In a week after the Affiliate Summit, I had a chance to summarize the feedback from the pre-launch of our new marketing service methodology. Many thanks to everyone who reviewed our presentations, checklists, and software demos, contributed their input and provided their support. Without much ado here are a few thoughts.

General Feedback on Our Process

Virtually everyone who had a chance to sit down for an in-depth review of our methodology walked away impressed. The logic of organizing your entire marketing operation around an explicitly documented Customer Journey Map is undeniable once you have invested time in learning it and comparing it with alternatives.

A few folks commented that they already use some form of this planning internally, even if not as finely structured. Others stated that this is where they would like to go.

The key questions for those, of course, were the project timeframes, funding and whether they want to do it themselves vs. get it done for them or learning to build expertise in-house.

What Went Well

Again, our marketing methodology was validated by those who invested time in reviewing it. Quite a few people asked how fast they could get started. The reception was universally positive across industries and market niches. Especially among the people who dabbled in Facebook advertising enough to grasp its complexity and understand the limits of their expertise.

The face-to-face presentations addressed virtually every question that came up. The natural transition between general introduction to review of checklists to the software automation demo highlighted the consistency of our process. The story really gelled through repeated re-telling.

What Needs Improvement

A key learning was that our written copy does not yet do an equally good job at presenting the value proposition. In fact, the same core process has somewhat different value propositions for different segments of our target market. The specific benefits need to be explained and communicated clearer.

Certain words tripped up some of the folks we talked to. I got pushback on the idea that our process is applicable to any business. Some misunderstood it as applicable to either “just n00bs” or “just pros”. Quite a few people took my meeting just to pitch their CPA offers, despite being advised that this isn’t our focus and they are unlikely to pass our very stringent criteria for projects we may consider on the performance-only basis.

Customer Journey Mastery vs. Affiliate Marketing

Pre-launching our marketing service methodology at an Affiliate Marketing show highlighted some really interesting and important issues. Affiliate Summit attracts some of the smartest marketers and advertisers, but too many don’t want to market themselves and just rely on affiliates to do it for them.

Doesn’t it seem nice? You create an offer, post a payout of $X/lead, find some affiliates and they send you traffic! Then it turns out that lots of your leads are junk. They don’t convert into sales as well as you like. And you don’t really know what your affiliates have been doing! If you pay per lead, your affiliates will do everything they can to generate the most leads at the lowest cost, NOT help you find the best and most profitable customers! Instead, you’ll get a flood of people enticed to fill out your form by one gimmick or another. Is that what you really want?

Is this what your Affiliates are sending you?

Don’t get me wrong, Affiliate Marketing could be a useful channel if managed properly. But you are not going to take full advantage of what modern ad platforms like Facebook are offering if you just create a CPA offer and toss it over to publishers! Instead, implement a process that brings insight about your best customers to the very beginning of your customer journey. And of course, consider if it may be easier to have experts do it for you.

What Is Next

We are pumped to deliver on our promises!

First and foremost is supporting the current and future clients – we still have quite a bit of follow up after the show.

Next, is publishing more materials explaining our process on this blog, and revising our messaging based on feedback.

Then, creating specific value propositions and offers for select market segments.

And of course, continued revision and improvement of our software along the way.

Onwards and Upwards!

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Dmitriy Kruglyak

President at TargetChoice LLC
Data Geek. Process Fanatic. Growth Hacker

Making Advertising Profitable for Businesses

Building Marketing Tech since 1998
Dmitriy Kruglyak
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