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May 12, 2022

Partnership Marketing It's Time to Diversify Your Digital Marketing and Invest in Relationships [Matt Wool Interview]

Partnership Marketing It's Time to Diversify Your Digital Marketing and Invest in Relationships [Matt Wool Interview]

Of all of the marketing channels that exist, partnership marketing is one of the most under-utilized yet high potential opportunities that exist for businesses today.

Best represented by affiliate marketing, when done right, affiliate marketing provides you with an army of incentivized influencers that are selling on your behalf and only paid when a sale is made on a 24/7 basis.

Furthermore, there are a plethora of other "halo effect" benefits from this type of partnership marketing.

Intrigued? Learn all about partnership from co-author, Matt Wool, who wrote the book on partnership marketing, Moving to Outcomes, and is also the CEO of the leading partnership marketing firm Acceleration Partners.

Key Highlights

[02:21] Introduction to the Podcast Guest, Matt Wool

[03:42] How Matt Got Into Marketing and Writing Book

[06:48] The Issues Matt Found With Affiliate Marketing

[10:47] The Emergence of Influencer and Creator Economy

[14:30] Affiliations on NFTs and Cryptocurrencies

[16:57] What Prompted Matt to Write the Book

[20:39] What is Partnership Marketing?

[21:49] How to Scale This Type of Relationship?

[23:25] How to Get Started

[26:30] Recommended Platforms for Startups

[27:03] Main Areas to be Aware Of

Notable Quotes

  • And you know, our, our philosophy has long been it's not necessarily should you work with someone, it's more how you worked with someone.
  • What I think we really see is that this is going to have a significant impact on the overall partnership marketing landscape and One of the things that I think it is going to do is it is going to, in a lot of ways decentralize affiliate and influencer marketing.
  • There's this potential for these kinds of limitless numbers have like many affiliate programs that are enabled by certain smart contracts over time, which will be available to individual creators and that way, so it's a little bit of a different place that we're playing in, because we're working more with enterprise clients, but I think it's fascinating, and there's a lot that's going to happen there.
  • The main crux of this book is that we see too many marketers and too many companies with a hugely disproportionate amount of their eggs in one or two baskets, from a marketing budget perspective, right, they are shoveling money into Google, they are shoveling money into meta, whether it's Instagram, or you know, the regular platform, maybe they've got a few other things going in a couple of other channels.
  • But one thing I think a lot of people forget is affiliate marketing is also good for us. 
  •  So having those tiers and really understanding how you are presenting yourself to those publishers, are the keys to scaling the program and effective way.

Guest Links:

Learn More:

Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

If you were to invest in the stock market, you would want to have a diversified portfolio. But what about your digital marketing budget? Have you ever looked at it the same way? Do you have too many eggs in one or two baskets, namely Google ads and Facebook ads, maybe you're diversifying by spending more on content marketing. But today we're going to talk about another area where if you're especially a listener of this podcast, you should be investing in that is partnership marketing. And we're going to find out from the guy who literally co wrote the book on this subject on the next episode of The your digital marketing coach, podcast. Digital social media content, influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick talking LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing. Whew. There's a lot to cover. Whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got Neil, on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach, and this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, Neal Schaffer here, your digital marketing coach. Welcome to my podcast. If you're new here. I'd love it if you hit that subscribe button. If you've been around for a while. Just a reminder that I am always honored. When you take a minute out of your time. Just to go into your podcast app, give this podcast a five star or write a quick review. All right, partnership marketing. For those that read the age of influence. I consider influencer marketing. I look at it very holistically, and I consider it an investment in people. That's why I was really excited to hear about these two gentlemen, we're going to be interviewing one of them. Matt will the other gentleman is Robert Glaser de wrote, moving to outcomes, why partnerships are the future of marketing. This book actually just came out on March 22. And I could not agree more. Now today's conversation is more focused on affiliate marketing, but it is taking a look at it in a new light, similar to how the age of influence looked at influencer marketing in a new light. To give you a preview. This is what Neil Patel, you've probably heard of him, said about their book. If you're a CMO, and your marketing is optimized for conversions rather than revenue. You need this book, Glaser and wool we'll be talking with Matt will shortly share the playbook for success in the outcome based, partnership driven future of marketing. I don't know if a better way to introduce today's guest, not wall co author of moving to outcomes. Let's move on to the interview. You're listening to your digital marketing coach, this is Neal Schaffer. Matt wall, author of moving outcomes. Welcome to the digital marketing coach podcast.

Matt Wool:

Thanks. Great to be here.

Neal Schaffer:

Well, I know it would have been awesome if we had had the other co author of your book, Robert Glazer, here, but we have half of the authors of the book can't wait to dive more into that. And why you say partnerships are the future of marketing. But before we do that, Matt, you know, how did you get into writing a book on partnerships and marketing? What is your background, which I assume as marketing, but please let our listeners know.

Matt Wool:

Yeah. But well, my full background is the long and sordid story that actually started in the movie business about 20 plus years ago. But yeah, I guess, most relevant, I started acceleration partners about 10 years ago. And when I started, the company was a full service digital, small force, full service digital agency. We were doing SEO and paid search and some affiliate and all that. But what we discovered in the early days was that we had some approaches to affiliate marketing and partnerships that were, I guess, not normal at that time. And so we decided, you know, that we were going to focus on on those and over the course of the last 10 years, the company has transitioned from being a full service digital agency to really being one focus entirely on on partnerships and affiliates and influencers in that world. And now we have 325 people all over the world doing just that. So I don't want to say it was entirely by accident, but it was largely by accident that we got to this point.

Neal Schaffer:

Now 10 years ago, you started working more on these affiliate partner type relationships projects. Were you primarily b2c and Were there particular industries where you saw a lot of this happening

Matt Wool:

Yeah, so we, we were primarily b2c At that point are entirely b2c. And what actually happened was that Bob Lazar, the founder of our company, and the co author of the book, he had owned and affiliate sites, and from being a publisher, and on that side of it, he had seen a lot of the stuff that was going on. And he had also been a consultant in the past a management and strategy consultant. And so he thinking through kind of his management and strategy consulting lens, he was looking at it and he was like, Man, there is so much that is kind of broken in this in this industry. And, and he saw it from the from the publisher side. So what ended up happening was, we started working with a few high growth brands. And the early days, there was a company called Tiny prints that we worked with, which was later bought by Shutterfly, and became very well known. And we, you know, early on their CEO had seen some of the same issues. And so in partnership with him, especially we, we started, you know, kind of breaking the mold on what some of these programs could look like. And then we started expanding that into B to C. and E commerce especially. And, you know, at this point we work with, with brands across the spectrum, b2b b2c, everything.

Neal Schaffer:

So let's take a deeper look into so it sounds like the tiny prints is an example of one client, one partnership that really led you to this path and, you know, down the road to write the book. So let's look a little bit deeper. What were you mentioned, there were things that were broken. And I assume you're talking specifically about affiliate marketing. And it's something that we've actually we've had someone from Clickbank on the show to talk about affiliate marketing. And I believe a lot of marketers listening are all, you know, involved in as well, what were the specific issues that you found? And then what was the approach you took to solve them?

Matt Wool:

Yeah, so it's interesting, the issues are the same, but different than they are today. There was really no attribution at all at that time. And attribution comes in two different flavors broadly, right? There's attribution across digital channels, ie, did does affiliate get credit or does SEO go creditor does paid search get credit. But then, at that time, what we actually were focused on was attribution within the affiliate channel. And the issue was that there were all of these companies that were working with publishers that were focused on coupon codes, and were focused on and the whole business model was what when somebody had already decided they were going to make a purchase, you know, they might Google, for example, tiny prints coupon, so they know that they're gonna buy from tiny prints, they Google tiny prints coupon, and they get 100 different websites that have coupon codes, they grab one and then that publisher, you know, with that coupon code would get a commission. Now, this is not bad in and of itself, right. But the problem was, at the time, there was no concept of attribution in the channel. And so companies were paying that coupon site for giving that coupon code exactly the same as they were paying a content creator, that was creating editorial content, introducing the brand to new customers, right and creating the funnel. And the problem was, was that no one was differentiating between those two things. Right? So we early on saw that, that those two things were not necessarily the same. And you know, our, our philosophy has long been it's not necessarily should you work with someone, it's more how you worked with someone. And so we actually one of the things we did early on was we worked with tiny prints, for example, to hard code attribution logic into their affiliate program, so that there were rules. And so it would say, if a site that met these criteria sent traffic, they were paid one commission, if there was a site that was made this criteria, they get another commission, if one came in first, and the other one came in second, they were paid this commission. So we hard coded all of that. Now, 10 years later, that logic is actually a feature in a lot of the affiliate platforms, and it's off the shelf, but we were really the first to kind of pioneer that.

Neal Schaffer:

Interesting. Yeah, I can see and one of my clients is an E commerce. And there's always those coupon sites, they always get that there's always sales because people are looking for the coupon code. Right. Right. But you know, is that, you know, when you think about the content creator perspective, and the value of that content and the whole ecosystem, it's sort of a shame of the creators don't get any of the attribution they deserve. I know, it's obviously a lot more complex than that. But it raises a really interesting question. So nowadays, the technology is there with UTM parameters and tracking what have you, how have the challenges in the industry shifted to, you know, what's out there today?

Matt Wool:

Yeah, so I think the it shifted from attribution in the channel though that's still an issue in a lot of places, but it is now much more macro, right? And it's, if you've got affiliate and you've got again, paid search or you've got email Al are you've got se like, how how do you figure that out? And because affiliates are, especially affiliates, less influencers, influencers get paid first a lot of the time, but with affiliates, because you're paying them after the transaction, they tend to be the easiest channel to give the least attribution to because you could not pay them. Whereas you cannot not pay Google, right or, or Facebook. So that tends to be the larger challenge at this point is figuring out the value of the channel within the multi multi touch attribution mix. And and there's a lot obviously, that goes into that.

Neal Schaffer:

So over the last 10 years, there's probably also been a convergence of working with affiliates and more and more of these affiliates that are bonafide influencers. I've always thought of affiliate marketing as one of the earliest types of influencer marketing from a holistic perspective. How has that how has the emergence of the influencer economy, the creator economy? How has that affected affiliate marketing?

Matt Wool:

Yeah, so it's really good question. And just to be really clear, we agree with you, right, like, in our opinion, influencer and affiliate have always been basically the same thing in a lot of ways. You know, in the old days, when there were more bloggers than, you know, Instagram influencers, we worked with tons of bloggers with the affiliate channel, they were influencers, right? They just had a different name, they were called bloggers, so so very, you know, we see them as flavors of the same thing. The big trend that we're seeing is that for and I'm gonna I'm gonna put aside you know, the the mega influencers, right, we're not talking about Kim Kardashian and that ground in this conversation, but when you're talking about the mid tail, long tail, you know, nano and micro influencer world, more and more brands are seeing them and affiliates in a very similar bucket, they're seeing them coming closer and closer together. And they are more and more wanting to understand what their return on adspend is with influencers, right, in the same way that they can see it with, with affiliates. You know, for a long time, people would, you know, put fees due to influencers and, and you wouldn't really understand what you got for that in a lot of ways, right? So sometimes you could miss a lot of times you could, what's happening now is that because of some of the advances in technology in our space, you know, we can now really start to manage influencer programs much more similarly to affiliate programs, they can run on the same rails and the same payment systems. Now, this doesn't mean that you're necessarily paying an influencer on a rev share or a CPA like you might affiliate. But it does mean that you get much better insight into the performance where you should be putting your money how you should be put you spending your money in different places. And and you know, so we're seeing a convergence that's happening pretty much in real time right now.

Neal Schaffer:

And is one of the mechanisms because I'm sure when we talk about influencers, the bloggers, you can actually have a link with influencers, you can't dependent on a social network, you can't always link every post, I'm assuming that there's a coupon code, or there's there's some other mechanism that you're using to get that attribution downgrade. Yeah,

Matt Wool:

you can use codes, you can, I mean, there are certain links you can use, there are some other ways that you can do it, there's a lot more technology now that allows you to, to connect those things. So But you're right, it's not quite as easy as a blogger with a with a text link right to do it to do it that way. But, you know, platforms like impact, and partner eyes and II when you know, all of these guys are, are developing new technologies that makes it a lot easier to track lots of different types of partners and, and see all of it in one place. And so that's made our job as an agency a lot easier.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. So going forward. So I want to get to your book at some point. I know, we might already be beyond what you cover in the book.

Matt Wool:

Now know what this is all in there, actually. Yeah. Awesome.

Neal Schaffer:

That's awesome. Good topics. But I'm just curious about I guess the the big thing I'm really curious about is NF Ts. So I just got back last week from the Creator economy Expo, which was put on by Joe Pulizzi. Yep. And, you know, content creators, you have your social networks, you have you know, YouTube, you know, revenue share. You have brand partnerships, what have you have affiliate, and now you have your own cryptocurrency, your own NFT, you know, web 3.0. And I think it's going to impact affiliate marketing as it does other industries. I'm curious, I've already had brands approached me as an influencer to help them promote an NF. T. I'm curious as to how much you're starting to see this, and what your thoughts are on how this is going to develop, you know, in 2022 and 2023.

Matt Wool:

Yeah, so I think at a high level, the jury's still out a little bit, right. But, you know, we're in the kind of the other side of it in that because we represent the brands, right? We're not seeing individual creators, for example, going out and these aren't brands are not individual creators, and a lot of them are doing and FTEs in that same way. But what I what I know and what I think we really see is that this is going to have a significant impact on the overall partnership marketing landscape and One of the things that I think it is going to do is it is going to, in a lot of ways decentralize affiliate and influencer marketing. Because when you get to the point where you can have, for example, smart contracts enabled by the blockchain right? Is, which is a big part of web three, almost any transaction can start and can kind of start to become a an affiliate or an influencer deal. Right? So for example, that person who is coming to you to promote their NFT, right, if they have a smart contract, every time that NFT gets sold in the future, they get a royalty from that, right? And they, so then they can actually go and create their own affiliate program almost as an Individual creator and say to someone like you, like, Hey, I'm getting 10% On every future transaction this NFT, if you can promote that, right, I'll give you 4% of that. 10%. Right. And so there's this potential for these kinds of limitless numbers have like many affiliate programs that are enabled by certain smart contracts over time, which will be available to individual creators and that way, so it's a little bit of a different place that we're playing in, because we're working more with with enterprise clients, but I think it's fascinating, and there's a lot that's going to happen there. Yeah, I

Neal Schaffer:

was talking about the, you know, this was an actual brand. And I do hear a brand still very, very early, as you know, and they're probably doing it for very, you know, more about a community than, you know, partnership, marketing, per se, but I think the potential is really interesting. Yeah,

Matt Wool:

yeah. And you think about like sports teams and their NF T's and like it, it's all there. I think, again, I'm not exactly sure how it all works in the future. But I know it will be a big part of it. And you know, we just have to figure out, I think it was only a net positive for the industry over time.

Neal Schaffer:

Amen. All right. So let's dig into your book, moving outcomes, why partnerships are the future marketing, I must say that books about affiliate marketing, partnership, marketing, I don't know of any other book other than yours. So you feel that and I don't know why others haven't written on the subject. So what actually prompted you to go out there and say, You know what, we're going to write the book.

Matt Wool:

Yeah. So this is actually the sequel to a book we did a few years ago, which is called performance partnerships. And that book was really the first book, I think, touch on this at all. And it, it laid out our vision of a more sophisticated partnership marketing world, where they've kind of moved past some of the traditional baggage of the affiliate marketing industry. So we kind of laid out our initial case in 2018, in that book. So this is something of a sequel, as we look towards, you know, the next three, five years of what's going on. And the the main crux of this book is that we see too many marketers and too many companies with a hugely disproportionate amount of their eggs in one or two baskets, from a marketing budget perspective, right, they are shoveling money into Google, they are shoveling money into meta, whether it's Instagram, or you know, the regular platform, maybe they've got a few other things going in a couple of other channels. But if you look at marketing spends right across the universe right now. I mean, it is so highly concentrated, especially on those two platforms. And you can throw Amazon in there as well to finance your business. Right, if you're advertising there. Look, we have no problem with any of these platforms, we believe we believe they are definitely excellent tools for marketers, and they serve real purpose, right. I and they wouldn't be so valuable if we did. But we believe that not diversifying, right. Your your your portfolio, if you will, right is really dangerous. And what we have seen over the last couple of years is that rates have just kept going up, right? Men are kept increasing their their, there's their CPMs, right? Google continues to raise their CPC and a lot of places it is a lot more expensive to advertise on these platforms than it used to be and good on them. If they can get their prices, they can get their prices. But we think about it like a stock portfolio, you would never put your 401 k into stocks ever. Right? That wouldn't happen. And so, from a from a marketing budget perspective, we see partnership marketing as an incredibly effective way to diversify your spend. It works in a really different way than these other channels. It is different mechanisms. You get to different audiences in different ways. And I think most importantly, it really mitigates your risk, because the brand sets the price versus the platform setting the price and the brand gets to determine what's happening and who they're working with. Right. It's it is not a black box. And because especially if you're talking about affiliate, it's going to be a rev share or a CPA, you know, you're paying after something happens versus before, which really mitigates your risk. So for all those reasons, we see a lot of companies putting more and more budget and more and more attention into affiliate and influencer in these more partnership oriented channels because it gives them access to customers in a very different way. And it diversifies them away from the risk of having everything in one basket from a marketing budget perspective.

Neal Schaffer:

And one thing I find interesting, thank you for that I have a follow up question. But one thing I think a lot of people forget, is affiliate marketing is also good for us. Yeah. I know, when I become an affiliate, and in fact, I think a lot more companies are reaching out to publishers, knowing that and just saying, Hey, you should sign up for our program as a way to begin that. So. Yes,

Matt Wool:

there's many, many benefits a lot of other Halo effects for sure. Yes,

Neal Schaffer:

exactly. So how do you define I guess, you know, partnership marketing as a term that that you sort of own? So how, how would you define that? I assume there's a part affiliate part influencer? But what is your formal definition?

Matt Wool:

Yeah, so for us, it's a it's a, an actual relationship. Right? Not not, you're entering stuff into a platform, it's an actual relationship, it is paid on some kind of performance basis. Now, again, that's a wide definition. Because again, it could be a CPA or rev share, or it could be an influencer, where you are paying them upfront, right for posting, but you are tracking it to a metric so that you over time, you are making decisions based on performance. And there is transparency, and somewhat real time tracking involves, so you can actually see exactly what's happening, both sides are able to know what's happening. And there's not a black box in terms of of whether money was earned or spent and payment and all of that. So again, it's about relationships. It's about performance. And it's about transparency.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. So it sounds a lot like it's affiliate marketing, but it's based on relationships, it's bringing influencers into the affiliate marketing sphere. And I'm just curious, because I get asked this question a lot, I'm sure you do as well, relationship driven, you know, marketing is the ultimate, huge fan. And I know my listeners are as well. How do you scale those relationships as you build this program?

Matt Wool:

Yeah, it's hard. And the one thing I want to be clear about, right, like, even the biggest publishers, you know, like rackets and loyalty, right? Even though their platforms have incredible technology, and are very automated, they're for brands that are working with them closely, they were still in relationship, right. And so I want to be clear, like relationship doesn't just mean, you know, a content site or individually influencer, it can be these very large corporate, even very automated publishers, but in order to really leverage it, you still have to be talking to someone, right. And, and, and having a relationship. So I think the way that it can be scaled is really understanding what your value proposition is really understanding what your core economics are. And then having a really good system for understanding which partners require lots of time and attention and care and feeding, which require some and which are kind of can be more more dealt with in a one to many way. Now, even if it's in a one to many way, there's still a relationship, right? You're still talking about the brands, you're answering their questions that they come to you, you know, it's just it's not a relationship where you're talking on the phone for an hour with someone every week. So, so having those tiers and really understanding how you are presenting yourself to those publishers, those are the keys to scaling the program and effective way.

Neal Schaffer:

Well, let's take a step back, because I'm sure some of our listeners might already have programs, some haven't even started a program, they're, you know, they're gonna pick up your book and like, Well, how do I get started?

Matt Wool:

Yep, yeah. So how do you get started, ultimately, I think depends first on on developing the strategy of the program. And a lot of that is going to depend on the scale of your business. One of the differences between partnership programs and Google and Facebook, for example, is that Google and Facebook don't necessarily care about how big your business is, or what your brand is, like, what your brand penetration is, like, they are much more focused on whether you want to pay for the clicker for the for the impressions, right? And, and if you're willing to spend, you know, they'll take your money. The the difference in partnership marketing is that a lot of publishers, they want to know that the brand that they are working with has something of value for their users, right? And that if they use their, quote, unquote, shelf space to you know, promote that brand, that that brand is going to resonate. And that means both, again, what the value proposition of the brand is, but also are people going to have they heard of it before, right? There's a big difference between if something is a completely net new brand to a consumer, or if that consumer has heard about it from their friends or seen it on TV or read about it in a magazine or any of those things, right? So if you are a very small brand and you don't have a lot of brand recognition or brand penetration, then our recommendation is always start with the strategy of of starting small, right? And focus on finding five or 10, maybe 20 really high quality very tight relationships. with partners, where you're able to sit with them, educate them, and they know that whatever you're selling is going to be of value to their users or audience or whatever it is, right? And, and don't worry about, hey, if I, if you don't have 1000 affiliates after a week, that's totally fine, right? But it's at that stage, it's gonna be a quality over quantity and figuring out what works with that small number and really engaging closely with them. Because frankly, unless you have full time resources, or an agency driving this stuff, you're not gonna have time for more than that anyway. Right. So it's identify those few, and then identify the technology platform that you want it to run on. There's a bunch I mentioned earlier, there's several smaller ones that are more, you know, they're aimed at small businesses ever flow or reversion or some of these other guys. So there are lots of options. So you got to pick that tech, and then find those, that small handful of publishers that you can work with closely, then over time, as your business grows, and you figure out what works and what doesn't work with those with those publishers, you can scale and add more and get to that point where you have 1000s of publishers, but it's not a situation where that's gonna happen overnight, it takes, you know, months and years to build these things really effectively.

Neal Schaffer:

Now, I want to throw in thank you for that I want to throw in that some of these platforms make it really, really easy. On the technology side, it's probably gotten easier over time, right? I see first promoter I see impact a lot. But also first promoter comes up a lot for a lot of startups that want to get into the space. And the other, you know, for startups, small businesses, platforms like that, that you'd recommend.

Matt Wool:

Yeah, I mean, ShareASale is one that we always recommend. They're, they're really great. Yeah, there are a lot of these platforms that do it, you know, for the basic affiliate stuff is, you know, what you want is something that's going to be inexpensive. It's just going to work and to be easy to implement. And pretty much all of those of you said are going to do that, you know, for folks that are on Shopify impact has actually just done a Shopify integration. So you can you can set up a program just right within Shopify. So there are a lot of these guys are trying to reduce the friction that goes along with these. Very cool.

Neal Schaffer:

So from reading your book, and moving outcomes, we've, we've covered a lot of different things. What what what are some other main areas that we haven't talked about that you want to point out that people should be aware of? Maybe?

Matt Wool:

Yeah. So I think besides the idea of kind of diversifying your portfolio, you know, one is that because there's a not literally limitless, but figuratively, limitless number of publishers out there doing all kinds of different things. Partnership, marketing is a great way for you to test different business models, and expose your business and different business models of promotion. Right? Again, especially if you're a smaller company, you know, you're doing things one way, maybe you've got a couple different marketing tactics that you're working on. But if you go out and you find 100 different publishers, you know, it's probable that a lot of them are going to be doing things differently. And some of them are going to be writing editorial content, and some of them are going to be arbitraging programmatic ads, and some of them are gonna be doing this is going to be doing that. And and you can use that as a testing ground. Right? You can use that to say, Hey, what is that guy doing? That's really working, that I can then figure out how to do more of right, internally. So I think that's one thing that's really interesting and really important. I think another major thing is that it for those for companies that are highly invested in SEO, which is great. I mean, we love SEO, but, you know, algorithm changes happen. And so as you said before, the more publishers you have out there that are doing things in a smart way, especially for an SEO perspective, you're also insulating yourself from from algorithm changes, right? If you get hit with something badly, at least you can have partners out there that that hopefully are doing things differently. And so they're going to have a different, a different outcome. And the last thing I would say is for anyone who's looking to go into different countries, right to launch in England, or Mexico or Canada, using partnership marketing to do that is really effective if you do it, right. Because you don't have to hire a whole ground team to be there, right? You can work with those partners, you can incentivize them to introduce the brand and you can test it learn. Again, you can see Hey, what did this publisher do in in Canada that resonated with the Canadian audience that, you know, I'm not doing in the US are different. And so there's a lot you can do with partners. It's beyond just the typical, you know, throw out, throw out your content.

Neal Schaffer:

Thank you for that second point about SEO, one of the clients I work with as a fractional CMO. One of the key things, was there a startup, and they have a product for sale on Amazon. But no one's talking about them. If you do a Google search, only their Amazon product page, their company page, but everything else, there's no results on them, right? Yes, a minimum when you have affiliates that are creating content. Obviously there's an SEO but it's also just as brand awareness that when people Google your name, which people do there's actually people talking about your the writing reviews about your product. I think that's a killer, credibility thing that a lot of people forget about as well that that can be very valuable here.

Matt Wool:

Yeah, I totally agree. And, you know, frankly, for a lot for years As we've tried to come up with like a, you know, a coefficient for the halo effect that you get from affiliate programs that's not like, you know, reflected in direct sales. And we haven't ever nailed it. But what you just said is exactly right. There's a halo effect.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome. So, Matt, just one last question. Before we let you go, where do you see this going? In the next year or two, it sounds like you write books for like, Hey, this is what it looks like over the next three to five years. And this one just came out. So So where are we going?

Matt Wool:

Yeah, look, we think that more and more the world is going to go in this direction. We think that one of the historical factors is that the affiliate industry, you know, from 2005, to 2014, had a lot of bad stuff going on. And it there was a lot of shady stuff happening. And a lot of people had a bad taste in their mouth. But a lot of marketers that are, you know, running marketing company, or marketing divisions, teams now at Brands, you know, they came up after that, right. And their experience with this world is very different. And they've seen a lot of really high value stuff, and a lot of a lot of success stories. And so we see those folks really focusing more and more on on performance, we see them, especially now as budgets are starting to get a little tighter in this economy. You know, we see people looking for alternatives that are more ROI Focused and less risk, and partnership marketing. Does all that. And like I think there's a few different examples like going to so actually in the book, one of the things we talked about was how we envision a future where there might be Superbowl ads done on performance, right, where a publisher buys a Superbowl ad and then and then it gets paid by the brand on performance. And then lo and behold, Coinbase came out with their QR code, which can be tracked, you know, directly, you know, that could that could have been a performance Superbowl ad, right, if an agency had done that on on spec. So it's on

Neal Schaffer:

the blockchain, it's all trackable. It's all trackable.

Matt Wool:

So there's all this super interesting stuff that's happening. But you know, I think that the major, one of the major things that's happened, it's pointing us in a direction now is that during COVID, at the beginning of COVID, brands shut down a lot of their paid marketing efforts, because they didn't know what was gonna happen, right brands shut, they said, We got to shut we got to stop spending, because we don't know if people are buying, right. The one channel that they did not shut down was the affiliate channel, because you pay afterwards. And during that period, you had CMOS, who had probably never thought very much about affiliate marketing, at all, coming into meetings with their affiliate team and being like, tell me about what's going on, right, what's happening. And so that period actually shone a huge spotlight on how these partnership programs can mitigate risk away from some of these other channels, especially during downturns. And I think it changed the way a lot of people see it now. So over the next few years, we just see all these trends really converging along with kind of the influencer convergence talked about earlier to point people, just more and more in the direction of partnership marketing.

Neal Schaffer:

I just want to share some personal anecdotes and offer my own sort of advice on where I think things are going because I also do affiliate marketing as a publisher. And I'll go through I use, you know, Link cloaking, so I know how many clicks I'm getting. And all the brands that I'm promoting where I get like 1000 clicks, and no affiliate revenue now for the brand. They are getting 1000 Free, really, really highly relevant and targeted clicks. Yeah, right. Which is awesome. Think about how much that would cost on a given network. Yeah, so I think at some point, will the affiliate, you know, hey, it sounds great, we'll do it. But if they're not getting any money from generating those 1000 clicks, that's why I think this relationship part becomes so important. And I've worked with affiliates, where they've been very, with Brent, where they've been very creative, as to how they support their affiliates, and how, you know, we want to help you make money because you're generating, you know, whether you move to CPA or or, you know, by, not by not by revenue, but by actual number of collections, a lot of different things. But your point of relationship, I think is so important, because I see an upcoming power struggle, where affiliates and influencers have a lot more ways to monetize now they're creating their own products, their own courses, their own NF T's getting back to the creators side. So any brand that's listening, I think it's really critical. They focus on this relationship. So because I think it's going to be more and more important to incentivize and manage those affiliate relationships in the future. That's what I see coming.

Matt Wool:

I completely agree. I would argue that whatever that brand is that that happened with you, if they are not calling you and being like, Hey, what's going on? Like, let's figure this out, then their affiliate program is not very good, right? Or they're 99% Very good. Yeah. 9%

Neal Schaffer:

They're not contacting me, as you know, if

Matt Wool:

that was one of our programs, we would have been on I mean, we have we have a system called EP vision that monitors all this and people get Leo pinged on Slack, and it's like, you know, hey, this person's not converting. Yes. So what you just said is exactly right on. And frankly, I think that's what differentiates really good productive affiliate programs. From not right is when there is someone who's getting on the phone with you and saying, Hey, what's up? Like, you're sending a lot of clicks? Clearly there's interest, but we got to figure this out. Yeah, I think that's a really

Neal Schaffer:

good point. Yeah. So man, I think it's a great leeway to those listening. They're like, You know what, we failed, or we just want to start this program, working with experts. We want to reach out to mountains comm where can people find out more about you and your company?

Matt Wool:

Acceleration partners.com. It's all there. And I don't tweet or anything. So it's harder to find me. But everything you need is that acceleration partners that calm.

Neal Schaffer:

And then obviously the book available on Amazon or wherever fine books are sold, or whatever,

Matt Wool:

five bucks or so apparently, it's being sold in a bunch of airport bookstores, which you didn't even know. But it's kind of cool.

Neal Schaffer:

That those are actually the best places to the best readers, the business executives, what have you. So well, congrats on the book. And really, thank you so much for sharing your experience, your expertise, the audience today, hopefully, a lot of them will reach out to you to learn more. And at a minimum, they should be reading the book. So thank you again.

Matt Wool:

Yeah, thank you really appreciate it.

Neal Schaffer:

All right. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did. My mind was sort of spinning, going from one question to the next. But whenever I interview someone, I'm always trying to keep you the listener in mind. And what would be the follow up questions that you have, once you hear about something. Now, you might have been surprised that I sort of asked about NF Ts. I just came back from Joe polities crater economy Expo, I'm gonna have a dedicated episode for that shortly. But you're gonna hear a lot more about those not as some freak investment, but as actually a utilitarian part of marketing. And I think it actually goes really well together with this partnership or influencers or relationships. And I'll go beyond that and say community in digital, can't wait to share with you my next episode. Make sure you hit that subscribe button. Hey, did you know on my website, Neal schaffer.com. I have a slew of freebies. These are actual ebooks that I put together. Some I mean, I could put on Amazon as a Kindle. I've done that in the past. I'm not doing that right now. But they are MIDI ebooks or almost books of themselves on a variety of topics LinkedIn, social media and digital marketing tools. My most recent ones were on guest blogging and email marketing. So hopefully you'll check those out Neal schaffer.com/freebies. And as I like to remind you all, keep your eye on the goal. And we'll see you in the next episode. This is your digital marketing coach Neal Schaffer signing off. You've been listening to your digital marketing coach, questions, comments, requests, links, go to podcast dot Neal schaffer.com. Get the show notes to this and 200 plus podcast episodes and Neal schaffer.com to tap into the 400 Plus blog post that Neil has published to support your business. While you're there, check out Neil's Digital First group coaching membership community if you or your business needs a little helping hand. See you next time on your digital marketing coach.