PI LIVE Europe is fast approaching, so we heard from one of our headline sponsors about their plans for the show.

Rosalyn Berrisford, Regional Managing Director at Awin, clued us in on what new partner types are making a splash right now, why flexibility is so important in the affiliate channel, and why Awin’s main session at PI LIVE Europe 2023 is taking a different approach with its ‘Blind Date’ theme.

What are you most excited about for PI LIVE Europe this year?

It's such a big event in the performance industry calendar. The thing I'm most excited about is just a chance to reconnect with so many partners. I think it's the one chance in the year that you get everybody in the same space, having really interesting conversations, talking about innovations, learning new things from all the fantastic speakers. So I'm excited about that. 

I'm also really excited about some of the coaching and softer side sessions. I know Turn the Talk is doing some sessions. I think it's nice to expand some of the content beyond industry focus, to some of the other disciplines and skills that we will need to use.

For your session at PI LIVE this year, you're taking an unconventional approach with the blind date theme. Could you tell us about the goal of this session, and why you decided to do it this way?

Yes. We are so excited about all the diversity that we see through the channel. It's something that I think has always been a part of the affiliate industry, but it feels like in the last 12 to 18 months, we're seeing many new types of partners come in and use our platform to connect with advertisers. 

We've done research in the past that shows the benefits to advertisers of expanding the different types of partners that they work with and how that drives extra growth and gives them additional reach and new customers. We wanted to create a session that was quite fun and light-hearted that people would remember. 

The idea of the blind date theme – hopefully, a few of us can remember that from back in the day – is to use that concept to understand how different types of publishers can support different advertiser needs and goals. 

I think what's interesting is that we sometimes pigeonhole a publisher to be: 'Oh, that can help with this part of my activity.' There are indeed different partner types that are great at specific things. But, what we're finding more and more, is that even within one partner type or one partner, they can help at different phases of the 'clock' – as we look at it. 

As opposed to the marketing funnel, at Awin we use this concept of the Awin 'clock' and how there's a lot of activity going on throughout the pre-purchase, post-purchase, and all the different elements of the customer journey. 

It's to try and bring some of that to life because it can be hard to navigate so many different types of partners and the different types of strategies and solutions they can bring. 

We want to make it as simple as possible, bring it to life, and show how you can match make. It's something that's a big focus for us for our platform. We've launched our new Partner Discovery platform that tries to use some of these similar ideologies and a bit of fun and simplicity to bring these different opportunities to life and the forefront.

Awin had made some changes to the business. Could you talk about what they are, what they entail, and what it means for your customers?

We have done a lot of work over the last couple of years to try and understand who our customers are. There's a lot of them and you can't place them all into one bucket. You might think, 'Oh, you're working in the affiliate marketing industry, you want to use the different partners as an acquisition channel.' But there are so many types of businesses that we work with and different needs that they have; from a micro-SME that's just starting and wants to use the channel to test some early ideas, to huge enterprise brands that might be spending millions in the channel with mature strategies. They need different types of tools and technologies and different types of services. 

Our previous version of the platform was more of a 'one size fits all' approach. We realised that it wasn't giving everybody exact flavours of how they could make the most of us. We were making some decisions on their behalf about what technology they might need or service they might need from us. So, with the launches that we've had recently, there's a lot of functionality that's similar across all three and this Partner Discovery platform is a good example of that. There are some core fundamentals, like great tracking and partners, that need to be there for everybody. 

But it's some of the things that sit on top of that. Some of the communication tools, commissioning tools, reporting – you don't need the most advanced version of all of that if you're just starting, you just need it to be simple, really quick. Whereas a big enterprise brand needs something that's customised to them, that looks at all of these different data points and gives them lots of flexibility over different commissioning strategies. 

That's what our new programme and platforms bring. They give those customers choice and control over how they work with us. I think we're excited about the benefits that brings. Small companies aren't going to get overwhelmed by things that are maybe too much. But we've got that complexity for the customers that need it.

You referenced the influx of different partner types just now. What types are you specifically referring to there?

Yes! There are so many. They can be grouped into a few different categories. We've seen a lot of growth in the influencer space, which has been exciting. I think we've done a lot of work with the influencer platform to make sure that it's as easy as possible to have affiliate links embedded within there. So that's one area where we're seeing a lot of growth. 

We're seeing a lot of growth within the umbrella term of what we call technology partners. Within that, there are quite a few different companies and different types of technology that would sit in there. 

We're seeing a lot of growth with the media houses. Immediate Media is going to be on the blind date panel. They're leaning into the channel and embracing the speed and the access to advertisers they can get with their content to make sure it's dynamic. They can get the connections up and running quickly. 

Brand partnerships are a huge area of growth that you've probably heard us talk about before. That's accelerating and lots of brands are now using the platform to connect. Many travel brands are now in the space, many retailers are seeing some lovely connections.

We're also seeing more of what we categorise as CSS. The content shopping partners are a huge area of growth and one that smaller SMEs find to be a fantastic, useful way to go in and start to use Google Shopping quickly. 

So, lots across lots of different areas.

Why did Awin sponsor PI LIVE Europe this year?

Similar to what I said earlier for personal reasons. It's such a big event in the performance marketing industry calendar, it's a chance to connect with existing partners and to find new partners. There's so much exciting content. I think we see ourselves as a leader in the field and we want to make sure that we've got a great big presence at the event that we see being so important to the industry.

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