2017 marked a year of progress and transition for Awin and ShareASale, our partner network, as we established firm footing around our new proposition as a joint entity. We spent the first half of the year learning the intricate nature of each other’s technology, then moved on to brainstorming areas of opportunity and innovation to apply to the 2018-19 roadmap. Our partnership offers mutual benefits to partners and clients through the connections and collective experience that come with uniting two intelligent, lean and hard-working teams. I couldn’t be more excited to build our joint business venture, now collectively referred to as the Awin Group, alongside industry-veteran and newly-appointed VP of ShareASale, Sarah Beeskow Blay.
While Awin has exhibited steady growth in the US, facilitated by key wins like Etsy, AllSaints, HP, and StubHub, our newfound partnership with ShareASale will hasten our growing footprint in North America. And in turn, we excitedly share our expertise in full-service management, critical global market insights and technology like cross-device tracking. In this equation, 1+1 = 3.
Most importantly, we can now offer clients a solution to all possible program needs with a comprehensive, all-encompassing affiliate marketing suite of tools and technology: global expansion, advanced tracking, reporting, attribution, CDT, influencer management, program management, self-service, compliance, brand protection... you name it, we’ve got it. Our doors are open to provide a custom-fit solution to any client, whether a fledgling, small-to-medium brand or Internet Retailer Top 500 enterprise.
I am personally looking forward to communicating our increased offering at our co-branded ThinkTank coming up in April (PSA: mark your calendars and apply today before space runs out!) This unique networking event and conference has been a mainstay for ShareASale over the years and is designed to help network members do more with their programs. Now a co-branded event, Awin’s participation will only strengthen the proposition for attendees through the lens of global strategy, and by contributing to a wider base of publishers and advertisers to support 1-on-1 partner meetings.
From an Awin perspective, we will continue with the work we’ve done to get us to this point in 2018, which includes building new relationships with brands and affiliates, supplying client strategy and providing expert support. As our team grows we will dedicate even more support to publisher development to further diversify our partner ecosystem. Specifically, we have found great success already in nurturing mass media partnerships and influencers through new technology, tools and hands-on support – both segments we look to expand through additional investment and recruitment.
As our team expands our office space appears to shrink, so we are preparing for our second move in two years’ time to accommodate our growing business. It was important to us to prioritize finding a location built for expansion, as we now get frequent visitors from the Chicago team and plan to add even more staff throughout 2018. Full of unique spaces for creative collaboration, our new location will boast more than just aesthetic improvements. We want to foster openness, flexibility and provide an environment in which people feel more excited than ever to come to each day. With that said, consider this is my formal invitation to visit once we’re settled in February.
While working so diligently on our latest partnership with ShareASale, it’s easy to forget the evolution that led me to today. Having been through three previous rebrands - starting with Buy.at, then Affiliate Window and now Awin - and three offices during my time here, I am reminded of the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of this industry. In all aspects, we have grown with the times, and innovated to accommodate latest needs of our clients.
The future couldn’t be brighter. With this acquisition, the US is taking a stronger position within the larger global Awin Group. Not long ago, Awin was considered primarily a European service provider, but our growth, coupled with the ShareASale proposition, has caught the attention it deserves internally and has been earmarked as an area worthy of considerable investment. This investment, supported by Awin Global and media titan Axel Springer, means we will continue pushing the boundaries of what is currently available in the channel, and leading the industry in terms of technology and service. Thank you for your continued business and for growing with us. Here’s to a successful and productive 2018 and look forward to seeing many of you at Affiliate Summit West next week.