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Why wait until our Early Bird registration period ends? You can save up to $400.00 by registering for our only show in 2015 by February 6.

Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Quite a number of attendees have already taken advantage of this opportunity, and we are already en route to making the 2015 San Francisco show our biggest and busiest show ever.

The Early Bird pricing is going to be on for just one more week. Register before the Early Bird prices are gone on February 6, and I’ll be looking forward to shaking your hand at the show.

AM Days - Geno Prussakov

Whether it is because you have never come to Affiliate Management Days before, or because you are looking for help in pitching the idea of attending to your boss, I trust you will find the below testimonials of help. I have arranged them by the ten points they clearly illustrate. I have also decided to use testimonials of real attendees for you not to take my word for it, but see what others experienced first-hand.

So here are the ten reason why every online merchant/advertiser (with or without an affiliate program) should seriously consider attending the upcoming Affiliate Management Days 2015 in San Francisco:

1. Connect & Catch Up

“The Affiliate Management Days conference is a great chance for me to connect with other Affiliate managers in the industry while getting caught up on the latest trends. I found the speakers to be of high caliber and the sessions relevant to the many different swathes of affiliate programs out there.” — Ned Farra, Online Partnership Extraordinaire, Zappos

2. Get Inspired by Thought Leaders

“I found the AM Days conference to be well worth my time and a must attend conference in the future. I had the opportunity to network with smart people in the affiliate industry with varying points of view. The information presented during the conference sessions was relevant, informative and inspiring. Much of what I learned I was able to implement immediately. I look forward to attending the conference again next year.” — A’Lisa Tomatis, Sr Manager, Online Business Marketing, Symantec Corporation

3. Learn from Successes of Others

“The content of the sessions at Affiliate Management Days was far better than most shows I’ve attended – they provided a real, actionable value, and weren’t merely a plug for the speaker’s company..” — Sheena Jacobson, Affiliate Team Manager, OFFERweb

“AM Days is a fantastic conference for performance marketing professionals. The speakers offered detailed insights into optimizing current performance programs, but also gave impassioned talks and examples on how to grow the industry. Within 2 weeks the connections and learning’s have already “converted’ into new business. I look forward to attending again.” — David Burke, Head of Partnerships, iNC Network

4. Concentrate / Focus

“It was great to strictly focus on affiliate management topics and issues, without any distractions. The topics dealt with current industry opportunities, such as mobile, video and complex fraud detection, all taught by experts in those areas. Networking was outstanding!” — Jeannine Crooks, Account Manager, Affiliate Window

5. Get Fascinated (Again)

“Fascinating topics in affiliate industry.” — Ryota Kojima, Vice Group Manager, Rakuten Affiliate Network

6.  Awaken to Possibilities

“There were some techniques presented that I was already subconsciously aware of but might not have put into practice, yet. This conference helped shed light and awaken my senses to the endless possibilities for growing our Affiliate Program.” — Brian Schwartz, Affiliate Manager, LivePerson, Inc.

7. Perfect Your Strategy

“I attended AM Days and can’t rave about it enough. As I’m new to the affiliate world, the 12+ hours of concentrated learning has made all the difference in our development and strategy.” — Deborah A. Cincotta, Founder and CEO, Totefish

8. Invest (to Gain in Return)

“The information gained from this conference was well worth the investment to attend.”— Benjamin Louie, Advertising Executive, PlentyOfFish

9. Network with the Best of the Best

“Affiliate Management Days, is one of the most important and under-rated shows in the affiliate marketing industry. Every affiliate manager on the planet should be flocking to his show to learn, grow and network with the best of the best. The conference organizer goes above and beyond to make sure everyone has a high value experience” — Sarah Bundy, CEO, All Inclusive Marketing

10. Be a Part of One-of-a-Kind Conference

“There is really only one conference that provides top-notch strategies and information for Affiliate Management professionals, and that is AM Days. After going to the conference, I left with proven strategies, ideas, and tips to help my current and future affiliate programs. Really, I have never seen another event that leaves the participants with so much good knowledge.” — Taylor Barr,  Affiliate Manager, A Small Orange

Our upcoming show is set to take place on March 31 – April 1, 2015 in San Francisco. The agenda may be (re)viewed here. Will you be there or will you miss out on the opportunity to grow?

There is still time to register at Early Bird prices. Hurry as the Early Bird period ends on February 6, 2015.

Nine and a half weeks from now Affiliate Management Days will return to San Francisco for our fourth time. This will be our seventh global show since 2012.

Our very first conference was held in the city of the Golden Gate, but since then we have also had AM Days shows in Fort Lauderdale, FL as well as in London, UK.

It was in 2013 that we expanded globally, launching our yearly London shows. Even though both of our UK shows were quite successful (see video recap of the 2013 show, as well as an overview of our 2014 conference) this year we have decided to take a break in London (to return back in 2016).

Therefore, there will be only one Affiliate Management Days show in 2015the San Francisco conference which will be held on March 31 – April 1 at the beautiful Marriott Marquis in the downtown of San Francisco.

So, mark your calendars and grab your pass to the world’s only conference on affiliate program management while we’re still in the Early Bird registration period. This opportunity will expire in two weeks. Save up to $500.00 when you register at Early Bird prices!

I look forward to seeing you there and shaking your hand at what is already set to become our largest show yet.

To say that my today’s interviewee is not a stranger to affiliate marketing would be to say nothing. Kerri Pollard is a major figure in this industry. As president of CJ Affiliate by Conversant, she oversees the operations of CJ’s affiliate network in the U.S. and Europe.

Kerri spoke at Affiliate Management Days for the first time in the spring of 2013. This year she is returning back with her Day 1 keynote on how affiliate network insights can help advertisers drive reach and results. She will also appear on our already-traditional Day 2 keynote panel with affiliate networks which in 2015 is devoted to “The Affiliate Industry Evolution.”

With Affiliate Management Days 2015 coming up in San Francisco in just over two months, catch a glimpse of the caliber of speakers we’ll bring together by reading the below interview with Kerri’s insights for advertisers and affiliate program managers.

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Kerri Pollard is the president of CJ Affiliate by Conversant. She has a proven track record of building partnerships between advertisers and publishers along with helping them grow revenue and increase profits through innovative technology plus strategic, analytical insights. Kerri’s thought leadership in the affiliate marketing space has earned CJ the recognition of the #1 affiliate marketing provider by Internet Retailer for the second year in a row.

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?

Kerri Pollard: One important issue that every affiliate manager should be aware of and, more importantly, be a participant in the solving thereof, is the attribution challenge. Too often, we see affiliate managers reacting and responding to internal attribution decisions vs. having a seat at the table to ensure the affiliate channel is aligned with a company’s goals and objectives. In speaking with several attribution vendors, they do not understand affiliate or associated measurement and therefore, base their analysis on an impression-to-conversion basis, which doesn’t apply to affiliate – yet. At CJ Affiliate, we have been working with companies like Adometry and Visual IQ to help educate them and their customers. To this end, we encourage affiliates on behalf of their trusted, advertiser relationships to maintain – not eliminate – the impression code. We know value is being created throughout the customer decision journey and affiliates should get recognized as such. In short, grab your seat at the table and ensure affiliate is being represented appropriately!

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

Kerri Pollard: Opportunities within affiliate have always been driven by the consumer and their associated decision journey. That journey has become less linear in nature and additional fragmentation has occurred. As affiliate marketers, it’s important that we support all consumer touchpoints by effectively guiding and tracking the consumer from end-to-end. We’ve seen many affiliates perfect their mobile presence, but there is much more opportunity to do so in the overall marketplace. In addition, according to a recent McKinsey report, “by the year 2020, 80% of all transactions will continue to occur within four walls.” The research and the evaluation phase may occur via a desktop or mobile device, but the transaction could be completed offline. We see additional opportunity for on-to-offline tracking beyond the printing/downloading of offers. Through the CJ Affiliate dataset, we can see the influence that affiliate has on offline conversions. We can leverage this data to enable additional tracking and compensation to further capitalize on such activity. Finally, we believe the next frontier will be a consumer’s home and leveraging such items as TVs and appliances in order to make a purchase. Where and how will affiliate participate? We have some ideas. 

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?

Kerri Pollard: The best affiliate programs are those that support the principles of communication and transparency. This question references my earlier point of attribution and as affiliate managers, ensuring one has a seat at the table. Not only does such participation allow one to contribute to such discussions, but also communicate back to his/her affiliates as to why and when they are being credited – or not. There is no silver bullet in attribution as each advertiser has unique, consumer paths, but helping affiliates understand those paths and where they can add the most value is key.

Question: In which ways can affiliates be adding value for the merchants they promote? And where does the “value” reside?

Kerri Pollard: Are you maximizing an opportunity on behalf of an advertiser? Addressing a challenge? Solving a problem? If “yes” to any one of these questions, then you are adding value, which may or may not include new customer acquisition. As a network, we focus much time and effort on understanding the goals, objectives and challenges of the company overall – not just an advertiser’s affiliate program. By doing so, we recognized that personalizing the consumer experience across all channels was important to not just the CMO, but also the CEO. By leveraging the Conversant infrastructure and anonymous consumer profiles, we’ve been testing the concept of personalization within affiliate. We are able to recognize new customers on behalf of an advertiser via an affiliate site in order to showcase a unique and compelling offer in real-time to increase conversion rates. This solution has resulted in double-digit growth rates in new customers. In addition to personalizing the experience on behalf of new customers, we’ve been working with several of our clients as it relates to their “top shopper” persona. Using data from both the CJ Affiliate dataset and the advertiser, our affiliates can target such individuals and increase engagement. By offering these solutions, we ensure that affiliate is integrated into the overall marketing mix along with the associated messaging strategy and therefore, adding more value.

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?

Kerri Pollard: Margin compression. With an ever-growing competitive marketplace and associated pricing pressure, one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers is margin compression. In retail, many marketers are struggling to compete on price and simultaneously, having the budget necessary to successfully promote their products and services. Although affiliate has always been a very cost-effective channel for marketers, we have been working with many of our clients to provide even greater insight to enable smarter and more targeted marketing within affiliate. For example, we can now show the percentage of new customers via affiliate versus all other marketing channels; average order value and repurchase rate of all affiliate consumers; and offline impact of said consumers. These stats compare affiliate with all other marketing channels and can also be viewed by publisher promotional method (i.e., deal, loyalty, content) and individual publisher. If a company is seeking to better monetize their offline presence, an affiliate manager can identify those publishers that drive the most offline consumers and incent them to do more. Smarter, more targeted marketing can expand margins and drive top-line revenue.

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

Kerri Pollard: As we’ve learned from our annual conference, CJU, Affiliate Management Days provides a great forum to network and learn from your peers. Time and time again, we hear from our clients their desire to connect in order to share best practices and discuss shared challenges in which one conversation could provide a solution.

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

Kerri Pollard: Ensure that affiliate has a “seat at the table” and work – via data and transparency – with your responsible network and affiliates to ensure all parties are aligned for success.

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

Kerri Pollard: Big data is all the rage, but what data is important to affiliate in order to provide actionable insights and results? How does one drive sales without cannibalizing margins? I will be speaking to our new consumer dataset at CJ Affiliate and how such data is being leveraged for smarter, more targeted marketing vs. a one-size fits all approach resulting in greater growth in both margins and revenue.

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Don’t miss Kerri’s participation in two keynotes of the upcoming Affiliate Management Days in San Francisco! Register while the Early Bird registration period is still open (through February 6, 2015).

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!

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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.

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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.