AB #340 | Todd Crawford: Transparency, and a Multi-Channel Approach to the Pay for Performance Model

In this edition of the Affiliate Buzz, host and Instructor of the Affiliate Marketers BootCamp, James Martell is joined by Todd Crawford, the co-founder and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Impact Radius offer up a lively discussion about why publishers, advertisers and affiliate agencies should be implementing a multi-channel approach to their affiliate marketing partnerships.

Arlene is not on the episode this week as she spending some well deserved time with her grandchildren at the beach.

James begins the episode by announcing that in a few weeks he will be able to provide a review for a new tool he has discovered. The discovery came via another podcast, the Facebook Answer Man podcast with Scott Ayres and it is a way for users to triple their following with just 10 minutes a day.

James also asks listeners to go to the Affiliate Buzz Facebook page and tell him what device they use to listen to Affiliate Buzz.

A Founding Father of Modern Affiliate Marketing

Todd is considered to be instrumental in the founding of the modern affiliate marketing industry. Previous to his role at Impact Radius, he was a co-founder and Vice President at Commission Junction. He admits this was a different time when the web was a painfully slow tool.

At Commission Junction they saw an opportunity to change the affiliate system. As Todd explains, at the time, affiliate programs were very advertiser centric. Commission Junction attempted to change this and eat into the market share of their main competitors Be Free and LinkShare.

During this time, Todd explains some of the following:

  • The common problems that existed within the system.
  • How Commission Junction went about changing that.
  • The effect Commission Junction had on the industry.
  • What happened to Commission Junction following their success?

After the sale of Commission Junction to Value Click (now known as Conversant), James noticed there was a change in culture at the company. James also states that many of the founders left the company all roughly at the same time. Then after a few years, they reappeared together to quietly launch Impact Radius.

The Need For Transparency Due to Problems in the Multi-Channel Approach

Todd explains advertisers need to look at their model because sometimes publishers don’t get the credit they deserve. He gives a scenario where a customer finds out about a brand through a publisher. They then go away and look at some reviews or some more information about the advertiser and then return, perhaps through a paid search. In this scenario, the affiliate would not get any recognition for the vital part they have played in the sales process. In some cases, as James has pointed out in a previous podcast, this can be a huge loss of earnings for the publisher.

The different avenues customers use for finding an advertiser’s products has been spoken about before in a previous addition of this podcast.

James knows Matt Frary at SmarterChaos speaks about this problem as well over on his affiliate marketing podcast Chaos Makes Sense. Part of the problem is that previously it was hard for the different groups to talk. What would often happen would be the advertiser would speak to the agency who would speak to the affiliate. However in this approach, barely anything would happen.

Todd’s aim in the market place is to create a frictionless marketing environment. This is where the tools are available for everyone to create and manage successful relationships. Sometimes this means honest conversations will have to be made.

During the rest of the conversation, Todd answers the following questions:

  • What percentage of affiliates, are likely to be the main source of visits to your website?
  • How does good honest conversation support the growth of your business?
  • Who needs who more in affiliate marketing?
  • Where can you find out more information on the services offered by Impact Radius?

Learning More About Todd

At the end of the podcast, James asks Todd more about himself, including what interesting places he has worked before. Todd loves to travel and says he has been lucky to travel the world as part of his job. Some of the interesting places he has visited include Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Melbourne, Dublin and Majorca to name a few.

However, he also says that he personally loves working with the people in the office and takes a thirty minute commute to get to the office every day. James and Todd end the talk mentioning the interesting things Todd posted on his Facebook page about the dinners he’s eaten while his wife was away.

James ends the podcast with a request for regular listeners to review the podcast on itunes and Stitcher so others can discover the show.

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