Blog

It is an honor for me to acknowledge that the legendary Todd Crawford, the co-founder of Impact Radius, has spoken at every single U.S. Affiliate Management Days conference to date, keynoting this year’s show of ours too.

In 2015 he’ll be back at our San Francisco show to speak on “Everything You Need to Know About Attribution & Affiliate Marketing” as well as to appear on our keynote panel on “The Affiliate Industry Evolution.”

Todd was kind enough to dedicate some time to my interview with him, which I am happy to bring to your attention below.

* * * * *

Question: If you were to emphasize one important issue that every affiliate manager should be paying more attention to, what would it be and why?

Todd Crawford: Including their key performance indicators (KPIs) into their affiliate program analysis and metrics. Advertisers are trying to squeeze out as much as they can from their affiliate partnerships and it is critical that they utilize as many data points as possible in order to optimize each partnership towards what is most important to their company.

Question: What do you see as the main areas of opportunity for online, in general, and for affiliate marketers, in particular, in 2015 – 2016?

Todd Crawford: I believe attribution still has a lot of promise for online marketing and can be very instrumental for affiliate managers in determining the true value of each affiliate partner.

Question: Between the fact that “affiliates are 7x more likely to be overwritten by another channel than another affiliate” and the fact that “30% of sales start on one device and finish on another” [source] how can an advertiser build a truly affiliate-friendly program, yet one that doesn’t cannibalize the merchant’s own marketing efforts?

Todd Crawford: Here again, attribution is critical to understanding not only which affiliates are providing the most value but also which affiliates are support conversion credited to other channels. As an example, if a certain affiliate is contributing a lot of traffic that is getting credited to another channel, an advertiser might consider increasing that affiliate’s commission rate to compensate for the lost conversions or move them to a CPC structure.

Question: In which ways can affiliates be adding value for the merchants they promote? And where does the “value” reside (new customer acquisition only or something more)?

Todd Crawford: This is dependent on each advertiser and can change over time as well. The best thing affiliates can do is to have open conversations with their top advertisers to learn more about what they are looking for from affiliates and marketing in general. In some cases, advertisers are looking to increase new customer acquisition. In other cases it may be geographic or demographic focused. Some advertisers are focused on new products or services launches. So it is critical to discuss their goals in order to understand what’s working and what are they focused on.

Question: What is the biggest challenge faced by affiliate managers, and advertisers with affiliate programs, today and what would you recommend doing to overcome it?

Todd Crawford: Having a complete view of the marketing ecosystem and understanding where/how affiliate fits into the mix.

Question: Why do you think affiliate managers should attend Affiliate Management Days?

Todd Crawford: I think it is some of the best content in the industry – the speakers always deliver great insights and practical information. You also get a chance to network with your peers who are challenged with many of the same issues you are.

SNEAK PREVIEW – Please tell us a takeaway that you will provide during your presentation at Affiliate Management Days.

Todd Crawford: My presentation will help affiliate managers better understand the role of attribution and how they can avoid some common mistakes and also leverage the data to optimize their affiliate partnerships.

Question: If you were to leave online advertisers, merchants and affiliate managers with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Todd Crawford: Attend AM Days this spring!

* * * * *

Don’t miss Todd’s presentations at the upcoming Affiliate Management Days in San Francisco! Register while the Super Early Bird pricing is still available (through December 20, 2014).

In 2012 Ben Edelman, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School and one of the top names in affiliate marketing fraud detection, keynoted our inaugural show in San Francisco.

In 2015 he is going to be back to open up our seventh show with a speech on “A New Code of Conduct for Affiliate Marketing.”

While our next show is still four-and-a-half months away, the agenda is already live and the registration is open; and we are already starting to interview some of our presenters, including the keynote speakers. And it is Ben’s interview that opens up this series. Enjoy it below.

* * * * *

Question: If you were to emphasize one important issue that every affiliate manager should be paying more attention to, what would it be and why?

Ben Edelman: I always encourage affiliate managers to redouble their efforts on catching rogue affiliates. Ideally, affiliate marketing is the most accountable form of online advertising – paying advertising fees only when products are actually sold. But that’s by no means guaranteed; sneaky affiliates manage to get paid for sales that would have happened anyway. Affiliate managers need to keep those shenanigans out of their affiliate programs in order to make sure the programs live up to their potential.

Question: What do you see as the main areas of opportunity for online, in general, and for affiliate marketers, in particular, in 2015 – 2016?

Ben Edelman: At this point the challenges in buying traffic from Google are pretty well-understood – extreme costs, competition from competitors with similar costs and revenues, such that almost all the profit flows to Google. So when I talk to online advertisers, my main goal – and theirs! – is to find advertising strategies that are truly cost effective, that don’t end in an auction where Google gets all the profits, and yet are significant and sustainable. It’s not an easy challenge.

Question: Between the fact that “affiliates are 7x more likely to be overwritten by another channel than another affiliate” and the fact that “30% of sales start on one device and finish on another” [source] how can an advertiser build a truly affiliate-friendly program, yet one that doesn’t cannibalize the merchant’s own marketing efforts?

Ben Edelman: I certainly agree that attribution is difficult and only getting harder. Recent technological changes, including multiple devices and mobile, put all the more pressure on historic attribution models. Ultimately advertisers need to think explicitly about attribution, and most advertisers need models and tools to help apportion credit among the multiple factors that combined to cause a sale.

* * * * *

Don’t miss Ben Edelman’s keynote presentation, A New Code of Conduct for Affiliate Marketing? Join us for Affiliate Management Days while we’re still in Super Early Bird registration period!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am excited to bring you two news today: (1) the agenda for Affiliate Management Days SF 2015 is eighty-four percent ready, and (2) we know who will keynote our seventh show too.

Agenda Now Live

I have mentioned that our upcoming show’s agenda is 84% ready. This is to say that out of 25 sessions we have finalized 21 of them. There will be 3 keynote speeches, 1 keynote panel, and 21 general sessions.

Around thirty strategic-thinking, affiliate marketing-savvy speakers will share their wisdom with us in San Francisco in the course of two days (March 31 – April 1) in 2015. You may view the agenda here or by clicking the below screenshot of it.

AM Days SF 2015 Day One

Keynote Speaker Announcement

If there is one name that comes to mind when we talk about affiliate marketing-related compliance, it is Ben Edelman. He is a Harvard Ph.D. who is also faculty member at the Harvard Business School. I am also proud to state that he keynoted the first-ever Affiliate Management Days back in April of 2012.

I am thrilled to announce that Ben will again be the speaker to deliver our seventh show’s opening keynote speech on March 31, 2015!

Here is a sneak peek into what he will tackle:

A New Code of Conduct for Affiliate Marketing?

A decade ago, a few networks sketched a code of conduct for affiliate marketing. Despite occasional updates, they covered only a portion of the task – banning known misbehaviors by certain publishers, but saying nothing of broader industry problems. Would a broader set of ethical principles help broaden the opportunity for affiliate marketing and affiliate marketers?

Grounding his proposals in specific instances of malfeasance – the latest affiliate lawsuits as well as selected schemes beyond the headlines – Ben Edelman will offer some fundamental principles for publishers, merchants, affiliate managers, and networks, identifying improvements that make all legitimate participants better off.

Registration Open

The registration has been open for some time now, but we are still in Early Bird pricing period and you may save up to $700.00 on your pass by registering by December 20, 2014.

Register to attend Affiliate Management Days

AM Days has already gained its reputation as the ideal venue to learn more about the latest advances in the exciting industry of affiliate marketing while meeting the innovative minds solving real challenges and driving incremental business through affiliate programs.

Whether you are a marketing manager, business owner, solution provider, scholar, or anyone in between – you’ll find significant value from attending. The only requisite to attending is an openness to learn!

I look forward to shaking your hand in San Francisco at our 2015 show.

After six successful Affiliate Management Days conferences globally, we are working on preparing the seventh one already. In conjunction with this, there are several critical dates to keep in mind.

Save the Date(s)!

Our upcoming conference is set to happen on March 31 – April 1, 2015 at the beautiful San Francisco Marriott Marquis [more here].

Similarly to how we did it in 2014, there will also be a half-day “Advertiser’s Crash Course in Affiliate Marketing” pre-conference workshop on March 30, 2015. It will be taught by yours truly.

Call for Speakers

The 2015 Call for Speakers is now open as well!

To apply to speak at Affiliate Management Days SF 2015, make sure to submit your speaking proposal(s) by October 17, 2014. Yes, you still have six weeks until the deadline, but it’s good to start thinking of topics/ideas already. If you are ready, you may apply to speak here.

Registration Open… Save $1,000.00!

Last by not least, AM Days SF 2015 registration is already open, and we currently have rates which are even better than our traditional Super Early Bird ones!

Register by September 20, 2014 to take advantage of our best rates ever, which can save you up to $1,000.00 on your pass.

Four days before our 2014 London show, I am excited to announce our newest partnership — with Europe’s largest affiliate network (if their parent company, Zanox, is included), Affiliate Window.

They have become the official “affiliate network partner” for our European show in 2014.

Not only will Affiliate Window’s Kevin Edwards participate on our London’s “The Future of Affiliate Marketing” keynote panel, while on day two Simon Hofmeister will discuss the challenges of and solutions to multi-attribution modeling, but this affiliate network has supported the AM Days show greatly leading up both to our San Francisco show and to the upcoming London conference this year. This we highly appreciate.

Here is more about Affiliate Window in their own words:

Affiliate Window is a global performance marketing network built on five core beliefs: Service, Ethics, Technology, Performance, and Innovation. Niche retailers to top consumer brands grow their online presence by leveraging our market-leading technology.

We recognise the importance of generating incremental value for our advertisers, while ensuring our publishers have the best tools and services to succeed. Our network offers proprietary solutions, comprehensive reporting suites and social style partner directories to facilitate advertiser and publisher collaboration. We are committed to compliance and provide a suite of tools to monitor all search engines, seek and remove hidden adware and spyware, and protect against unethical activity.

Part of the Zanox Group, we have established ourselves as a leading global network with 13 offices worldwide. For an international, innovative and ethical approach to performance marketing, Affiliate Window has all the right ingredients. [source]

Thank you for your ongoing support, Affiliate Window!

A couple of days ago Michael Brandy Tweeted:

 

This is going to be the third time in a row that Linkdex becomes a Bronze sponsor of Affiliate Management Days. They have sponsored our U.S. shows in 2013 and 2014, and now we are looking forward to seeing them exhibit at Affiliate Management Days London 2014 in just two weeks.

Here is what they do and offer (in their own words):


Linkdex is the data and technology partner to leading agencies and brands around the globe. With accurate data at the heart of an award winning platform, we extract actionable business intelligence for SEO, content marketing, social media and public relations.

Powered by innovative technology such as influential author discovery, social circle suggestions, content 360 analysis, and geo-performance benchmarking, Linkdex allows clients to build relationships with key influencers in a market, optimize content and engage with the people that matter, and measure performance all from one integrated suite. [source]

Many thanks to Linkdex for their ongoing support of AM Days!

If you haven’t yet purchased your AM Days London 2014 pass, there is still time, and you may register here.

Having seen them just last month as they attended AM Days San Francisco to speak and exhibit, I am excited to welcome them as the first-ever sponsor of our European conference!

CAKE has signed an agreement to sponsor Affiliate Management Days London 2014 which will be held on 13-14 May at the prestigious Chelsea Football Club’s conference facility. Their European managing director and Britain’s well-known affiliate marketing veteran, Paul Wright, will also present at the conference on the morning of Day 2.

If you haven’t heard about CAKE before, here’s what they do (in their own words):

CAKE is a marketing technology company providing a comprehensive enterprise suite of innovative business intelligence tools for the performance marketing industry. The company has also now launched cupCAKE, a campaign management solution for small and medium sized affiliate marketers.

The CAKE SaaS proprietary marketing platforms are used by the world’s leading companies and the world’s largest customer-base of enterprise affiliate marketing networks and merchants. CAKE’s solutions are based on reliable, feature rich technology and are bolstered by the industry’s leading customer service and top tier technology partners — assuring the highest level of uptime. [source]

Thank you for your support, CAKE! We look forward to seeing you at AM Days London next month!!

For prospective sponsors, we still have a number of sponsorship and exhibit opportunities available. If you have any interest contact Paul. Keep in mind that our London show is coming up in just 33 days!

I am excited to announce that The Internet Advertising Bureau UK has chosen to partner with Affiliate Management Days in the framework of our upcoming London show on 13-14 May, 2014.

Last year, at our inaugural conference in London, Clare O’Brian of IAB UK spoke on the state of UK’s online performance marketing and what’s behind the numbers of IAB / PricewaterhouseCoopers 2013 study [more here]. This year, we’ve taken it a step further and are happy to welcome IAB UK as our official Association Partner in the United Kingdom. Here’s more on IAB:


The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) is the UK industry body for digital advertising, representing over 900 businesses engaged in digital marketing, including media owners and advertising networks. The IAB’s role is to help marketers find the best role for online and mobile advertising, promote understanding and good practice and to ensure a responsible medium. Further information is available at www.iabuk.net. [source]

If you haven’t yet registered for AM Days London 2014 the Early Bird rates are still in effect. However, they won’t last longer than this Friday. To save £300.00 register for the conference by 4 April!!

Did you know that buying your Affiliate Management Days London 2014  pass while we’re still in the “Early Bird” registration period you save £300.00 (as compared to the onsite price)?

So, what are you waiting for? Join TripAdvisor, PhotoBox, CheapFlights, and many others who have already taken advantage of our Early Bird rates. Don’t delay — register today or no later than Friday (March 28, 2014).

AM Days London 2014 Early Bird


You may remember my last month’s post about the “blue chip” brands that are coming to the upcoming AM Days in San Francisco.

Having studied the latest record of conference registrants I would like to bring you an updated list of the top brands who have already registered their digital marketing teams for Affiliate Management Days SF 2014.

Here are 30 hand-picked most prominent e-tailer brands you can expect to see at our next week’s show (the order, of course, is merely alphabetical):

  1. Adorama
  2. Amazon.com
  3. Ancestry.com
  4. Apple
  5. Autodesk
  6. Beachbody
  7. Bitdefender
  8. Bluehost Inc
  9. Booking.com
  10. Cost Plus World Market
  11. Deluxe Corp
  12. eBay
  13. eCampus.com
  14. HostGator
  15. InterContinental Hotels Group
  16. Jenson USA
  17. LifeLock Inc.
  18. Netflix
  19. Office Designs
  20. ProFlowers
  21. RedEnvelope
  22. Santander Group
  23. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
  24. Shopify
  25. Shutterfly
  26. Sonic Electronix
  27. Symantec / Norton
  28. Tanga
  29. Wyndham Worldwide
  30. Zappos.com

The conference is less than 5 days away… Don’t miss out – grab your pass today!

Register Now