Rob Tumasyan – CEO of CityAds Vietnam




Rob Tumasyan, a stalwart in the digital marketing arena, has been steering the course of innovative marketing strategies for over a decade.


Rob’s journey in the industry began at IBM in Oxford (UK). He later served as CEO at Fresh Média in Moscow, steering unique advertising products. As Co-Founder of Clever Engineering Group and Executive Director at EMTG, Moscow, Rob has been a driving force.


Since July 2018, Rob has been at the forefront as the Country Head and CEO of CityAds  Vietnam, where he has propelled the company to be a top network for leading advertisers in Vietnam, specializing in performance marketing with expertise in CPA/CPI/CPL models of cooperation.


He joins us in this exclusive interview in which we unravel insights from his dynamic career and delve into his perspectives on industry developments as well as the partnership between Swaarm and CityAds Vietnam.



Industry Trends & Performance Tracking 


As we reflect on recent months, a notable trend has emerged—a heightened emphasis on privacy concerns, particularly with Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox defaulting to block third-party cookies. Moreover, Google’s impending plan to disable these cookies for 1% of Chrome users starting January 2024 has sparked industry-wide discussions. In this evolving landscape, the spotlight is now on the significance of first-party data. As a technology provider, we are here to follow up with such trends and provide the best solution to such concerns.



Robert, what trends do you believe are currently influencing the affiliate marketing landscape, and how do you foresee the industry evolving over the next few years? Alongside this, please highlight any opportunities and challenges that you anticipate shaping the future of affiliate marketing.


Several trends are making a significant impact in the current affiliate marketing landscape. Influencer partnerships, the rise of video content, and the increasing importance of data privacy are some noteworthy aspects. Here in Vietnam, we witnessed rocket growth in KOL marketing. Pilot TikTok shop based on influencers reached about 18% market share of marketplaces in just 1 year and has a high potential for growth over the next few years.


Technology has changed the game in affiliate marketing. The use of tools like artificial intelligence and data analytics has made a big difference. These technologies help us understand what consumers are doing online and tweak our affiliate campaigns to be more effective. By using AI, we can analyze a lot of data quickly, pick up on trends, and make our marketing more personalized. It’s all about using the best tech to connect better with customers and make our affiliate strategies work smarter.

Rob Tumasyan

Rob Tumasyan with Swaarm’s Operations Lead, Ioana Manaila, at Affiliate World Asia 2023.


What are some common challenges you’ve encountered in affiliate marketing, and how do you typically overcome them?


In affiliate marketing, common challenges include partnership management, algorithm changes, regulatory compliance, and fraud traffic. To overcome these, we at CityAds prioritize clear communication with affiliates and advertisers, stay updated on industry changes, and employ robust tracking and anti-fraud tools. Proactive compliance measures and diversified marketing channels also play key roles in overcoming obstacles and ensuring campaign success.


What key factors do you believe contribute to the success of an affiliate marketing campaign or program?


The success of an affiliate marketing campaign or program hinges on several key factors. Firstly, clear communication and collaboration with affiliates are paramount. Make sure that you are promoting high-quality products or services. Establishing transparent expectations, offering competitive commissions, and providing effective promotional materials also play pivotal roles.

Additionally, robust tracking and analytics tools enable performance evaluation and optimization. Stay adaptable to changes in the market and adjust your affiliate marketing strategy accordingly. Be open to feedback and be willing to make improvements based on affiliate input. By paying attention to these key factors and continually refining your approach, you can enhance the success of your affiliate campaign.


How important are performance tracking and analytics in your affiliate marketing efforts?


I can’t stress enough the crucial role that performance tracking and analytics play in our efforts. They are the backbone of our strategy, providing invaluable insights into campaign effectiveness, affiliate performance, and customer behavior. With real-time data, we can optimize campaigns, enhance ROI, and make informed decisions. It also provides a deep understanding of customer behavior and tracks market changes 


Can you share a success story or case study from your experience in running or participating in affiliate programs?


At CityAds Vietnam we have several well-established key partners. I will underline, Shopee – the leading marketplace in SEA. We have been cooperating with Shopee in 5 different geos (Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand) since 2018. 


During this period we provided about 750 million clicks and created about 9.6 million orders with an average CR of 1.2%, and as a result, we generated about 150 million USD GMV (Gross Merchandise Value). Our affiliates included various types of traffic, but mostly we generated from cashbacks and coupon websites.


Where do you see the future of affiliate marketing heading, and what developments are you most excited about?


In envisioning the future of affiliate marketing, the landscape appears dynamic and promising. The continued integration of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning holds immense potential for refining targeting strategies and delivering personalized experiences. The rise of innovative ad formats, such as interactive content and immersive experiences, also presents exciting opportunities for engagement. Overall, I’m most excited about the convergence of technology, creativity, and ethical practices that will define the next era of affiliate marketing.