Cory Booker is My Hero

August 15, 2008

If you’ve never attended an Affiliate Summit, I highly recommend it. The amount of information you can glean just from walking the floor is enough to make the most senior Affiliate Marketer’s head spin, but I suppose that’s half the fun.

Shawn Collins and Missy Ward have hit upon the zeitgeist of the Affiliate world, and their show proves it. The attendance has soared, and this last summit included a special treat.

Cory Booker

Cory Booker was the keynote speaker, and I have to say – I was blown away. My interest was initially piqued when I read a recent article on Cory Booker in Esquire Magazine to which the most inspiring part of the article wasn’t the article itself, it was Bookers response on July 16th to the article in a fiery letter to the Editor slapping author Scott Raab on the hand. To put it bluntly – this guys has balls.

I eagerly anticipated hearing what Mr. Booker had to say, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Mr. Booker’s natural charisma was contagious. His passion clear by the energy level he conveyed to the audience. His lack of self apprehension was refreshing, and I could not wipe the smile off my face throughout the duration of his presentation.

I found myself reiterating his stories to my family, and more than once during his speaking time, I felt the tiny hairs on the back of my neck stand. This guy is the real deal. He shared stories that took the audience from murderous housing projects in Newark to the home of Gandhi. His easy manner helped to set the tone for the show, and I have to take my hat off to Missy and Shawn for selecting such an eloquent, and inspiring person to help kick things off.

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Momentum Release

August 15, 2008

Online marketing company celebrates continued momentum and company growth one year after being acquired by Europe’s largest publisher zanox, a global leader in performance-based online marketing, today announced the company has experienced continued momentum and company growth since being acquired by Axel Springer, Europe’s largest publisher, and PubliGroupe, an international Swiss-based multimedia group, in May 2007. Throughout the past year, zanox has achieved numerous milestones including 55 percent company growth, global expansion, key industry partnerships and customer acquisitions, product enhancements and industry accolades. Global Expansion and Partnerships Headquartered in Berlin, zanox is dedicated to continually expanding its global affiliate network, which encompasses more than one million sales partners in 200 countries worldwide. In the past year, zanox has expanded its international footprint with the addition of offices in Poland and Switzerland to join the company’s existing ground presence in the United States, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Nordics and China. In addition, zanox has focused on growing company’s presence in the U.S. market including the hiring of Christopher Dessi, formerly of AzoogleAds, as the new Vice President of Advertiser Sales for North America. Since transitioning the company’s U.S. headquarters from Chicago to New York in order to be closer to advertisers and publishers in March 2008, zanox U.S. has recently expanded into new office space in Midtown Manhattan in New York City to accommodate the company’s growth. “Performance-based online marketing has experienced exponential growth over the past year, and we’re thrilled to be at the forefront of the revolution,” said Christopher Dessi, Vice President of Advertiser Sales for zanox, North America. “In addition to exceptional growth on a global scale, zanox has made significant strides in the U.S. market over the past 12 months and we’re dedicated to increasing that momentum throughout 2008.” In addition to global expansion, Axel Springer has provided zanox the opportunity to cultivate relationships with high-profile advertisers who had previously not engaged with performance-based ad networks. In November 2007, zanox introduced the Global Alliance Partnership (GAP) program, which is a unique, cooperative approach to affiliate marketing that benefits larger brand advertisers by providing transparency and global reach via GAP partnerships in more than 30 countries and 200 currencies. Since its inception, the program has been successfully implemented across the US, UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia with almost 100 partnerships worldwide. Enhanced Product Offerings and Industry Recognition zanox has continued to deliver product innovation over the past 12 months with a commitment to continually improving the zanox platform for advertisers and publishers, including increased transparency, better visibility into SEM campaigns and more accurate reporting. In addition to launching Look@Landingpages, which enabled publishers for the first time to see exactly which keywords convert into sales, zanox also unveiled a newly designed Web site in Q4 2007 that enhanced overall usability of the company’s award-winning digital platform, including the additional of zanox.TV and availability of the site in 13 languages. “zanox has maintained it’s commitment to driving innovation in online marketing for almost a decade with the ultimate goal of monetizing the Internet, and the investments made one year ago by Axel Springer and PubliGroupe have helped us take that commitment to a whole new level,” said Thomas Hessler, CEO of zanox. “Today we’re the only multichannel commerce provider to offer a true one-stop solution with an unparalleled global network. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made over the past year and have more exciting products and services news for publishers and advertisers in the coming months.” Over the past year, zanox has received industry accolades including third place in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 in October 2007 for the company’s innovation, leadership, forward-thinking strategy and annual growth of more than 100 percent, year over year. In addition, zanox was awarded the European E-Excellence Seal of Approval in 2008 for the third consecutive year and received the certificate of Finalist Recognition in the category Best Multinational Company in Europe in the 2007 International Business Awards. Be sure to check out the zanox Web Services Contest 2008 which will award One Million Euro (roughly 1.57 million US Dollars) Venture Capital for the best business model based on the zanox Web services. Deadline for entry is September 30, 2008; open to registrants in the United States. About zanox

zanox is the market leader for performance-based multichannel commerce and provides a global platform for efficiently marketing products and services on the Internet. zanox´s online marketing services include affiliate marketing and search engine management as well as email marketing and customer loyalty programs.

zanox was founded in 2000 by CEOs Thomas Hessler, Heiko Rauch and Jens Hewald and employs more than 350 people. Apart from its headquarter in Berlin zanox operates offices in USA, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Scandinavia and China. More than 2,000 prestigious international companies across the business sectors TIMES, Travel, Retail & Shopping as well as Financial Services utilize the zanox network.

Since 2007 zanox has been part of the Axel Springer and PubliGroupe. Axel Springer is Germany’s biggest newspaper publishing house and third-largest magazine publisher. PubliGroupe AG is an independent, internationally leading marketing, sales and service group for media and advertisers, supporting these in implementing their communication and media strategies with marketing and


eTail

August 15, 2008

Last week was a whirlwind while attending the Affiliate Summit in Boston, but before I headed up to New England, I swung by the eTail show in DC.

Immediately a few topics were defined as “hot” –

Mobile

Obviously this is nothing new, but to hear mobile being discussed as a valid channel in the retail world is always exciting. Amazon’s mobile storefront was cited as an example. The warning? Online retailers need to have not only mobil offers, but a mobil storefront of their ecommerce sites.

Social Commerce

Apparently the research tells the tale. Users are becoming more and more wary of business to consumer communications. Who do consumers trust then? Theey trust thier friends. 91% of consumers took the advice of their friends when looking for advice on a purchase. When consumers are in the process of purchasing a TV, 55% of consumers have done some sort of online research.

Consumer Experience

During eTail it’s not surprising that the conversation centered around the consumer, and how to better serve them. One interesting stat was that apparently when a consumer has a good experience with your company they’ll tell one person. When they have a bad experience, they’ll tell 3 people. The most interesting stat (to me anyway) is that when they have a bad experience, but said experience is addressed and remedied expeditiously by the retailer – the consumer is likley to share that experience (in a positive light) with 5 other people.


Where are all the MBA’s?

August 13, 2008

While walking around logan airport in Boston today after spending a few days at the Affiliate Summit, I noticed the cover of US News – America’s Best Graduate Schools. This issue resounded with me, because although I have a Masters Degree in Direct Marketing from NYU, I feel that there are still some gaps in my education that I know I’ll need as my career evolves.

Then it dawned on me.

We’re in an industry with so much money being pumped into it by advertisers. The affiliate channel has become a legitimate venue for companies to generate new users online in a cost efficient manner. We’re all still making money during an economic downturn, and still I don’t see the MBA’s? Why?

There are CEO’s in our industry that have MBA’s from top Universities, but are our companies recruiting from top schools? There are very smart people in our industry for sure, but take one lap around the floor at the Affiliate Summit, and you will quickly be able to select the top tier executives, and the publishers that just don’t have the depth of experience to enter the board room.

Why? Is it our fault for not recruiting properly, or is it because there is a certain type of person that does well in this business, and your traditional MBA just isn’t it? I think in order for our industry to continue to grow we will need leaders that can make that transition from meeting and interacting with the young gun internet guys to the MBA’s that may be more attracted to the VC firms than the actual companies themselves.