We work with Mindshare to deliver a number of campaigns for advertisers, most notably for Mazda who were recently highly commended Best Lead Generation Campaign at the A4U Awards. This week we interviewed Richard Lane, Account Director to find out what makes an award-winning campaign and why he’s taken on the challenge to cycle from Lands End to John O Groats…
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Approachable, Sporty and Enthusiastic
You work on a lot of lead generation email campaigns. What is your top advice for advertisers looking to design email creative that converts?
Only include strong call to actions that the affiliates will get paid on and make sure they are visible upon opening the mail, keep the copy minimal and make sure that the links work before you schedule the send!
We hear you’re soon to be cycling from Lands End to John O Groats. What was your inspiration for the challenge?
To be completely honest, it was agreed after a brief chat with my brother (probably after a few beers!) whereby we would set ourselves a challenge to do. Neither of us had a bike but somehow came to this idea. A few months later, with a lighter wallet and a fair few hours of cycling under the belt we are well on the way to being ready for September. We have also decided to do this for Great Ormond St Hospital in connection with a little buddy of ours.
It was great news about Mazda being highly commended as Best Lead Generation campaign at the A4U Awards 2011. What in your mind makes an award-winning campaign?
To me the key is integration across all parties involved – across the affiliate and the network, to the agency and the client but also within the agency. The channel as a whole is becoming more integrated with the rest of the online mix but must continue to do so if it is to remain and grow into a necessary channel among media agencies and their clients. As important as integration is communication, that is between all parties to make sure everybody is aware of what is needed. Without this things get dropped, focus gets lost and performance suffers which will affect everybody involved.
Finally a strong rapport is important again for all parties, without this trust and loyalty is nowhere and quite often it is the risks that can make a good campaign into a great one. If an affiliate trusts you and respects your judgement it is fantastic. Likewise when a client asks their affiliates for feedback it shows a trust and for the affiliates to think of themselves in an advisory role can only have a positive impact to a campaign of any sort.
Judging from the affilinet pub quiz, you’re a bit of a film buff. What is your all-time favourite film?
Well being a big Nicolas Cage fan I should say something involving him but I must say it is ‘Empire of the Sun’. I read the book before I saw the film and it really does buck the trend with regard to the ‘film is never like the book’ debate. Any film containing Christian Bale, Ben Stiller and John Malkovich can only be great! To be fair however, any of the original Star Wars films come a close 2nd.
You’ve been in the industry for over 5 years, what’s the most innovative affiliate activity you’ve been involved with to date?
I think the use of mobile is an obvious choice especially with some networks seeing activity double over the last 6 months alone. With key innovations like the Quidco app being listed within the Guardian consumer app of the week, this shows the impact our industry can make. However I do believe that the inception of the Affiliate Council is massive. Bringing self regulation to an industry such as ours is very brave but also 100% justified. With some big statements made already it shows that it is there to be taken seriously. Not only has this made an impact within our industry but across other channels within media.
What’s been your biggest affiliate-related achievement in that time?
Whilst it would be easy to list facts and figures and programme related stats, this great work I believe should be standard, as the agencies and the networks are here to service the affiliates and the clients to help them become more successful. I could also mention the NMA shortlist we received for affiliate activity this year, but I genuinely feel (as cheesy as it sounds) that educating colleagues here to the standard that they can and do to help sell in the channel to existing clients is probably the biggest achievement.
Being a mad Liverpool fan, what did you think of Fernando Torres moving to Chelsea?
I am sure Mr Lovelace (affilinet sales director) had a hand in this question! At the time I was gutted but to bring in Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez for a similar price to which we sold the former No9, was actually pretty good business, however I am sure that Roman believes that £50m for 1 goal was a bargain too!
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