Perform[cb] Blue Book’s #1 ranked CPA network, announced yesterday that it has been acquired by Beringer Capital, a leading North American private equity fund specializing in the media, marketing services, and technology sectors. CEO Erin Cigich tells us what it means for their advertisers and publisher partners, and what lies ahead for her powerhouse of a network

Chris Trayhorn: Congratulations on the acquisition of Perform[cb] by Beringer Capital. Will your affiliate partners and marketers see any immediate changes as a result?

Erin Cigich: Thank you! We are very excited about our partnership with the Beringer team because they also look at this acquisition as just that, a partnership. That being said, we don’t anticipate any immediate changes or disruptions for our partners or marketers; however, naturally, Beringer acquired our business because they see additional growth opportunities worthy of investment, so our clients can stay tuned for exciting updates moving forward.

CT: How about in the medium-term? As a company Perform[cb] was well-financed already but new partners bring new skills and experience with them. Will this change in ownership simply mean that you will remain on course, or is there likely to be a change in strategy?

EC: You’re absolutely right in saying new partnerships bring about new experience and that’s one of the aspects that we’re most looking forward to. Beringer brings a ton to the table from technology and customer experience to digital marketing in general, they have much to share and our team is all ears. We’re aligned in our passion for performance marketing and will continue to explore areas to remain best in class and drive industry innovation.

CT: You mentioned in your press release that “the performance marketing space is rapidly expanding and evolving.” Where do you see the biggest opportunities for Perform[cb] following the announcement today?

EC: Being a technology-driven organization, of course, we’re going to say one of the biggest opportunities for us lies within our proprietary platform, PerformLEAP. However, our people are really the ones who have gotten us to where we are today, and without them, we wouldn’t be able to continue the charge. So all that’s to say, we look forward to expanding our team, our technology, and ultimately, our capabilities for our clients. Additionally, we continue to see more brands investing in the performance marketing space and shift ad dollars to this channel, which makes sense given performance spend guarantees ROI.

CT: Perform[cb]’s platform, PerformLEAP®, is already perhaps the most advanced in the industry. Do you see investment in technology as a key differentiator and growth-driver?

EC: Absolutely. As an exponential number of brands turn to the performance channel, we continue to support deep integrations with our marketers and partners, which in turn contributes to the innovation of our platform. Year to date we’ve released exciting features like the PerformLEAP Newsfeed, MMR Offer Automation, and Event-Specific Tracking, and we’re excited to share more in the coming months.

CT: We seem to be seeing a small number of CPA networks such as yourselves break away from the pack with deep-pocketed investors and the ability to grow both organically and through acquisitions. Do you agree with that view of the way the industry is moving and what do you think it might mean for smaller networks over time?

EC: We certainly have benefited greatly from working with investors who are looking to substantially back our business, but I think the most important part of the partnerships we’ve had is that they share our vision. They have mirrored our belief that the performance marketing industry is a playground with unlimited potential, and that’s been the true key to our success, both organically and through the acquisitions we’ve made up until this point. I agree that any network, large or small, that wants to not only remain relevant, but thrive among the competition must seek out partners who are yearning to do the same. Our team always says, if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

CT: What does this transaction say about the performance marketing industry in general?

EC: To us, this transaction says leading and emerging brands are hungry for accountable, transparent, and brand-safe opportunities to acquire customers at scale.There is so much room for growth within this channel and it’s clear that investors, like Beringer, understand that and want to be a part of the action. The industry’s momentum has been undeniable over the past few years and we can’t wait to see what’s next.

Erin Cigich serves as CEO of Perform[cb] overseeing strategic marketing, sales and business development, client relationship management, and new product development. Joining the company in 2007, Mrs. Cigich has provided leadership through every growth phase of the company. Erin has a degree in Advertising from the University of Florida.