Attinger Jack Interactive, Alex Attinger MD an interview
I have personally worked with Attinger Jack Interactive and Alex Attinger for a number of years and this interview is long overdue. Alex runs a great business and is a man of his word. If you are in online marketing in the UK it would be well worth connecting with Attinger Jack Interactive and exploring what you could work together. Attinger Jack Interactive rock in business almost as hard as they party at the end of the day.
How did you get into affiliate marketing?
I worked in offline advertising for six years across a variety of companies including Jackpot Television and the Daily Express. I saw at first hand how the growth of digital was impacting offline advertising and I became very interested in performance-based web solutions for clients, particularly cost-per-acquisition and cost-per-deal.
I subsequently set up a fledgling company, Attinger Jack interactive, with just one client! We rapidly expanded as our business-model of payment by results became a no-brainer for most clients.
Three years on and we’re going from strength with fifteen employees, yet also staying true to our roots of performance-based marketing.
Tell me about Attinger Jack interactive?
We’re all about performance. If we don’t deliver we don’t get paid. It’s as simple as that!
Our core competences are email marketing, affiliate marketing and lead generation. This year we also set up our own lead generation website, www.activeyou.co.uk, which is a value-driven offers and competition website. Based at our offices in Farringdon I believe Active You is the only agency-owned lead gen website in the UK.
We’re also heavily involved with the Internet Advertising Bureau’s taskforce on lead generation so we have a key input into the direction lead gen is taking in the UK. We’ve just helped write a whitepaper on co-registration which was released only recently. Industry reaction has been superb and the IAB has seen quite a few hundred whitepaper downloads as clients try to grasp what is a very nascent industry.
What has been your greatest challenge in affiliate marketing?
There have been two great challenges.
The first one has been the financial services industry which has gone from boom to bust in two short years. Credit cards and loans used to make up a large part of our client base. You can imagine how that’s changed!
The second challenge has been competing with some of the major affiliate and media networks who have significant financial backing and resources – Affiliate Window, Trade Doubler, Clash Media!, TMN Media – you name them….
We’re a small fish in a big sea but we like to think of ourselves as piranhas – small but with perfectly formed teeth! In all seriousness we’re a small family-based business and we have to rely on sheer hard work, energy, passion and risk taking courage to keep ahead of the pack.
What are the main things merchants do which you wish they didn’t?
There have been two great challenges with merchants.
The first one has been that merchants often fail to give us enough notice to change an offer or take it down. What’s wrong with 24 hours notice rather than 5 minutes? That would make a considerable difference. Affiliates put in a lot of effort and merchants can be all too eager to modify their offers on a whim.
Secondly, merchants can be slow to cough up monies owed. Payment on time can be a real USP in this industry and merchants should remember that prompt payment delivers them goodwill and better results by default. After all, affiliates will always prefer to run campaigns by merchants with a good payment history
What are the main things affiliates do which you wish they didn’t?
Compliance is a big, big issue. Just because an affiliate is being paid on performance doesn’t mean they should disregard compliance. An example? Amending creative without permission.
In fact, I’ve just read a piece in NMA about John Lewis stopping online vouchers because affiliates would put up ‘free delivery’ as a voucher and then use that to place a cookie and grab a commission on a sale. The thing is, delivery has always been free with John Lewis!! This sort of behaviour will ruin our industry if we’re not careful and it makes me angry. Make that very angry.
The IAB’s Lead Gen Taskforce will be a major force in helping clean up the industry and giving clear guidelines to affiliates & merchants alike. That’s a key reason why we’ve become involved with them. It’s a good group with everyone committed to ‘best practice’ and educating people how to do it.
Where is future growth in affiliate marketing going to come from?
Lead gen & email marketing.
We also think affiliates are going to start waking up and realising the value of their own databases. There is considerable monetary value locked within an affiliate’s database.
What new ideas are advertisers coming up with?
Social media is a bit of a buzz word and a bit hyped, but let me tell you – it works. Using Facebook and integrated landing pages within the Facebook platform is working extremely well for us. Other ideas we’re keeping to ourselves for now!
What new website projects have you got coming up?
MobilityCompare is a new project which will be a comprehensive ‘mobility’ website offering product reviews, advice, recommendations and special offers. This will ‘go live’ later in 2009.
We also launched Active You earlier this year, as I mentioned previously, and traffic visits are high – up to 80,000 unique visitors in September 2009 alone. It’s been doing exceptionally well.
What do you do that’s green?
Our business is green! The only paper we see is the Metro on our way to work.
What is one thing that people don’t know about you?
I am newly engaged to my delightful girlfriend, DJ, who works for Selfridges as CRM Manager.
What is on your iPod?
Mick Hucknall, Simply Red, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Dizzie Rascal….
Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Events to go to?
Ad:Tech London and Affiliate Summit Vegas
Who would you recommend and why?
David Carter and Richard Robins of Accident Advice Helpline. Exceptional clients.
Rod Love of Love Creative. A brilliant designer and web graphics supremo.
Ash Ruparell of Veniti Media. #1 search expert in the UK.
Jim Mansfield of Intela. US-based Intela have the best performing data of any company I know.
Brittany Friary of Frontline Direct. Once again, amazing data and a superb individual to work with.
Peter McDermott, gardenbargains.com. Forget Alan Titchmarsh, Peter is probably the most all-round knowledgeable horticulturalist in Britain and a formidable marketer.
15. Contact Details?
Attinger Jack Interactive is at www.ajinteractive.co.uk and our number is 0207 520 1580.
My personal mobile number is 07795 171799 but calls after 10pm can only be taken if you want to do serious business!