For this edition, Niamh Butler-Walton chatted to Carolina Paradas, Global Senior Affiliates & CLO Manager at Harvey Nichols.

Carolina was interested in the marketing sphere from a young age, studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with Marketing.

Her first job in the industry was a role as Marketing Assistant at Education First, before she went on to work at Awin. After a couple of years at the network, Carolina began working at Harvey Nicols, where she has now worked for three years in various roles.

Here’s the inside scoop on Carolina’s personal influences, what drove her to the performance industry and some exciting behind the scenes information…

What is your role and what do you do at Harvey Nichols?

I’m the Global Senior Affiliates and CLO Manager at Harvey Nichols. My remit oversees the global affiliate business, financial and influencer partnerships. My role also includes developing the strategy across all of these channels, as well as execution and monitoring of target deliverables.

Key growth strategies and international expansion are also some of the key responsibilities within my role, which makes it fast-paced but super exciting. Overall, my role focuses on global partnerships and the optimisation of these!

What emerging publisher strategies are you seeing right now?

I think this is a super hard question because there are so many amazing trends being developed within the industry at the moment, but I must say card-linked offers and open banking initiatives are something that I’m seeing more and more these days. I think these financial publishers have great tools to target specific customers and provide some great insights on consumer behaviour, which is all advertisers want to see in the current climate.

Partners such as Reward and Cardlytics have become an invaluable part of our strategy, so it’s great to see more and more partners evolving within the card-linked space.

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

I think the ability to adapt to other business strategies and having that ‘customer-first’ mindset at the same time is something that really amazes me about our partners. We have key affiliates that have changed or developed new tools simply to complement our business goals, but at the same time they continue to ensure they are delivering the best journey for their users. We see this happen often across loyalty and content partners, where they adapt to your goals, but also stay relevant to their audience!

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

I think the overall vision for affiliates is something that continues to grow and change. Initially, affiliates was a channel that was solely used for sales & volume, whereas now we are using the channel for more strategic objectives such as international expansion, brand awareness and commercial partnerships.

What’s impressed you so far this year?

Without a doubt it would be how many technologies and new initiatives that have been developed during such challenging times. It’s so exciting to see so many new publishers innovating and bringing extra value for the channel. We recently onboarded with new Fintech, Curve and I’m excited to see how this performs for us!

Who or what inspired you to get into performance marketing?

Tough question – I’d say the thing that inspired me the most would be the access to data and insights, the ability to see really clear results from your work is really rewarding. I’d also say the community we have within the industry is really special, I love how everyone comes together to innovate and optimise the performance marketing space.

What’s your top tip for publishers?

Invest time in your partners. Take your time to understand what your clients are trying to achieve and find a way to be part of the journey. I would also say, highlight your USPs, make sure these are the first thing you share!

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

I think affiliates that bring new opportunities and ways of working get a lot of attention from the team.  The retail landscape is ever changing, so we like proactive and collaborative partners that are willing to go that extra mile to bring some innovation to our programme.

What one thing would you change about the industry?

I would love to change the way we look at attribution within the industry. I think we should look at the holistic, multi-touch view, rather than just last click. I’m aware that there has been some developments in terms of highlighting the value of upper funnel initiatives and some advertisers are showing interest in assist tracking. However, I think there is a lot more work to do from a technology standpoint and I believe there is an educational piece missing too. Hopefully more to come within this space in the next few years! 

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

I’m really excited for what’s to come for performance marketing and I think the past year or so has completely sped-up the process. I’d love to be more involved in the personalisation piece, how different publishers are using AI/open banking to get to know their users and instigate loyalty.

I would also love to be more involved in the rise of card-linking marketing and how this is taking one step forward towards being its own performance marketing channel. There are so many interesting things being developed as we speak, so I’m excited for innovation!

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