How long have you worked in affiliate marketing and what is your current role at Acceleration Partners?
I started working for Streamline/Acceleration Partners almost four years ago. I began my career as an Associate and now my current role at Acceleration Partners is an Account Director.
What do you do as an Account Director in Global Accounts?
As an Account Director in Global Accounts, I manage cross-regional teams for our clients on a global scale. I ensure our account teams are set up for success and delivering superior client services, and I do this through strategy support and guidance to help my teams think outside-of-the-box so that we’re exceeding client goals. I also help to build a strong foundation of trust with our clients to sustain lasting partnerships.
Outside of the client-services portion of my job, I work with different regional managers internally to share insights and processes so as to make sure we’re all working as one cohesive team. I also coach my teams and motivate them to exceed personal and professional goals.
I’m dedicated to giving real-time feedback and making sure my team is growing, along with the programs they manage. It’s also important to me to make work fun and a place where everyone genuinely enjoys logging on each and every day!
What excites you about being in the affiliate marketing industry, specifically working in Global Accounts?
What excites me about being in the affiliate marketing industry is how adaptable it is to market changes. Affiliate marketing has a history of changing and adapting to the times, thus proving that it’s here to stay, and it’s finding ways to continue to be relevant and add value for brands.
What excites me about working specifically in Global Accounts is the opportunity to connect with colleagues and clients around the world. Within that, I love the approach we take to identify and optimize around the cultural nuances that go with managing a program in different countries. The opportunity to learn about new markets and global program management strategies are a fascinating part of my job that I greatly enjoy.
Has your view of the affiliate marketing industry changed over time?
Absolutely! Back when I started out in affiliate, the partnership landscape looked a lot different. Programs were more focused around the traditional coupon and loyalty groups.
Over the years, I’ve seen a lot more emphasis on content and influencer strategies. Affiliate partnerships have come a long way from the last-click mentality they used to have. I see a heavy focus on the entire consumer journey, with strategies specifically centered around brand awareness and new customer acquisition, which are often not synonymous with last click.
I’ve also come to realize that affiliate plays a key role in all aspects of the consumer journey, and it’s important to think that way when managing a program. In an era where more and more consumers are turning to social media and mass media companies to shop, affiliate has become a great tool to meet them there. I now see affiliate less as a way to generate those last-click sales and more as a way to meet consumers wherever they are and help them over the finish line to purchase.
What is a common misconception you get when telling people what you do?
I think there’s a sentiment that anything containing an ad or an affiliate link should automatically be distrusted, or that any website promoting a brand has an inherent bias because they’re earning money from that brand.
They picture affiliate marketers as a piece of that without realizing the work that goes into the partnership between brand and partner. As the agency in this scenario, we’re identifying partnerships that genuinely align well with our clients to capture different audiences. On the flip side of that, our partners are very thoughtful with who they engage with and support in order to build a trusted brand reputation.
It takes time and energy to find quality partners, who on their part, are also identifying the advertisers they genuinely like and want to support. The paid aspect comes in to play only after the affiliate has delivered on a desired action agreed upon with the brand. Our partners work hard getting to know and understand their target customers, making they would actually enjoy the brands they’re promoting. Don’t let the word “ad” or “affiliate link” misconstrue what is a thoughtful partnership!
What is your favorite activity or hobby you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I try to get out and be active! I’m either at the gym, in a workout class or out on a walk enjoying time outside.
When I was living in Seattle, I loved being able to escape the city to go on hikes with friends. Now, weather permitting, I like exploring new neighborhoods or walking along Lake Michigan. Aside from that, I inherited a two-year-old sourdough starter and I’m making tons of sourdough bread. It feels like such a quarantine cliché, but I’ve really been enjoying it!
If you could have an extra hour of free time every day, how would you use it?
I’d probably use it to read (I set a goal to read one book every month this year and I’m outpacing that so far!) or to truly dedicate that hour every day to learn a new language. I’ve always wanted to learn a new language, and with the extra time it would seem a little less daunting and more achievable.
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