20 Years – Tradedoubler Celebrates Anniversary and Reflects…
Our founding story
Tradedoubler was founded in September 1999 by Martin Lorentzon and Felix Hagnö as the first European affiliate network with an idea to offer performance-based affiliate marketing solutions for advertisers and publishers. They developed a solid platform and infrastructure enabling merchants to create relationships with thousands of affiliates and offering affiliates a wide range of services, with the core service being pay-for-performance marketing.
Three months later, the Swedish e-commerce community was quick to recognise the benefits of Tradedoubler and during the year 2000, Tradedoubler initiated a roll out to all major European markets with the intention to create local teams in each of them and offer clients the best possible performance from their affiliate programme. It was a massive success story since its launch and by the end of that year, the network was counting more than 260 affiliates programmes in fields as diverse as telecoms and sport and over 70,000 high-quality affiliates drawn from individuals and industries of all types and sizes.
In 2001, Tradedoubler introduced a new, central IT system. The system was able to manage 4,000 transactions per second and perform more than ten million measurements of web site activity each day, with an additional capacity for more than 50 million activities per day. The proprietary tracking method (pending patent), was identifying clicks, leads and sales and the service were adapted to function with several languages, handle dynamic content through XML, and be compatible with WAP.
The same year, according to Nielsen/NetRatings Tradedoubler was among the ten most visited sites in Spain during the period of August 2001. It was reported that 12.35 % of everyone that was connected to the internet during the period visited the Tradedoubler site or used a Tradedoubler link on a site that was connected to the Tradedoubler affiliate network. The other companies that were among the top ten in Spain during the same period are Terra, Microsoft, Geocities, Hotmail, Yahoo, Eresmas, Google, MSN and Navegalia.
Later that year, Tradedoubler won the “Guldmusen” prize, one of the oldest IT prizes in Sweden, as the IT-rookie of the year for a patented platform for performance-based marketing and sales.
During 2002 Tradedoubler had reached profitability and doubled both revenue and gross profit, generating sales of more than €200 million for its advertisers during 2002, exceeding all forecasts. The number of active clients had also increased during the year by 30%, to 400 advertisers. The development of close relationships with large portals and publishers had also greatly increased, thanks to being able to offer good deals both on shorter terms through online campaigns as well as long term partnerships with large advertisers.
And in October 2002, the Swedish Trade Council, in co-operation with the financial institutions SEB, Handelsbanken, Swedish Chamber of Commerce and the Swedish Embassy, awarded Tradedoubler the Achievement Award for Swedish companies that have been the most successful in the UK during the past year.
Two years later, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented Tradedoubler with the “Export Hermes” award in recognition of its successful export strategy.
By this time, Tradedoubler had become Europe’s leading supplier of online marketing and sales solutions to over 700 advertisers, almost half a million quality publishers and some of the leading agencies across Europe.
From strength to strength
In 2005 Tradedoubler was listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange and a few months later in March 2006, Tradedoubler acquired a small start-up called Advertigo, which developed a contextual advertising technology, from founder Daniel Ek. This is how Lorentzon and Ek met and came up with the idea of creating a legal platform to distribute music online – they launched Spotify two years later.
Tradedoubler then acquired The Search Works, the UK largest search engine marketing company and sister company The Technology Works. The acquisition expanded Tradedoubler’s portfolio into the search market and provided opportunities for further geographic expansion. Three years later, Tradedoubler rebranded The Search Works to TD Search and in 2011 agreed to transfer all of the search assets to NetBooster.
In March 2011, Tradedoubler launched the next-generation of its flexible retargeting solution, providing advertisers with effective ways of reconnecting with prospects, whilst monetising exit traffic from any type of online business, significantly increasing revenue opportunities.
In 2012, Tradedoubler was the first pan-European network to launch an integrated e-commerce and m-commerce affiliate offering to help its advertisers extend their online programmes to meet consumers’ desire to research and buy via their mobile devices.
The same year, Tradedoubler launched The Zoo Project, a UK affiliate marketing incubator designed to foster grassroots growth and help drive innovation in the affiliate marketing industry. With £1 million in business funds, successful applicants were able to benefit from hands-on mentoring from Tradedoubler affiliate marketing industry experts, unique access to major brand advertisers and partners, and networking opportunities with other companies and entrepreneurs, as well as office space in central London.
In 2014, Tradedoubler launched a business intelligence tool providing advertisers with detailed live information on programme performance through customised dashboards that visualised complex data and enabled users to understand programme performance and optimise results. Built on the latest business intelligence technology the platform enabled advertisers to visualise data insights and analyse campaigns in real time, with full transparency, offering a large number of real-time reports reflecting every possible requirement.
In January 2015, Tradedoubler acquired the independent German technology company, Adnologies to enhance its existing tech arsenal and extend its current offering in line with its new corporate strategy. A few months later Tradedoubler launched Cookieless Tracking technology to allow online behaviour to be tracked, even when a cookie is not present, by creating a device fingerprint.
The following year we also launched our User Journey insights, part of our Business Intelligence tool, giving advertisers full visibility of their entire online customer journeys from affiliate data to the full spectrum of their digital marketing activity, allowing advertisers to see which channels and sites are involved in delivering KPIs, and ultimately providing the necessary visibility to optimise their digital advertising spend across different channels and publisher business models.
During the second quarter of 2016, Tradedoubler launched Cross-Device Tracking solution, enabling our partners to better analyse the impact of marketing activity across desktop and mobile. Thanks to our new solution advertisers can now detect consumers shopping across multiple devices using deterministic matching, whereby consumer profiles are made based on an anonymous connection between users and their devices.
The same year we expanded our performance marketing offering to South East Asia with a new office in Singapore, working with a number of existing and new clients to develop performance marketing strategies across the Asian region.
To build on our heritage in innovation, we also launched in the same year TD Ventures, a business accelerator programme with a fund of €5 million to invest in digital start-ups and complement our existing business.
In August 2017, Tradedoubler acquired Metapic, a popular platform for product recommendation within multiple large publishers within influencer and premium lifestyle media. Six months later we have seen impressive results as the platform has attracted 20,000 users with a reach in excess of 2 million unique visitors per week in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
During this time, Metapic has doubled its revenue and is working successfully with large brands like NA-KD, Gina Tricot, Nelly, Babyshop, Sportamore and many others. Influencers using Metapic have seen a doubled average earning per click which helps to drive growth. Over 5000 bloggers have used the platform to develop compelling content for these and other brands and have created over 150 000 links to push the sales of their products.
After a successful launch across the Nordic countries, the Metapic platform is currently being rolled out to other major European markets.
In that time, we’ve grown into one of the most successful pan-European affiliate networks and now do business in 83 countries, helping over 2,000 leading advertiser brands to achieve their business goals through our established affiliate network of over 180,000 active publishers.
The development team at Tradedoubler are always working to deliver new features that keep our offering at the cutting edge of the market, in 2017/18 we launched over 10 new core products and features across the network with many more in development to launch in 2019.
Recent innovations such as our ground-breaking Cross-Device Tracking, User Journey Analysis and Cross Channel Tracking have enabled advertisers and publishers to gain better visibility of what digital marketing investment is performing and also how customers interact with brands.
In addition to this, the next evolution of our tracking has been built on the premise that our clients should have to do an integration once and then never revisit it again, making it incredibly easy to work with us. Our new Intelligent tracking allows Tradedoubler to automate many of the background processes that would previously have had to be handled by the client’s technical team. This includes capturing required variables, rather than them being passed to us, category mapping and integration of 3rd party tags.
We are also leveraging our 20 years’ worth of network data by using machine learning to power recommendations. Tradedoubler already uses this within our internal Business Intelligence tool to optimise advertisers’ campaigns and the tool will be released into our platform and interfaces to inform specific recommendation such as commission changes, publisher recommendations, promotional timing and offers, highlight key influencers, etc.
Additionally, Tradedoubler has recently released a brand new on-boarding platform to ensures that programs are taken to market as efficiently as possible with full visibility of progress for the client. Our tool provides all teams involved with the integration process – both client-side and within Tradedoubler – a clear, customised reporting dashboard with visibility of each team’s tasks and progress, as well as a single point of reference for securely sharing documents and communicating in real time.
Finally, with the aim of streamlining and improving our publisher experience with Tradedoubler, we have created a Publisher Interface that is clean, simple, modern and intuitive.
At Tradedoubler, we believe that simplicity and flexibility are the keys to help our publishers and advertisers connect and grow their business. This is why we have developed our new Publisher Interface, that enables users to quickly access the information they need to make smarter and faster business decisions and to easily access the services that will help them increase their revenues.
Through the year we will continuously deliver new functionalities to the publisher platform while working on the dedicated APIs and interfaces for advertisers and agencies. The availability of these new interfaces and the matching APIs is scheduled for the second half of 2019. Key deliveries will include multiple publisher user accounts and role-based access, direct publisher recruitment for our advertisers and agencies, validations, creative and commission APIs.
Thank you to our longstanding partners for 20 years of successful partnerships, here’s to celebrating the next successful chapter together.