In honour of his 5-year work anniversary at OrangeBuddies, we would like to pay some extra attention to Arnout Vrieling (Head of Sales). We also want to thank Arnout for his efforts in the past five years. Arnout has helped OrangeBuddies grow into what it is today. On to the 10 years, Arnout! We asked Arnout five questions about his vision of Orangebuddies Media’s role in the affiliate world.
1. How did you join OrangeBuddies 5 years ago and how did you progress to head of sales?
My first introduction to OrangeBuddies (and Casbo Media) goes back a bit further than 5 years ago as this is now my second term at OrangeBuddies. August 2012 to June 2015 were my first years at the club after which, after a 2-year hiatus, I started my second term on 1 August 2017, which has now lasted another 5 years (and counting). Actually from the moment we got back into talks for a possible return to OrangeBuddies, we have already discussed a long-term plan and in the process also talked about my goals and ambitions and my current position/title was something that came up in the process. Of course, I have slowly grown into (and towards) this role but it has always been my ambition to get more involved in the bigger picture.
2. Has OrangeBuddies’ mission/vision/strategy changed much in the past 5 years? Or is the identity of OrangeBuddies still the same as it was 5 years ago?
A simple question on paper but a bit more complex to answer succinctly, but I’m going to give it a shot. In essence, OrangeBuddies’ mission has not changed a great deal in the past 5 years because, in my view, it has been aiming to become the largest cashback publisher in Europe since its foundation in 2009. However, a lot has changed in terms of long-term vision and strategy and this is of course closely related to the takeover that took place last year. The goal is (still) to become the largest and most innovative cashback publisher in Europe, but the decisiveness with which we are now working on this big picture is of a totally different calibre. In terms of identity, we are still the flat organisation with short lines of communication that allow us to move quickly.
3. What have you seen change in the affiliate world over the past 5 years?
The online world is 24/7 and constantly changing, and so is the affiliate world. From our own perspective, the most positive change is of course the growth of affiliate marketing. Partly due to corona and the closure of physical shops, online has taken on an even more important role in society and affiliate marketing has also benefited enormously from this. Besides overall growth (whether due to world events or not), affiliate marketing in general has also made good strides. In my view, the world has become much more mature and, fortunately, most brands and webshops see the added value of it. Personalisation and targeting are also playing an increasingly important role, reaching the right consumer at the right time. Originally, we focus on the masses and the big reach, which is an absolute USP of a cashback publisher, but we certainly try to keep up with these trends.
4. Are cashback platforms viewed differently compared to five years ago?
As cashback publishers, we are (wrongly) still regularly pushed into a separate corner together with discount code and coupon publishers. Fortunately, however, we are increasingly seeing advertisers recognising the added value of cashback publishers and the great reach they often have. As a cashback publisher, we naturally deal with members and they tend to be loyal to the platform and will at all times first see if they can get the product/service from an advertiser connected to the platform. Most industries today see the added value of Cashback and especially in ecommerce we have strong partnership, in the travel industry we would like to get an even better foothold.
5. Where do you see opportunities for OrangeBuddies?
The opportunities for Orangebuddies lie in several areas. In terms of partnerships, I see a big task for us to bring in advertisers who do not yet work with Cashback. We now have so many business cases that there is an interesting case for every business that we can convince them with. We are happy to offer them a 3-month trial period after which they can decide for themselves whether they want to continue working with us or not. There is also a lot to gain if you look at the awareness of Cashback among consumers. In fact, everyone in the Netherlands should be a member of ShopBuddies because you are simply wasting money if you do not shop via our platform. So in terms of marketing, there is also a lot to gain. Preaching the gospel of Cashback and, of course, making sure we are visible in the media.