mCommerce and Digital Wallets in Performance Marketing

Digital Wallets and performance marketing mcommerceThis post was inspired by and during a session at the Performance Marketing Insights conference in NYC, presented by KeyNote Speaker of Forrester Research, Senior Analyst, Denee Carrington.

Digital wallets will revolutionize the way consumers shop and pay for goods and services. Those who carry a mobile device will be your ‘always ready’ consumer, especially with the growth of digital wallets.

 

There are four major categories around mobile considerations

  • Product Infomration
  • Offers and Coupons
  • Loyalty and Rewards
  • Mobile Payments

 

What is a digital wallet?

It is a digital service accessed through the web or a mobile app that authorizes payment transactions from one or more payment sources that facilities other commerce-related features such as offers, coupons, deals and more.

VAS will emerge within mobile digital wallet for use at point of sales. Coupons will be integrated for automated redemption, enhanced targeting and relevance, merchant funded. Consumers are already using value added services outside of the wallet: scanning, location lookups, redeeming codes, images

What we are finding is the more people do this, the more they do it! Meaning it’s going to continue to accelerate.

  • Retail sales are expected to be $3.8TT in 2016
  • eCommerce = 9% of that
  • mCommerce = 8% of that. 

 

According to Forrester Research, US mobile payments will reach $90B in 2017. Consumers are already showing interest in proximity mobile payments. Customer are just starting to talk about this, which makes it an incredible opportunity for leaders in the space.

 

Early adopters are generally younger, male, and online & mobile bankers. However even early adopters need reassurance about the safety and security of mobile payments. The barriers to digital wallet adoption are falling. Using mobile digital wallets in store a natural extension of existing behaviour. Software based solutions present few barriers for customers and merchants.

 

Every connected device will eventually become a commerce device. Digital wallets will be ubiquitous. Digital convergence of channels and devices will make “online vs offline” irrelevant. Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) and Passbook are examples of companies to watch in this space because of their platforms for offers and coupons for digital wallets and the future of transactions.

 

Other Examples:

  • Google Offers within Google Wallet
  • Clip to Isis – Tap, scan, click offers or follow merchants
  • Prewards (edo interactive)
  • Cardlytics
  • FirstData – beyond the transaction
  • Card-linked offer platforms are on the rise and will feed bank-driven digital wallets, targeting based on customer profile and spend history, automatic redemption and pricing will be modelled around “pay on redemption”.
  • Square – enables discovery, incentives for first visits and loyalty rewards.
  • LevelUp – enables discovery (directory and Facebook integration), automates instead credit for first time and repeat visits.
  • Digital Wallets will continue to transform the “in-store” experience. You won’t’ have to stand in line anymore. You simply scan your phone and it will automatically be shipped to you to your home. Payment and shipping info will already be registered, so you can move faster and shop more conveniently than ever.
  • “Line busting” features let consumers order, pay before arriving in the store.

 

If you lose your wallet (your real one) you cannot lock it, you cannot protect it, you cannot recall it. Protection on digital wallets is already exponentially more safe than having a physical wallet. However, the disappearance of the use of CASH and plastic cards will not happen any time soon so digital wallets will continue to increase over the next few years.

 

SO, what does this mean for performance marketing?

  1. The payments landscape will become more crowded and complex, There won’t be just a single winner. They will be all interconnected. The ones that will do well will be the ones that add value and a unique experience for the customer.
  2. Banks and merchants will fight to retain control and influence of their customers spend. Digital wallets threaten to supersede bank and retailer influence on customer shopping and payment decisions.
  3. Marketers should partner promiscuously. Seamlessly integrate into wallet experience, and help them win. Give them a reason to exist, a reason for customers to use them, which are the rich experiences with their merchants.
  4. Help partners get ahead of regulator concerns about privacy with mobile advertising.
  5. Demonstrate your value to help wallet providers to be successful: Greater value to merchants, greater convenience to consumers, help banks achieve “top of wallet” positions.

 

A digital wallet startegy is like a treadmill. Standing still is a bad idea.  It’s here to stay. Get smart. Figure out what your value proposition is and to whom. Just figuring out your piece in this evolution is the right first step.
If you need help creating that strategy or setting up an m-commerce platform, let me know because we can help!

Global Affiliate Marketing: Approaching International, Regional & Local Strategy

Affiliate marketing global expansionWe are into day two of the Performance Marketing Insights Conference in New York and I’m sitting in a session called Global Affiliate Marketing: Approaching International, Regional and Local Strategy, presented by Peter Figeuredo, James Maley and Jess Nathan.

Following are my notes and personal takeaways from this session:

 

US OPPORTUNITY

  • US Market Overview: B2C ecom sales will grow 12% to $384.8 billion in 2013 (30% of worldwide ecom)
  • US remains the largest spending country online but China is closing fast.
  • Avg B2C ecommerce sales per user reach $2466 *Source: EMarketer
  • Advertisers with programs see 23% of their online sales coming from Affiliate.

 

EU OPPORTUNITY

  • 289MM people online
  • Average 30 hours a month online
  • $1738 average customers spend online in 2012
  • $111BB online retail spend in 2012
  • 12% annual growth forecast over the next 5 years
  • $5BB sales revenue driven within UK affiliate channel

His recommendation: service and focus on your local market before you move to others.

 

Top Affiliates in the US (Note: Shown in sales, not by my personal recommendation)

CashBack Affiliates

  • Fatwallet
  • ShopatHome
  • Ebates

 

Loyalty Affiliates

  • Upromise
  • MyPoints
  • iGive

 

Coupon And Deal Affiliates

  • Savings.com
  • Offers.com
  • CouponWinner

 

Comparison Shipping Affiliates

  • TheFind
  • Kaboodle
  • ShopStyle.com

 

Top Affiliates in Europe

Cashback & Loyalty

  • Payback
  • BeRuby
  • Quidco
  • iGraal
  • TopCashback

 

Meta & Price Comparison

  • Dkyscanner
  • Kayak
  • PriceRunner

 

Voucher / Coupons

  • MyVoucherCodes
  • KuponKoder.com
  • Savoo.co.uk

 

Closed Network

  • Mecenat
  • NextJump
  • Asperity

 

Supplementary Paid Search

  • Media Planet
  • UK Web Media
  • JVWeb

 

Vertical Affiliates US  – Higher Value, Higher AOV Affiliates (take longer to work with and recruit but add huge incremental value to an affiliate channel)

  • AudioBookNerds.com
  • Skimlinks
  • Blogger
  • Invitation Crush
  • CampusBooks
  • AudioBookStore
  • HotelsCombined
  • HotelsEtc
  • PeerTrainer
  • Jetradar Flight Search
  • Audio Book Mart
  • TopTenReviews
  • BooksPrice
  • Subscription.com
  • Site Builder Report
  • Body Editor
  • Small Businesses do it Better
  • Diamond Games

 

Vertical Affiliates: UK, France and Germany

  • Advanced multi-channel journeys
  • Vertical sites drive incremental traffic
  • Purchase on Cashback / Loyalty
  • More PPC Affiliates
  • Lack of quality content
  • Cashback sites starting to develop more
  • Combined cashback and content offerings
  • Eastern Europe is an emerging market

 

Recommendation: In EU shoppers are very social and mobile heavy, meaning you should have opportunities to engage with affiliates and allow them to earn through these channels to have a more successful affiliate program.

Side note: The Asian market is extremely email heavy and also are paid on a CPA model. Be sure you can pay in local currencies if wanted, but also in USD if preferred.

After you find your top affiliates, be sure to work with niche affiliates to grow revenue. Provide them with content. Hilton Hotels showed a case study on the power of working with content bloggers and niche affiliates, and how they can drive strong incremental sales.  According to this panel (and me) Content Affiliates drive the most value. The value of reviews is incredibly powerful.

 

Legal Considerations in the US

  • Tax Law – See CJ’s US Affiliate Tax Law map (color coded)
  • Trademark and trademark bidding allowances
  • Cookies – soon to follow EU law
  • US Law – anyone can sue for any reason

 

Legal Considerations in the EU

  • Tax Law – Each market has deductible taxes that are fixed and based on services you provide.
  • Trademark – Protecting your brand in the EU
  • Cookies – To protect users from cookies being downloaded on their device and have their behaviour tracked without consent
  • International Law – Supranational and local law, and the future… the right to be forgotten.

 

Mobile – the Big Picture

Over 50% of Americans have a mobile phone (comscore2012)

Half of US smartphone users use m-commerce apps (Nielson, June 2012)

Examples of mobile-optimized publishers:

  • RetailMeNot
  • CouponCabin
  • TapJoy
  • RedLaser
Some Stats:
  • 15% of conversions tracked by Impact Radius are mobile
  • 64% iOS and 35% are Android
  • Conversion rates on mobile is typically higher than traditional channels
  • AOV is typically higher than traditional channels
  • 6x growth in traffic across top mobile categories
  • Only 33% of CJ advertisers have a mobile enabled website

 

Top 5 Categories for Mobile:

  1. Department Stores
  2. Clothing, Apparel, Accessories
  3. Computer and Electronics
  4. Travel
  5. Sports and Fitness

 

How to make the most of mobile in Europe

  • Mobile sites – 57% of top 100 UK brands have a mobile site, up from 37% six months ago.
  • APPS – 88% of the top 100 global brands have an app in the App store
  • Integration – omni-channel – make sure it can be used across any platform and in person.
Recommendation: this differently then test test test.

 

Attribution

90% of affiliate shoppers visit more than one site before making a purchase  * Forrester Research 2012
Attribution is NOT going away. Currently the tools to understand attribution data
What attribution model are you currently using?
  • First click
  • Last click (most common) – but going to change as attribution becomes more algorithmic over time and more tools come out (increase to come over the next three years).
  • Linear
  • Time Decay (least common)
  • Customized by Channel (
  • Unique methodology developed in house or by agency

 

What most companies have found who track attribution and multi-channel analytics, is that affiliates DO drive a huge positive impact on the buying cycle, including:
  • Faster Purchase
  • Higher Conversion Rates
  • Higher Average Order Values

 

In EU, Loyalty and Voucher dominate single and multi-channel purchase, with content and vertical sites the next biggest source of traffic.
Merchant Considerations before you move into any of these markets:
  • Where is the bill being paid from and where is the invoice registered?
  • Will you need to deal with withholding tax?
  • which entities are your contracts between?
  • Are you legally allowed to trade?
  • What are the trade retributions in the country?
  • Is there an affiliate base / network in the region?
  • Can you pay in foreign currency?
  • Etc.

 

All in all this group (and myself) believe there is incredible opportunity to expand into new global markets, but going back to the beginning, make sure you do it well locally and within your own market first. Then test, test and test carefully as you go.

Driving International Expansion Through Search

This is a live blog post from the Performance Marketing Insights Conference in NYC. These are my personal notes and thoughts from the session Driving International Expansion Through Search, presented by well known affiliate, Sri Sharma, Managing Director of Net Media Planet.

 

My notes and thoughts:

  • Internet sales and opportunities have grown by 100%
  • 47% Growth in China within the middle class
  • Europe sees a 65% increase of purchasing moving online in 2012.

 

Challenges to international expansion

  • Customer
  • Competitor
  • Operational
  • Regulatory

 

How can search help you?

  • Drive incremental sales
  • Build the international expansion business case.

Quick Stat: Google owns 89% of search and 97% of mobile search.

Don’t forget social media advertising space, such as Facebook in North America, V Kontakre in Russia and Qzone as the leading platform in China.

 

Understanding the Local Customer

  • What do they buy online?
  • How do they start their shopping journey?
  • How do they search?
  • What customers experience is important to them?

The Chinese Market – where we worry about quality of products made in China, they worry about brand credibility. An ongoing trend in China is paying by Cash On Delivery.

Identify primary competitors by product category.

Understand trends, customer needs, and market saturation by keyword.  Understand your competitors because it will help you figure out how to differentiate yourself in the market. Compare your pricing to competitors by product. Analyse messaging that your competitors use.  Analyse the competitor customer profile.

Messaging localization increases traffic and conversion rate. On-site localization increases conversion rate. Think about currency, words used in local areas, and language.

Use the Google Global Market Finder to understand local traffic trends and opportunities.

 

Develop the international business case

  • Grow brand awareness – phase based budget, channels in PPC, display and remarketing
  • Maximize direct response – channels: PPC, Remarketing, Display (RTB)
  • Develop insights – Trends: customer, competitor, multi-channel sales
  • Create recommendations – On-site experience, resourcing

If you take this approach, you can build a business case for any brand.

 

Top Three Tips

  1. Take an incremental approach
  2. Localise your marketing
  3. Call on experts to support your strategy

Why Should I Choose You? Differentiating Strategies for Business.

I’m currently sitting in a session at the Performance Marketing Insights Conference listening to a speaker who is discussing how to help your prospective customers choose you over your competition. Here are my personal notes from the session – with some side comments.

The single most important question in business is “how do you get your customers to choose you?”

Comparison to football – 11 people on the field who are tightly coordinated, highly motivated and have clear image of what their goal is – the touchdown.

Now imagine if only 4 of 11 players knew which end zone was theirs. Only 2 in 11 cared. Only 2 of 11 knew they position they played. His point was many companies run their business this way and it results in chaos, inefficiencies and lack of effectiveness. You HAVE to know what your company strategic plan is. Start with your vision and mission, and make sure everyone on your team knows what they are.

Typical mission statement: “It is our mission to dramatically initiate performance based opportunities as well as to proactively leverage existing quality leadership skills to meet our customers’ needs.”

Question – if you were an employee of this company, would you know what your end zone is, what your role is, why you should be inspired by their role? MOST employees don’t even have a clue in what the company’s mission statement is.

The unspoken ending to any mission statement should be “so please chose me.” If this end does not make sense with your mission statement, then you’re writing it correctly. If you can answer this one question “why should I chose you” it will guide and shape your entire investment relations plan, your entire marketing strategy, your entire sales strategy, your entire hiring process and so on.

The definition of clarify = Everyone is on the same page.

With the football analogy – everyone is on the same page.

 

Why – How – What

  • How – cause / believe / purpose / why do you get out of bed in the morning, and why should anyone care.
  • What – How do you do what do you
  • What – what is it that you do?

All leading companies, all those who make a difference and those who drive success, regardless of their size, know WHY they do what they do. No one is investing in what you do or how you do it. They care about and buy into WHY you do it.

  • Apple’s Why – Changing the game.
  • Apply’s How – Bueaitful products, easy to use.
  • Apple’s What – Computer, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, etc.

People, when they buy apple, are buying into changing the game.

Your Question: Are you a What company or a WHY company.

When you have a strong WHY, you have NO COMPETITION compared to those who are comparing what and how. If you are the only one in your field that has a strong why, then you are in a category of your own and you have no one else who compares.

 

Answering “Why Should I Choose You?”

If everything you do is a means to an end… what is the end? ___

What is your end purpose? It should be done in seven words or less.

 

What is Performance Marketing? A CMO’s Guide to Performance Marketing

What is Performance Marketing?

What is Performance Marketing?

Performance Marketing is an investment this is no longer a “nice to have” but a need to have as part of your overall marketing mix. Performance Marketing, also known as “affiliate marketing”, is a model that pays rewards based on the completion of a particular action, driven by someone else’s resources (time and money) and has a guaranteed ROI because spend comes only after a desired action takes place, which can be controlled (both from a margin perspective and a tracking perspective).

In simpler terms, it’s like having an online and offline sales force that works on a commission base only.

Whether the goal is to complete a sale, complete a lead form to capture someone’s name, email and phone number, a click, an impression or a phone call, affiliates can work with you to bring in new leads, new sales, more consumer engagement, more targeted traffic, additional brand exposure, and ultimately higher ROI.

 

Who are Affiliates?

“Publishers” or “Affiliates” take a flat payout, percentage of sales or “bounty” for contributing to driving targeted traffic that result in the completion of those sales.

Affiliates can be anyone from a stay at home mom or dad to a major global corporation. They can be bloggers, newspapers, mobile app developers, YouTubers and so on. One thing they have in coming is their entrepreneurialism and that they take on the risk of investing their own resources in order to earn from advertising others.

 

What are Affiliate Networks?

Affiliate networks act as a tracking platform and a bank. They offer client and affiliate support, host creative (such as banners, text links, datafeeds, coupons), offer communication tools, monitor for fraud, and so on.

 

What are Advertisers?

Advertisers, merchants, sellers and retailers are all referring to the same thing. These are the guys who pay affiliates for promoting their brand and helping to convert a lead or sale.

 

Who are Affiliate Managers?

Similar to having a store manager in a brick and mortar location, affiliate managers help their “online sales force” succeed. They provide training, tools, support, motivation and incentives, and team leadership, in addition to tracking, reporting, assessing data and holding people accountably for their actions.

 

Here are 5 Steps to Getting Started with Affiliate, or Performance Marketing

1. Define the Goal

Do you want to generate leads or sales? Do you want new customer acquisitions or customer retention or both? Knowing your goals will help you determine the type of affiliate network and types of affiliates you need to work with.

2.  Carefully Select Your Affiliate Network

Choose one affiliate network to start and work your way up from there if you need to.  Perform extensive due diligence and hire the right person to manage your affiliate team. This is a skill set that should be dedicated to the cause.  Take a look at the mThink Blue Book for ideas of the top networks in the world to get you started.

3.    Plan Your Media Piece

Be clear and have ready ongoing promotions and campaign pieces for affiliates to promote before you launch. This should include content ideas through various deliverables, your creative, your coupon codes, your promotional offer schedule, upcoming high potential sales days and so on. Be prepared for all sales opportunities and communicate these to your affiliates in advance.

4.    Monitor Your Campaign

Work doesn’t stop after the program launches.  Be sure to continuously manage your numbers, your creative, lead affiliates, watch behaviors and sales for dips and spikes, understand what your affiliates are doing, ensure affiliates are abiding by your program terms of service.  Doing these things will help make your program more successful.

5.    Optimize Your Campaign

ROI goals are achieved by optimizing campaign sales sources. Pay more for quality, profitable traffic to scale volume and adjust or turn off unprofitable traffic sources. Continue to recruit the right affiliates and get them active. Be proactive in outreach, placement negotiations and communicating promotions. Understand your metrics and KPIs so you can identify opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re not sure how to do this yourself or you don’t have the resources or expertise in house to plan it out there are many industry professionals who can help. You can also reach out to an outsourced program management company to plan and executive it effectively for you.

An SEO Expert’s Commentary on “Affiliate Marketing Strategies for a Post Penguin World”

Affiliate Marketing Strategies for a Post Penguin World

In January 2013 I had the honor of speaking at Affiliate Summit West 2013 with my good friend Kush Addolloev of VMInnovations. Our topic was “Affiliate Marketing Strategies for a Post Penguin World” (YouTube Video will be posted here once live).

In the session we presented tips to affiliates on how to diversify marketing efforts, own audiences to extend the lifetime value of the end user, engage onsite and offsite for social interactions and much more.

At the end we had some great audience questions and although I did my best to answer many of the SEO questions myself, I struggled with some and asked my SEO expert to elaborate on and correct any comments he felt needed clarifying.

Here are the comments, commentary and elaborations from our SEO Expert, Jared Mumford, on how SEO truly affected affiliate marketing activities post penguin.

I said: “Another thing that used to work in the past …before Penguin. People could purchase keyword phrases as the domain name and that would give them a lot of girth in the search engines, they would get pushed to the top.”….”After Penguin updates happened, that is no longer relevant…”

Jared’s Comments: It was actually the EMD update (Exact Match Domain) in September 2012 that affected exact match domains. (Note from Kush: which happend post Penguin, the slide about keyword rich exact match domains not being a viable long term strategy was added to the deck.)

Me: I mentioned not to worry about getting keyword combinations and keyword phrases in the domain name, because they didn’t have any relevance anymore.

Jared’s Comments: Not exactly accurate as the EMD update affected exact match domains with low quality content. Many sites that had excellent content or reworked their content to be unique and insightful (low bounce, high ATOS, all unique) kept their positioning or quickly recouped positioning and traffic.

It’s still risky to buy an exact match domain, however getting some keywords in your domain still seems to help elevate positioning quicker and therefore indicates that keywords in your domain is still relevant for ranking (e.g. www.blueribboneyewear.com). The caveat of course, is that algorithms are constantly being updated, so if you are buying a domain with a keyword for the purpose of getting better (or faster) positioning, you are in essence gaming the search engines, which is exactly what newer updates are meant to combat.

Therefore, in the future, your site may be measured with more stringent criteria than a site that has a brand based domain.  In any event, having a keyword in your domain may well become completely “irrelevant” in the future, at which point brand based domains will probably be the biggest winners. Brand signals play an important role in positioning, so buying a brand based domain paired with high end content marketing and social engagement is probably your best bet for long term positioning.

Additional note from Kush: In the past, it was relatively easy to rank for a particular keyword or phrase if the website had those keywords in its URL – also known as EMD’s or Exact Match Domains, this is no longer a viable strategy. Sites that are specifically looking for shortcuts to rank their pages higher than they deserve to be ranked sooner or later will be penalized.

Audience Question: “I’m still ranking really high on sites that have the exact domain – so what you’re saying about having good content is important but it….still really helps [to have an EMD].”

Jared’s Comments: As mentioned above, not all exact match domains were affected and having keywords in your domain does still help. If you had an EMD that had duplicate content, thin content, spun content etc than the EMD might have affected your website.  It’s important to mention that EMD websites that were hit in September / October may not necessarily have been affected by EMD as there were other refreshes at that time.

I said: “…guys who would have diversified {their marketing channels], still would have been generating traffic [post Penguin] from each of these different channels, and Google wouldn’t have dropped them…”

Jared’s Comments: Somewhat true. If a website has a lot of positive signals coming in such as community engagement, social media signals, content marketing and so on, those signals might dilute key indicators of Google Webmaster Guideline violation that would otherwise be flagged by the updates. For example, if a website SEO channel has been acquiring a high number of backlinks using the same anchor text, those might get diluted with incoming links from other channels and therefore ‘pass’ the algorithm and avoid a manual penalty. However, a website using multiple channels can still be (and many were) affected by Penguin. The result is that they lost their SEO / Organic traffic but maintained traffic from their other channels.

Kush said: “[On Raventools] It basically helps me track search engine rankings and see what else is going on…” like search term tracking, competitor’s backlink checking, affiliate site reviews etc.”

Jared’s Comments: As of January 2, 2013 Raventools officially removed their SERP tracker as part of their tools suite. It is still a very good tool for organizing and tracking outreach and backlinks.

http://raventools.com/blog/scraped-data-serp-tracker/

Audience Question: “So let’s just say that you’ve gotten yourself in this position where you have a bunch of keyword backlinks out there by the hundreds….is there a method to actually let Google know that they are there and you just want to disassociate yourself?”

Jared’s Comments: Yes, it’s called the Google Disavow Links Tool (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main), and it was created after many webmasters and SEO’s complained that certain links from bad neighborhoods could not be removed because the website had been virtually abandoned. However, Kush raises a good point: if you have a manual penalty (Did you get an email in Webmaster Tools telling you that you have unnatural backlinks?) then you need to show that you made an effort to get links removed before using the disavow tool. You will not get accepted for reconsideration by just disavowing all bad links and submitting the spreadsheet to Google.

Audience Question: “So when she did that (changed her domain), did she have to do a lot of 301 redirects?”

Me: I replied she did in the beginning, until she could find somebody who could actually correct the URLs to be back at what they were before. The real answer is:

Jared’s Comments: 301 redirects are ‘permanent’ redirects, meant to change the URL of a page for good or not ‘temporarily’. What would normally happen here is the person would either try and get the WP site URLs to match the old URLs and for those URLs they can’t ‘match up’, have the old URL point to the new URL. This is just SEO best practices for URL structure changes. As for Penguin involvement it gets much more complicated and depends on a lot of elements including the backlinks to that landing page. [more below]

Audience Question: “Say you have one page on your site, and you know that page has been dinged, so you delete that page and 301 redirect it to another page that’s brand new. That helped in rankings for 2 days but then it fell back in rankings, but overall, I’m wondering if that isn’t a good strategy.”

Jared’s Comments: In relation to Penguin, if Penguin was affecting pages on your website and you decided to 301 redirect those pages to newly created ones, you are not dealing with the core issue. The fact that you temporarily ranked well and then dropped signifies just that. If the issue is related to on page gaming techniques like keyword stuffing, fixing those issues on the original page is a better bet than creating a new one (especially if that page has a good backlink profile). However, if the drop in rank is related to a poor backlink profile, 301 redirects will not hide those backlinks from Google – Google can still see them. And while there is ongoing debate on how much link juice passes through a 301 (and therefore begs the question ‘do penalization signals pass 301’s at full strength?’ as well), the bottom line is that the backlink issue still needs be addressed.

Audience Comment: “They had a website that doing well, ranking well, and they created a subdirectory [sic] and called it new.domainname.com …every page was brand new, and they didn’t suffer at all in Penguin.”

Jared’s Comments: She means subdomain, not sub directory.  There is not enough information here – did they create the subdomain and keep their existing domain up?  Were the two sites duplicated or unique? So many elements here are not explained and therefore it’s impossible to suggest a reason they were or were not penalized.

All in all the session got 8/10 for both content and delivery. Here are a few comments from attendees who filled out the surveys at the end of the session:

“Great content, you really engaged the audience!”

“Valuable and important info on Google Panda & Penguin Updates and how to avoid the penalties”

“Very relevant and helpful presenter content”

“Very encouraging! Diversify seem to be the strength for the future instead of just focusing on keywords. I’m new and this helped me re-focus on how and what drives traffic. Thank you!”

So now I turn the question back to you. What have your experiences been since the Penguin Updates? What affiliate marketing strategies have you found to work well despite Google’s constant changes? Would love your feedback on what’s worked well for you in a post penguin world!

Exclusive Interview with A4U on New Performance Marketing Insights Conference

 

Performance Marketing Insights Conference New York 2013

 

With Europe’s largest and most powerful affiliate community coming to North America next week with the premier of their new Performance Marketing Insights Conference, I wanted to find out more about their move to the US. Below is a Q&A they generously allowed me in an exclusive interview.

 

Q: Please tell me a about A4u’s move to North America. Why have you decided to come now and what do you hope to gain from your presence here?

A4u has successfully programmed and executed over 15 international conferences, six Performance Marketing Awards Ceremonies, 20+ Networking Events, an Affiliate Forum and Performance Marketing News & Resource Portal. Our events have taken us across Europe including London, Amsterdam, Munich and Barcelona. It was therefore a natural step to come to the U.S. The opportunity to put on a stateside event in an exciting city like New York, complements our innovative mentality and allows us to focus on offering the most forward-looking global content in a performance marketing conference with both a local and international focus.

Our aim in launching Performance Marketing Insights is to grow the presence and professionalism of the industry we have been passionate about throughout our 14 year history. We wanted to offer a platform in which leaders in the digital marketing space could share the latest strategies, technologies and innovation taking place within the rapidly evolving performance marketing industry, as well as meet and develop the opportunity for new partnerships and generate new revenue streams, not only in the U.S. but across the globe.

 

Q: How do you see your conference different from other affiliate marketing and performance marketing events in the US and Canada?

Performance Marketing Insights is an antitheses of the tradeshow model that is rapidly becoming more prevalent across not only the U.S., but in the U.K. as well. Whilst tradeshows have a place in our industry we want to offer something more; a conference in which education and content is at the very core of the event.

Of course, the opportunity in which to nurture existing relationships, identify new strategic partnerships, and create new business opportunities at Performance Marketing Insights is vast. However, it is very much aligned with the opportunity for senior delegates serious about doing business and shaping the future of our industry, to not only be educated, but to educate their peers on the strategies, technologies, trends, and best practices that are creating the future of the performance marketing industry. The exclusive positioning of Performance Marketing Insights, reflects our primary aim; Quality over Quantity.

 

Q: Please tell us about the founders of the Performance Marketing Insights conference and what they are most known for in the space.

A4u, founded by Matthew Wood, has been in the affiliate space for over 14 years providing an online forum and news portal designed specifically for the affiliate marketing industry. Now headed up by Content Director Chris Johnson, affiliates4u.com has over 50,000 members, a plethora of research pieces, and a constant feed of performance marketing news, and insights from across the globe.

I joined the organization three years ago and have since led the direction of the event space to continue to innovate and grow our conferences very much in line with the high standard of content we produce. Alongside our annual black tie awards ceremony, a4uexpo Europe and London have grown to become the largest European Performance Marketing conferences. Therefore, we are very excited about our first U.S. show.

 

Q: Please tell us about the speakers and presenters of the Performance Marketing Insights Conference and why these people were chosen to speak.

The two-day agenda programmed by Chris and the team at A4u, offers over 25 presentations and panel debates from leading experts not only within the performance marketing industry, but also across the many media and marketing channels that are utilized by those involved in performance marketing.

Delegates will hear from speakers, such as yourself, who have first-hand experience on the evolution and dramatic advancements of the industry. Featuring presence from Networks, Advertisers, Publishers and Agencies across every discipline, each session will offer insights into what works and what doesn’t, identifying new opportunities, harnessing new technologies, and the development of performance marketing as part of the ecommerce ecosystem, not only for a U.S. perspective, but for those with international goals.

 

Q: Where do you see A4U and the Performance Marketing Insights Conference going in the next 2-3 years?

A4u’s focus has always been the growth, advancement, and professionalism of the performance marketing industry. This will continue to be our intention in the years to come as the performance marketing industry develops, via both the continued research and news produced by the team, and the growth and innovation of all of our events, whether it is across new territories or new demographics.

You can find more information about Performance Marketing Insights here, or to register with an exclusive code just for my readers use SBundy15% to get 15% off conference tickets.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

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