With over ten years industry experience and an impressive CV that includes launching affilinet Netherlands, Auke Boersma is undoubtably a master of his craft. We were lucky enough to sit down with the fascinating Auke where he filled us in on industry trends such as peer-to-peer and social media and the difference between the UK and Dutch markets. He even dispenses some great snowboarding tips!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Focused, energetic, GetTheJobDone (is that 1 word?)
What did you discover about the industry while being MD of affilinet Netherlands for 19 months?
As I came from the Display side of the Industry I experienced that there was quit a large negative sentiment towards Affiliate Marketing. That has seriously changed over the last years with Performance Based Marketing becoming almost mainstream with it’s own position in industry organizations as IAB.
Now you’re in the UK, what are the main differences between the British and Dutch markets? Can you take learnings from one to the other?
The UK market is more advanced. Technologies arriving from the US are embedded and adapted first in UK before the come to mainland Europe. This always gives the UK that head start. Some affiliate channels like voucher codes and cash back are huge here where, especially cash back, has had troubles to gain its position as an affiliate channel. The amount of agencies, advertisers and (super) affiliates might not differ so much but because of the size of the market and audience the numbers are bigger. Much bigger.
A similarity worth mentioning is the fact that networking, and personal contacts are as important. It is in Amsterdam and surrounding cities in The Netherlands where it basically ‘all happens’, just as it is for London in the UK.
You’re currently working with Digital Animal on fandistribution, do you have other any exciting projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?
I am currently discussing several opportunities with companies that want to expand into mainland Europe as well as US based companies that want to enter the UK market. All in the Digital Media space of course!
We love reading your tweets, who do you enjoying following on Twitter?
I’m a fanatic reader of industry news. The Drum, New Media Age, The Next Web, Mashable, Brand Republic are companies whose news feeds and tweets I read. As I moved to UK the tweets from personal and industry friends in Holland are a perfect tool to stay in touch!
You took a 12 month sabbatical during 2006, where was the best place you’ve travelled to?
Traveling for 12 months and being able to visit 16 countries on 4 continents taking around 16.000 photos was a great experience! All countries are beautiful, attractive and fantastic themselves but if I would have to choose 3 it would be quite easy. They would be (in random order): New Zealand, Namibia and Mongolia.
What’s your greatest achievement (professional or personal)?
Interesting question!! I’m not much of a chest beater so you would have to ask other people that question. I am happy though with where I am career wise in the Digital Media sphere as well as on a personal level.
You’ve been in the industry for over 10 years, what’s the most innovative affiliate activity you’ve been involved with to date?
Through my consultancy jobs I have grown a big interest in ‘Affiliate Marketing going back-to-basics’. Who do you consult and trust when buying a product or service? Your friends / family. Digital word-of-mouth / Peer-to-Peer is gaining traction heavily. Brands are paying attention to their clients and customers again to deliver a good product and service to boost positive word-of-mouth. Affiliate Marketing via Social Media!
We hear you are a keen snowboarder. Any advice for absolute beginners?
Take private lessons preferably weeks before you’re heading for the snow! Learning in a group is useless. If there are 5 of you in a group, you still pay 100% but you only get 20% of the instructor’s time and attention. When you get to the snow, you’re not spending the first days of your expensive holiday on your bum.
Don’t let the crashes and muscle aches put you down. I’ve riding my board for more than 60 weeks now, believe me – I’ve been there too!
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