March 21, 2017

Infographic: Leveraging Innovating Tracking Solutions

Author : Dana Pezzin

A large outdoor retail client, specializing in outdoor recreation apparel and gear, turned to Schaaf-PartnerCentric to gain more insight into how consumers were shopping on their site and understand how promotional codes were being used. If you’ve been on-the-fence about working with us, check out this infographic showing how we transformed this program and you’ll be certain we can do the same for you!




March 14, 2017

Etail West 2017 Recap

Author : Carina Powers

The Schaaf-PartnerCentric team enjoyed spending the first week of March at Etail West, in Sunny Palm Springs. The drive out was absolutely stunning, with green grassy hills lining the desert (yes, green grass!) and snow-capped mountains framing the valley.     

A few highlights from the show:    

Speaker Sessions:

You guessed it … Amazon is a concern for many retailers. In fact, there was an entire speaker track dedicated to the subject. My takeaway from these sessions was, “Make it easy for your customers to work with you.” In our space, we are primarily focused on making our own customers’ experience as easy as possible. From our first exploratory call with them to setting up a communication cadence that meets their needs, we provide full transparency. Our goal is always to make the choice to stay with us an easy choice for them. An equally important piece of the puzzle is making sure affiliates and performance marketers enjoy working with us. We ensure that our programs are set up in a way that makes it seamless for them to promote our customers. Another general theme, mentioned by Charlie Cole of Tumi, was, “Not all growth is good growth…you’ve got to look at margin folks!” We fully agree, and with our brand promise of faster ROI at every phase, we’re always growing while improving ROAS and protecting margin. In fact, we like to focus on driving sales to higher margin products and categories.

Attendees:

Wow, what a great mix of brands and an incredible attendee list! Companies ranged from retailers like eBags, Tumi, Target, Cabela’s, and Guess, to niche brands across all verticals like Bouqs (love their flowers!) and Virgin America. Attendees were generally categorized as Director, VP or above. This enabled us to have some great conversations as we like to discuss the performance marketing channel in the greater context of the marketing mix.  

Evening activities:

Well done, eTail West! What fun we had … unfortunately it rained (remember, I mentioned the greenery!) during the outdoor Carnival – but everyone moved inside and had a great time. The following night, there were four themed eTail-sponsored parties, food and drink on the house. We made the rounds and collected themed souvenirs from all four, taste-testing and cheers-ing new friends along the way.  

The Vibe:

I would say that most people I spoke with were quite optimistic about 2017 and the future. It was great to see so many conversations around optimization, and getting to that next level. Kudos to the eTail group who put on a great conference, making sure attendees were sugared up (cupcakes everywhere), well fed, and primed with liquid motivation (at all times). In all seriousness, they did a great job putting together a relevant speaker series, and creating an environment for both productivity and enjoyment.

Hot tip when in Palm Springs:

Go check out “The Nest” for drinks, happy hour or dinner, and some unmatched people watching. The Nest is a locals hangout, frequented by Palm Springs senior residents … the ones who know how to have a good time. You’ll know what I mean as soon as you walk in the door!

Next up: ShopTalk! Let’s get together …

Contact me at Carina.Powers@schaafpc.com to set up a meeting time!




March 10, 2017

Controlling for Quality: How Schaaf-PartnerCentric Avoids Affiliate Marketing’s Bad Rep

Author : Adam Howell

We all know there’s fraud out there – in fact, it’s a huge buzzword in digital marketing right now. Truly, it is crucial that all affiliate marketers monitor the quality of their traffic and converters. Picture this: You are an e-commerce jewelry company. Your affiliate program is skyrocketing, revenue is strong and everyone is happy. But suddenly, all that jewelry everyone bought is being returned. All your beautiful converters disappear in a puff of smoke. This type of problem happens too often in affiliate marketing.

Schaaf-PartnerCentric takes an extremely vested approach to handling fraud. Below are just a few of the ways we ensure compliance:

  • Our Internal Support team proactively monitors known violators network-wide
  • Your dedicated account manager is constantly on the look-out for major changes or discrepancies week-to-week by publisher to identify trends that seem suspicious
  • Vanity code and promotional audits are conducted bi-monthly to proactively address any potential issues

Additionally, here are a few other best practices to prevent against fraud:

  • Analytics – Look at the quality of your visitors that are converting via certain partners. Now, we know that not everyone has the best tracking tools but even with a free version of Google Analytics, you can see metrics that indicate if these partners are truly high quality. Did the consumer come to your site, spend 30 seconds on the site and then buy a $10K ring? That’s a sign to start digging.
  • Customer Reps – Track the returns, refunds, and complaints from each affiliate partner. Sometimes this can involve walking over to your customer reps team and talking with them about something a consumer said. But if your consumer is calling to say, “I was incentivized to buy this ring and return it,” you might have a problem.
  • Legality – Make sure your affiliate marketing agreements state that if a product is returned, the commission is de-valued or nulled. That way, you are also making sure your company isn’t losing money. In addition, make sure your agreements also have strong minimums in returns/complains. If, suddenly, ten of out of the last fifteen purchases made are returned, there needs to be a solid legal plan to opt out of the contract or stop using the affiliate.

 

By incorporating these best practices, you will be on your way to having a strong affiliate program. To learn more about how Schaaf-PartnerCentric ensures that your affiliate marketing program maximizes ROI while protecting it against fraud, contact us.




Meet the Team: SPC MVPs

Author : Dana Pezzin

If you’ve ever met anybody from our team in person, you can probably tell that the Schaaf-PartnerCentric team is one big, happy family.  We’re incredibly proud of our employees and, in this monthly series, we give you; our valued clients and partners, the chance to get to know our team on a deeper level. This edition of Meet the Team: SPC MVPs we introduce you to some of the newest members of the SPC family: Carina Powers, Alisa Crowley and Brian Vaughn!

 

Carina & her manfriend ringing in the New Year!

Name: Carina Powers

Position: Sales Representative

How long have you worked at SPC? About a month! But I previously worked at Impact Radius in partnerships and was a partner of SPC … so we’ve been working together for 2+ years! A large part of my decision in joining SPC was based on the time we spent working together as partners. I always appreciated the leadership, values, and awesome people that SPC was so clearly all about.

What does your work day typically look like? I start my morning by listening to Swedish news and then reading about industry trends while enjoying some coffee and the gorgeous view of Santa Barbara, the ocean and the Channel Islands. I spend the work day speaking with new potential customers about how we can help them to drive incremental growth through their affiliate program, or educating advertisers on why affiliate marketing should be a part of their marketing mix! I have a lot of fun researching brands, and talking to the people that represent them. I usually take a walk or hike in the evening, or paddle board in the harbor, or head to East Beach to play some volleyball!

What do you enjoy most about the industry? How quickly it changes … I love that there is always something new to learn. I find that successful people in this industry are generally fun, social, curious, smart and hard working, all things I appreciate in others. Generally, the “work hard, play hard” mentality seems to be a result of a quickly evolving industry.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you? I love teaching in the marketing department at Santa Barbara City College, that’s my little way of giving back and connecting with the community. It is so fun to hear from past students about the businesses they have started, and where they are at today.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and who gave it to you? Hmmm… “Do your best, no more, and no less.” I came across this piece of advice many years ago and it has always stuck with me. There is something fun to me about introspection, and being open to continuous improvement and evolution. At the same time, it is important to be grounded and thankful for the here and the now. I try to keep a healthy balance between looking ahead and appreciating where I am today. It is important to me that I put my best foot forward, but that I don’t overextend myself … back to that work hard play hard theme! 😉

What would you say is your biggest passion? Adventure .. exploration …experience …learning…getting out of the comfort zone and into the new. I love all things travel … new food, people, cultures. There is something exhilarating about experiencing differences in people that at the end of the day, somehow, make us all feel so similar. I love exploring new places and all their differences, and coming home with yet another reference point that proves how similar we all are as humans, all of the differences and fears or concerns quickly fade and turn to appreciation … we are all more alike than different, after all!

What can make you laugh even on your worst day? When my seemingly very serious, calculated, thorough boyfriend gets me with one of those hilarious, random, spontaneous, out of the blue dance moves or ridiculous comments/jokes.

 

Alisa & her hubby Andrew adventuring in beautiful Ireland!

Name: Alisa Crowley

Position: Marketing Manager

How long have you worked at SPC? 2 weeks!

What does your work day typically look like? The best thing about marketing is that its ever-evolving based on the needs of the organization. There is no “one size fits all” approach and it’s important to stay nimble. My days this week have included a lot of research and interviews with team members. By gathering background on what has been accomplished in the past and what is being done currently, it’s easier to create a robust and tailored marketing plan for the future.

What do you enjoy most about the industry? Getting to meet people from all over the world and hearing different perspectives. Also, the opportunity to provide real value.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you? Professionally: I have worked in both the affiliate marketing space as well as traditional marketing and advertising agencies. Personally: I have never met a fashion blog that I didn’t like. #guilty

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and who gave it to you?  “Just keep swimming.” -Dory. It’s a simple mantra but have more profound words been spoken? I think not.

What would you say is your biggest passion? There are a few! I love to travel and I would say that traveling with my husband to new countries is high up on the list. I am also passionate about reading (nerd alert), good TV and pretending to be a foodie (aka just eating more than I should under the guise of experiencing new cuisine).

What can make you laugh even on your worst day?  My dogs, Nina and Zeus. Also, the Dunkin Donuts SNL commercial. I am equal parts embarrassed and impressed by my commitment to re-watch it 10 billion times. 

 

Brian and his sweet little one, Elise, hiking one of their favorite nature trails!

Name: Brian Vaughn

Position: Associate Account Manager

How long have you worked at SPC? Two months!

What does your work day typically look like? After waking up and getting my daughter ready (usually around 6:00 AM) I start going through my email for any pressing matters that need to be addressed. Once I get through my emails I take my daughter to her babysitter about 8:00 AM(which is my next-door neighbor) then return to check in with our client services team for daily updates around 9:30 AM, and with my account team at 10:00 AM. After 10:30 AM I dedicate my day working on reports, emails, and client calls. Somewhere around the middle of the day I take a break to grab a bite to eat and go visit my daughter (this is the best part about my day because I get to see my daughter so much more now that I don’t have to commute). When I get back from my break I pick up on my tasks right where I left off and continue this until about 5:00 or 6:00.

What do you enjoy most about the industry? This industry continues to evolve and you need to continue to use your creativity to adapt to the changes. I love how this makes every day different, when you wake up you never know what that day is going to bring you.

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you? I love to tinker on things to learn new skills. I bought a 1969 Ford Bronco that was not running and had body damage with no knowledge in auto mechanics or body work. With the help of a good friend it is now running and the looking great.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received and who gave it to you?  “Do your best and leave everything out on the field!” This was ingrained in me back from my little league sports, but I feel this pertains to everyday. If you try your best every day and leave everything out there, you will have no regrets.

What would you say is your biggest passion? I love the outdoors! Some of the best times I have ever had has been backing in the middle of nowhere catching fish. Being in the wilderness and sleeping on the ground can clear your head.

What can make you laugh even on your worst day? For some reason my wife knows exactly what to do no matter what mood I am in to make me laugh. I will fight it a lot of the time (just because I like to be stubborn towards her), but she can always get me to laugh no matter what.

 

 




March 03, 2017

Lighting By Gregory Joins the Schaaf-PartnerCentric Family

Author : Dana Pezzin

We are thrilled to announce that we are now managing the Lighting by Gregory Affiliate Program! Lighting By Gregory, an LBG Enterprises LLC Company, is the nation’s premier distributor of designer lighting and fans. With decades of experience at hand, their in-house lighting consultants are equipped to deal with even the largest projects. Featuring brands like Sonneman, Hubbardton Forge, Flos, Meltemi, and Estiluz, their showroom is the premier location to find the finest contemporary lighting for your projects, large or small.

Program Benefits:

  • 7% commission rate
  • Over $350 Average Order Size
  • 140,000 product datafeed
  • Monthly Coupons & Free Shipping on Orders over $150
  • Managed by Schaaf-PartnerCentric

The Lighting by Gregory Affiliate Program is being professionally managed by Daniel Bryant.