Interview: Savings United discuss delivering on advertisers Black Friday objectives

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Aftab Aslam, Head of UK Operations at Savings United shares his thoughts on Black Friday and what it means at his  company.

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What does your business do, and what would you say makes it an exciting company/brand?

Savings United partners with premium media companies worldwide to connect advertisers with shoppers across different stages of the customer journey. These partnerships offer advertisers performance-based, offline and online marketing strategies that combine effective content and voucher code solutions.

What makes our company so exciting is that we enable media companies, advertisers and customers to make the most out of e-commerce - helping each of them to save, connect and earn.

For instance, together with our media partners and advertisers, we help add value to the customer journey. This starts with information and tips to increase relevance and make their purchasing decision easier. Additionally, we add voucher code opportunities that deliver the most ideal shopping experience.

What do you think of global retail events like Black Friday? Are they a positive thing for your business or do they make your job harder?

Global retail events (particularly Black Friday!) are a great way to deliver increased revenue and engagement for brands through savvy consumers. Although it’s seen as a window for deep discounting, its rarity means that it generates huge excitement and buzz – which we as a publisher fully embrace and love.

It’s definitely a positive thing as it allows us to create and deliver effective campaigns focusing on different verticals that will be undoubtedly popular during this time (e.g. Tech & Fashion) and try new things. Consequently, we’re creating new campaign pages and on-site placements for Black Friday where advertisers can showcase their best deals. We realise the importance and opportunity for brands events like these bring and are preparing accordingly. 

What did you learn from Black Friday 2017 and how has that been implemented in your 2018 plans?

We understand that search intent starts in early November for Black Friday deals, gradually moving from more generic terms to brand focused terms. Therefore, we have ensured we factor that in our planning and conversations with advertisers. All our Black Friday content and campaign pages will go live in the first week of November to be best positioned to capture user interest in deals.

Although this is our first active year as a publisher in the UK market, we have a highly experienced team, years of know-how as a global publisher and plenty of industry insights and market analysis which guides our focus regarding current market trends and best practices.

What value can affiliates contribute to an advertiser’s objectives during Black Friday?

There is tremendous value affiliates can contribute given they form part of an advertisers’ sales force, driving traffic and ultimately revenue for them.

Given we work with premium media partners, we are partnering with ‘ultimate influencers’ and that trust and reach do add significant value to brands over Black Friday. The likes of the Independent and Evening Standard are a trusted voice in British journalism, and Expert Reviews is a definitive technology buying guide. Therefore, our premium UK portfolio is focused on delivering the best deals and discount codes in the market to be perfectly aligned with advertiser objectives during Black Friday.

How do you think Black Friday and the wider Cyber Weekend are evolving? What do you think these events will look like in the future?

As seen in last year's Awin’s Black Friday Report, transactions in the UK & Ireland increased by 11% which indicates that this event is still growing in importance, and that will only continue for brands.

How consumers are targeted will primarily become a ‘device & duration’ play. Mobile will become the dominant means in how deals are researched, discovered and purchased. The duration of the event is already being stretched beyond the big four days, and that will continue with Black Friday & Cyber Monday noise and buzz kicking off in early November. Increased focus already falls not so much on Black Friday, but rather Black Friday Week with discounting already in full swing to grab the impulse buyer and leverage deal sentiment.

However, brands will remain conscious of ensuring this doesn’t overshadow Xmas shopping and deplete the consumer wallet too soon. Other ways it evolves may revolve around verticals which are traditionally absent from active promotions (e.g. Travel). They may start to join in the crowd to promote deep discounting for Xmas getaway deals (should inventory demand it) given it follows 3-4 weeks after Black Friday. 

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