In this edition of the Affiliate Buzz, host and Instructor of the Affiliate Marketers BootCamp, James Martell, is joined by Matt Frary, the CEO and co-founder of SmarterChaos. In this edition they discuss the evolution of the affiliate marketing agency.
Matt begins this edition by giving a good description of who SmarterChaos is for those who missed his last interview on the Affiliate Buzz.
It is a little agency with 14 employees and 70 clients based behind a coffee shop in Castle Rock, CO. Matt wanted the affiliate agency to infuse large organizations with small hometown values. Part of that goal is for SmarterChaos to keep the felling of a personal, small hometown agency.
Recently they have announced some important news that they had joined forces with Digital First Media who own 60 newspapers around the world. This has allowed them to expand what they can offer their clients as they’ve become a Google Premier SMB.
There are only 20 Google Premier SMBs in the world. Any company with this honour gets unprecedented access to Google. This includes the ability to run campaigns on beta products and use ad extensions unavailable on regular accounts such as product feeds.
As Matt states, there are a lot of advantages for aligning themselves with such a big company. Another benefit Matt explains is the access to 19 live bidding exchanges which access 100,000 websites with their inventory of ads. Then they can bid on those impressions to aid clients targeting specific customer profiles at the right time in the right place.
This means that SmarterChaos can now handle almost any part of the customer journey.
The Evolution Of The Affiliate Agency
Back in the late 90s and early 00s there were consultants who were good at running affiliate programs. They would go to an advertiser and say they could run their affiliate program and employ best practices, etc. The consultant would then run a couple of campaigns. They would partner with networks such as Commission Junction, LinkShare and BeFree to build a program and become a program manager.
Then the role evolved so they became Outsourced Program Managers. These individuals had deeper relationships with the previously mentioned networks. They had preferred pricing and access to relationship databases to aid the programs they ran. An OPM would manage between 75 and 100 programs but on different platforms.
SmarterChaos has evolved even further. They create proactive recruitment campaigns to build direct channels. They consider themselves agnostic, which means they will work with networks, but they prefer to work direct.
They have an outbound team who make calls to match the right affiliates with the right advertiser.
During the podcast, Matt also explains the following:
- What are Real Time Bidding exchanges and how do they work?
- How does SmarterChaos track the service journey?
- How does SmarterChaos ensure they are advertising to the right market group?
- How Impact Radius supports the monitoring of internet campaigns?
More Than Just The Last Click Attributor
One of the biggest changes which has happened in the market during recent years is the change from the last click attributor model. Now companies are realizing they have to monitor the rest of the customer journey and the corresponding ROI.
This is one of the reasons why SmarterChaos has joined forces with Digital First Media. It allows them to offer their clients tracking of their customers across the whole of the service journey.
How Can Affiliates Take Advantage of Re-targeting
Matt believes re-targeting is going to be a very strong strategy for affiliates and you should take advantage of the technology. You should look at the ad exchanges and what inventory you can allocate. Ask yourself if there is a place on your website to take advantage of and look at the different exchange codes available.
This strategy, where you will get paid per 1000 impressions, will be particularly good for those with high traffic websites or with certain products.
Finally Matt speaks about his life story and how he can mix his business ventures with his lifestyle. During this part of the podcast, Matt discusses some of the following:
- What Matt thought about his previous company and how this led to the creation of SmarterChaos.
- How he can still conduct business with his four businesses while still maintaining the lifestyle he desires.
- What Matt’s important ingredients are for success.
- What Matt’s dream is.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Digital First Media
- Google Premier SMB
- Commission Junction
- Impact Radius
- Chaos Makes Sense Podcast
- Dollar Shave Club