We interviewed Shane Forster, UK Country Manager at Voucherbox.co.uk. He gives us an insight into his role at Voucherbox and his thoughts on the digital marketing trends for 2014. Find out more below…
What does your role at Voucherbox involve? What is your favorite part of your current role?
I joined Voucherbox in early October 2013 after four years in the price comparison industry, working with some of the biggest publishers in the United Kingdom and Germany. My role largely revolves around ensuring the growth and success of our UK expansion. Being established in Germany for a number of years with Gutscheinsammler.de, our UK venture is a really important next step for our company. Although at the moment I’m involved in almost all aspects of the running of Voucherbox, one of my current focal points is establishing relationships with advertisers and networks, such as affilinet and fueling further growth initiatives.
I would say that the two most enjoyable parts of my job are the variety which it brings and being able to work and establish relationships with advertisers who are genuinely engaged with growing the partnership and looking for new ways to increase revenue.
Tell us a bit about Voucherbox? What are your unique selling points?
In a nutshell, Voucherbox is the UK expansion of Gutscheinsammler.de, which is one of the largest voucher sites in Germany. We’re a young team, having launched Voucherbox to advertisers in November 2013 and we’re expecting to bring the same success that we have seen in Germany to the United Kingdom.
I believe the fact that we are still in our infancy is our biggest asset for advertisers at the moment. Although we don’t yet have the huge secondary marketing channels- such as the large newsletter databases some of our competitors have- we place a premium on service and ensuring that both parties are receiving a fair deal on any activities which advertisers choose to run with us.
We’re also seeking to bring a breath of fresh air to the voucher scene in the United Kingdom, which has been largely dominated by a few Super-Affiliates for quite a while. Advertisers are beginning to look for new publishers to form strong relationships with, instead of sticking to the same partners each year – and this is where we are hoping to fill the void.
What are your 2014 goals at Voucherbox?
2014 is largely about growth and building relationships for us. Although we have already achieved a lot in the short time that we have been working with advertisers, we know we have a long way to go to establish ourselves as one of the top voucher publishers in the UK and a preferred partner for advertisers. We’ve already attracted more than 20,000 fans on Facebook and have driven over £5 million in revenue for our partner advertisers since our launch in November. However, factoring in that we are not working with all of the advertisers which we display on our site, we expect this to be in excess of £10 million in reality.
We’ve got a lot planned already, for example we just finished our January Travel Week promotion and a competition to win a £1,000 Shopping Spree.
Tell us about your typical working day- what does it involve?
Currently, there is no typical day at Voucherbox and every day really does bring something completely different – which is really exciting, but also challenging at the same time. Being based in Berlin, we tend to start a bit earlier than everyone in London, which gives a good opportunity to prepare for the day before the flood of incoming emails and calls start.
What do you think will be the biggest trend for the digital marketing industry this year? What were the biggest changes you witnessed over 2013?
I believe that some of the biggest changes this year in digital marketing will be around attribution; with a greater use of analytics by non-top-tier retailers to truly analyse and understand what is driving their marketing efforts outside of a last-click-wins basis.
At the same time, I believe that there is still plenty that needs to be done in this space by top-tier advertisers. Whilst I am fully supportive of advertisers aligning their marketing efforts with internal goals, unfortunately there have been numerous instances of this being implemented in a fashion, which are detrimental to the partnerships that were key to their previous growth.
2013 saw great strides being made in mobile and connecting the online-to-offline purchase process. I think that this will continue into 2014 and beyond and ultimately have a far longer lasting impact than anything else we saw last year.
What was the last purchase you made online?
The last purchase I made was our first round of business cards for Voucherbox from Vistaprint. They should arrive in the next few days! However, if business expenses don’t count, then the last personal purchase I made online was a new blender from Amazon.de to replace one that had seen better days.