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Zanox complete acquisition of Affiliate Window

zanox-the-networkIn a move that is likely to resonate throughout the industry, Zanox, one of the leading performance marketing networks in Europe, has completed its takeover of the UK based affiliate network Affiliate Window and its parent holding company, Digital Window Ltd.

The acquisition process began back in 2009 when the two majority shareholders in for Zanox, PubliGroupe and Axel Springer, purchased a 50.1% stake in Digital Window Ltd.

The Zanox group , made up of Zanox, Affiliate Window, eprofessional, and M4N now connects with more than 4200 advertises across a broad range of industries. It is considered one of the market leaders in continental Europe and has strong ties in emerging markets such as Brazil, Turkey, and Eastern Europe. Adding the UK’s biggest performance marketing network in Affiliate Window is sure to strengthen their portfolio further.

To allay any fears Affiliate Window stakeholders might have, managing director Mark Walters issued the following statement following the announcement: “The exit of the founders is merely a formality and we can confirm there will be no change to Affiliate Window’s technology, structure and control, with the current Executive team, wider management team and day to day staff all remaining in place. There have been rumours from competitive sources that the completion of this deal will have implications for Affiliate Window and potentially its partners. We are therefore writing to dispel these claims and clarify matters. The eventual exit of the founders was inevitable as it formed part of their original deal to sell the company. They both took a very ‘hands off’ approach leaving it to be steered and developed by the same Exec team that have worked together for the last nine years.”

Thomas Joosten, Zanox CEO, echoed this sentiment and spoke of his hopes and expectations for the network, “Affiliate Window has a proven track record of offering top brands excellent service, growing mid-tier clients and entering the mobile commerce segment. Our intention is to allow that to continue to flourish whilst merging some of the Affiliate Window advanced processes and technology across the entire zanox group.”

Buffer App Gets Hacked

BufferAppThis weekend saw the hacking of major social media player Buffer, which caused many users of the social media content manager to annoy their Facebook friends and followers with weight-loss themed spam.

The problem appears to have since been rectified, and the security of the Buffer app should see improvements following the attack. Buffer CEO, Joel Gascoigne, offered an explanation and apology on the company blog following the débâcle, “I wanted to post a quick update and apologize for the awful experience we’ve caused many of you on your weekend. Buffer was hacked around 2 hours ago, and many of you may have experienced spam posts sent from you via Buffer. I can only understand how angry and disappointed you must be right now.”.

Gascoigne continued, “Not everyone who has signed up for Buffer has been affected, but you may want to check on your accounts. We’re working hard to fix this problem right now and we’re expecting to have everything back to normal shortly.”.

The severity of the event caused Buffer to completely remove its app from Facebook at around midday, Pacific Standard Time, on Saturday 26th October. This caused all posts made via the app to be temporarily hidden for much of the afternoon. With progressions being made throughout the afternoon, Buffer was back online at around 8pm in full working order again.

Questions will rightly be raised over the security of the app, and Buffer have already moved to reassure their million strong user base, “We’ve greatly increased the security of how we handle all social messages being posted and everything is back to normal,” read an evening announcement from the company. Buffer also plan to “publish an in-depth post about what the spammers got access to and what we did to fix it.”.

Getting hacked is the stuff of nightmares for every internet business – reputations can be ruined in an instant and Buffer will have to work hard to overcome this setback. Gascoigne promises to respond to every single e-mail they received regarding the issue, and to continue the post-mortem analysis to found out exactly what happened.

Google Hummingbird &15 Years of Google

Google LogoGoogle is one of the worlds biggest search engines and companies in the world. The search engine that started in a garage is now a world wide phenomenon with millions of people using Google as their search engine of choice. Over the years Google have expanded. After predominately being a search engine the company started to branch out offering pictures, and shopping ideas. Google have now bought Youtube and have rights to the worlds biggest video sharing website on the internet. There is no doubt that Google have succeeded and achieved what they set out to do. However, the big question now is maintaining improvement. Google have recently started their new social media channel labelled Google plus. This has been fairly disappointing for Google, and although it has become a tool for many businesses, the social media channel falls short of social media kingpins Facebook and Twitter. Google have also recently launched their Google drive program, which enables businesses to store and share a variety of different data. This has helped businesses across the world as all the data available to them is stored on Google drive.

Google are also known for the great treatment of their staff. Google provide on site doctors to their staff to ensure that all staff are treated when sick, Google also provide their staff with Japanese Toto toilets which ensure that all staff is clean and fresh after they have visited the toilet. Google are also big on water-sports and give their staff the opportunity to swim in the mini pools that are on Google’s site. The mini pools include one of Google’s lab pools where the pools waves are manipulated and act as a water treadmill, where you can swim for hours. Google also offer the conference bike where employees have to work together in order to get the bike to move. This provides an excellent team building exercise as well as providing the staff with a lot of fun. Google also offer their staff free food around the world famous Goolgeplex. Here staff are able to eat at the cafeteria free of charge which is also a massive perk for all employees. The only food that costs money at the Googlplex is the vending machines where Google have incorporated a competitive pricing system where the more unhealthy the food, the higher the price. This is to ensure that employees don’t get fat and eat healthier. Google also offer free haircuts to employees. This is an excellent perk as staff can get their hair cut free of charge by a variety of mobile hairdressers. Google also have a ball pit on site. Here members of the staff are able to jump into the ball pit and have a lot of fun in the process. As you can see Google think highly of their employees that has resulted in higher productivity levels for the business.

Recently Google celebrated their birthday by offering the world an interactive Google Doodle that allowed for users to take part in an interactive pinnate game. However, Google also announced the Hummingbird update as part of their birthday plans. The Google Hummingbird update has chnged the search engines algorithm which has brought changes and allowed Google to handle “Conversational searches” which enables more accurate searches on complex queries. Google Hummingbird also embraces the use of mobile usage which is expected to overtake desktop in two years time. Hummingbird also presents a new change in Googles old method of keyword searches. The Keyword search ignored the use of certain words, however, now Google Hummingbird takes into account a wide variety of different words in order to get the best search possible. Google Hummingbird’s main focus is the context of different words and how they link together, this algorithm makes Google searches a lot more accurate and efficient.

This evolution has also raised the question of SEO’s part and if it really is dead. However, this is not the case as the new algorithm has ensured that those who are willing to put effort in will reap the rewards. Page specification is also included kin the Google update and instead of taking you to a website’s home page, google are committed to taking their users to the exact page. This means less clicks and better efficiency. Google have also put a lot of emphasis on the quality of the sites on their rankings. The top ranked websites will need to have quality written content both on and off the pages so users can not only see a page but provide links. Website owners will have to find out ways of implementing new content but do it in such a way that make them authoritative amongst search engines and readers.

Overall, the Google Hummingbird update is a positive and has made searching a lot easier and more effective than t has been before. It is clear that Google are wanting to promote more detailed content. Website owners will have to incorporate this into their sites in order to achieve higher rankings in Google. Google are one of the biggest companies in the world and have come a long way from starting in a garage. Google believe in treating their staff right and have excellent values. The Hummingbird update has made searching for a website easier as the whole of a users search is taken into consideration, not just the keywords. Google will want to continually grow over the next few years and will definitely look to expand as they have already done with Google Mail and Google Drive.

FREE Local Training Initiative Round-Up

Last night saw the launch of our FREE local training initiative, bringing together local businesses for impartial tips and advice to help drive their digital presence forward. Last night we had a great mix of local businesses pop along for an informal session covering the basics of online by leading industry peer, Pete Dickenson.

You can download the slides here Training Slides and I have included some of the links to the websites we showed below;

Bright Digital Minds Digital Cheat Sheets

Targeted Media – Shane’s PPC agency

FrostBox – Maggie’s free social media backup solution

ImpactTag – Pete’s analytics software

Social Media Revolution YouTube Video



Theme Forest



News Now

Some great examples of youtube videos that can be made at home…


A Great blog example with a mix of posts and information


Hannah Speaking @ Performance Marketing Insights

The 29th – 30th October 2013 see the return of the London Performance Marketing Insights conference and expo at the Westminster Park Plaza. Along with hundreds of attendees, it’s a chance to meet some of the peers of the industry, attend thought provoking sessions and grab a few beers at the networking events.

This year, I am pleased to announce that I will be speaking there! I’ll be giving a talk on the best free tools to use for hands on affiliate management;

10 Free Tools For Sourcing and Managing Affiliates
Under pressure to grow your affiliates or get them ‘doing more’? Have no budget to spend? Fear not! During this session you’ll learn ten of the top FREE tools of the trade when it comes to affiliate management.

You’ll see real life examples of the hands on tools that affiliate managers use and how you can harness these tools when back at your desk. Expect to hear quick and easy solutions that can help source potential diamonds in the rough and get those affiliate sales growing.

SAVE 10%
Use the code SPKLON13%10 to save 10% on your pass!

Get Involved

Cater affiliate programmes to individual countries for greatest success

globe_moneyAccording to a recent study undertaken by affiliate marketing network Rakuten LinkShare and advisory and research firm Forrester, affiliate marketing is poised to fuel cross-border commerce.

Some of the interesting facts arising from the study include:

  • Customers in the US who commence their purchase journey on an affiliate site are likely to spend more that the regular online shopper.
  • Shoppers show the most loyalty to brands that display offers on multiple websites.
  • Affiliate shoppers are the most sensitive demographic to expensive shipping costs.

With regards to the UK, the study showed that online shoppers expect merchants to compete for their business, with nearly a third stating they would return to an abandoned shopping basket if they received a subsequent discounted offer. It also brought to light the high proportion of shoppers who make online purchases form somewhere outside their own country. The UK has the highest percentage, with 75% purchasing cross-border within the last year.

The study helped to highlight the diversity in the preferred shopping practices displayed by different nationalities – apparently Canadian consumers lead the pack in their preference for loyalty programmes, with 37% claiming to make regular use of cashback and loyalty sites compared with an average of 22% in other countries.

Other intricacies shown by individual nationalities include the Japanese being the most frequent users of multi-brand and price comparison shopping sites.

Mark Haviland, managing director of Rakuten LinkShare said,“Shoppers in different markets are incentivised to purchase in different ways. To illustrate, for a UK affiliate manager looking to capitalise on cross-border commerce in the US, it’s not as simple as rolling out an existing affiliate programme and expecting results. Research suggests US shoppers are particularly loyal to brands that make offers on multiple websites, so affiliate programmes should be tailored to cater to this propensity.”

He continued to say the report displayed that e-commerce infrastructure must adapt to this new global market, and the idiosyncrasies therein. Shipping expenses, time, lack of local payment options, taxes, and other logistical issues are holding back the potential growth the global e-commerce model has. Halivand said, “With e-commerce expected to grow to $1.3 trillion by the end of this year, brands and advertisers are looking for advice and insights for how to plan and execute their global online strategies. We believe the study provides the industry with fresh data and key insights that highlight how performance marketing has become a leading strategy for online retailers entering new markets.”.

Bright Digital Minds Launch Local Free Training Initiative

As part of our commitment to the local community, Bright Digital Minds have teamed up with a number of industry experts to offer local businesses FREE online marketing advice, all in an informal and relaxed environment.

We are inviting anyone who owns a business or website, from Farmers, Driving Instructors, Schools, Musicians, Shops, Cafe’s and even local landlords and Guest House owners to the Wheatsheaf on October the 2nd 2013 between 5pm and 7pm to listen to some top tips for getting the most from your online presence, along with the opportunity to talk more afterwards.

All are welcome to come along, although places are limited. Please join our event here - https://www.facebook.com/events/211275172370862/ or give us a call and we’ll pop your name down.

Founder of Bright Digital Minds, Hannah Swift said, “As a young business owner, I think it’s important to give back to the local community, and help other small businesses reach their potential through various online channels. The new training initiative aims to show anyone in the local area that they can get more out of their current online activities, from collecting email addresses to harnessing the power of ecommerce. I don’t want to run evenings that are ‘death by powerpoint’ or that are overwhelming, instead, we’ll be giving tips and case studies from our years of hands on experience, that are accessible to all.”.

For more information, please contact Hannah Swift;
01629 815 888

About Bright Digital Minds
Founded in 2011 by Hannah Swift, Bright Digital Minds is focused on delivering high impact performance marketing campaigns on budget and on time. Based in Bakewell, Derbyshire, we are committed to supporting the growth of fellow local businesses with our apprenticeship schemes and with the launch of our free training initiative.


Happy 2nd Birthday Bright Digital Minds

Happy 2nd Birthday Bright Digital MindsIt seems like only yesterday I was writing to say we had passed the year milestone, and only a few days since I was announcing our launch, but today, we hit another milestone – we are 2! Over the last 2 years the company has grown at a phenomenal rate, and we now have a strong team of account managers, content writers, SEO specialists and business development consultants. We have seen a new site with new branding, the launch of our own affiliate hub and all our handy digital marketing cheat sheets.
We have also moved into our scenic office location, Bakewell in the heart of Derbyshire, so we have supplied many people with traditional Bakewell Puddings over the last two years.
Fitting with our company beliefs we have invested in the local community with our apprenticeship schemes and nuturing the future of digital marketing talent.

In Two Years We Have;
- Generated over £6 million for our clients
- We have seen a 125% growth in sales over many of our clients
- Reached out to over 9000 potential new affiliates (not on the networks)
- Made effective ROI improvements on all clients
- and I was honoured to be placed in the 30 under 30 women in digital marketing

It’s been a fantastic 2 years, filled with hard work, new challenges and lot’s of fun! Here is to the next year, and many more after that.

A huge thanks to everyone who has supported the growth of Bright Digital Minds over the last 2 years, you all rock!

How To Make Your First Sale As An Affiliate

If you are think of setting yourself up in affiliate marketing, it can be made at lot less stressful than it first seems to be. Once you have broken the ice and made your first sale, the hard work is mostly over.

Reaching the stage of your first sale can involve a lot of hard work and graft. There are many steps to reach that all important first sale, which includes selecting a niche in which to operate in, this can be a huge task in itself, there are also various other steps including SEO, email marketing, promotion, traffic generation and more.

For a thorough checklist of all the legwork you will need to put in before being rewarded with that all-important first sale, take a look at the below infographic created by Mervik Haums.


Post To Google+ With Buffer

review-buffer-app2Buffer, the social media app that schedules your posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn has today announced you can now use their app with the most requested social network that they were missing, Google+.

Google+ has been holding the number one spot as most requested feature from their users for almost 2 years and you could go as far as saying that it is the missing piece of the puzzle. Buffer said “We couldn’t be any more excited to finally unveil it to everyone”.

To help you make the most of sharing quality content on your site, Buffer have written a guide with a great selection of tips and pictures which can be found here.