FROM an office in Boldon, experts at Performance Horizon are creating what’s been called “the next generation of performance marketing technology”.
With products such as ExactView, clients are able to look in real-time at information showing how each of their online publishers – or affiliates – is helping their brand get attention.
By giving brands this up-to- the-minute data on how each affiliate is performing, Performance Horizon’s products can work in parallel with – and even replace – the affiliate networks usually employed to track this particular information.
Performance Horizon was set up in 2010 by Malcolm Cowley and Paul Fellows, who had previously run global affiliate network buy.at.
The Newcastle-based company was sold to AOL for $125m in 2008 and the founders set off in a slightly different direction.
Fellows said: “We knew it was the right thing to do because of our experience running an affiliate network. We saw this shift happening.
“Performance Horizon’s tool allows brands to manage their relationship with their partners and gives them the analytics they need. That’s work they’d normally pay an affiliate network to do.
“Traditionally, an affiliate network sits between the affiliate and the merchant, tracking the transactions and making the payments. Our offer allows the merchant to work much closer with the affiliates themselves.
“Sometimes that runs in parallel with the affiliate network and sometimes it displaces it.”
Performance Horizon’s approach has attracted a number of high-profile clients, from Nextag to T-Mobile, Orange, Sony, Ann Summers and Butlins. Its real-time approach means that there’s a 60% reduction in reporting time, roughly equivalent to a saving of nine hours a week. Fellows added the publishers using the system could then drive an extra 27% of monthly connections. Performance Horizon does not offer any strategy advice with its service, acting only as a technology platform. As a result, it can offer its service to competitors working within the same area without any danger of conflict.
Performance Horizon is expecting to expand further through organic growth, and says it is on “a nice upward curve”. It recently secured funding from Greycroft Partners to drive this growth, and is recruiting.
However, Fellows admits it can often be difficult to fill roles in the region.
“We’re actively recruiting for tech staff. We do struggle to find people in the area with the right skills and it can be a bit frustrating.”
While the company remains headquartered in the North East, its international client base has also encouraged it to expand its network of offices. It is currently adding staff to its office in London and opened an office in New York. Fellows said it is also set to launch an operation on the West coast of the United States.
He said: “We’re tracking across 21 countries now. As we’re a software service we’re open to any country that wants to take the service. But, beyond this, we’re not actively planning on putting any other operational bases in at this point.
“Right now we’re not looking beyond the UK and US for bases, but we expect to pick up more truly global clients that will operate in a variety of countries worldwide.”