In this episode, host Brian Dainis interviews Brook Schaaf, CEO of FMTC, to explore the world of affiliate marketing. They discuss the role of affiliate marketing in e-commerce, the distinction between influencers and affiliates, and the challenges faced by the industry. Brook shares insights from his experience and highlights the pivotal role played by the affiliate program in the company’s success. Discover key factors that led to Brook’s excellence in affiliate marketing, the challenges faced by affiliates today, and how FMTC helps them navigate the complex landscape.
Introducing Brook Schaaf, an influential entrepreneur shaping the affiliate marketing landscape. Serving as the CEO and Co-Founder of FMTC, Brook leads the charge in aggregating affiliate content and empowering affiliates and bloggers through innovative services and tools. With his dedication and vision, he’s redefining how businesses thrive in the digital world from his base in Austin, Texas. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Cache Flow:
- Zappos’ success in the early days of the Internet was attributed to their effective marketing and logistics game, supported by a high conversion rate and strong relationships with affiliates.
- Affiliate managers need to network, create personal relationships, and market their programs effectively to stand out in today’s market.
- The debate: Is affiliate marketing a single channel or multiple channels?
- The human relationship aspect of affiliate marketing creates limitations in terms of growth.
- FMTC provides a platform for distributing deals and products, helping affiliates monetize their content with ease.
- Some merchants still allow affiliates to use their own domains for ad arbitrage.
- CJ Affiliate’s tracking still works, but a significant gap between CJ’s tracking and Google Analytics data may exist.
- 14:20 – “You have to have like the front end of the shop and the back end of the shop and the marketer’s the front end of the shop basically. And so the personal relationships are actually much harder to get nowadays. You know, affiliate is… you have like all these spam email campaigns that go out, I get them too. Some of them are affiliate-related, some of them are not. I’ve got a bunch of affiliates, some of these with the app. People just email you, and it’s like, there’s not really a way for us to do business, you know, do some research before you reach out to me. And so with so much more noise, it’s a lot harder to succeed.”
- 14:58 – “You have this target market, which is these affiliates, maybe there’s hundreds, maybe there’s thousands. It depends on the space that you’re in. You really need to sort of do deep networking. You really need to fight to get the attention of these affiliates. You have to figure out how you can work with them. You’ve got to go into it with a good attitude. And I would say that’s true regardless of what kind of merchant you are, because the space is just a lot more crowded and competitive. And for anybody who’s doing merchant affiliate program, you’re basically competing sooner or later with Amazon, which has a monster, you know, the, probably the granddaddy of all affiliate programs, not the first; I think it usually gets stated in ’96 or late nineties”
- 16:16 – “So it sounds like it’s good old-fashioned, hand-to-hand combat with networking and sales to get these things, especially in the early days of affiliate to get these things off the ground. It’s just good old-fashioned, shaking hands, kissing babies, getting out there and meeting people, getting the right people connected, getting the brands connected with the people who are out there putting out content or doing newer cutting-edge digital marketing.”
- 28:27 – “If you’re running ads, and you know whether you have your own ad sales team, maybe that’s how you really make money is if you have your own ad sales team. But if you’re using like ad sense or one of these ad serving platforms like programmatic ad serving, it’s not super lucrative compared to something like I would imagine like doing a well strategically executed affiliate program across like maybe multiple strategically executed affiliate programs across many pieces of content.”
- 33:43 – “When I did sales training, they said there’s no such thing as an efficient human relationship. So I think right there, that’s a big piece of it. The onboarding takes somebody time, which is why my company exists. We really exist to reduce the friction in deployments of affiliate content as a business-to-business provider. You have to find everybody, connect with them somehow. There’s an onboarding process even for the coupon reward sites, some of which work with tens of thousands of merchants. And then if it’s a smaller commerce content guy, it’s almost more like a PR pitch. Like, hey, put my product in your article, I’ll send you a free one or a sample or whatnot. It’s a lot more work on their side.”