In this edition, we chatted to Yasmeen Lubbock, UK Country Manager at Savoo Search, Save and Raise. Yasmeen achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Hull University; she has always been passionate about the sphere, and this was confirmed by her degree, meaning she knew she wanted to be involved in the industry from the get-go.

As you’ll hear from her, Yasmeen worked in recruitment for a year, but decided it wasn’t the right position for her, so was thrilled when a position at Savoo became available. A self proclaimed bargain-lover, it seemed like fate that she fell into a role at the publisher, and she has been working there ever since.

Yasmeen chatted to Niamh Butler-Walton about her role at Savoo, as well as her background and the trends she is seeing within the industry:

What is your role and what does it consist of?

I am UK Country Manager for Savoo. The role is quite varied as I work with key merchant partners, ensuring that the marketing campaigns and offers are optimised to give them the best ROI, whilst also being of interest and relevant to our other especially important customer – our users. Alongside this, I work across business strategy and other departments including content, charity, and operations. 

What do you enjoy most about the performance marketing industry?

We are, as an overall industry, at the forefront of digital innovation with some very cool technologies and services enhancing the consumer experience, as well as the reach and deliverability for the brands that use them. It makes us very accountable for ensuring it succeeds as we are paid on performance and provide great value for money because of this. 

I am excited for the future of the industry as I feel we will only build on this to become better, and even more data driven and increase the performance for brands that invest in the channel.  

Who is your performance marketing hero and why?

There are quite a few legends in this industry! But to name a few: 

My old boss and director Simon Bird who now heads up RevLifter. I learnt A LOT from Simon, and I accredit him for a lot of my personal and professional growth. 

Angus Drummond, also an old colleague, still a dear friend and now at Angus has really been championing and pushing the conversation of more diversity in the workplace and our industry. I am totally behind him on this, and it is an agenda we all should be pushing more!  

And last but not least, James Maley from Tradedoubler. James has a phenomenal wealth of knowledge and experience from working publisher, network, and client side. On top of that, he is an absolute blast down the pub and will be guaranteed to have me in fits of laughter.

Who in your team deserves more recognition that they get?

It must be the team behind the scenes. Often, client facing roles can take all the glory. We would be nothing and not be able to offer our service without them whether that is our Content Team, Operational Staff, Developers or Managing Director, Ed Fleming.

2021 brought with it a bang. Our performance in 2020 was unbelievable and we thought it would be hard to beat, but media placement bookings for 2021 have been through the roof. I can only describe it as one big, long Black Friday and it’s great to see and be a part of it.  

As we work with the whole market, it has been slightly different depending on the vertical you are assessing. However, confidence in investing in the channel compared to 2021 appears to be stronger. 

We are also only a couple of weeks post lockdown lifting but are still seeing great YOY performance. As a business we do believe that there will be an incremental shift in the number of consumers shopping online and expect it to be a trend that remains. 

How has the role of affiliate networks changed over the last 12 months?

For the type of publisher we are, we have not seen too much of a change in terms of the role affiliate networks have played over the last 12 months. Service levels have remained the same. 

It was great to see the networks adapt to online webinars in place of in person networking events – some of the insights from the data especially at the beginning of lockdown were interesting. 

What has also been great is the number of new merchants onboarded. Working with more brands enhances our consumer experience (and our earning potential). If we compare 2019 onboards vs 2020 onboards this was up by 220%!

AWIN has also been actively pushing an Advertiser Gold Standard to ensure fair remuneration and standards across tracking, validations, and de-duping. We are grateful a network is putting forward these ideas and hope more networks can implement a similar approach. 

What one thing would you change about the industry?

I think I would like to see a little bit more of an equilibrium in the power between publishers and merchants. It’s typically seen with bigger merchants rather than SMEs. We find SMEs very collaborative in their strategic approach to working with us. 

With some larger merchant’s strategy changes often go ahead without any real discussion and publishers are expected to go along with it. Therefore, initiatives like the AWIN Gold Standard are so important to make it a fairer playing field. 

What is your top tip for advertisers?

Be collaborative. As we work across the board, we have a good understanding of what will work and how to implement it to get the most for a program. 

What other areas of the industry can you see yourself working in in the future, perhaps?

That is a particularly good question when you have nearly racked up a ten years tenure at a company! Before I joined Savoo I did a (hellish) stint in recruitment. I always loved a bargain and often found myself on deal and discount sites sizing up the best offers to spend my pitiful recruitment earnings on.  So, it was rather serendipitous when the role came up at Savoo.

We have also just been acquired by an absolutely amazing US company Centerfield and so it is a really exciting time for Savoo. While I think I have fleeting thoughts of what that next role would be, I do believe I would stay publisher side and perhaps tie it in with some of my other passions which are food and travel. 

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