser and Thomas Cook, the role networks have in accepting the risk to protect publisher businesses will also be an interesting discussion.
How the performance marketing industry supports direct-to-consumer trading strategies should also be hot on the agenda.
Adtraction is sponsoring the Beer Garden Meeting Zone. What are you hoping to get from attending the show this year?
AC: It's a great opportunity for us to get Adtraction more widely recognised across the industry. But, first and foremost, we want to get the attention of advertisers and publishers and tell them more about our approach to affiliate marketing.
Meet the Adtraction team at the Beer Garden Meeting Zone at PI LIVE this year. Find out more.