Partnerize, the leading SaaS provider of partnership management solutions for global brands, today announced the acquisition of Pepperjam, a leading affiliate marketing technology and services provider. The combination of the companies’ technology platforms and service expertise will empower brand leaders to maximize business growth from partnerships, diversify their revenue streams, and offset escalating costs in primary sales and marketing channels.
Per the release:
The combined business will serve more than 1,750 enterprise and mid-market clients worldwide, driving more than $7B in transactions via their relationships with an ecosystem of 750,000+ partners, including 250,000+ influencers. The company services clients in a broad range of industries, including retail/e-commerce, direct-to-consumer, travel, finance, telecom, subscriptions, and gaming.
“At Partnerize, our vision is to transform the partnerships industry by automating the historically manual process of scaling the partnerships channel and unlocking its full growth potential for partners and brands,” said Mal Cowley, Partnerize Co-founder and CEO. “Marketers are demanding greater visibility and control for affiliate marketing, influencer programs, content partnerships, brand alliances, and other forms of partnership. This acquisition is a significant milestone in meeting those needs and making the partnerships channel a core growth engine for brands. Our best-of-breed solutions combine process automation, better tools for optimization, and unique AI-powered insights for better results and outstanding brand protection.“
For the past several years, both Pepperjam and Partnerize have been dedicated to elevating affiliate and partnership to a primary channel in the marketing mix and demonstrating that partner marketing deserves a seat at the CMO’s table. By significantly enhancing the scalability and automation of this pay-for-performance channel, the combined business will give marketers additional operating leverage, alleviating reliance on increasingly expensive channels like paid search and social which are usually purchased through pay-for-access models.
The company is also well-positioned to capitalize on a key gap in the market – delivering a combination of advanced technology and configurable program management services. Historically, clients and agencies have had to choose between the legacy outsourced network service provider model or tech-only solutions without a strong services layer. By offering the unique combination of advanced technology and services, Partnerize will enable customers to have greater control, visibility, and insight into the channel while also ensuring that they get the best results.
“More than ever, marketers need a diversified means to ensure long term business viability and results,” said former Pepperjam CEO and new Partnerize President Matt Gilbert. “The channel’s pay-for-performance model, coupled with its diverse partner composition, makes it an attractive vehicle for growth marketers seeking a scalable alternative to their primary sales and marketing channels. Partnerize’s AI-powered partnership management solutions coupled with Pepperjam’s affiliate marketing technology and service expertise will help marketers accelerate their global partner marketing efforts to comprehensively leverage the channel to drive growth and reach target audiences at scale.”
The partnerships industry is growing rapidly. With affiliate marketing in the US alone expected to reach $8B in sales by 2022, and billions more in sales coming from influencer programs, content partnerships, brand alliances, and other types of performance partnerships, the category already drives 20-30% of total sales for many brands. From its roots as a specialty channel in the early 2000s, the industry has demonstrated continuous growth because of its pay-for-performance business model and its ability to deliver scalable results in a variety of categories.
“In an expanding market, marketers need a combination of advanced technology and expert service to unlock channel value,” continued Matt Gilbert. “Our coming together to lead the industry, ensures marketers sacrifice absolutely nothing. Coupling Pepperjam’s strong North American presence with the global footprint of Partnerize will accelerate category growth and momentum, creating tremendous upside for brands around the world.”
Pepperjam CEO Matt Gilbert will become President of Partnerize, a new role for the company. A long-tenured mar-tech leader, Matt brings a distinguished 20-year track record of increasing company market share and profitability to his new role. Prior to Pepperjam, he co-founded 500friends, which sold to Merkle, where he served as SVP & GM of the Loyalty Services group. He has held numerous leadership positions across the digital marketing category throughout his career including Webloyalty.com, IAC/InterActive Corp., Ask Jeeves, Inc, and Excite@Home.
Pepperjam is the second acquisition for Partnerize in 2020. In April, the company announced the acquisition of BrandVerity, the leading provider of search monitoring and web compliance solutions for the partnership and paid search industries.