August 21, 2015
Welcome to our fourth “Meet The Team” blog post, where I interview new members of Schaaf-PartnerCentric and talk to them about how they ended up in the affiliate marketing industry as well as how their experience is here at Schaaf-PartnerCentric. In today’s Meet The Team blog, I have decided to interview Alex Reno who is the Project Manager of Technology for Schaaf-PartnerCentric.
What is your background and how did you find Schaaf-PartnerCentric?
“I graduated from UCSB and worked in sales for four years at SantaBarbara Magazine. After working in Publishing, I decided I definitely wanted to jump into the online world and work with CJ Affiliate. I was a part of the agency team at CJ Affiliate for a couple years and then moved into the integration side of the house for about 2 more. After working in the affiliate marketing space for 4 years, I now have the opportunity to be a part of the Schaaf-PartnerCentric team as the Project Manager of Technology.”
What do you do for SPC and what do you like the most about your position?
“It’s my job to make sure all the pieces of the puzzle fit together during a client integration. I make sure our integrations are moving along in an efficient manner with the highest quality from our team. It is our team’s job to make sure the client’s program is set up for success! I also work on post integration client requests. Additionally, I assist with developing our internal training processes and tools as well as new hire trainings and projects.”
“What I like most about my position is that I get to work with different clients daily and set them up for success in the affiliate world. Learning each client’s new business and how they run it is super cool! I also truly enjoy working on our internal training projects.”
What do you like the most about Schaaf-PartnerCentric?
“I love how Schaaf-PartnerCentric completely cares about their clients and always has their best interests at heart. We tailor the programs to make them successful for each of our client’s needs. I love how innovative and smart the entire Schaaf-PartnerCentric team is! We really keep up with the changing industry and I love collaborating with every person on different projects.”
What do you work on outside of Schaaf-PartnerCentric?
“I love running. Running is a way to clear my mind and relieve stress. I love bike rides, hanging out with family and friends, cooking, and reading. Travel is something I definitely would like to do more of down the line. Fun fact about me is that I have an obsession with organizing different things whether it be re-arranging my work files and desk, organizing a friend’s closet, or putting together a fun dinner party.”
What advice would you give to new hires here at Schaaf- PartnerCentric?
“I would advise new hires to not be afraid to dive in and ask about what people are doing within their role in the company. Always get feedback. Keep up with the changing industry and expect change, it will be for the better. Knowing exactly how your department works and what your contribution is to the company is very important. For remote workers, get into a routine of picking up the telephone daily and don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially because you are not in the office. People will appreciate your questions and feedback and this will help you grow.”
If you liked this blog, go check out my other Meet the Team articles. You can see what it is like being the Marketing and Events Coordinator here, learn more about the life of a Marketing Analyst here or walk in the shoes of our Graphic Designer here. If you want to get the latest Affiliate Marketing news, go ahead and give us a like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter.
August 13, 2015
As the affiliate industry matures, concerns about the value of the affiliate channel, and of specific affiliates, are coming up. Advertisers are questioning their capabilities in driving incremental traffic to their site. Technology and tracking developments in the past five years have given us access to the data that allows insights into the click path of a customer, which, in turn, enables us to understand the value of each online marketing channel. The use of this big data is still in its infancy, but allows senior online marketers to question the value of the sale that each affiliate brings to an advertiser’s website.
How to measure incremental traffic depends on a variety of factors: the program’s business model, brand presence, consistency in offers across marketing channels, available tools to measure and collect data, in addition to other considerations.
Incrementality is not solely related to new customers. Incrementality is about being included in the consideration set when the customer is shopping, as well as when they are purchasing.
A sophisticated marketer will use company and affiliate program goals, coupled with thorough attribution data, to effectively measure incremental sales in an affiliate program.
How To Determine Affiliate Channel Incrementality
The first step to assessing the affiliate program’s contribution to incremental sales is to define what incremental means to your company. Depending on business priorities, it could mean attracting new customers, clickstream placement, a correlation to internal reports, or any combination of the above. We recently spoke with a retailer who understood that incremental traffic for them was not a new customer, but related more to the life-time value of that customer. For them, a new customer garnered through steep discounting did not equal an incremental sale. What they were looking for through their affiliate acquisition strategy were more customers reflective of the LTV of their core.
Once an incremental sale is defined, put parameters in place for measurement. You can do this by leveraging tracking software and affiliate network features to gather the relevant data. You’ll then want to analyze the accrued data to direct program strategy. Look at the average touch points across channels, the typical initiators, and the typical closers. Work to define an average cost-per-sale across all channels by assigning a value to each touch point.
With a comprehensive strategy in place, resources can now be directed to improve avenues that drive strong incremental traffic. On a per affiliate basis, determine who is driving higher volume traffic and work to optimize that relationship. If an affiliate drives low-value traffic, consider decreasing affiliate commissions to value that traffic appropriately.
A Real-Life Example
One of our clients was concerned that a category of affiliates was hijacking traffic at the last minute and getting full credit for the sale. We set out to define the traffic from this group, as well as to define traffic on a per affiliate basis. We used the client’s internal attribution reporting and compared it to affiliate network data to identify patterns in incremental value per affiliate group. Some affiliates had a high percent of orders credited to another media channel, indicating low-value traffic. Others, we determined, had high-value referral traffic. We then segmented publishers based on the quality of traffic, lowering commissions for the low-quality referrals, and increasing engagement with the high-value affiliates. After the first year, we saved the client $605,000 in unnecessary commissions, while increasing high-quality revenue 25% YOY.
Defining incrementality is a multi-faceted issue that requires a multi-faceted approach. With the right technique and the right clarity into the data, you can feel confident about the value of the affiliate channel.
If you are interested in learning more, download our comprehensive whitepaper on Creating an Affiliate Program that Drives Incremental Revenue!
August 11, 2015
July was an exciting month for all the team members at Schaaf-PartnerCentric. For all of our hard work in adding clarity for our clients, our partners, and our team during the 2nd quarter, we were rewarded with a mandatory “Half-Day To Play” as requested by CEO, Stephanie Harris.
Unlike your typical half-day off, we were required to go out and do something fun during our time away from the office and take pictures to prove that we weren’t sleeping or staying in the house. As you can see from the pictures above, we did everything from going out with our families, eating with friends, relaxing while enjoying the outdoors, to even the more adventurous kayaking and running around a water park.
After spending our time away from work, the team was excited to view the pictures and learn more about our lives beyond our computers. This time off also helped us collect our thoughts and push us forward to achieve high goals into the next quarter.
As much as we loved the half-day off, we had important business to get back to – cultivating and growing profitable and productive relationships for our clients and partners. Please note – the animals and kids shown in this collage were not harmed during the making of Half Day To Play, forced picture posing and doing whatever we wanted aside.
If you would like to view more adventures of the Schaaf-PartnerCentric team, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. If you liked this blog, check out our Meet The Team Series to learn more about our experiences at Schaaf-PartnerCentric. If you want to hear more about the latest Affiliate Marketing news, subscribe to our newsletter here.