Ignacio Pronzati, Director of affiliate network Soicos, spoke to PerformanceIN about the company’s work and history, the driving force behind Soicos’ strategy and the LatAm market.
It’s lovely to have you as a partner of PerformanceIN. For those who aren’t familiar with Soicos, please can you explain a little bit more about the company?
Soicos is an affiliate network focusing on the Hispanic LatAm market. We started business back in 2010 as an internal project of the Argentinian Advertising Agency Adverit. Soon, we received our first investment round from Mediasur, a Swiss group that, at the time, possessed some online stores in Europe. Powered by that investment, we opened our branch offices in Chile, Mexico & Colombia.
The project was designed to replicate a classic CPA affiliate network. Since then, we’ve been promoting the benefits of affiliate marketing to the Latin online advertising environment, starting with discussing the lead-generation campaigns that occurred in the very first years, before moving onto the online stores CPA programmes we’re currently seeing.
How do you plan to expand beyond Hispanic LatAm?
We don’t currently plan on expanding out of LatAm during 2021. Reaching clients within our region is still a large challenge for us. We are not speaking about regular market penetration here; we still have to spread the word of affiliate marketing in some countries and we still have too many brands to partner with. We also have a huge number of goals we would like to achieve before landing in new markets. So yes, we are focusing 100% of our efforts on developing within our region for now!
Which countries do you operate in?
We currently operate in Mexico, Chile, Argentina & Colombia, and we have active sales managers closing new deals for Soicos. We also have some activity in secondary markets like Peru and Brazil.
Despite the fact that each country within the region is slightly different in culture, they do actually have a lot in common. However, each country has its own unique challenges, and the advertiser and publisher environments vary a lot. It’s challenging and exciting to adapt tactics to handle the pros and cons that these countries have.
How has your business adapted to COVID-19 and what sort of strategies have you implemented to support your clients?
To start, working remotely has been a dramatic change for Soicos’ team. Most of our team members are located in our Buenos Aires’ office, and they thoroughly enjoy the team work that the industry demands. Having to interact strictly through Zoom/Hangouts forced us to rethink a lot of work processes and get very creative in maintaining our company culture.
When it comes to clients, the whole situation has accelerated their performance marketing needs to levels we never imagined. The demand we felt to make the most of each invested dollar helped unintentionally to push the market’s maturity. Our strategy was to put focus on launching speed and requirements, as well as speaking less aggressively in terms of network and transaction fees and, especially for the travel industry, being flexible with payment terms.
What type of affiliates do you work with?
Our publisher network is quite varied. We work with coupon sites, cashback, content sites, tech partners, comparison engines, display, email, and more!
We are very proud to say that, since the beginning of this fantastic journey, we have helped some local entrepreneurs to develop their affiliate business models, helping to grow the local publisher landscape from the isolated environment it was ten years ago into the promising market we can see unfolding in front of us today.
Soicos has worked with a number of big names. Particularly in today’s economic climate, what opportunities and challenges have you seen or faced when working with advertisers and publishers?
In terms of opportunities: Online retailers and consumers have never needed each other more than they do now. Latin buyers are getting savvier than ever. The status-quo of brands investing in traditional advertising models is out of date, and is based on their necessity of real, tangible results. This whole situation is playing in Soicos’ favour.
Regarding the challenges: Any massive change has its costs. Adapting to these new demands will be very challenging. Clients highly rely on our consultancy to help them develop their programmes and the affiliates understand their value, meaning they’re getting pickier as new programmes appear. Therefore, being up to the challenge will be an interesting test for Soicos.
What can we expect from you in the coming months?
LatAm is growing tremendously fast. We are really excited to finally capitalise a decade’s work. Brands are keen to develop their performance campaigns and affiliate marketing is already in the dictionary of most potential advertisers. Online buyer stats in Latin America are thriving. Based on this, we can expect a bright future for our business, clients and region.
We would like to thank Ignacio for taking part in this Q&A. It’s great to have Soicos as part of the PerformanceIN partner network – we’re looking forward to hearing more about the industry within LatAm and how Soicos will continue to grow its success.