Next up in our Meet The Media Buyer series, we talk to Geofferson Marcy, Co-Founder of Adfluent Media. With almost a decade of online marketing experience under his black belt, Geoff has a passion for launching world class affiliate programs and helping innovative, disruptive businesses acquire new customers.
When he unplugs, he loves to sweat it out by long distance running and plotting the next globe-trotting adventure with his adorable new son.
1) What makes Adfluent Media “fluent” when it comes to helping Advertisers grow their customers?
We’re fluent because our philosophy is to “always do the right thing.” It seemed like an obvious way to go, but I’ve learned that in business it’s not always the norm. We focus everyday on building a solid reputation in the performance marketing arena. That makes it easy to attract the right partners custom to each campaign. We are able to quickly get to “How can we work together?” instead of “Why should we work together?”.
In the typical affiliate network model, affiliates scrap it out for top payouts, lead allocation, traffic sources and budget. Consequently an offer might have hundreds of affiliates overlapping in execution, which doesn’t benefit the advertiser or the publisher.
We select a handful of partners on an invite-only basis based on a trusted business (and often personal) relationship. Then we assign small, but highly specialized teams to each campaign with a focus on the most opportunistic channels. The net effect is high volume acquisition potential and increased transparency, without any headaches due to violations.
2) As a lean agency, how do you identify the best opportunities for media buyers you work with?
We have to be super selective in who we work with, but it serves everyone involved well. Learning to say “No” if you can’t commit in full force is an art, but required for success.
Doing the upfront due diligence to make sure the advertiser has a sustainable business model, is ready to scale, well funded and has an ambitious long term plan helps to ensure campaigns we create go the distance. There is no value for setting up a campaign, start generating acquisitions, achieving profit – only to find out there is an unsustainable element.
We also make sure there won’t be issues with transparency and resistance to feedback. By working closely with our merchants, often we can share behind the scenes intel with our media buyers to accelerate the optimization process. We look at our yield over a longer time horizon than other networks; as an example; two of our clients have been active with us for over 3 years. As a media buyer, think about the optimization that can be done in that amount of time with so much insight.
3) How can dedicated, but less connected media buyers get access to the campaigns at reputable private agencies and networks?
With tracking technology/platforms increasingly cost effective, coupled with a maturing online advertising industry, there are many exclusive agencies and private networks. Some of best ones are invite only for various reasons, mainly related to quality and management concerns. If you are serious about getting access to some of harder to find but better campaigns out there, you’ll have to climb over the brick wall. This means ratcheting up your online and offline networking, negotiating and relationship skills so you can break into the inner circles where these opportunities exist. Having an updated and well endorsed LinkedIn profile will do wonders to showcase your knowledge and reputation. Actively attend industry conferences and local events. Get involved in forums and private group chats on Facebook or Skype where the authorities in the industry are.
4) What’s the best advice you can give to media buyers?
Commit to ongoing learning and sharing – no one is an expert for long in an industry that is continually evolving and shedding old tactics. Be weary of gurus and their false promises.
Don’t make the same mistake twice and don’t cut corners when it sacrifices quality. Align yourself with peers that share the “build it over the long term” mindset. Focus on adding value for everyone involved and you’ll not only make good business, but sleep with both eyes closed.
Once your ruin your reputation, you’ll spend the rest of your career trying to get it back.
5) What paid tools do you recommend to media buyers?
Many paid analytical services will gladly take your money, few are worth the investment. The ones I’m hearing good things about right now are Crazy Egg, Metrica, Optimizely, Unbounce, MixPanel and of course, you can get loads of quality competence intelligence data with WhatRunsWhere.