So, it’s that time of year again when agencies and networks tweet about how many awards they have been nominated for (I would love to see how many entries they made). I look at some categories and wonder what they have to do with affiliate marketing, and then remember it’s the “Performance” Marketing Awards, not the “Affiliate” Marketing Awards.
You may sense some cynicism and sarcasm here, possibly mixed in with a bit of bitterness from years gone by. But let me have my bit of fun, I’ve been in this game 12 years now and I know how it works, it’s not what you actually do, it’s what you say you do and how well you convince people that what you are doing deserves an award – good writing and PR wins awards.
However, this year we have some great nominations. Thomas Cook Airlines– who are in arguably the toughest category The Travel & Leisure Award- is truly one of the most sophisticated, forward thinking, affiliate friendly programmes I have seen in many years. The team at both affilinet and Thomas Cook Airlines care passionately for the channel and have worked tirelessly over the past 12 months to make it into a very successful channel. We also have Staysure nominated for Best New Entrant, a bespoke insurance company for the over 50s market. Staysure and the team at affilinet have engaged with affiliates, competing against the bigger players in the market to get share of voice which they have successfully achieved. An incredibly forward thinking and passionate team, who thoroughly earn their right to be nominated for best newcomer. Then we have First Utility in the Industry Choice of Partner – Advertiser Award. First Utility have taken on the goliaths of the energy industry, putting customers first and campaigning for lower and more competitive prices. In the affiliate sector they have been huge advocates of the channel and key players in fighting against potentially detrimental legislation. All three nominations are thoroughly deserving of their place on the podium.
So, that brings us to the last of our two nominations, both for affilinet. The first is for Network Innovation in the long-tail and recognises our 3 year strategy to improve the channel for advertisers and long tail affiliates. We go up against another worthy entry from Affiliate Window for their payment on influence, which I also believe is heading in the right direction for the affiliate channel. I would be happy to see either award take the accolade as I strongly feel that innovation in the sector has to be in this area. On reflection perhaps just four awards in this category highlight a worrying area for the industry going forward-networks have to and should be innovating but the lack of entries is concerning.
This brings us to the final award, Industry Choice of Partner – Network / Tech. A highly contested award, possibly the one with the biggest accolade of them all as this asks who is the best partner in the sector and pits the networks and tech partners against each other. Every partner nominated deserves the right to be there so I simply fight the case for affilinet:
We say it how it is, we strive to put affiliates first and fight for the little man. We want a fair playing field for all affiliates, dedicating resource and investment into improving how we work with all affiliates. We took 50 affiliates to the Performance Marketing Insights conference in October and I talked in a session about how the industry needs to shift focus to look after all affiliates, not just the top few. We have invested in our team, growing the publisher, account management and operations teams as well as international and support. I am focused on the team’s development, ensuring we keep their skills in the industry- an issue currently afflicting the channel. We work closely with our advertisers, but as a partnership, we strive to challenge each other, try new things and push boundaries.
We are one of the few Networks truly innovating in a channel that we as networks should own and fight for growth. We believe in affiliate marketing, and think we should be proud to be in the affiliate channel and remain as affiliate marketing specialists. I firmly believe that the team should be rewarded for all of the hard work and effort they have put in over the last year, so to vote for affilinet as your Industry Choice of Partner please click here
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