This week I interviewed Lisa Picarille of the Performance Marketing Association (PMA) of which I'm an active member on their Industry Advancement Council. I love being part of a community of thought leaders and industry advocates who are trying to make a positive difference in the affiliate marketing space. Here are 5 Q&A's I sent to Lisa about why the PMA is worth joining, what they are working towards and what difference they make in the lives of those around us.
1. What are the main goals of the PMA?
The PMA has many efforts underway that promote industry education, increase the level of thoughtful conversation about the challenges facing our industry and ongoing efforts to lobby for (and against) legislation that impacts the performance marketing space. All of these efforts underscore the PMA’s single mission to grow and advance the performance marketing industry.
2. Where do you see performance marketing going in the next 2-3 years?
All research and anecdotal evidence points to nothing but continued growth for performance marketing. Advertisers of all sizes are finally catching on to the fact that performance marketing provides the most measureable marketing model. And in an economy where ROI is crucial, performance marketing stands alone as the best way to track and measure performance. By attracting more advertisers to the space, we will see the need for all type of affiliates, new vendor services, more agencies, etc. The entire ecosystem benefits. In addition, the rapid online marketing innovations that come from super-smart affiliates and savvy developers will continue to create new exciting opportunities for performance marketers.
3. What kind of benefits would members get from being part of the PMA?
PMA Members enjoy a variety of valuable benefits. They can run for a seat on the board of directors, which gives them a meaningful way to impact the direction of the association and the overall industry. They can participate in member groups such as councils, which work on specific issues to develop output (best practices standards, whitepapers, etc.) that influence and educate those in the industry and define direction. Members also have an opportunity to raise their profile as thought leaders by participating or chairing councils, being on podcasts, contributing content and representing their particular perspective. In addition, there are things like newsletters, unique content and legislative updates that are available only to members. They also have the unique opportunity to interact with other industry leaders that are also committed to advancement of the performance marketing space.
4. What are some of the key achievements of the PMA this year?
We made great strides this year focusing on the launch of our councils and on the legislative front.
The PMA launched five councils – Email, Compliance, Content Monetization, Agency and Industry Advancement. More are slated to launch by the end of the year. These councils focus on specific industry issues and seek to highlight benefits, overcome challenges and offer solutions in the form of educational materials, best practices and other content that promote the overall advancement of the performance marketing space.
Each of the existing councils, while still in their early stages, have already had great input from council members and their respective chairs, to move discussions forward and generate tangible output that will be shared with the community when completed.
Our new board President Brian Littleton, CEO of ShareASale, recently sent out an email to highlight huge wins on the legislative front. I think he did a fantastic job of showcasing these accomplishments. So, I will simply reiterate what he saw as our biggest achievements.
Kept Affiliates in California In Business. The PMA was instrumental in negotiating with the California Board of Equalization (the agency that oversees sales tax collection in California) to make sure that when their new law went into effect on September 15th, 2012 – Affiliates could stay in business. The negotiated process allows for California Affiliate Marketers to continue working with out-of-State retailers.
Defeated the State of Illinois – Affiliate Nexus Ruled Unconstitutional. The PMA filed suit in the State of Illinois claiming that the recently enacted legislation that Illinois put forth to collect sales tax was unconstitutional. With a coalition of PMA members contributing to the fight, the judge ruled in our favor.
Defeated the Affiliate Tax in Minnesota. On May 12th of this year, the Minnesota legislature declined to include proposed Affiliate Nexus Tax language in legislation. Without the PMA, this language likely would have gone unchallenged as two major retailers - Best Buy and Target - call Minnesota home. The above mentioned lawsuit in Illinois had a major role in indicating to the Minnesota legislature that the PMA was an important voice.
A Federal Solution
With the PMA at the Negotiating Table. Great strides have been made in Washington D.C. this year with regards to the proposed Federal level solution to the nexus tax predicament. Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois led this charge and was inspired to do so based on the PMA’s representation of itself during the Illinois State-level fight.
5. What makes the PMA special?
It is the only group that represents all facets of the performance marketing space. It is a single voice advocating for the industry’s growth by bring together constituents from all the performance marketing disciplines to have meaningful, impaction and useful discussions to advance and promote the value of the performance marketing business model. Also, the PMA also offers a variety of membership levels to encourage participation from everyone that has a passion to involved regardless of the size of their business.