Posts Tagged ‘Todd Crawford’

In anticipation of his upcoming Affiliate Management Days conference presentation, How to Champion (or Defend) the Affiliate Channel Through Incrementality, and his participation on the keynote panel discussion, 2016 Affiliate State of the Union, our very own Geno Prussakov  interviewed Todd Crawford, Co-Founder of Impact Radius. View the Q-and-A below to learn Todd’s thoughts as well as see what’s in store for AM Days 2016.


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: Every affiliate manager should have a good understanding of the value each affiliate partnership is driving as it relates to the business objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) for their company. It is important to be able to demonstrate the value of a partnership and how it directly contributes to the metrics that a company values most. This empowers the affiliate manager to champion (and in some cases defend) the affiliate channel within the company.

Todd CrawfordQuestion: What was the most important marketing lesson you learned in 2015?

Todd: I think this is something everyone needs to remind themselves of periodically. Never be satisfied with the status quo. Always try new things - test and evaluate new opportunities. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or fail. In order to be successful, you will have failures along the way.

Question: What do you believe to be the main areas of opportunity in 2016 – for online marketers, in general, and for affiliate marketers, in particular?

Todd: The biggest opportunity for marketers in 2016 is cross-device tracking/data. Just as we now rely on a cross-channel perspective across our marketing data, we will soon realize that unless we also include cross-device data, we are missing a big piece of the picture. Cross-device data will provide a more accurate view of their marketing data and allow marketers to better optimize their marketing mix, spend, and ROI.

AM Days 2016Question: What do you believe to be the biggest challenge advertisers with affiliate programs face, and what steps could help them overcome it?

Todd: The biggest challenge I see affiliate marketers facing is the lack of cross-channel insights within their affiliate data. Affiliate managers are flying blind if they are still looking at siloed data that only shows last click wins in the affiliate channel. Here is a simple example to illustrate what I mean. If the affiliate channel represents 15% of total online results, then affiliate managers are looking at less than 15% of the data if it doesn’t include cross-channel data.

Question: Please give us 1-3 reasons why marketers should attend AM Days 2016.

Todd: Great content, networking, and learning opportunities in an intimate environment.

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

Todd: Embrace data! You don’t know what you don’t know. Data can help you discover so much about your channel and business. The more you know, the more valuable you are to your company.


Don’t miss Todd’s conference presentation, How to Champion (or Defend) the Affiliate Channel Through Incrementality, at Affiliate Management Days on Monday, April 4, 2016, from 10:15-11:00am. Click here to register for attendance.


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.

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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, 2020).

It is already customary for us to conduct pre-conference speaker interviews leading up to Affiliate Management Days. And our U.S. Affiliate Management Days 2013, which is coming up in just 7 days, hasn’t been an exception.

Here is a handy list of a dozen of pre-show interviews with AM Days SF 2013 speakers:

  • David Adler: Legal Risks Facing Affiliate Marketers Today
  • Hunter Boyle: Affiliate Management, Challenges and Email Marketing
  • Todd Crawford: Opportunities in Affiliate Marketing
  • Robert Glazer: The Role of the Affiliate Network
  • Chris Goward: Affiliate Programs and Conversion Optimization
  • Kristin Hall: Importance of Mobile in Affiliate Marketing
  • David Naffziger: How Merchants Can Protect Themselves from Affiliate Violators
  • Gary Marcoccia: Value of the Affiliate Marketing Channel
  • Brian Marcus: eBay Partner Network’s Lessons for Affiliate Managers
  • Geno Prussakov: Affiliate Management Days and More
  • Geno Prussakov: Affiliate Management Days West 2013 Preview [radio interview]
  • Jim Sterne: Big Data and the Human Side of Analytics

The above list is merely alphabetical.

If you haven’t yet registered for AM Days SF 2013, there is still time!! Register by the end of day Friday (April 12) to get in at regular price.

I am excited to announce that we have finalized the agenda for Affiliate Management Days East 2012 which is set to take place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on 9-10 October, 2012.

There is a total of 32 speakers (see their bios here), including such luminaries of Internet marketing as Joanna Lord (SEOmoz), Hunter Boyle (AWeber), Tim Ash (SiteTuners), David Szetela (Bionic Click) and Brad Geddes (, as well as such affiliate marketing stars as Carolyn Kmet (Groupon), Todd Crawford (Impact Radius), Brian Littleton (ShareASale), Rebecca Madigan (Performance Marketing Association), Peter Hamilton (HasOffers), Kevin Edwards (Affiliate Window), Ali Pasha (Google Affiliate Network), and many many others. It is going to be one amazing show!

The three keynotes I’ve arranged for you will be as follows:

  1. Rebecca Madigan will focus on “Navigating Big Issues” giving you a big picture look at the value of compliance, education, managing your CEO’s expectations, attribution, and why you need to think big in order to promote growth in your affiliate program.
  2. Brad Geddes in his “Building a Brand When No One Cares Who You Are” speech will discuss how to get customers to care about your business. Both through affiliates, or other channels, you can successfully build your brand, growing a solid database of loyal customers.
  3. David Szetela will concentrate on “Search, Affiliates and the Future of Personal Computing” and how you can anticipate the coming paradigm shifts that can either threaten or supercharge the way you do business through affiliates.

There will also be things on the agenda that will be quite different from the our first show in San Francisco earlier this year. The three I’d like to emphasize here are:

  1. OPMs — Surprisingly, but we’ve had only a couple of OPMs presenting in SF in April. Many of them have tremendous experience; hence, the surprise… This time, however, we have a quite a few on the agenda (Mike Nunez of, Daniel Feinberg of GTO Management, Robert Glazer of Acceleration Partners, Rick Gardiner of Gardiner Media Group).
  2. Panel with affiliate networks — As you can see on the agenda, there will be no morning keynote on Day 2. Instead, we’re doing something very different this time: a panel with higher level execs from all major affiliate networks (the already-confirmed panelists include Jessica Breslav of Commission Junction, Tony Nelan of Google Affiliate Network, Brian Littleton of ShareASale, Kevin Edwards of Affiliate Window, and Todd Crawford of Impact Radius). “The Role of the Network” panel will run for 1.5 hours in the course of which the network reps will discuss what role of the network in areas such as affiliate screening, fraud monitoring, program management and more.
  3. New topics — We’ll have sessions on topics which weren’t covered in much depth in San Francisco (e.g.: a session on FTC and state actions, a panel on affiliate automation tools, a session on mobile commerce in affiliate marketing, etc)

So, what are you waiting for? Come register while the Super Early Bird rate is still on (it won’t last for longer than 15 more days)! I’m looking forward to meeting you at the show.

Todd Crawford - Impact Radius

The Importance of Attribution Data for Performance Marketing

Live Blog of Todd Crawford’s Session at Affiliate Management Days San Francisco

Todd of course has a tremendous pedigree in affiliate marketing. From co-founding Commission Junction, to his work with Digital River, and now at Impact Radius, Todd has pioneered many of the measurements we use to understand performance marketing campaigns.

Todd started talking about the EPC metric, and how it was one of the quintessential measurements at the turn of the century, and where we’ve come since then. Of note were the lack of impression metrics for key super affiliates, since they server their own ads for the most part.

He then hoped that more affiliate managers were looking at new sales versus returning sales, and what types of affiliates were really key in new customer acquisition. Todd indicated that commission levels should be thought of around that metric. Are you going to give a better rate to an affiliate retuning previous buyers? Or should you offer a higher commission to those that are sending a higher percentage of new customers.

Defining Attribution

Simplified: How many ads did a buyer see, where did they occur, how did they influence the conversion (ad content), what was the total, actual cost.

He adds that correct attribution is inevitable. Your channel may not be looking at it, but others around you are. Compares it to the birth and growth of site-side analytics. Early adopters are on it, soon EVERYONE will be on it, so learn it now.

What are the attribution channels that you should measure? There are channels within channels, and the more granular you can get, the better. In the affiliate space, it’s a segregation in the types of affiliates.

You need to determine how far back in time you want to go before the outcome in determining influence. Compare it to your average sales cycle, perhaps, and attribute outcome weight based on time and sequence.

The channel roles can be Initiator, Contributor, Closer, etc. Build your attribution model around these groups. Internally, look at affiliate value differently than you look at actual commission values paid out. It will be different, and can be used to set long term commission rates.

Attribution Misconceptions

It’s not objective data. It is subjective. As a team, work to make it objective.
Real Time Data is attributable. Attribution actually happens over time, not immediately.
We Understand Attribution for Us. You don’t. It changes over time. The web is dynamic.

Looking at Affiliates

Your most “valuable” affiliate is the one that has conversions that don’t touch ALL your conversion attribution channels. If the customer isn’t seeing your display ads, isn’t clicking your PPC ads… then that affiliate has a customer pool that you don’t otherwise have access to. Value them.