On the heels of raising $2.8m in seed funding, RevLifter’s Simon Bird prepares to take the stage at CJU19 to showcase the newest technologies emerging in the affiliate channel. We caught up with Simon about his thoughts on entrepreneurship, a favorite workplace hack, and the technology trends every affiliate marketer should be watching.
CJ: For those unaware of your background, can you tell us a bit about your career within the digital marketing industry?
SB: I've spent over 15 years in affiliate marketing, holding leadership roles on both the network and publisher side. Around seven of those were spent driving Savings.com internationally, where I led the expansion of coupon affiliate, Savoo, across 14 countries. I’ve invested in five martech startups based in fields like influencer marketing, big data, and even pro tech. In 2016, I took a position on the board at WeGift, an innovative platform that enables the real-time delivery of eGift cards, which I hold to this day. I’m an active member of the UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and can often be found giving my two cents on industry challenges and opportunities. In 2017, I co-founded an AI-powered performance marketing technology, RevLifter, which helps retailers deliver personalized deals to customers, according to their unique goals. Affiliate marketing is an amazing industry to be a part of and it still has so much more to offer.
CJ: Do you feel like entrepreneurship is something inherent (you either have it or you don’t) or is something that can be learned and fostered?
SB: I believe it’s both. I describe myself as an entrepreneur now, but before turning 39 I was a “wantrepreneur.” Essentially, I have an entrepreneurial streak, but I was always working for someone else! That desire to form a business is part innate and part learned. Some don’t realize it, but the people you work and surround yourself with have a big impact on your mindset. For me, the main driver was to bring something new and exciting to the global affiliate marketing industry while improving the customer experience. RevLifter forms an integral part of that vision.
CJ: If you were to emphasize one important technology trend that every affiliate manager should be paying more attention to, what would it be?
SB: Apologies for dropping an obvious cliché but I can’t look beyond AI and data. In layman’s terms, that’s unlocking insight from your affiliate program and blending it with first and third-party information. The smart use of AI will help us improve customer experiences, based on a greater understanding of their journey and mindset, which will drive more revenue into our affiliate program.
I’m a big fan of the work CJ is doing in this regard with Affiliate Customer Insights (ACI). Any tool that brings fresh knowledge of the buying cycle is always going to resonate with publishers and advertisers.
CJ: You will be hosting an emerging technologies session at CJU. What should attendees expect in this session?
SB: I can promise a review of the very best emerging tech within the affiliate space. The plan is to keep everything light, entertaining and snackable, as we’ve a lot of bases to cover. I think I can speak for the panel by saying the intention is to show the ways in which publishers are evolving their proposition and how this can benefit advertisers and their programs.
CJ: What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
SB: Snoozing emails is nothing short of a game-changer! I use gmelius for this.
CJ: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
SB: “You can only eat an elephant one spoon at a time.” Pretty apt for an entrepreneur, or anyone that likes to dream big. On a more serious note, if I were to give any advice to future entrepreneurs, it would be to spend time with start-ups and help them grow. I’ve been involved in three start-up boards and each have taught me different lessons that I’ve used to create my own.
To learn more about this panel and all the other great content at CJU19, check out the full schedule of sessions. For more information on Revlifter visit their website or contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org.