EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mark Walters on Acquisition of US Affiliate Marketing Leader, ShareASale

Mark Walters Zanox Affiliate Window

Mark Walters, CEO of Zanox

As the affiliate marketing space continues to grow and flourish, mergers and acquisitions are becoming more of a norm.

Last month, Global Performance Marketing leader, Affiliate Window, part of the Zanox Group, announced their acquisition of US leading affiliate network and tracking platform, ShareASale.

I had the opportunity to interview, CEO of Zanox, Mark Walters, about the recent acquisition, and why they chose ShareASale as their #1 pick for their North American expansion.

Q: How did you chose ShareASale as the company to buy, and why did you make that decision now?

ShareASale was an obvious fit, their culture, their reach and their reputation (both ethically and performance wise) are just a few of the factors that made them stand out. We’ve been talking with Brian for a while and there was a no set time limit for this to complete. It was more important for him to understand the value of this step from an internal and external perspective. It became as much for Brian to select us as it was for us to select ShareASale.

Q: How will your recent acquisition of ShareASale impact your current US based Affiliate Window team, and presence in the US right now?

Well, aside from the fact that the whole US based Awin team are ecstatic about the news and any joint social venture with ShareASale so far has been like old friends meeting up (lots of chatting, drinking and some dancing and hugging), I think the impact will be very positive. Ultimately ShareASale brings something special to the Awin mix and it’s only with their input and our openness that we can ensure this is not lost but incorporated to make the whole group better, for staff and partners alike.

Q: How will the two companies blend their people over the next few years, and what does that vision look like?

As I said previously, the first social get together and the ShareASale party were very successful but it takes the individuals involved to make that happen. We can create the opportunity but we cannot engineer the outcome.

Each team benefits from members with many different skills so initial assessments indicate we have the perfect blend already. We’re looking forward to lots of positive interaction between the teams and ultimately that they be considered one team across multiple locations in the US.

Q: What is the vision for Affiliate Window over the next few years as you expand into an even stronger global leader?

To become the performance marketing network of choice, globally. Naturally, this is a huge undertaking but, for many, our focus of technical innovation and ethical performance combined with a variety of service solutions from in-house to 3rd party specialist providers, is a winning combination. As online, e-commerce, purchase paths, payment authentication, connected devices and data driven solutions continue to evolve, so will we.

Q: Do you see anymore acquisitions in your near future? If so, what areas are you considering investing in?

Absolutely, we have a strong history of both organic and growth through acquisition so we always keep a close eye on the market. The channel continues to grow and sustains a variety of new markets and solutions and, as we know, competition drives innovation. Unfortunately, I can’t share specifics with you (or your readers) but I can say we won’t be resting on our laurels 😉

Q: Where do you see the future of M&As in the affiliate marketing industry over the next few years?

Consolidation is part of market maturity but that’s not to say that everyone will be either acquiring or getting acquired. The metrics for selecting prospects center largely on a given operation’s strategic plans for growth, the timelines involved and access to funds. Once prospects are identified, it then becomes about suitability, risk versus benefit, and of course the valuation. I can only say that it will be buoyant as the channel is very healthy.

-End of Interview-

With that, we wish both Affiliate Window and ShareASale the upmost success this year and for many years to come. We look forward to the innovations, collaboration and strength they will continue to bring to the world of performance marketing everywhere.

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