Firstly, we hope you and the team are keeping well. How are things over at Tradedoubler during this time?
Matthias Stadelmeyer: Thank you, so far everything is good and all people in the teams across the countries are fine. It is a very unique time obviously, with a number of challenges to deal with. We have a large impact on our business both on the positive and the negative side, while the teams work mainly remotely. At the same time, we are actually having a good time in the company as everybody is getting closer together and the atmosphere is really good. Not only within Tradedoubler, but with our clients and partners as well.
The last few weeks have seen the performance marketing industry shift and adapt in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. What are your thoughts on the industry’s response during this period?
MS: Affiliate marketing is in my view the absolute core and the heart of digital advertising because of our big strengths in technology, the diverseness of available traffic and the pay-for-performance-only business model. In this crisis this becomes clearly visible and we see many clients shifting their budgets to affiliate marketing. Affiliate networks are true partners for their clients and publishers and demonstrate the value of this business. This is something we all should be very proud of.
From your perspective, what trends have you noticed in the last few weeks that have affected the channel? (programs, relationships, verticals etc.)
MS: As said, many clients have shifted budgets to affiliate marketing, but then there is obviously the overall economic impact as well. So travel clients have significantly reduced or even stopped their activities, the same for other industries like ticket sales, sports betting etc. E-commerce and pure online players have gone in the opposite direction and increased their spending. Some of them actually had too much demand that they reduced marketing again as they struggled to deal with the volumes.
Let’s talk about Tradedoubler. Particularly during this time, how has your business adapted to the pandemic and what sort of strategies have you implemented to support your clients?
MS: It was a bit of a shock at the beginning when we closed all the offices on March 13 and everybody was working from home while we had no idea what the impact on the business would be like. But then all our processes, tools and communication are digital, so we had no disruption at all to our working routines while the business turned out to continue very differently but positively.
We´ve been very close to our clients and partners setting up campaigns for those that expanded their business, but helping clients that struggled as well by adapting to their situation when managing their programs or with prolonged payment terms.
We moved our events to online conventions, which were picked up very nicely by clients and partners so that we had over 150 attendees joining the different speed dating sessions, keynotes and best practice panels.
We are quite keen to take the positive things of the crisis with us and have for example introduced a ‘Smart Working Policy’ at Tradedoubler which allows all employees to work when and wherever they want as we have seen a lot of positive energy coming from this increased flexibility and responsibility.
With lockdown restrictions easing, what sort of opportunities and expectations can we expect in the coming weeks for the performance marketing industry?
MS: It will be a bit of a mixed bag again and still many unknowns. We see that clients that had increased their budgets a lot during the crisis are going back to normal, while travel is picking up again, but carefully. General impacts on the economy will have an influence on us as well, but I think that we have proven the value and relevance of affiliate marketing which will mean that the generally positive impact will continue and last as well when the crisis will be eventually gone.
Lastly, as we enter the second half of the year, are there any updates from Tradedoubler we should keep an eye out for?
MS: We are working on a number of good improvements all related to our ‘Open Platform’ concept where we allow advertisers and publishers working seamlessly with our platform and with each other. So stay close for the announcements we’ll make in the coming months.