Archive for February, 2011

Maxinutrition Consolidate Affiliate Proposition to Exclusive Alliance with Affiliate Window

Written by Lisa Chaikin on . Posted in PR & Press Releases

Maxinutrition, the UK’s leading sports nutrition retailer, look to strengthen their existing partnership with Affiliate Window through the consolidation of their affiliate programmes Maximuscle, Maxitone and Maxifuel. As the sports nutrition industry continues its upward trend of annual growth in 2010, the performance marketing channel remains a key component to their online business success, being a consistent driver of their customer acquisition.

Affiliate Window has consistently driven new customers to the Maxinutrition brands while generating a significantly higher ROI than previous network partners. Future strategic plans include a comprehensive recruitment drive for the Maxitone and Maxifuel sites to provide niche, content publishers who focus on nutrition and overall health and fitness.

Sam Musk, Web Marketing Manager for Maxinutrition has managed the affiliate campaigns for 3 years. He says: “Affiliate Window has impressed us with their levels of service and innovation within the channel. Now that we have additional brands sat alongside Maximuscle, it was the ideal time to consolidate. AW’s pro-activity will help to grow our infant brands while the technology and reporting will be an asset to our online team.”

Anthony Clements, Client Services Director for Affiliate Window adds: “It is great news for Digital Window that a brand like Maxinutrition, with its strong history of pro-active online marketing initiatives, has decided to consolidate its affiliate activity with us. We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Maxinutrition since launching their first programme, Maximuscle, at the start of 2007. Like their programme, our working relationship has gone from strength to strength, and we anticipate further growth in Maxinutrition’s affiliate activity in 2011 as the company look to put the channel at the core of their online marketing strategy.”

Maxinutrition was recently acquired by GSK who also own Lucozade, Horlicks and Ribena, further building upon their strong placement in the global, sports nutrition market.

For press enquiries, please contact:
Lisa Chaikin
PR Manager, Affiliate Window

e: lisa.chaikin@affiliatewindow.com
t: 020 7553 0333

How the ASA changes impact affiliate marketing

Written by Lisa Chaikin on . Posted in IAB

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s independent watchdog committed to maintaining high standards in advertising for the benefit of consumers, advertisers and society.

Its role is to monitor digital and non-digital advertising and respond to consumer concerns about potentially misleading claims. In other words it covers digital marketing advertisers carry out either directly or through third parties like Digital Window.

On September 1st, 2010 The ASA announced an extension to the remit of digital media it currently covers, expanding it to oversee new digital channels, most notably social networking sites.

The remit and processes are defined through mandatory Advertising Codes. These codes are designed to ensure that advertisements, wherever they appear, remain legal, decent, honest and truthful. The codes are drawn up by the Committee of Advertising Practice.

For nearly 50 years the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has set out the remit and the rules via a broadcast and non-broadcast code. The non-broadcast code that covers digital marketing is known as the CAP Code.

Over time the CAP Code has been updated to take account of new technologies and to reflect changes in advertising standards. Today it applies to marketing communications across all non-broadcast media including online where it already covers advertisements in paid-for space and sales promotions wherever they appear.

Following a six month grace period the revised CAP Code will become effective 1st March 2011.

Whilst we don’t envisage any particular direct consequences for advertisers running affiliate programmes we felt it useful to provide you with full details of the changes with an affiliate marketing context. These are outlined in a document you can access by emailing Digital Window’s Strategy Director Kevin Edwards.

It’s important to remember that advertisers should not be alarmed by the CAP Code extension; it’s simply a reaction to the changing digital landscape.

Agile coach Mike Pearce tells us his code for success

Written by Sarah on . Posted in Interview, Technology

Continual development of our technology products is central to the success of our proposition. As well as a 25 person-strong development team (and counting!), Affiliate Window and buy.at have invested in supporting resources to ensure that all of our technical departments are as efficient, productive and accountable as possible.

Investing in people and infrastructure matters, but so does establishing the right approach and attitude. We are aware that agile methodology is playing a huge role in this, so when we saw Neil Perkin’s recent Econsultancy article “Six ways to bring Agile Innovation into your company,” we went running to our dedicated Agile coach, Mike Pearce to find out more…



As Digital Window’s agile coach, you are the company’s advocate for agile methodology. Why do you feel it’s important to have a clear organizing system for our technical and product development work?

There’s a lot to get right in software development, from listening to our customers (not just verbally but also watching their trends and traffic on our platform to help us understand our users), to delivering valuable software to satisfy our users along with a whole lot of collaboration! With so much going on and regular changes in customer requirements, we need to maintain agility to keep pace with the changing performance marketing industry, as well as expanding on our foothold in the US and merging our legacy systems into the new Darwin platform. We, therefore need a coherent set of rules which allow us to work quickly, delivering quality and providing feedback fast. Agile offers us that (as well as other benefits).

How far do you agree with Neil Perkin’s key points in his recent article “Six ways to bring Agile Innovation into your company”?

I agree with all of them. The Agile methodology is fairly simple. The harder part, and the reason roles like mine exists, is applying the 4 core values and 12 principles of agile to the things we do every day. Traditionally, the Agile methodology is applied to software engineering projects, but increasingly I’m seeing articles like this, which extract relevant ideas from the Agile Manifesto and apply it to other areas of the business. I think it’s wonderful; if we’re all Agile, we can work in rhythm and that will make things easier and more efficient as we’re all dancing to the same song.


Do you think that Neil has prioritized the right areas? Within our own business environment, what key elements of agile innovation are most important?

Yes, although perhaps not in the right order. Our highest calling is satisfying our customer with early, regular releases of quality software (or, other soft services in other parts of the business). If we’re regularly releasing software – and regular could mean quarterly, monthly or fortnightly – then we’re getting feedback quicker and providing value sooner. After that, collaboration is very important. We’re not, for the most part, the primary users of many of our products and so we rely on those that are to help us steer the products in the direction most beneficial to these users.

I’m also in love with our feedback loop. Without this, we wouldn’t know what to build. I believe in the 80/20 rule, 80% of your users will use 20% of your product. So, this is where the value lies, in that 20%. This 20% is where we’ll get the most feedback from the most users and that feedback is driven straight back into our product team to help them make decisions on which direction the product should take.

There’s plenty of other agile elements that add up to our whole agile process, but the one I want to particularly mention is our inspect and adapt cycle. Once we finish an iteration, that is a period of development, we look back at not what we did, but how we did it and see if there are improvements we can make in our process. Toyota call this Kaizen, which simply means “improvement”, we look for weak points in our process – if we think we could test better, or analyse better, or collaborate better – and make a change for the next iteration, then ask “Did it work?” and, if so, try making something else better. We’ve all learnt one important thing (and it’s a bit cheesy): perfection is a direction, not a destination.

As a service provider as well as a technology company, in what ways do you think agile methodology can cross over between departments and benefit the company as a whole?

We’ve already started to see benefits. The features we work on now have stakeholders within the business, people with specialist knowledge of a feature, or a relationship with users who interact with the feature. These stakeholders are empowered to steer the direction of our products and it’s making a big difference. Also, our development teams work to two week iterations and the business knows that we could potentially deliver new features every two weeks (and we frequently do, our recent security improvements are testament to that!). This energises people as they can see constant change. It also means we’re getting fresh, relevant and valuable feedback which is incredibly important when planning new features, releases and changes.

One of the most interesting points that the article makes is regarding integration of customer involvement and feedback into the production process. As Digital Window continues to develop industry leading products, in what ways are we putting this point into practice?

Feedback happens on several levels in our development process and we do all we can to foster and encourage it. Firstly, there are our stakeholders, who, as I mentioned, specialise in their chosen project (eg, reporting, profiles, security, etc). They represent our users and our business. We collaborate with the stakeholders about twice a week, checking we’re on the right path and making minor course adjustments as we go.

Secondly, we’re heavily involved with our product managers day-to-day. Their vision and creativity helps set our products apart from our competitors and their feedback helps us explore new ideas with existing features.

Finally, when we launch our new features, we look forward to hearing feedback from our users. While it’s great to get good, positive feedback, it’s also very useful to get negative feedback. It helps us tweak our products in direct response to what our users like and don’t like. As I mentioned, our highest calling is early and regular deliver of valuable software. Without our users and stakeholders being involved and providing constructive criticism, it’s much harder to deliver the software our users want. Until someone can teach me to use a crystal ball effectively, I’ll rely on our feedback loop.

If you want to know more about our agile process, or gain some insights into what we’re doing in the Affiliate Window development team, then follow @AffWinTech on twitter.

All Aboard: Join us on our maiden voyage!

Written by Sam Surry on . Posted in Events

All Aboard with Affiliate Window and buy.at for the networks’ very first travel event.

Following the success of previous gatherings Live Wire, Fashion Focus and Unwrapped, All Aboard presents travel-specific merchants and affiliates with the latest sector research from the performance industry and enables them to network in a friendly and intimate setting.

We’re delighted to announce that Kevin May, Editor and Co-Founder of the travel technology website tnooz, will be joining us on the day as a guest speaker. Kevin will offer his expert opinion on the impact of recent tech advances and changes to distribution, and how they have shaped the structure of the travel industry.

DATE & VENUE
Wednesday 30th March 2011 ¦ 12.00 – 5.00 pm ¦ HMS President, EC4Y 0HJ

ITINERARY

12:00 Arrival and Registration
12:30 Kevin May, tnooz ¦ Trends within the travel industry
13:00 Owen Hewitson, AWin & buy.at Strategist¦ User & affiliate engagement
14:00 Lunch
15:00 Expo opens

Travel merchants, if you are interested in exhibiting at All Aboard, please speak to your AW or buy.at account contact. Travel affiliates, if you would like to attend please contact Victoria Limpenny in the DW Partnerships team.

For all general event enquiries please e-mail events@digitalwindow.com.

Reader’s Digest Integrate Performance Marketing with Affiliate Window

Written by Lisa Chaikin on . Posted in PR & Press Releases

Reader’s Digest is expanding their online offering in the UK through the exclusive launch of an affiliate programme with Affiliate Window. With a portfolio of products including the hugely successful magazine, DVDs, CDs and books, Reader’s Digest is one of the UKs best loved and most successful brands, making growth potential via online channels a key component for the future success of the business.

Working in collaboration with digital marketing agency twentysix Digital, Affiliate Window will introduce their proprietary tools and technology to propel Reader’s Digest’s affiliate campaigns forward. Together they plan to utilise the performance channel to generate targeted and relevant site traffic to Reader’s Digest’s website www.readersdigest.co.uk. They are tasked with increasing subscription rates the magazine and accelerating e-commerce sales revenues for Reader’s Digest’s books, CDs and DVDs retail arm.

Kevin Edwards, Strategy Director for Affiliate Window comments:Affiliate Window is really excited to be helping Reader’s Digest increase their reach through the performance channel. We’re aware the affiliate campaign is part of a significant push by the company to drive online subscriptions and product sales and the range of affiliate partners available should make for a fruitful partnership.

Andrew Chung, Head of Affiliates at twentysix Digital adds:We are delighted to launch Reader’s Digest’s affiliate campaign on Affiliate Window exclusively. We chose Affiliate Window because of its market leading technology, desirable set of affiliates and key relationships with exclusive publishers. We believe this will give the programme every chance to succeed and become a key channel for Reader’s Digest.

As Reader’s Digest further develops within the online arena, through increased resource and new strategic campaigns, they look forward to harnessing the affiliate channel to ensure the growth and success of the business and brand.

For press enquiries, please contact:
Lisa Chaikin
PR Manager, Affiliate Window

e: lisa.chaikin@affiliatewindow.com
t: 020 7553 0333

Staying informed and keeping in touch

Written by Sarah on . Posted in Network News

Affiliate Window want to ensure that our affiliates can engage with us effectively through a variety of means. We also know that most news and offers that we need to pass on to affiliates are time sensitive. One of the best ways to to keep in touch with both networks is through our social media.

Affiliate Window twitter:
http://twitter.com/AffWin

Affiliate Window Technical twitter
http://twitter.com/AffWinTech

Affiliate Window facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/affiliatewindow

Follow or “like” our profiles to make sure you don’t miss any industry news, offers or fun that we send out.

If you have any feedback about the content we feature on facebook or twitter or any questions about contacting either network, please email communications@affiliatewindow.com.