Industry Changes and Opportunities – An Interview with ShareASale Founder Brian Littleton

Brian Littleton interviewOne of the things I find most exciting about the performance marketing industry is how it is always changing, and how that change creates new and diverse opportunities. This week I had the pleasure of interviewing President and CEO of ShareASale, Brian Littleton on the subject.

Sarah: What are the major industry changes you’ve seen over the last two years and how has ShareASale adjusted to keep up with those changes?

Brian: The biggest change came in 2-parts. Starting with the breakup of the Google Affiliate Network, the industry took a moment to really look at some topics that I think were always there but the event forced so many retailers to analyze their Affiliate Channel at one specific moment that those topics came screaming to the forefront. Of course, I’m talking about attribution and its related topics. So many retailers used that opportunity (and technology providers as well) to look at attribution because they were forced to find entirely new technology partners in a very short amount of time.

From ShareASale’s perspective, this was a welcome moment – not because of the loss of GAN in our industry – but because retailers started asking the questions that we had had answers to for several years. Our Clickstream “Leapfrog” technology, Coupon Code Tracking, Mobile App Install Tracking, and other related products saw huge increases in usage and interest – even though many of them had been around for years. Sure, the industry might have known about attribution long before that moment when GAN closed their doors, but the intense focus of that event really brought these issues to light.

Sarah: Where do you see the biggest opportunities for merchants and affiliates in optimizing their earning opportunities going into Q4 and 2015?

Brian: I think preparation and diversity are keys that shouldn’t be overlooked, but honestly one of the most important things to do is to actually pay attention ON Black Friday and Cyber Week. I see huge bunches of both Affiliates and Retailers missing out on earning opportunities because they simply aren’t paying close attention on those dates. Deals pop-up, trends are spotted and shared, and emails are flying at a near constant pace starting on Black Friday. Personally, I run a blogger group where I may post 15-20 times during the day to let people know what kinds of trends I am noticing – and some of those bloggers take great advantage of that information.

Sarah: With ShareASale ThinkTank around the corner, what do you personally want to see happen as a result of this show?

Brian: ShareASale’s ThinkTank has been such a fun event for me to host every year. We’ve been a little sporadic with our schedule, switching from May to October commonly depending on where we plan to host it, but this will be the 9th time we have hosted the event. My biggest goal, every year, is just to see individuals grow in their business – and it happens all the time. All I really have to do is put a Blogger and a Merchant in the same room and let them do their thing. Sure, we provide educational opportunities and networking – but the real magic is just in the interaction of those two parties trying to find ways to do more business together. I’m also excited, this year, for some pretty major product announcements that we’ll be rolling out as well!

About ShareASale

ShareASale has been in business for 13 years, exclusively as an Affiliate Marketing Network. Our technology receives accolades for speed, efficiency, and accuracy – and our reputation as a fair and honest business is well known within the industry. Our objective is to provide customers with an advanced Affiliate Marketing platform. We strive to deliver the best product in the industry, and support it with superior customer service provided by people that will follow up, call back, and provide real solutions. Stay connected by visiting them on Twitter and Facebook.

Carolyn Kmet (formerly of Groupon) Joins All Inclusive Marketing as New VP of Performance Marketing

Carolyn Tang Kmet - VP of Performance Marketing for AIMI couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that Carolyn Tang Kmet is joining All Inclusive Marketing as our new VP of Performance Marketing starting October 15, 2012!

Carolyn and I have been friends for a few years, and she is one of the people who has stood out as an industry star since the beginning.

Here’s a short bio of Carolyn’s work over the last few years.

Carolyn Tang Kmet brings over 13 years of performance marketing expertise to All Inclusive Marketing. Prior to joining the team, Carolyn was the affiliate marketing director for Groupon. In this role, she was honored with the Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award for Affiliate Manager of the Year 2010, and the New Advertiser of the Year 2011 award from Commission Junction. Prior to joining Groupon, Kmet led the client services team at ShareASale.com, a Chicago-based affiliate network. Kmet has also managed affiliate programs at Orbitz, CollectiblesToday.com and MyPoints.com. She is an adjunct lecturer at the Loyola University of Chicago, where she teaches both undergraduate and MBA level e-marketing courses. Kmet earned a MBA from Loyola University Chicago, a MSJ in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Berkeley. (more…)

Share-A-Sale’s New Leap Frog Feature Good News for Merchants and Affiliates

shareasale's leap frog feature - share-a-saleA little insider information allowed me a sneak peak at Share-A-Sale’s new feature they call “Leap Frogging” which every merchant in Share-A-Sale needs to know about. This is great news for both merchants and affiliates for the reasons described below.

In a nutshell, merchants can now submit tickets to have custom tracking set up that will credit affiliates differently according to different set rules which will significantly help with attribution.

Some of the rules created around the Leap Frog feature could include time on affiliate site, order of clicks, and so on. The “leap frog” affiliate is the one that sends traffic to a merchant first and “leap frogs” over another affiliate who would otherwise get credit for getting the last click.  This makes crediting affiliates much more fair. (more…)

Marissa Mayer Yahoo’s New CEO on Finding Balance

Marissa Mayer Yahoo CEOI never heard of Marissa Mayer until yesterday when she was announced Yahoo’s new CEO. Intrigued by her picture – being young, pretty and feminine – I started to read more about her and watch some of her interviews. What I find interesting and incredibly inspiring about Marissa is how much she has accomplished at such a young age.

According to Celebrity North, Marissa’s net worth is $300 million. That’s not bad for someone who’s still three years away from turning 40. As one of Google’s first employees and their first female engineer, she has contributed to over 100 features google has offered. She is incredibly intelligent being a tech geek and an engineer, but more importantly she is down to earth and appreciates the people she works with.

Having accomplished so much in such a short time, it boggles my mind how hard she must have worked to get her engineering degree, compete against men in a highly male dominated space when she first entered, then worked her way up the corporate ladder in two of the world’s most recognized brands. (more…)

17 Reasons Internet Marketing Is In Trouble

I can’t tell you how often I hear how shady, scummy, and overall filled with unethical, sleazy people the affiliate marketing world

has. Personally, it drives me crazy. There are a TON of awesome people in this industry – thousands of them. Possibly HUNDREDS of thousands of them, yet somehow the world still thinks we’re a bunch of criminals.

An anonymous reporter recently put a request out to find more information about the internet marketing space. I sent them a letter to address their question. Here was the original post:

 

Summary: Are All Internet Marketers Scam Artists?

Category: High Tech

Email: query-29rx@helpareporter.net 

Media Outlet: Anonymous

Deadline: 7:00 PM EST – 12 July

Query:

I’ve been reading the Salty Droid with a great deal of interest,
and have been intrigued by his claim that “you can’t make money
online.” The site’s founder was a prime source in a video and
commentary by the Verge taking down the entire Internet
marketing segment as being a syndicate of scam artists.

I want to kick the tires a bit harder on the Verge’s commentary
and do some actual reporting to test the claims. Are there legit
Internet Marketers and Affiliate Marketers online? What should
content providers know and what questions should they ask before
signing on or, even more importantly, entering payment info?
Requirements:

This is for a leading industry Website with high traffic levels.
I am looking for expert commentary and data for a serious,
investigative piece, not product pitches. Thanks.

Before I even go into my list of reasons why we have a bad rap – PLEASE SEND THIS REPORTER A MESSAGE WITH THE TRUTH THAT LEGITIMATE INTERNET MARKETERS ARE OUT THERE AND SHARE YOUR STORY! (more…)

Performance Horizon Group Wins ‘Best New Entrant’ at 2012 Performance Marketing Awards

Performance Horizon Group wins at 2012 Performance Marketing AwardsA few weeks ago I wrote a post called  “What is ExactView Affiliate Management Tracking Technology?” that outlined the incredible new technology of Performance Horizon Group and how it might change how merchants and internet retailers manage their online marketing programs.

A press release recently released explains how and why Performance Horizon Group’s advanced affiliate management tracking technology just won this year’s “Best New Entrant” at the 2012 Performance Marketing Awards.

New York, NY, May 23, 2012 – Performance Horizon Group (PHG), a leading provider of performance marketing technology, secured a win for ‘Best New Entrant’ at the 2012 annual Performance Marketing Awards at the Grosvernor House Hotel in London on May 15, 2012. (more…)

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