Partnerize has acquired Pepperjam, a leader in affiliate marketing technology and services. With a rich history in affiliate marketing technology and managed services, Pepperjam developed a well-respected presence in North America as a leading provider to 1000+ retail and direct-to-consumer brands.
Together, Pepperjam and Partnerize will join forces establishing the leading global destination for affiliate marketing and partner automation. The combined business will serve more than 1,750 enterprise and midmarket 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, 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. “The partnership channel offers brand leaders real operating leverage through a unique combination of scale, diversification, and pay-for-performance cost structures. Marketers are demanding greater visibility and control for affiliate marketing, influencer programs, content partnerships, brand alliances, and other forms of partnership, and this combination puts us in the leadership position of delivering on that critical need. This acquisition is a significant milestone in 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 social media which are usually purchased through pay-for-access models.
Said former Pepperjam CEO and new Partnerize President Matt Gilbert, “More than ever, marketers need a diversified means to ensure long term business viability and results. The channel’s pay-for-performance model, coupled with its diverse partner composition, make 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.
Continued Matt Gilbert, “In an expanding market, marketers need a combination of advanced technology and expert service to unlock channel value. 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 after the acquisition of BrandVerity in April.