“In Cost-Per-Action marketing our advertisers do not have any difficulties tracking the success of their ad campaigns because admitad’s in-house platform tracks ‘actions’ very effectively introducing updated statistics in real time via our user interface.”
On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us about your role and how you got here? What inspired you to start a CPA platform?
I am the CEO and founder of admitad – a cost-per-action based global affiliate network. I founded admitad in 2009 in Germany; and since then it has expanded globally with its headquarters in Heilbronn and offices in Russia, India, the Republic of Belarus, China and Ukraine and with the staff of 300+ employees and over half a million publishers.
Regarding your second question, I decided to organize a CPA affiliate network because I already had some experience in this field as a publisher at Affilinet and Zanox. At that time, I was one of the most effective publishers in Germany, one of the TOP 10 largest publishers for 4 years in a row, and had been working on the affiliate market since 2006. Therefore, I had learned business practices, what tools a publisher needed, and which approach suited them better. At the same time, when working as a publisher, I noticed many pitfalls in the existing affiliate networks’ service and I knew how to do better. I launched admitad at the age of 17 starting with a $27 investment. Then I noticed a marketing opportunity in Russia. I could speak Russian, had some good friends there and knew their business culture. I moved there for 1.5 years, analyzed all pros and cons and started to build my business in the Republic of Belarus, then Russia, with the headquarters in Germany. Since then, admitad’s business has expanded globally and is currently uniting over half a million publishers and over 1,500 brands.
MTS: How does admitad enable publishers to leverage affiliate marketing to drive ROI?
At admitad, we think that, in order to succeed, publishers do not only have to be supplied with innovative tools and technology; we also focus on providing guidance and support to them from the very beginning of their journey in affiliate marketing. This year we opened the Admitad Academy for Publishers which provides courses and webinars that help our publishers develop their skills in CPA. Since it was founded, admitad has been different from others in that our staff has personal experience in CPA as publishers and we all understand our affiliates and their practical needs in this business. Another important thing is admitad support service. From the very beginning, we have been cultivating three important features in our support: fast response, deep expertise in all marketing niches we work with, and knowledge of multiple languages and cultural sensitivity. Our managers do not only speak various languages, they also understand our clients culturally. This is regarding our support.
Apart from the personalised service, admitad offers our publishers all innovations they need in order to be successful and competitive. At admitad, publishers find an adaptive toolbox, online statistics available 24/7, cost-effective and predictable results, and an opportunity to work globally with over 1500 brands from Europe, America, Asia and the CIS region. Admitad ‘s publishers receive weekly payments with low payment threshold of $20 and premium payments, when admitad network secures our affiliates’ revenues. What is also important, is that over 140 exclusive programs are available, only on our platform. Our publishers receive an exclusive right to drive traffic on those advertisers’ offers.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
Apart from CPA marketing, I focus on investing in promising digital startups and businesses. I believe that influencer marketing is an important sphere in online marketing, so we are watching it globally and investing in it via admitad fund. There is an inspiring example: EPICSTARS project. It is a highly promising startup that operates as a platform for promoting brands, products and services through influencer marketing. During its first year, EPICSTARS engaged more than 5,000 registered advertisers and conducted 300 successful advertising campaigns with a total budget of over $400,000. In 2017, Admitad Invest performed a new round of investment amounting to $1.6 mln.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
This a very broad question, so let me segment it first.
First of all, admitad has been operating on its proprietary platform since 2010. We continuously develop some new tools, upgrade the existing technologies and boost innovations in-house and via the admitad investment fund that helps promising ideas to be implemented and startups to grow. The admitad toolbox for publishers currently consists of 15 tools that introduce various multi-angle solutions for tracking, analyzing, targeting, broader promotion and planning successful advertising campaigns for both mobile and desktop traffic across various types of websites globally. I would like to highlight that admitad tracking solutions including cross-device tracking, fingerprint tracking and some convenient tools such as Cookie Checker and Lost Orders. Those innovative tools allow admitad publishers to track and boost their success in affiliate marketing.
Admitad tools for advertisers are designed not only to increase their brand and product visibility, to reach and target new and existing customers, but also to enable them to learn more about their customers and increase the return rates of each online shop or marketplace. admitad uses tools such as online chat agent (Vechat) and artificial intelligent tool VeContact to help our advertisers keep customers coming back to their website.
MTS: Would you tell us about your standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success?)
Talking about standout results, I would like to tell you about our Chinese partners from e-commerce malls who by the end of this year will receive $500 million in revenue from cross-border trade with other international markets via admitad. As the CEO and founder of an Internet marketing network, I believe in numbers that depict particular results. Not long ago, admitad calculated the amount directed to the Chinese business by sales in foreign markets through our affiliate program. The overall amount came up to $ 310 million within a 9-month period in 2017. For this research, we analysed over 70 Chinese e-commerce malls affiliated with admitad as advertisers.
In Cost-Per-Action marketing our advertisers do not have any difficulties tracking the success of their ad campaigns because admitad’s in-house platform tracks ‘actions’ very effectively introducing updated statistics in real time via our user interface. In general, CPA is a predictable tool which is especially important for budgeting. Efficiency is a more important issue. In the case of cross-border trade performed by our Chinese partners, ROI is 1 to 10. The target audience here consists of worldwide customers who use the Internet for shopping. These results indicate that admitad is an effective channel for cross-border ecommerce.
MTS: How do you see the affiliate marketing platforms evolving with the maturity of AI/ML technologies?
Machine learning is an evolving technological trend, a step towards artificial general intelligence. We are already witnessing artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) designed to perform some narrow tasks. As affiliate marketing is moving towards optimization of multiple simple processes, personification and digitalization, AI/ML can change this industry and change the whole industry of affiliate marketing and online advertising. We are currently witnessing online businesses automatizing all kinds of work using artificial narrow intelligence based bot technologies. If ANI increases its online security and decreases the number of technical issues, I won’t be surprised to see some tectonic changes in affiliate industry in this regard very soon.
This is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
My work is my hobby. So, “Hobby”.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I constantly search for new tools and apps which can optimize my work and help me and my team achieve better results. So, in relation to work, I can recommend the following apps: Ghostery, HttpFox, Firebug, and Screencastify.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I believe that healthy lifestyle is the foundation of my productivity. I adhere to it all the time. Actually, sport is among the most significant elements of admitad corporate culture. Sport boosts your energy so that you are able to work productively.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I don’t really like to read books but I am planning to read about Elon Musk in the near future.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I agree with Mr. Carnegie (Dale Carnegie once said: “The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore”.) Because when you take a risk, put everything at stake for success – money, time, your beliefs, – you understand that you have to go on, there is no way back. So, I think the best advice was to act and fight for your dreams. When I was 17, my school teacher told me that I would never succeed in my life, and I decided to prove her wrong. I left school and started my own business.
MTS: Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Mark Walters, CEO of AWIN
MTS: Thank you Alexander! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Admitad GmbH Founder and CEO. Alexander has been working with the Internet since the age of 15. He started out by developing his own websites and ways to make money from them. Alexander soon become one of the Top 10 publishers in Germany, where he remained for several years.
Currently he develops tools for the admitad affiliate network, gives consultations to advertisers and publishers on affiliate marketing, as well as on developing new business models for CPA marketing and the launch of related projects.
Many top admitad publishers have received personal tips and advice from CEO himself, helping them to reach a net dollar profit in tens of thousands per month.
Alexander is a devoted fan of the Audi brand and the Mechta (Dream) Cafe in Moscow. Alexander Bachmann has just one hobby − his job. This is what he devotes all of his time to, including on weekends, holidays, and even rare vacation times.
Admitad is a network of Cost-Per-Action affiliate programs, providing advertisers with reliable sales sources and enabling publishers to create new business models for monetizing traffic admitad has been operating in the market since 2010. Throughout this period, we have grown from a small office with a staff of 10 to a large team of over 200 employees based in Moscow, Kiev, Minsk, Istambul and Heilbronn (Germany). Let us introduce ourselves. As of 2017, admitad supports over 1300 affiliate programs with over 550,000 publishers. Every day, over 8,000,000 visitors are directed to advertisers’ websites via our publishers.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.