Affise’s founder Dimitri Zotov believes that Partner Marketing space will see huge growth in the next few years.

Dmitri Zotov, Founder of Affise, talks us through their performance marketing platform, the importance of maintaining the highest levels of customer data security, and also shares his thoughtful insights on the affiliate/partner marketing space in his latest interview with Media 7.

Affise to be a platform where customer data security is of the highest standard. We wanted our commitment to security to be more than just words.

MEDIA 7: From being a software engineer to co-founding one of the fastest-growing performance marketing companies, you have come a long way. What would you like to tell us about this journey?
DMITRI ZOTOV:
Originally, I trained as a software engineer, so this has been a pretty unexpected journey. One of my first jobs was to build a new software platform for managing an affiliate network, and that was how I first got into performance marketing. We built a really large network that pushed the boundaries of what was possible at the time. It was a great experience and of course, a great way to learn about performance marketing from the ground up.

After working as a software engineer for another performance marketing company, I decided to strike out and build my own affiliate network. This was when I really learned how the industry worked - what was great, and what needed fixing. I worked hard and we made it into the top ten of Russian affiliate networks before I sold the company to Zorka. At this point, I knew I wanted to make something really new that would fix some of the problems I’d seen first-hand in affiliate marketing. I realized that too much of the affiliate marketing industry lacked transparency. Marketers were asked to pay for things they don’t actually want or need, like clicks, instead of meaningful actions like sales.I was really lucky my co-founder Stanislau Litvinau had a similar vision, and so Affise was born!


M7: Interesting. Recently, Affise passed one of the most complicated certifications about data privacy (SOC 2 Type II).What has been the strategy behind achieving such prestigious recognition?
DZ:
I’m not sure it counts as a strategy, but we simply want Affise to be a platform where customer data security is of the highest standard. We wanted our commitment to security to be more than just words. Since we launched, we have always worked to meet the highest standards of service and security. For example, we were officially certified for GDPR by the ePrivacy agency two years ago. To get this we had to work on our internal processes, design product updates, and attend endless security training sessions. In 2021 we wanted to raise the bar even higher and get SOC 2 Type II certification, which takes at least 8-10 months to complete. I know a lot of our competitors just pin a standard GDPR document to their website and that’s as far as they go, but we really think customers deserve better.


Rather than breakthroughs, we are more likely to see automation technology mature, and for companies in the AdTech industry to consolidate.



M7: There is no question that affiliate marketing is here for the long haul. Could you throw some light on a few upcoming Affiliate Marketing trends that you are looking forward to?
DZ:
Partner Marketing is an area where I think there will be huge growth in the next few years.
One sign this is happening is that more and more big brands are looking for partnerships with influencers. When large companies with massive marketing budgets move into a new sector, you can expect that sector to grow pretty quickly. Another factor is that prices for Google and Facebook ads are spiking, and that’s forcing marketers to look for other opportunities. But perhaps the biggest factor is that Partner Marketing as a concept is maturing. In the early days, partnering with influencers was time consuming, complicated, and the process was difficult to manage. It’s still not as easy as just buying a Google ad yet, but with tools like Affise Reach (which will launch later this year), it’s getting easier and easier to integrate influencers into a wider campaign.


M7: Partner marketing is indeed here to stay. What are some of the challenges that you see on the horizon for the industry in general and Affise this year?
DZ:
I’m going to repeat myself a bit here - I hope you don’t mind! Google and Facebook ads have been reliable and affordable for so long I think the entire marketing industry, not just performance marketing, has grown complacent. These channels still work, but prices are going up rapidly, and the ROI just doesn't fit into as many marketing plans as it used to. Partner Marketing is an obvious avenue to explore, but up till now, it’s been very difficult to work with multiple influencers at once. Addressing this pain point has been one of Affise’s goals for a long time, and we designed our new product Reach to make large scale Partner Marketing possible. It will be out later this year, and we think it is going to attract a lot of new brands into affiliate marketing.


When large companies with massive marketing budgets move into a new sector, you can expect that sector to grow pretty quickly.



M7: What are your predictions on AI/Automation changing our future in the next few years?
DZ
: I don’t see any huge breakthroughs in AI or Automation appearing in the next few years. Of course, the most significant breakthroughs come at unexpected times, but there’s nothing obvious on the horizon in my opinion. Part of the reason I think that is that we already live in a world where automation and algorithms are the main players. This is especially in outcome-based Ad channels. I suspect rather than breakthroughs we are more likely to see automation technology mature, and for companies in the AdTech industry to consolidate.


M7: Last but not the least. What do you read, and how do you consume information to stay at the top of your game?
DZ:
I try to get information from a wide range of sources, and I tend to look for content about marketing, technology, and anything to do with venture capital. I really like NFX.com, and I subscribe to their newsletter. I regularly read Andreessen Horowitz’s a16z.com and I like the a16z podcast, as well as the SaaStr podcast.

ABOUT AFFISE

Affise is the performance marketing solution that puts the user in control. Creatives and conversions, publishers and payments, everything is right where users need it, easy to manage and analyze. Over 100+ companies using Affise for driving their business forward with conversion-based costs instead of paying for clicks. Among their clients are iFunny (#1 AppStore application in USA), FxClub (The largest Forex broker in Europe), MobUpps (Top 30 AppsFlyer worldwide ratings), Zorka.Mobi (One of the biggest CPI networks in Russia).

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Affise - Performance Marketing Software

Affise is the performance marketing solution that puts you in control. Creatives and conversions, publishers and payments, everything is right where you need it, easy to manage and analyze. Over 100+ companies using Affise for driving their business forward with conversion-based costs instead of p...

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