Welcome to our In Conversation Series, where we talk to advertisers and publishers in the performance marketing space on how they’re responding to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and changes they’re currently witnessing.
For today’s In Conversation, we spoke to Karl Wood, managing director, EMEA at Piggy on how the company is adapting to the current climate.
Firstly, we hope you and the team are keeping well and safe at the moment. How has the pandemic affected your affiliate relationships on a day-to-day basis?
Karl Wood: As a globally flexible company that has nurtured remote working from day 1, the day to day processes for “getting things done” hasn’t changed much. It is certainly the way in which we interact with our key partners that have been most dramatically impacted.
In a time where everyone is forced to work remote, it has been important to schedule chats well in advance, as you are aware your partners calendars are bound to be full with internal and external commitments.
The hardest part is missing the interaction we usually have with our network partners. Being able to pop into their office for an afternoon of hotdesking, speaking with a large number of the team in one visit and stumbling across conversations you never planned to have.
Have you seen reduced commissions or paused programs during this period? If so, how have you adapted your budgets and KPIs to the changes?
KW: Yes and yes. I would say it has been more common for brands to pause instead of implementing a different commission structure and quite frankly, I feel this is preferred. At this time, everyone is trying to stretch their money as far as they can and by expecting consumers to purchase the same amount but with less incentive (lower cashback) would not be realistic.
Even before this pandemic, we have always considered ourselves flexible in the way we work with our partners and are always ready to offer promotional plans or strategies that accomodate whatever offer or commercial model is available.
That being said – the budget cuts on client sides can naturally impact our outlook on performance when it comes to securing flat fee and tenancy based packages. Some brands simply do not have the budget to support these additional activities at this time or in some cases, do not have the workforce to meet demand. We are there for those partners and are completely understanding of the actions they may have to take.
Have you seen a shift in verticals and product categories in the last 30 days (March-April)?
KW: I would say yes but only to a small degree. This is the time of year we would always be expecting an increase in Home and Garden retailer performance, as Spring reflects the time to clean out the house and get the Garden ready for the summer.
Similarly, this time of year is always popular in the world of Fashion, as new ranges are released to coincide with the changing of the seasons.
I would say that the real peaks have come from the electronic, entertainment and consumer service verticals. Everyone is looking to keep themselves entertained but without stretching the pocket.
How have you maintained the human element of performance marketing whilst working from home?
KW: Zoom. We are huge advocates of Zoom. Well, really it doesn’t matter the platform but adding a face to the conversation goes a long way. It has been refreshing to see how many people are ready and willing to jump on a video call to help keep that human connection going.
Lastly, as a company, how are you supporting your team and clients during these unprecedented times?
KW: We will continue to support our clients by supplying the same level of service and support they have come to expect. Our team continues to work at full capacity. We support our employees by staying in regular contact – whether this is a weekly video quiz or adding some extra time to our weekly team meetings to discuss the goings-on of day to day life. It is important to remember we are all in this together.