Tracy, thanks for taking some time to share your insight with everyone.
Of course, my pleasure.
Tell me about your background in online advertising.
I started out at Market Leverage back in 2008. They interviewed me for a video production position, found out I had a background in media sales, and I ended up getting hired to do both. After cutting my teeth as an Ad account executive, I decided I wanted to live in CO. When I got out here, I helped launch an event called the Mailer Meet Up. We aimed to bring together the email marketing community, piggy backing Affiliate Summit, AdTech, and all the major trade shows. It was a private, invite only event that started out with only 25-30 mailers and grew quickly to about 200-300 attendees. The purpose was for email marketers to get together and talk about challenges, strategies, and trends happening in the industry. All the while, I was working as an email marketing publisher myself, which ultimately led to me becoming an Ad account executive (once again) here at Diablo Media.
You have had about 5-6 years of experience. Can you talk about how the industry has changed and or progressed in those years?
Definitely. When I first started, diet pills, skin creams, and work-from-home opportunities were the big money makers. People were slapping Oprah’s and Obama’s pictures on everything to get increased CTRs and conversions. The FTC eventually cracked down with regulations on misleading internet advertising practices, and compliance laws have been getting stricter and stricter ever since. In the end, although it meant decreased conversions for publishers, it meant a much better experience for the end consumer. The industry has turned away from the “fly by night” way of doing things. I feel like a lot of companies in our space have had to shift their business model from making a quick dollar to working within legit lead gen. verticals like insurance, mortgage, and credit monitoring. So it’s been interesting and positive to see the industry progressing and changing for legitimate reasons. We’re also seeing an influx in mobile offers, apps, and downloads, as well as pay-per-call which is cool to see since it was nonexistent when I first got into the game.
Relationships are big in the Performance Marketing space. Talk to me, how do you make the most of them?
It basically boils down to this – 20% of your clients are going to produce 80% of your revenue. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. I’ve read quite a bit of literature on account management and how to get the most out of sales, and I’ve found from my own experience that it’s all about effective time management and being creative. I recently read Permission Marketing by Seth Godin, and the preface of the book is that it’s not necessarily about getting more clients so much as it is about creating more business opportunities from those clients that already know and trust you. It’s much easier to create additional revenue from an existing partner than getting someone to go from zero to sixty. That’s not to say that time shouldn’t be spent working with new partners; you just have to divvy your time wisely. In the CPA world, trust and likability are everything, so if I focus the majority of my time catering to the clients that are in that higher echelon and forge deeper relationships, more revenue is sure to follow. It’s about being creative, listening to what our publisher’s needs are, and working with my advertisers to make it happen.
What are some benefits of working with you directly?
I have a lot of experience. From account management, to publishing as an email marketer, to personally writing creatives, and more, I understand how the CPA advertising business works and my clients can leverage that to their advantage.
What do you think about Diablo Media?
Diablo operates in an environment saturated with competitors who are what I like to call “all sizzle and no steak”. What I like about our company is that we have substance and we try really hard to break the ad network stereotypes. We’re more of a humble company making smart business decisions and that really resonates with me. We put ourselves out there as a very solid company without any bells or whistles. Kind of like the cool kid that sits in the back of the classroom but knows all the answers.
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