In this spotlight Q&A we’re delighted to introduce James Boden, CAKE’s Commercial Director of EMEA, MENA, and APAC. James is a seasoned professional with more than 16 years of experience and has held various roles spanning marketing, sales, client services, and partnerships. His expertise covers multiple industries including ecommerce, technology, and performance marketing. James’ diverse and extensive background positions him perfectly to continue expanding CAKE’s global sales opportunities.
Get acquainted with James!
What is your role at CAKE and what are you focused on?
As the Commercial Director at CAKE responsible for EMEA, MENA, and APAC, my primary focus is to work with our UK sales and customer success teams to expand our partnerships across multiple geographies and ensure that all businesses have access to the best technology platform in the market.
How did you get started in the performance marketing industry?
‘More years than I’ll admit’ ago I was looking to move on from a role in a media agency. Coincidentally, my wife was actually offered a job at Marko Media (MyVoucherCodes), a leading publisher. The role however was a little too different from what she was looking for, yet it did pique my interest, and I ultimately ended up accepting the job. It was my first introduction into ecommerce and affiliate marketing, and I was immediately enthused by the industries. More importantly, I also very quickly made friends for life.
What are two of the biggest European trends you are seeing in performance marketing in 2023?
Brands are expecting more. The traditional ‘commercial network’ tracking of matching a click and conversion with a few additional metrics like average order value (AOV) thrown into the mix is no longer enough. Brands are also expecting greater control (such as insights into traffic quality at the promotional level on the click), increased visibility into their ROAS, and the ability to glean additional insights from their activity (e.g. lifetime value or incrementality from their traffic sources). While CAKE offers all of these capabilities plus so much more, it is great to see the additional pressure for innovation because that’s how industries grow and thrive.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Before the arrival of my two daughters, I spent a lot of time playing rugby and boxing. I still manage to find time for boxing but nowadays I’m mainly going for (short) runs, enjoying time with the family, and of course an occasional pub visit with my friends.
What is one piece of advice you would offer brands who are looking to expand their performance marketing program?
Expect more from your network and tracking technology provider. Utilize the technology that’s out there to equip yourself with the performance clarity and transparency you deserve. In doing so you’ll be able to better manage your partners, control the quality of your traffic, increase revenue, and ultimately demonstrate the value of your performance marketing program.
What is your favorite CAKE feature and why?
One of my many favorite CAKE features is the intelligently designed redirect strategy. This provides any brand or partner with the ability to control the quality of their traffic by ensuring that only viable traffic lands on the promotion or offer. For example, if a user has clicked on an expired offer (a common occurrence with affiliates) then CAKE will automatically identify that and redirect the user to the most relevant, live offer, or any number of predefined landing pages.
The reason the redirect strategy is so powerful is that it protects users’ journeys, which simultaneously protects the brands reputation. But it also has huge peripheral benefits such as:
- Boosts the conversion rate because the user is landing on the correct and relevant content.
- Improves the stickiness of the website and therefore the SEO.
- Enables brands to quickly demonstrate the improved value of the channel.
What is one thing people don’t know about you?
If I told you that then everyone would know 🙂