In my quest to help better the name of the affiliate marketing industry (#FBAME), I decided to interview certain people who work to make a difference through the services they provide or the knowledge they shed on particular affiliate marketing matters. This week I had a Q&A with David Naffziger, CEO of affiliate fraud monitoring solution, Brandverity.
Q: When was Brandverity first Founded and how long did it take to create?
A: We first began looking at the idea in November 2007. I made it to my first Affiliate Summit in January and gathered enough interest to begin work that month. We launched an alpha version by mid-May and opened up to a much broader audience in September 2008.
Q: Why did you personally start the company?
A: BrandVerity was really the result of my work at two prior companies. I co-founded Quova to provide a service that identifies the geographic location of an IP address. Quova's technology is currently used by Google to help target AdWords ads. However, the core of Quova's business was selling to the fraud departments at large e-businesses. I learnd a lot about the tactics of fraudsters and developed a healthy respect for their ingenuity.
After Quova, I helped launch and grow Judy's Book (once a Yelp competitor). Judy's Book experimented with affiliate ads and at one point our marketing team ran ads that ran afoul of a large merchant's affiliate policy. The merchant contacted us, and we asked to part of their partner's that apparently had permission to run ads. After a quick back and forth, we realized that the other advertisers were reverse-geotargeting their ads and the merchant had never known it was happening.
It stuck in my mind that there had to be a better way to provide visibility into ads from different geographies. The fraud aspect appealed to my interest from Quova, and the IP-geography nature of the problem seemed like a natural fit. Following a lot of research, a lot of time reading on abestweb, and a trip to Affiliate Summit, BrandVerity was born.
Q. What makes Brandverity.com better or different from other fraud monitoring tools?
A: I think the biggest difference between BrandVerity and our competitors is that we are an affiliate compliance service as opposed to a 'search intelligence tool. Customers that have considered multiple solutions tell us that it feels like our service was truly designed for them. This reflects in many aspects of the service itself, who our target customer is (affiliate marketers) and how we do business.
Q: If you could tell merchants anything you wanted to about fraud monitoring, what would it be?
A: I think the most important thing is that managing affiliate compliance takes both tools AND process. Merchants need to carefully consider their affiliate policy, determine how they will handle the different types of infractions and they need to regularly review infractions and enforce them consistently.
Q: What do you think can be done to help bring a better name to “affiliate marketing” everywhere?
A: Affiliate marketing needs to move beyond the simplistic 'last click' attribution. Last click is ultimately unfair to affiliates that build brand recognition and create value earlier in the buying process. It also encourages affiliates to focus on the last possible touchpoints before a purchase. The result is often that the most valuable web properties spurn affiliate ads in favor of higher-paying CPM ads, while some affiliates look for ways to get a commissionable cookie placed just prior to a purchase with side-effects that don't necessarily help the brand.
As an outsourced affiliate management company, AIM continues to use Brandverity to help monitor affiliate behavior for our clients. The entire team at Brandverity is responsive, highly knowledgeable and open to helping any merchant who wants to learn this side of the industry more. I encourage anyone serious about having a successful affiliate marketing program to consider speaking with David and his team. It could be the difference of several thousand (or million) dollars a year in commissions paid out to affiliates not following your program terms of service.
To learn more, visit Brandverity.com