After studying at Brunel University and gaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Deepak Tailor went on to start his freebie site, LatestFreeStuff.co.uk.
He had a passion for personal finance and bargains which led him to write his book ‘How to Live for Free’ which went on to be a #1 Amazon bestseller.
He later went on to acquire FreeStuff.co.uk to gain an even bigger market share of the freebie space. Deepak even featured on the BBC show Dragons Den, gaining business offers from three of the Dragons.
Deepak chatted to Niamh Butler-Walton about the affiliate space, his favourite things about it and the areas he would like to improve:
What’s your role and what does it consist of?
I’m the founder of LatestFreeStuff.co.uk and LatestDeals.co.uk. We run platforms that show people how to claim freebies and free samples from top brands in the UK. The second website, LatestDeals.co.uk, is a community-driven website where people share their own bargains at thousands of retailers across the UK.
My main role at both companies is to manage the day-to-day operations but also to make sure we are constantly building and maintaining good business relationships with our merchants and retailers. I could be setting up calls with brands, negotiating exclusive deals for our members and engaging with new partners who want to run promotions.
We work with a large variety of brands, from small businesses to large established retailers. I speak to many different account managers on a daily basis to make sure we are always delivering on having the best deals on the site.
What do you enjoy most about the performance marketing industry?
I love the fact that everything is delivered by performance in this industry. There are so many other industries where companies can spend thousands without hitting any of the companies ROI targets. We’ve had partners move from spending their budgets on social media, TV and print media to affiliate because it just makes sense.
We as an industry are very good at making sure we can deliver new incremental sales to brands and retailers. But what excites me even more about the affiliate industry is the innovation and fast-paced nature of when things change. It definitely keeps you on your toes. I always say there’s never a dull day in working in this industry!
Who is your performance marketing hero and why?
That’s a really hard one! I have had so many people over the years help us through our journey. There are so many individuals at different publishers and affiliate networks that have assisted us in growing. But, the one that stands out on the publisher side is Mark Pearson. What he created with MyVoucherCodes was truly groundbreaking and he’s achieved so many things since he sold the company. He is a true innovator in our space and was one of the inspirations for setting up my first company.
Who in your team deserves more recognition than they get? (The unsung hero)
There are so many people across both companies that deserve recognition past and present. But the person that has stuck by the company from start to finish is Francois Schwob. He started with LatestFreeStuff.co.uk in the first year of the company starting and he’s been instrumental with helping us grow over the years. He joined us when we only had 1,000 visitors on the site every month and he tailored our marketing and sales activities to support our growth to reach over one million people every month. It’s not something we could have achieved without his constant support and ideas.
What trends are you seeing working with advertisers?
We’ve seen large changes in customer habits over the lockdown period and with that, we’ve seen changes in and advertiser behaviour. The best retailers have been adaptable to shift their offerings based on market conditions. We’ve had many retailers that sell predominately in-store shift all of their activity online and create great deals for our members that have performed well. Focusing the right product at the right time when it has been in demand has been crucial to making so many of our partnerships a real success over the last few years.
How has the role of affiliate networks changed over the last 12 months?
Affiliate networks have always been super important as a key connector between the advertiser and the publisher. Over the last 12 months, this has become even more important. We work very closely with all the networks to facilitate a conversation with new and existing partners. The account managers in particular have been a vital source of information for us to look for top-performing products that are great deals for users. Our team is great at spotting these deals but the account managers approach and resourcefulness at getting us exclusive deals has proved to become even more important.
What one thing would you change about the industry?
It would be great to see more data-driven transparency between the advertiser and the publisher. We have made large strides in the last few years but we sometimes still miss crucial information on campaign performance. Our daily reporting would pick up trends on our campaign performance but one day we want to go even further with reporting real trends of what we’re really seeing on the advertiser side in terms of the customer profile and repeat purchasing behaviour. All of this would help us to paint a better picture and what deals performed the best and how we can deliver even better performance on future deals.
What’s your top tip for advertisers?
My top tip is to try and make new and existing partners work with us more closely to strike the perfect deal for the consumer. One of the things that’s super important is to make sure we put the consumer first when organising a promotion. I feel like this gets overlooked sometimes and we are often pitched a 2% or 3% discount on a product where retailers expect it to deliver a 12x increase in sales but this is not realistic.
We have over two million members at LatestDeals.co.uk but if retailers have big marketing goals like increasing market share, acquiring new customers and driving more sales then advertisers really need to push the boat out to organise a great deal to find their ideal customer.
What other areas of the industry can you see yourself working in in the future, perhaps?
That’s a hard one! But I’m quite happy and satisfied with what we’re doing on the publisher side. We do some quite revolutionary things on a daily basis across both companies. This still provides me with enough excitement to wake up every morning to be eagerly awaiting what new exciting projects and campaigns we’ll be working on the week ahead.
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