Lisa Riolo is a 20 year vet of the industry and Co-Founder of the affiliate technology Platform - Impact. We had a great conversation that spanned my adaptation to a co-working facility, how we are both navigating our current social climate, leadership lessons (hint hint - curiosity, empathy and potential are touchstones for her and performance marketing and where it is going.
We often don’t get the opportunity to thank individuals who played pivotal roles in our career, and today I do, so don’t miss that.
You definitely want to stay till the end as we talk about where the industry is going, the rise of affiliates really recognizing and flexing their power and our focus on the customer’s buyer journey and how that fits in with the future.
In the intro I share about one of our services, Affiliate Program Strategy Roadmap. If you’d like to find out how you can leverage our decades of experience to create a strategy for growth in your affiliate program, check out our service here http://jebco.de/strategy .
Sales is about mindset. Lisa mentions that she often hears people say they don’t enjoy “sales.” She explains that we are all in a way selling something – selling to, retaining or interfacing with customers. Lisa says to think of sales as helping someone make the decision that’s right for him or her. It’s not about your agenda, it’s about their agenda. You are simply giving them information so they can make the best decision possible. It’s all about educating people, and this runs across every vertical.
Reminder: Affiliates are brands, too. Lisa discusses her work to balance the affiliate marketing ecosystem. Her focus is on creating a partnership framework and methodology, while remaining respectful to the fact that Impact is a technology platform, not a network. She also reminds us that affiliates are their own brands, too. Lisa believes that the industry has let the pendulum swing too far towards the brands’ needs, rather than the affiliates or publishers. A platform should be an ecosystem that allows everybody to be able to partner successfully. This especially goes for those that have never participated in the performance space until now (like CNN, Buzzfeed, etc.). Publishers are true brands on their own and they should be viewed as equal.
The consumer experience needs to become the focus. Lisa drives home that a focus on the consumer experience is where everyone must head in this industry. Reflecting on how you market, the touch points in the path to purchase and how to put the consumer first is important. Lisa emphasizes that we must think about the touch points of engagement while a customer is trying to decide to buy or participate. Are you adding value directly to the customer when they are engaged with your company? As they transition throughout the journey, is there enough consistency to build a partnership?