I believe one of the biggest stories that’s abuzz right now in the network is the acquisition of PartnerCentric by Schaaf Consulting, one of the industry’s leading affiliate program management firms. The consolidation creates one of the largest outsourced program management (OPM) companies in the industry, and will be known as Schaaf-PartnerCentric, headquartered in Los Angeles. OPM’s provide consulting services which help merchants start and run their affiliate programs. The new company will be headed by Brook Schaaf, CEO of Schaaf Consulting, and PartnerCentric founder and president Linda Woods will remain on board as a strategic advisor. The combined entity will manage programs for clients which include eBay, Quicken Loans, Constant contact and 21st Century Auto Insurance, and will create an OPM that edges near affiliate marketing supremacy. Get the full story HERE.
In other news- well back in March- Hydra decided upon a huge optimization strategy which included the elimination of the accounts of over 15,000 publishers. Hydra is a leading performance based digital ad platform which drives new sales, leads, and ad arrangments on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis. The account eliminations came after the introduction of Hydra’s latest membership guidelines, as they are attempting to move towards a higher quality, more exclusive, invitation-only network. The move has decreased the network’s base of active publishers from 17,000 to under 2,000 marketing partners. Get the full story HERE.
I know you didn’t ask for change, but here’s my two cents. This is a great move on Hydra’s part, and it’s really gonna pay off in the long run; not only monetarily but in quality points as well. It allows them to deal with only the best performing, highest quality affiliates, and eliminate the riff-raff that reduces quality and distracts valuable resources. They will now have the opportunity to focus on and attract only the dominant brand advertisers, and separate themselves from ad network pusher-men selling the useless BS you see on every infomercial. This reminds me of an example given by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, in their book Rework: In the reality show Kitchen Nightmares, chef Gordon Ramsay is brought on board at failing restaurants to optimize and improve business. In almost every case his first step is to shave the menu, usually trimming it down to as little as 1/3 of what it initially was. He does this because many restaurant owners believe that offering tons of different dishes broadens appeal, when in reality, it makes for lousy food and additional headaches. Trim it down and polish what’s left. This is exactly what Hydra has done. Rework, btw, is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone, especially business savvy individuals.
Now in this case Hydra may have gotten a little trigger-happy in picking off publishers, but for all you whiners who are feeling left out because you were declined or you didn’t get an invitation to a high quality affiliation, get over it. Consider it constructive criticism or an opportunity in disguise. An opportunity for you to rethink your product or service and improve it based on what’s good for the industry as well as the audience you’re trying to reach. And if you want to be stubborn in the mind set that what you have is good enough, and you’re not worried about what a snobby network- that is a leader in its industry mind you- thinks, then chances are you won’t get far with anyone.
Until next time.