Profile of a Growth Marketer is an ongoing series where we feature performance marketing industry leaders.
The affiliate model offers online marketplaces an efficient, cost-effective, low-risk way to attract high-quality buyers and sellers into their market.
When properly structured and managed, an affiliate program makes it possible for online marketplaces to hone their key performance indicators, flexibly adjust their financial modeling and realize the best performance from their partners.
One such online marketplace, KEH Camera, has changed the way photographers – both amateur and professional – buy and sell their cameras and equipment.
We chatted with Kevin Kuryliw, Director of Business & Marketing Analytics, about his role at KEH Camera and how they leverage the affiliate marketing model.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR ROLE AT KEH CAMERA?
I joined KEH Camera in May of 2016 in a business analyst role. Outside of sales and financial reporting, a majority of my time was spent investigating trends across each sales channel and pinpointing opportunities to accelerate or eliminate specific initiatives, including those in the marketing area.
Shortly after joining, my role expanded to where I was overseeing a component of our marketing efforts and taking on a data-driven approach to validate our resource spend. Eventually, it moved into the leading role on our marketing team.
Now my time is split between analyzing, reporting on, and developing the overall business as well as drive the strategy and execution of our initiatives; this includes managing our strategic partners such as Acceleration Partners.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL WEEKDAY LIKE?
Loaded question! Being a recommerce firm presents its own unique challenges that differ significantly from traditional retail, so a typical week is rather uncommon. Given that our core product offering is pre-owned equipment, we are always looking to communicate the value proposition of used versus new.
KEH has had millions of pieces of photography gear pass through its doors over its 38-year history, many with incredible stories to tell.
Overseeing our marketing and analytics teams stretches me to really use both sides of my brain, so to speak. It definitely keeps me on my toes! I have my hands in several different areas, from working with my direct team on current and mid-term projects, assessing and developing out the businesses’ mid to long-term strategy, and conducting deep dives into our quantitative sales and site analytics.
When not collaborating with the team on our next marketing campaign, my days are driven by metrics and keeping a pulse on how our overall business is performing.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST REWARDING ABOUT WORKING AT KEH CAMERA?
As above, every day is a new challenge in this type of business and there is a tremendous amount of information to absorb from both a business and industry standpoint. Identifying the solution to these challenges and helping drive growth in the business is extremely rewarding. It also helps to have a great team to work with that motivates and inspires you to make each day better than the last.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN ECOMMERCE MARKETING TODAY?
Identifying specific customer pain points is one of the biggest challenges in ecommerce. There are a multitude of tools available to help provide insight into a customer’s interest and intent as well as capabilities to engage with the customer and guide them along their journey, but nothing will replace in-person interaction. Testing, assessing, retesting and frequent pivots are routine in understanding what message best resonates with our current and prospective customers.
FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE, HOW HAS THE AFFILIATE MARKETING MODEL ADDED VALUE TO KEH’S ECOMMERCE BUSINESS?
Affiliate marketing has helped to scale our growth by way of brand awareness to our target segments as well as identifying small pockets of opportunities within niche markets.
As consumers become savvier in their purchasing habits and saturation occurs within the industry, it’s critical to have a network of affiliate partners to help push your brand’s message (and promotions) to that audience. It’s like having an army of modern day door-to-door promoters pounding the concrete for you.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF WORKING WITH ACCELERATION PARTNERS?
The team at Acceleration Partners has done a tremendous job of moving our affiliate program from good to great. They continuously bring opportunities to our attention and creatively work through some of the inherent challenges of marketing our type of business.
They also offer a degree of personalization unlike anything we’ve experienced. It’s rare to go more than a handful of days without hearing from them in some capacity. They consistently promote transparency into their efforts to drive the business forward.
WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT THE AFFILIATE MARKETING MODEL?
The sheer volume of affiliates that are not just active, but contribute significantly to performance is astounding. Similarly, the overall sales contribution has exceeded expectations; each month the program improves and is one of the healthiest sales channels in our business.
You can learn more about KEH Camera and our other innovative clients on the Clients page of our website.