For our latest addition to our Publisher Focus series, I decided to sit down with Mark Andres, Head of Partnerships at Giftcloud to find out about his role and Giftcloud’s unique selling points. Find out more below…
What does your role involve at Giftcloud?
As head of partnerships, I’m responsible for all relations between Giftcloud and affiliate networks, agencies and publishers. Since joining the Giftcloud team in April, my primary focus has been to grow our client base within the performance industry, increasing activity with our existing brands and encouraging merchants to use gift incentives as part of their promotional strategy.
How long have you been in the industry?
I’ve been in the affiliate industry for 9 years, all of which being at Invitation Digital Ltd. I started off my performance marketing career by being part of the founding team, launching the Vouchercloud app and website. It’s been an amazing journey for me, from setting up all the affiliate tracking for Vouchercloud in 2008, which back then was completely new to me! Seeing the revenues grow rapidly from a few thousand pounds in month one to millions was an amazing experience. Skip forward to April 2017 and that’s where I made my move over to Giftcloud.
Describe a typical day at work?
The majority of my time is spent in Bristol where the Giftcloud head office is based, however, I do tend to get out of the office on a regular basis, usually travelling to London for a client meeting or an industry event, obviously where possibly making sure I coincide my meeting with a client lunch, event or industry party! A lot of what I would involve working with my clients, whether it’s a network, agency, publisher or brand direct to give them insight around their gifting strategy; usually customer acquisition campaigns when using affiliate tracking.
Can you tell me about Giftcloud and what are your unique selling point?
Giftcloud enables networks, agencies, publishers and brands to run gift incentive campaigns, usually as part of a customer acquisition piece, but also used as a retention, reactivation and cross-selling tool. Giftcloud’s main USP’s would be:
- Speed of service – The platform delivers gifts instantly, with no fuss or issue of postal delays
- Choice of content – We have access to the largest selection of eGifts in the UK, with over 75 to choose from
- Economics – Our clients only have to pay for gift cards that need to be sent out. There are no fulfilment or upfront fees.
- Customisation and Branding – All campaigns are branded and optimised to each client’s’ specification
What do you think will be the next big thing in digital?
There’s been a lot of buzz around influencer marketing this year. Influencers are nothing new but a lot of networks and specialist agencies have been putting a lot of time and effort into growing and refining them as a channel. I feel that this Q4 will be a very strong year for them. From a more technical advancement point of view, the next big thing that will have a big impact in the digital space is artificial intelligence. A.I in the affiliate marketing world will give extremely clever insights which will allow some publishers/brands to highly target the right users instantly and of course when increasing conversion rates with intelligent chatbots that pass for humans.
This industry is well known for the social aspect, what has been one of the best events you have attended?
One of the most enjoyable network events that I love to attend is the Annual affilinet Poker Tournament. It’s such a great night with some amazing prizes for those that make it to the final table. One day I will win the Thomas Cook Airlines flights… it’s only a matter of time!
If we are looking at the must-attend event in the affiliate/performance marketing calendar, it has to be PI Live, a two-day event in London, where the whole industry gets together. It’s fantastic for meeting clients/peers and also keeping up to date with what’s going on and the key changes/trends.
We have lots of characters in the affilinet office! What is the funniest thing to happen in your office in 2017 so far?
The most fun thing I’ve encountered in the industry is not a what, but a who!
An ex-colleague of mine used to come out with some absolute clangers which either made us completely lol or sit there in silence, stunned. We kept a note of all his sayings, here’s a small selection:
“Isn’t it funny how Jesus and Santa have the same Birthday”
“Where is Islam? Is it the place in The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe?”
“Who won WWII?”
“What’s Matt Damon’s real name?”
“Can you spend a Bristol Pound in London?”
“Do dogs have periods?”
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