Blue Ribbon Panel: Interview with Nicholas Chrétien by Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book, December 18, 2015 What are your two or three key performance marketing-related predictions for 2016? First, I predict the continued rise of the mobile market (of course). Even if it has been said a million times in the past, this trend is a force to be reckoned with. It’s also worth mentioning that most communications companies around the globe are now offering Mobile billing solutions for Mobile e-commerce. In other words, it’s already so readily used that many consumers and visitors have a confidence that echoes this fact: consumers no longer need to provide a credit card to be billed; their actions and purchases can be billed directly to their monthly Mobile bill. This actually relates to the second trend that I’ll be talking about in a moment, which is certainly also worth watching in 2016. Most sales generated by affiliate marketing are historically concentrated in the world’s most industrialized countries. Of course, this can be explained by easy Internet access, and the fact that only one third of the world’s population has access to the Internet still even to this day. However, we’ve witnessed a huge increase in sales in parts of the world that are usually regarded as less than stellar when it comes to online sales. South America and Asia really stand out to me. Internet access alone has grown extremely fast in these countries in the last decade. Are big brands and agencies right to worry about fraud in the performance marketing channel? Of course! Unfortunately, no company is immune to fraud, and in an industry like this, performance marketing is no exception. Additionally, not worrying about fraud or believing that it can’t happen to you or your company can have disastrous consequences. As a CPA network, our job is to provide quality traffic and leads to all of our partners. Our partners put great trust in us. Fraud is a concern to all involved and is a constant threat. Fraudulent acts can cause trust issues and strain otherwise great relationships. At CrakRevenue, we choose our affiliates with care. We check potential fraud on a daily basis. Ultimately, there’s always going to be someone out there looking for new ways to exploit a service for their own personal gain. It’s a sad reality, but it’s the truth. The only thing you can do about it is stay one step ahead of these guys by surrounding yourself with a solid team, and the best security preventative tools and software on the market. We’ve been in business for nearly 10 years now and I think our approach to managing fraud is certainly something that keeps us ahead of the pack and is also a testament to the long-term business relationships we’ve built. Large well-funded shopping and comparison sites seem to be taking an increasing proportion share of affiliate marketing dollars. Which verticals should a small, independent affiliate look at for sustainable income in the future? I don’t think it’s a matter of which vertical to promote, but how to promote it. Our most successful affiliates all have one thing in common: they all have the ability to think outside the box. That’s the real key to success: being able to drive quality traffic through an approach that differs a little from conventional web advertising, regardless of vertical. When you are pitching a new advertiser/client, what is the objection you most often hear and how do you answer it? Fortunately for us, most of the new clients we deal with have come-a-knockin’ on their own, through our reputation that precedes us. And also fortunately for us, these new clients have usually heard good things — and don’t seem to have a whole lot of objections! However, I remember 9 years ago when we started the company and we were in the process of prospecting new clients… Most of them asked us why they should do business with a group of French-Canadians just starting a new CPA network—and to this day, I don’t think my answer would be any different than it was then: Just look at the numbers. We’ll let our numbers answer that question. About Nicholas ChrétienNicolas Chrétien is the Co-founder and President of CrakRevenue, an industry-leading company in web traffic monetization. At the head of business development, Nick understands the business side of things better than anyone and knows just what a great partnership takes. Unafraid to go against the grain, Nick has led CrakRevenue to new heights. For over 9 years now, he has redefined boundaries in the industry and has had unparalleled ambition in bringing emerging technologies to the forefront With a passion for numbers and a flare for design, Nick has formed long-lasting partnerships that make CrakRevenue what it is today. Filed under: Bluebook Magazine, Interviews, Revenue Tagged under: affiliate marketing, affiliate 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.