It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the release of Performance Partnerships, an industry-leading book written by Acceleration Partners’ founder and CEO, Robert Glazer.
Since launching a year ago today, over 10,000 copies of Performance Partnerships: The Checkered Past, Changing Present and Exciting Future of Affiliate Marketing have been distributed globally. It’s also become a global bestseller in marketing and a recommend read by Entrepreneur, Forbes and Huffington Post, among many others.
Performance Partnerships is the first book to take a deep-dive into the affiliate marketing industry and tell the story of its past, present and future. Not only does Performance Partnerships air some of the industry’s dirty laundry, it’s the only book in existence that provides insight into how the industry can learn from those mistakes and come together to make Performance Partnerships® the go-to model to grow and scale performance marketing over the next five to ten years.
In honor of Performance Partnerships one-year launch, I chased down Robert Glazer during his crazy conference travel schedule and asked him a few questions about the book.
What inspired/motivated you to take on the challenge of writing this book?
I always felt that the industry was misunderstood and that people really weren’t seeing the tremendous advantages of performance-based marketing. A lot of this this was because the term “affiliate marketing” had some negative connotations.
Also, many companies had poor experiences in their first go-round with affiliate marketing. However, that had more to do with the people/agency they chose to run their programmes, their misaligned incentives and neglectful fiduciary relationships than with the model itself.
One of the most consistent messages I receive from clients, partners and industry veterans alike is that they want more focus on actual performance. Not perceived performance – but trackable, attributable performance.
They want to get back to the original promise offered by performance marketing two decades ago, which is that they only pay for marketing when an agreed-upon outcome has been realised. And they want that done with high-value, reputable partners who engage in transparent behaviuor and be able to manage the relationship within a framework that’s scalable and efficient.
That may sound like a big ask, but that’s exactly what the Performance Partnerships® framework does. It includes everything that people want in their affiliate relationships and excludes everything undesirable, opaque, unscrupulous, disreputable and overly time-consuming.
I also felt some frustration about not really being able to clearly explain how our agency’s approach to affiliate programme management is drastically different from the “affiliate marketing” that many have come to know. I saw the book as a chance to elevate the industry in the eyes of marketing leaders.
What has surprised you the most since the book launched?
A few things:
The international appeal. Copies have been sold in over 15 countries and we’re seeing a lot of interest in Asia and India
Another is that many of the anticipated changes to the industry that I talked about in the Gen 3 section are happening even faster than expected, including the growth of SaaS programs, global programme expansion and industry consolidation. On the service side in particular, people are realising the importance of scale and having a robust affiliate practice. With all that in mind, I think we are about to see a big wave of mergers and acquisitions.
I’ve also been surprised by how the book has been embraced as a training resource. I have heard from networks, publishers and even other agencies that that they are using the book as part of their new hire training.
If you were writing Performance Partnerships today, what would you have included that you didn’t?
Three things in particular:
- The rise of new types of subscription services – providers of everything from cars and clothes to food and bikes who are embracing the model.
- Case studies around global programmes. Today, there are more case studies around the types of global programmes that I suggested would evolve, so I’d have included those.
- I would also have looked at how blockchain might change the industry in the next 5-10 years.
Three reasons someone should read Performance Partnerships
- For those who had that negative first experience, it candidly addresses how the affiliate industry got some of its bad rap and how to avoid the same mistakes.
- It explains how companies in every vertical or industry can realise better value, returns and transparency from their marketing partnerships, and do so at scale.
- It’s a guide for how to develop and successfully run a next gen affiliate marketing programme. Although it explains where this marketing model is today and how the world’s leading companies are leveraging it in their marketing, it also looks at what’s ahead for marketing and partnerships. I think readers will be surprised by how many of the predictions I made in 2017 have come / are coming true.
Haven’t read Performance Partnerships? You can get your very own copy at https://www.accelerationpartners.com/performance-partnerships/.