Alexander Bachmann: “How we launched the transformation process and what it led to”
CEO and the founder of Admitad Alexander Bachmann explains why Admitad decided to change its business structure and what had to be done to that end.
Admitad was founded in 2009 in Germany by Alexander Bachmann. Now, in 2019, Admitad comprises Admitad Affiliate Network, Admitad Projects and Admitad Invest. In total, Admitad employs over 900 people worldwide. Today the company has representation offices in 7 countries, including the headquarters in Heilbronn (Germany).
Decentralization as the way to quick & correct decisions
How do you know if a company is decentralized or not? Look at the management style and their decision-making process: in the decentralized environment decisions are made by those who are closer to the end customers and are fully immersed in the process. Those in the know are aware of all the pitfalls and are capable of adequately assessing the situation.
In the centralized structure, on the contrary, most of the powers are held by top management. The decision-making process is almost fully concentrated at the top level of the chain of command, which ultimately becomes a non-working model.
Each person must be responsible for the decisions made within their control area. In the end, the most effective decisions are made “in the trenches”.
Time for decentralization: when does your company need that?
Every large company comes to the point of time when the involvement of lower-rank managers gets vital. When the responsibility is concentrated in the hands of one person, the efforts to control everything singlehandedly may have a devastating effect.
At the beginning of 2019, we started to change the management structure in order to create separate divisions responsible for profits in individual countries and regions.
Separating short-term and long-term functions
Any company where the same employees are responsible for both tactics and strategy is incapable of active growth. The failure to separate these functions leads to focusing only on short-term tasks that bring immediate profit. This consumes all the attention and resources available, leaving none for growth and planning for the future.
As a part of the new structure, we have created separate teams that will be engaged in the long-term development of advertisers and publishers. These units will be engaged in seeking new sources of traffic, business models and ways of making money, which the company will need to consider. At the same time, operational activities, including the management of clients’ and partners’ accounts, will be in the zone of responsibility of other departments.
Why do we need decentralization?
Currently, Admitad Affiliate Network employs 550 people in 7 offices. They are responsible for the business of Admitad in 20+ countries and speak 22 languages in total. This decentralization of managerial functions was required, among other things, due to territorial and language divergence.
Such type of business can be effectively run only with the availability of up-to-date information about the key markets in which Admitad is present. In our case, the data volumes are too large for one person.
We were well aware that the transformation would affect each and every department of the company. Within the new structure, we proceeded from the business activities, rather than creating any specific positions for people. We clearly understood of the necessity of significant investments this process would require, and acknowledged the fact that this would affect our running costs.
By examining the experience of large international corporations, we realized that a company can provide the highest quality of service in all the regions of its presence ONLY if its management structure is decentralized.
Our force was growing by leaps and bounds, the company was becoming ever larger, and cross-functional interaction and communication were in need of significant improvement.
And, not least, the high competition required quick responses to external factors like market changes or new laws. Decentralization will allow Admitad to remain stable in the face of constant updates.
How does decentralization drive initiative and improve service level?
Alexander Bachmann: “My team is the heart and soul of the company. We have excellent personnel who are willing to take on more responsibility, and I have 101% confidence in them. They include both the seasoned ones, who stood at the origins of Admitad and young leaders.
The system we managed to arrange is the one where the CEO is far not the only one, who is responsible for the company profit: there are also over 20 other managers in charge of regions, countries and segments bearing this responsibility.
Decentralization is about making important decisions but, at the same time, it enhances the feeling of being a part of the company. As a result, the team gets more motivated to improve its working activities with advertisers and publishers of its own accord.”
What has been done within the transformation process?
While working on the decentralized business model we have formed the distinct verticals “region-country-segment”. Each country branch has the right to autonomously decide how to develop its business, to use marketing tools or select employees. Thus, important decisions are up to those members of the team who best understand the realities of the region.
Within the framework of a country branch the managers who work with advertisers and publishers will report to their respective segment managers, who are, in turn, responsible for the company profit in one of the six areas (e-commerce, finance, travel, online services, online games, mobile).
We would like to introduce to you the Admitad team, that will be responsible for business in various countries and regions. Artem Ozerkov as the COO will be responsible for the operational business unit of Admitad, working hand in hand with the regional and country managers:
- Russia: Anna Gidirim
- CIS: Feodosy Kovalenko
- APAC: Maksat Kurmanbayev
- Europe: Igor Gubin
- MENA: Artyom Rudyuk
- DACH: Kiamran Abkeliamov
- USA: Daniil Silvestrov
- Brazil: Caiki Flaeschen
What will change for advertisers and publishers?
All they will notice will be improvements to the service provided. By merging two departments (one working with advertisers, the other – with publishers), both the interaction between customers and partners and processing requests for individual cooperation terms will speed up.
In addition, a number of new services will come into existence, such as strategic planning, development and promotion of partnership programs. Launching an affiliate program is only the first step; making it succeed means engaging in development and promotion and involving more new publishers.
There will be small changes to working with global clients in different GEOs. This will allow them to more effectively promote their partnership programs, taking into account the specifics of the regions in which the Admitad team has business development experience.
Within the framework of the new structure, we have created a separate division to assess the quality of services provided by our partner network. This will allow us to maintain a decent level of service and constantly enhance it. The main job of this department is to anticipate potential disputes and eliminate problems before they even arise.
To implement all our plans, we will need to hire additional personnel to different offices in a total of about 300 people. We are open to those people who are eager to engage in affiliate marketing and develop it at the global level. Please follow the link to find current vacancies in the Admitad seven offices.
Also, by the end of 2019, we plan to open an additional development center in order to more quickly launch new products and tools for advertisers and publishers all over the world. A lot more coming, stay tuned!