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Debenhams wins award as affiliate marketing gets more integrated

The a4uAwards were held in London last night and it was great to see some excellent case studies in multichannel marketing among the winners. As usual, Econsultancy was represented on the judging panel. Among those picking up gongs at the annual UK performance marketing industry ‘Oscars’ was Debenhams for its in-store voucher redemption campaign. 

An important aspect of the Debenhams campaign was the promotion of retail vouchers through the Vouchercloud mobile app, with staff at stores able to scan the barcode on customers’ phones. This innovation helped the retailer win the ‘best use of affiliate marketing as part of a multichannel campaign’ category. 

Vouchercloud itself won the ‘best use of mobile’ category for the impact its technology is having on the affiliate marketing sector. 

On the theme of innovative marketing, digital agency Arena Quantum took the ‘best use of social media’ gong for masterminding the Domino’s Pizza Facebook campaign which turned the company’s customers into its own Affiliate workforce.

Other well known brands picking up awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel event included Expedia, TUI, Best Buy, BT, RAC and BSkyB. A less well known winner was price and flight comparison toolbar InvisibleHand, which won both the ‘publisher innovation’ and ‘best third party application’ categories.

Developed by Forward Internet Group, InvisibleHand operates with more than 2,000 advertisers across the UK, Germany and USA, and claims to have saved consumers £34 Million last year in the UK alone.

Other award winners last night included 7thingsmedia (for ‘best agency’) and paid search agency Net Media Planet (for ‘best search partnership’ with 02), whose pioneering use of video pay-per-click also won the agency an Econsultancy Innovation Award earlier this year.  

Affiliate Window won the ‘affiliate network innovation’ award for its Darwin Marketplace and also the ‘publishers’ choice of network’ award (voted for by members of the a4u community) for the fourth successive year.

What is particularly evident from this year’s awards is the strategic and integrated nature of many companies’ affiliate marketing campaigns, including use of offline channels. BSkyB, as another example, has introduced a telephone tracking system to reward affiliates for sales that have occurred offline.

Halfords is another company adopting an integrated approach to its affiliate marketing, by making its TV adverts available to affiliates via its affiliate network. 

Those interested in joined-up marketing should be aware of our annual JUMP conference, taking place in London in October. The event is dedicated to senior marketers looking to join up online and offline data, technologies, campaigns, agencies and creative.

The full list of a4uAwards winners and ‘highly commended’ companies is available on the a4u website here

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