‘Simon says’ OneAffiniti has a great future ahead!
Recently, we welcomed Simon Hjorth into the OneAffiniti family. Simon is a veteran of global IT marketing, and is enthusiastically taking on the role of Vice President of Client Sales.
In a career of more than 25 years, Simon’s marketing expertise has led him far from his native Denmark to major roles working with IT brands around the globe. He’s lived in Copenhagen, Paris, Singapore, and now in Austin, Texas, where he will oversee our rapidly-growing U.S. operations, which in three years has expanded from a staff of three to 30.
We sat down with Simon to get a sense of why he chose OneAffiniti and his thoughts on the state of IT marketing.
What made you decide to join us here at OneAffiniti?
There are a number of reasons I was really excited to join OneAffiniti.
For one, I think that the company’s needs perfectly align with my interests and experience. I’ve been working in marketing with tech companies over the past 15 years, specifically focused on building agencies and teams around service offerings for large IT clients. I’ve developed a keen sense of what works and what doesn’t.
I also really believe in what OneAffiniti is doing to stand out from the rest of the marketing industry. Marketers face more pressure than ever. Margins are lower and there are more and more players. You have to bring something unique to the table to stand out, and OneAffiniti does that with its unique combination of technology platform, data insights and partner activation and success teams.
Finally, I chose OneAffiniti because of the people. I’ve worked with a number of the key leaders over the years. Jay Turner used to be my client, when he was heading up marketing in APJ. Michael Heldebrandt was my client in Japan. And I’ve worked with Sarah Alder in both ANZ and global roles. I loved working with them as clients and it will be a privilege to work with them as colleagues. It’s so important that we’re able to build the right culture, and you do that with the right people. And all the people here are good people with their heart in the right place and they want to do the right thing.
You’re coming onboard while we’re in the midst of a growth spurt. Can you describe your role in our future?
In order to support the tremendous growth we’re seeing, my role is to take care of the teams responsible for revenue and to make sure they’re equipped to help our clients grow.
What do you think distinguishes OneAffiniti from our competitors?
There are a few things that set us apart. First, we offer a program that allows brands to efficiently scale their channel marketing campaigns across hundreds or thousands of partners.
Second, we’re unique in that we offer both groundbreaking technology and digital marketing leadership. In addition to providing channel partners an easy way to do consistent marketing, our partner support team works with individual channel partners to make sure that they’re getting the help they need to succeed and that their message is being reflected in the campaign. The platform and the direct support means that we can provide customized marketing campaigns at scale.
Finally, we promise that we can produce 20:1 ROI. That’s not a return that you’ll find elsewhere in the industry.
How will you help the brands we currently work with grow their U.S. business? What are the major pain points you’re addressing?
The main pain point is one that has always bedeviled brands leveraging a partner network: How do you activate your smaller channel partners to market to end-buyers? The through-channel marketing program that we’ve set up is geared towards addressing that issue. Our program allows brands to provide their smaller partners with consistent marketing efforts that drive more sales for the partners and the brands.
There’s a huge potential with this group of smaller partners because they’ve historically been underserved. They’ve never been prioritized. The brands try to do what they can by providing materials through a partner portal (marketing collateral, content etc.) but the partners usually don’t manage to put it to use. For SMBs, marketing is like eating vegetables. They know they have to do it but they never get around to it.
Do you foresee any big changes in IT marketing?
I think OneAffiniti is probably the best example of how technology and data will dramatically change marketing. Not long ago, it just wasn’t possible for brands to provide marketing campaigns to thousands of partners. Now, the technology exists to not only send personalized campaigns through a large number of partners, but to collect data on the performance of each partner’s campaign. We can see how tens of thousands of end-buyers are interacting with campaigns they’re getting from channel partners. We have all the data points in terms of how they interacted with the email, the landing page, and all of the activities that led to the actual sale.
We can leverage that data to improve our programs. Traditional marketing agencies build a pipeline, but we’re measuring the actual sales on each campaign so that the brand and the partner see what works and continue to improve the ROI.