Blue Book Panel: Interview with Erin Cigich by Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book, October 30, 2015 In five years’ time, will the [CPS or CPA] side of the performance marketing industry be bigger in the USA than it is now? If so, what will drive that growth? In 5 years performance marketing as a whole will be bigger in the USA and internationally than it is now. Performance is the great equalizer and a model that simply makes sense. Performance marketing is the engine that powers the growth of every advertising medium, whether it was email or is native advertising, every big advertising trend has begun and is ultimately powered by performance marketing. The key driver for this growth has to be tied to a programmatic approach. Today too much scale is limited by manual processes in our industry. Creating the platform that can use big data and apply it to performance decision making – that’s the game changer. How can an advertiser tell the difference between a good network and a poor one? Longevity, integrity and reputation. The barriers to entry for starting a network are low, as a result there are hundreds if not thousands of “networks.” Advertisers should look to partner with networks with proven longevity, integrity and a solid reputation. While the newest network on the block may mean well there are simply too many intricacies – fraud detection, quality optimization, managing cash flows that unfortunately many new networks don’t take into consideration. These types of scenarios when handled poorly can tarnish an advertiser’s reputation or ruin their business. Are affiliates right to worry about their commissions being affected by shaving and scrubbing? If so, what should they do about it? Absolutely! I have relationships with executives at every major tracking platform in the space. They are shocked to hear that Clickbooth has no interest in their “throttle” or “scrub” features. If your network isn’t frequently importing leads to you for over tracking or the network owners seem to be having a little too much fun with their cars on social media think twice about running traffic through them. What do you see as the key differentiators between the leading CPS networks? The single biggest differentiator for a network is quality. Quality of offers and quality of traffic. The days of paying one rate to all partners (even within a network) and expecting the same results are over. The marketplace is evolving to a smarter marketplace and a disruption of the norm is being demanded. As performance marketers we’re sitting in the middle of billions of data points that go unused every day. Real time, value based pricing has to be our new standard. Is it possible for the performance marketing industry to police itself in any meaningful way? Yes, but that means participation from ALL parties – advertisers, networks and affiliates. When any one of us is willing to accept less than best practices on any portion of our revenue we jeopardize the entire industry. Many parties in the industry could benefit from a simple gut check – “Do I feel good about the way I’m generating these profits? Am I adding value to the customer experience?” Filed under: Revenue Tagged under: affiliate marketing, Affiliate network, CPS Networks, Interviews, performance marketing About the Author Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book Chris Trayhorn is the Chairman of the Performance Marketing Industry Blue Ribbon Panel and the CEO of mThink.com, a leading online and content marketing agency. He has founded four successful marketing companies in London and San Francisco in the last 15 years, and is currently the founder and publisher of Revenue+Performance magazine, the magazine of the performance marketing industry since 2002.