Interview with CEO Ronen Hamatian by Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book, March 14, 2016 Sponsored Content Interview with CEO Ronen Hamatian Madrivo entered the Blue Book rankings with a bang this year. To what main factors do you attribute your success?When Madrivo first started, we defined our vision and have pursued it without relent. We started with a strategic deal between three of the largest super affiliates in the space, and as we’ve grown, we’ve never compromised our high standards of quality and compliance. We feel that we’re truly reshaping the performance marketing industry by offering tangible value to the advertisers we serve, while also maintaining or improving their brand credibility and delivering a significant ROI in the process. We recently released a case study in the financial sector that attests to our scaling capabilities, showing our track record of reaching 10,000 leads in the first month of working with a new client on their consumer acquisition campaign, strictly on a performance basis. On top of scalability and volume, this case study displayed the high lifetime value of these consumers, resulting in $2.4 billion in loan amounts in the first year alone. Our efforts on another campaign in the solar industry translated into an ROI over 500% and an estimated contribution of $225 million to the solar energy industry based on the 170,000 leads we generated. We are humbled by the positive impact we make in the space. Madrivo credits Techtelligence, our proprietary analytics platform, for the lifelong relationships we’ve cultivated between reputable brands and engaged consumers. Techtelligence uses a comprehensive algorithm to predict customer behavior based on the billions of responsive data points we’ve measured in the past and has resulted in ROIs higher than our advertisers have experienced with other agencies and/or traffic sources. We control the legitimacy of our traffic by adhering to the compliance regulations set forth by the FTC, IAB, and other governing bodies. Since inception, Madrivo has maintained its stance that abiding by industry-wide guidelines will nurture long-lasting relationships and attract the brands that we want to work with. We take consumer protection and privacy seriously and have kept our fraud ratio down to .02% of all traffic as a result. It was always our mission to provide advertisers, affiliates, and their targeted audience with unrivaled value. By combining top-level technological resources, sophisticated compliance standards, and an experienced team of sales executives, we’ve made our vision a reality. You talk a lot about your technology platform and big data. Do you think data and analytics are going to replace old-fashioned affiliate marketing “know-how” moving forward?If we hadn’t anticipated a trend towards data-driven advertising tools, we wouldn’t have developed an in-house infrastructure that could generate the results brands seek. That being said, the transition from a traditional understanding of affiliate marketing to a tech-based, metrics-driven approach doesn’t work without the intel to guide it. We knew that in order to extract value from our analytics and match advertisers with effective affiliate traffic sources, we needed to build a team of seasoned account executives who could rely on their industry expertise to translate our techtelligent predictions into concrete results. Madrivo provides a unique value proposition because we’ve coupled years of industry knowledge with data-backed strategies to generate proven results. Each member of our sales team is qualified to hand select affiliates and identify new traffic sources based on a client’s specific needs. We’re committed to providing an unsurpassed degree of traffic quality, enhanced by the performance-based tracking metrics available to every client. What do you say to CMOs who think that affiliate marketing campaigns result in fraud and loss of control over brand and messaging?Simply put: you’re working with the wrong agencies, networks, and/or affiliates. Although our industry has seen its share of fraudulent traffic, the IAB released an article that showed compliance regulations should save advertisers worldwide an estimated $4 billion in advertising cost. Madrivo has been proactive about improving the reputation of the performance marketing space, especially since we believe the affiliate space is still in its infancy. We have a thorough vetting process for onboarding new affiliates and restrict the respective budgets until quality is concretely proven. We’re also able to track exact traffic sources so that we can allocate larger budgets to top-performing affiliates and cut off supply to those who are violating regulations or underperforming. Lastly, we use various monitoring tools to give us full visibility of affiliate activity and alert us of obvious infractions. We encourage and challenge CMOs who’ve had bad experiences to give affiliate marketing another shot. We’re eager to provide better results. Is affiliate marketing becoming more competitive or less?The industry is growing just as quickly as it’s changing so it’s a mixture of both. We’re seeing a large divide between credible companies working to improve the status quo and those who disregard best practices just to make an extra dollar. Fortunately, the latter are falling behind and Madrivo is contending with a larger pool of reputable companies. While we’re confident that our unique value proposition will keep us ahead of the pack, we’re also excited to see our competitors advance and add sophistication to the performance marketing space. Are publishers or advertisers more important?We don’t put the importance of one over the other. Both are vital to our space for different reasons. Advertisers provide the branded products and services consumers seek at a value they deserve. Publishers know when, where, and how to reach an audience specific to a brand’s target. Madrivo connects the two through efficient, compliant traffic channels that brands and their customers can trust. What could Madrivo do better?Madrivo has excelled at providing affiliates with optimized media and securing reliable traffic sources for household brands looking to maximize return on ad spend. We’re working on increasing our quantity of partnerships so we can connect customers with more of the brands they love. In the process, we’re faced with the challenge of constantly refining our accomplishments so that the companies we seek have undeniable proof of Madrivo’s capabilities. We have the infrastructure and resources to catapult customer acquisition and make brands more sustainable; they just need to know it. What lies ahead for Madrivo in 2016?We have traffic sources in every online channel, with email being the clear winner in terms of volume and ROI. In the next year, we’re pushing mobile and native ad initiatives forward by honing in on our capabilities and increasing our traffic-driving resources. Consumer trends demand that we constantly innovate while remaining true to their core values. We foresee a transition towards non-traditional media placements becoming the primary access point, especially for the millennial generation. It’s an extremely exciting chapter for the Madrivo family. We’re on the brink of unprecedented growth and we couldn’t be better-equipped for what should be our most pivotal year yet. Where will Madrivo be in five years’ time?It’s hard to imagine what Madrivo will accomplish by 2021 considering the growth that we have experienced in our first five years of business and the path of evolution that we have encountered. Still, we have a clear sense of purpose and specific objectives we plan to fulfill while leading the way through uncharted territory. Within the next five years, we’d like to become the go-to performance-based network for major brands seeking value-based relationships with lifelong customers. We’re focused on mapping out performance-based marketing strategies for global companies that are cognizant of the positive correlation between an engaged audience and brand sustainability. Madrivo is a young network that has grown really fast. What’s the secret?Dedication. The founders of the company carry with them this work ethic and passion for doing great things, which inspires us all, but it also has a lot to do with our dedicated team. When interviewing potential candidates, I always ask this question: “Are you willing to work twice as hard and quadruple the reward?” The candidates who say yes, are the people I look for when hiring new team members at Madrivo. Since everyone on our staff possesses this go-getter mentality, we are able to quickly implement new ideas and projects in order to allow for Madrivo’s rapid growth. Everyone at Madrivo understands our purpose of shaping the performance marketing industry and is dedicated to working hard to make Madrivo the best it can be which is what attributes to our accelerated evolution. If you had to choose five adjectives to describe Madrivo, what would they be?Innovative, because we are always looking for ways to make our day to day practices more efficient for the entire team, and everyone contributes to creating and implementing these new ideas. Cultured, because although we are young, we make sure to establish traditions and from the early days of our company, our employees have grown to cherish and look forward to these traditions. Credible, because Madrivo has a team of legal experts that approve everything we do. Productive, because the entire Madrivo team works twice as hard for four times the reward. Everyone from the President, to accounting, to the sales representatives work diligently to ensure Madrivo’s success. Cooperative, because we work directly with our clients to provide them with the best ways to improve the results of their campaigns. What is Madrivo’s “elevator pitch”? In 100 words, why should an advertiser choose you?Madrivo provides the high-quality, high-volume traffic that advertisers seek while maintaining the utmost commitment to compliance and ethics. We support our advertisers in selecting the optimized mix of media for their company including email, search, display, social, and mobile through exclusive and direct channels. We provide feedback through our proprietary Techtelligence system that includes metrics, tracking, and optimization recommendations. Our returns average $40 for every dollar of advertising spent with Madrivo. Our system’s proven effectiveness is exhibited in our over 8 billion targeted impressions and our 2.5 million conversions within the last year. Why should an advertiser choose Madrivo?An advertiser would want to work with Madrivo because we provide the high-quality, high-volume traffic that they are looking for. We also maintain the utmost commitment to compliance and ethics with a fraud rate significantly below average at 0.02%. We support our advertisers in selecting the optimized mix of media for their company including email, search, display, social, and mobile through exclusive and direct channels. We provide feedback through our proprietary Techtelligence system that includes metrics, tracking, and optimization recommendations. We have a scalability that fits companies of any size; we can accommodate those that would like to target 100 customers a day, to those who are looking to contact 10,000 a day. Our returns average $40 for every dollar of advertising spent with Madrivo. The effectiveness of our system is demonstrated by our over 8 billion targeted impressions and our 2.5 million conversions within the last year, with those numbers growing each year. Filed under: Bluebook Magazine, Interviews, Revenue, Revenue Blog Tagged under: affiliate marketing, affiliate networks, Interviews 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.