Three members from our affiliate department attended the Affiliate Summit West conference in Las Vegas, January 10-12. This three day conference is notorious for providing networking options for affiliates, affiliate managers, advertisers, agencies, and networks. There were also educational sessions which covered the latest trends from affiliate marketing experts. Below are highlights from the conference that we are excited to share.
Former CJ Affiliate by Conversant President Kerri Pollard was the conference’s keynote speaker on Monday. During her time at CJ, the CJ Marketplace grew to over 3,000 advertisers and 70,000 active publishers. She gave a great presentation that focused not only on attracting talented employees, but keeping them as well. Pollard has over sixteen years of affiliate marketing experience and shared great knowledge and experience with great (and not so great) staff. A key thought throughout her session was, “how do we continue to inspire?” She shared CJ’s initial mission statement and talked about how it was a fine statement, but it didn’t state why they were doing what they do. She then alluded to Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle”:
She stated, “When you start from the outside in, as CJ did, you start with the “what” …The why is what inspires employees and clients.” It’s important to remind employees why they are working hard towards company goals and initiatives. To see the Affiliate Summit’s official summary of the keynote, go to the Affiliate Summit’s website.
During the conference, a merger between affiliate network Ebay Enterprise Marketing Solutions Affiliate Network and Affiliate Traction was announced. The merger highlights growth opportunities for EEAN in terms of global reach and technology.
One of our final and most productive meetings was with Honeyfund co-founders Josh and Sara Margulis. If Honeyfund, the registry website where couples can ask their guests to contribute to their honeymoon, sounds familiar to you, it’s because Josh and Sara were featured on ABC’s hit reality show “Shark Tank” last year. They ended up receiving multiple offers from the show’s investors. In the end, they chose a deal from Kevin O’ Leary (aka Mr. Wonderful) to grow their gift-funding websites. In May of 2013, the Margulises launched a second site called Plumfund for other gift-giving events such as birthdays, holiday gifting, baby showers, and other projects. Both sites offer free gift-funding options for users.
It was great to hear the story of how their business got started (the idea came while they were planning their own honeymoon in Fiji), and how they plan to grow their site’s affiliate marketing space. We are very excited to work with Honeyfund and Plumfund in the future.
The affiliate team had a successful conference catching up with industry colleagues and meeting contacts we correspond with over the phone and in email on a daily basis. We enjoyed hearing what affiliates were implementing in 2016, and brainstormed how their initatives could mutually benefit our clients’ programs. We return to the office energized and excited to work with our affiliate partners this year!