Congrats To A4UAward Winners 2011
Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the A4UAwards 2011, but I did have the “privilege” of being a judge for the second time. It was by no means an easy task. The quality of some entries was quite astonishing – it’s just a shame I’m bound by an NDA as there a couple of entries I’d really like to say “wow, that was pretty cool”. This year it was very clear to me that partnership, collaboration, strong ties to merchants and/or networks is vital for how a lot of the big guys now operate.
The fact that James Little has moved from Affiliate Future to head up a new London office for TopCashBack is indicative that if you’re involved in the higher echelons of
affiliate performance marketing then you need a foothold in the Capital.
However (yeah you knew that was coming), two things did cross my mind when looking through the A4UAward 2011 Winners Lists!
Firstly, what happened to the gaming category?
We didn’t enter this year but were surprised to see that there was no award for either a publisher or merchant. In some ways it’s disappointing – in many ways understandable. Gaming/Bingo/Casino affiliates tend to have their own awards and conferences etc. and it may be that publishers/merchants don’t see an A4UAward in the same light as those involved in other sectors?
Secondly, how as an industry do we recognise new talent?
By new talent I mean small/medium enterprising affiliates. The one or two man bands who to even get a foothold in this behemoth of an industry now have to do something pretty special for any degree of recognition. A SME affiliate earning a decent income will still be eclipsed by the big cashback, voucher code and search players, so they’re probably not going to bother with A4UAwards.
What I’d like to see is a collaboration between A4U, The IAB, agencies and the networks (perhaps even the larger affiliates) whereby – perhaps six months after the main event – a selection of small/medium new affiliates are recognised by the industry. It doesn’t have to be a grandiose event like A4UAwards, it doesn’t even have to be an event… just some kind of public acknowledgement of good work by affiliates.
There must be, on radar, of every affiliate manager, merchant and agency – an affiliate or company that’s doing some cool stuff within affiliate or performance marketing. By recognising that in a public domain, that might just help them take the next step forward?
The A4UAwards did include a “Hot Shot Rising Star Award” this year, but I’m not sure if it was for affiliates? If it was then perhaps the question is are there any good SME guys coming through?
Anyway, that’s just an idea!
A big congratulations to all winners – hopefully A4U will have sent you your little icon to stick proudly on your website by now… and you don’t have to wait over a year to get one