Welcome to our new column, ‘The Advertiser Diaries’. We will be releasing editions every fortnight, alternating with the sister column ‘The Publisher Diaries’. These new columns are an excellent opportunity to hear from those on the coal face of performance marketing who we don’t necessarily get to hear from as much as others.

The Advertiser Diaries will focus on the details of individuals’ roles within the advertiser sphere, as well as some of the challenges advertisers face, and the inspiration that drove the individuals to want to work in the performance marketing industry.

For our first edition, we chatted to affiliate marketing and partnerships specialist at Vodafone, Adam Clisby, who has a strong background in the industry and a passion for forming relationships.

Adam originally intended to study at university but had a change of heart, as he wasn’t sure of what he wanted to study.

After deciding to defer, only a few days before his course commenced, he opted for a year’s apprenticeship with a digital agency.

Following this, Adam went on to work for Hopper, a travel brand. During his time there he worked with Awin for around six months, before Awin asked Adam to work for them in London. This set off a domino effect, and he ended up working at Awin for two and a half years. During this period, Adam was the account manager for Vodafone – this ultimately led him to decide to work directly in-house.

Adam spoke to PerformanceIN about the details of his role, his main challenges and his inspirations:

What’s your role and what do you do at Vodafone?

I currently work in a team of three, and I’m responsible for the AYM and Talkmobile affiliate channels. At the moment, I’m working on the Pay Monthly and Talkmobile affiliate channels here at Vodafone.

What emerging publisher strategies are you seeing right now?

Looking aside from the traditional affiliates we have always worked with, we have noticed a lot of fintech partners joining the channel. I think this will be an interesting area to watch over the long term.

Companies such as Klarna, who have access to millions of potential customers, are showing interest in working in a publisher capacity. With a reach such as theirs, that’s definitely an opportunity we are looking to pursue.

Outside of this, we are seeing more tech partners work with us, and with Awin using the master tag functionality, this is helping us to not only increase revenue but also to better understand how customers interact with the channel.

What do you most respect or what impresses you about your key affiliates?

Transparency and in-depth analysis of promotion activity really impresses me, as well as being honest when things don’t work which means we can begin looking for ways to improve going forward.

We sometimes experience affiliates taking commissions and not giving any campaign overviews, and it is especially important for us to be aware of what’s working and the ways we can fix it if it isn’t working. So basically working collaboratively, involving us in every step and forming a positive relationship.

What shifts are you seeing in affiliate marketing with your company?

The ability we will have to test incrementality in the future is always the question. There’s a big shift in the way we’re looking at how affiliates are driving sales, or if it is other marketing channels. We’re asking ourselves if these people would purchase with us if not for other channels. It’s important to be focusing on how customers are valued. Something that is becoming apparent is that it’s not just bottom of the funnel anymore.

What’s impressed you so far this year?

At the moment, we’re working with RevLifter on a trial, and since it launched I’ve been really impressed with their way of working and what they’re about. 

What’s your top tip for publishers?

Something I would definitely stress is not to chase investment; work on being proactive and build strong relationships with your clients, and work on your relationships with your affiliates.

What I’d probably say is my ultimate top tip is to be responsive. There’s nothing worse than spending loads of money with somebody and then never hearing from them again.

Being friendly and engaging will mean more creativity is achieved, as you’re more comfortable with your partners.

Adam Clisby, Vodafone

What can affiliates do to stand out when working with your brand?

It’s easy for things to be mundane. We sometimes see the same thing day in, day out. Due to this, we’re looking for exciting new ideas, untraditional activity, and lots of thought about the bigger picture.

Standing out from competitors is important, so coming up with innovative ideas is a must.

Think about earlier in the funnel and how you can link campaigns.

Adam Clisby, Vodafone

What one thing would you change about the industry?

I would like to see more looking at the bigger picture in general. It would be nice to pay more attention to how we fit into wider digital channels to enable us to take this into consideration when building campaigns.

I think another huge thing is not to get stuck in the numbers; being open minded is really important. 

What other areas of the industry would you be interested in being involved in in the future?

I’ve spent six years working within affiliate. I like partnerships and relationships, that’s what I’m good at, but I am interested in perhaps going into a wider digital role specialising in affiliates. I want to keep learning about social too! But ultimately, affiliate is my bread and butter, so I’m happy here for now!

We hope you enjoyed this installment of our new column. If you would like to get involved please get in touch via our Typeform.