ASW2K10 Brief

Just a couple weeks ago I attended Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas with my colleagues.  Although it was a lot of work manning the Ads4Dough booth for 3 days straight, we had a great time attending the socials and parties.

I arrived in Vegas Saturday afternoon.  That evening I met up with one of my publishers for drinks at the Palms.  Later, another pub picked me up with a limo and took me to the Luxor, where we enjoyed VIP status at LAX nightclub, complete with table/bottle service.  Sunday night I attended an exclusive private party with A4D colleagues and clients.  Monday night was the Tracking202/Bloosky party, followed by the Mundo Media party.  After Mundo about 30 of us took a party bus over to the Encore/Wynn to hit up XS.  At XS, pretty much all of the tables were occupied by industry people, and I spent most of my time there at the Pinnacle Dream booth. Around 5-6 AM, about 8 of us took a limo to some random restaurant to grub.  I didn’t get back to my room at the Palms until around 8 AM.  I attempted but failed at sleeping from 8-9 due to massive Redbull/Vodka intake throughout the night.

I think I’ll be taking a break from alcohol (joining the likes of Bryn Youngblut, et al) for a while 🙂

A4D Booth

At the Mundo Media party (Mon night)

At XS (Mon night)

The Pope and Social Media

Every month, the Pope (Benedict XVI) shares his official prayer intention for the month and urges people throughout the world to unite in prayer for those intentions.  I thought this month’s intention was one I should share because of its relevance to our industry, and regardless of your religious beliefs, it is something to think about.  For me, it helped put a few things in perspective.

The intention for January 2010 reads as follows: “That young people may learn to use social communication media for their personal growth and in preparation to serve society.”

In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, I think that this intention could not have been more timely.  As the news of the disaster spread, so did information on how to donate $ online and through a text on your cell phone.. This is what technology in 2010 has brought us – an ever expanding network of interactive connections to real people. With the fundamental desire of every human to communicate and share with others the search for truth, unity, and goodness, social media can be a great tool that allows us to connect with others to form ideas, build relationships, and work towards common goals.

In terms of affiliate marketing, this message puts a driving force behind our work. Although our industry doesn’t have the best reputation, there are many campaigns that are beneficial to society. Competitive advertising allows consumers to receive products at a lower rate/price (such as insurance, for example) and many dating websites that affiliates promote worldwide encourage relationships that can lead to marriage and families – the fundamental unit of society that it is the basis of all civilizations.  If I remember correctly, a single site like eHarmony is responsible for over 2% of marriages in the US – this is just one example.

As I progress in the industry, I hope my work can reflect the positive message that the Pope has highlighted this month.

ASW Event/Party List

If you’re attending ASW this weekend in Las Vegas, you’re going to want to attend as many events/parties as possible.  This is really where you get to socialize and meet other affiliates and industry players.  The first thing you should do when you get to the meet market/exhibit hall is try to get invites to all the big parties.   Here is a list of some of the events I’ve heard about:

Saturday 1/16/10

Purpose Inc Poker Tourney
Location: Rio
Time: 9:00pm Party at Rain Club
Location: Palms
Time: 10:00pm Party at Rain Clib
Time: ?
Place: Palms

Sunday 1/17/10

Ads4Dough Private Party
Time: 8PM

ShareASale Karaoke Party
Location: Rio Hotel, Miranda
Time: 8:00pm-12:00am

Social Advertising Party
Location: Suite 22001, the Rio Hotel
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Adknowledge Mixer
Location: Moon Nightclub inside the Palms
Time: 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Double Play Media Party
Location: Hardwood Suite @ The Palms
Time: 8pm

Copeac Party
Location: Tryst/XS
Time: 8pm-12am

Nikycakes Party/POF/Neverblue/
Location: ?
Time: ?

Monday 1/18/10

FanDuel Party
Location: ESPNZone at New York New York
Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm

Tracking202 Party
Time: 6:00 – 9:00PM
Location: Fantasy Tower, 2nd Floor, Palms

Trivia Tweetup
Location: Miranda 1&3 and Miranda Patio
Time: 9:30pm – midnight
Location: McFadden’s Irish Pub at the Rio

Clickbooth Party
Location: Caesar’s Palace
Time: 10:00pm

Vegas Internet Party
Location: The Rock House Bar on the Strip
Time: 6pm to 10pm

MundoMedia Party
Location: Palms Fantasy Suite
Time: TBD

Feed Front Magazine

If you’ve been to affiliate summit, you get this magazine for free every few months.  The newest issue just came out and there are some decent articles.  If you are an affiliate marketer and don’t already get this magazine, you can get a free subscription here or see the paperless online version here.   I admit I don’t read all of the articles in this magazine, but there are some good articles and it’s also a good source for industry news, etc.

Merchant Madness

In case you haven’t heard, merchants have made news recently by pulling out of the continuity/re-bill space (free trial offers).  Basically what is happening is that credit card merchants are getting tons of complaints from the consumers who are signing up for these free trial offers (about 1-2%).  This is resulting in thousands of dissatisfied customers who are calling in to complain that their CC got charged $89 for the free $1.99 free diet pill trial they signed up for 2 weeks ago.  The merchants are getting tired of the high chargeback ratio (1-2% is considered high), and they feel that their brand name is being tarnished by doing business with such “shady” companies.

The fact of the matter is is that if the advertisers are losing their merchant accounts, they won’t be able to pay the affiliate networks for all leads generated in the last 15 days (the time of the trial period for many offers).   At the same time, affiliate networks are paying out the biggest affiliates on a weekly basis, while only getting paid every 3-4 weeks from the advertiser.  So the biggest loser here is really the affiliate networks, since they are floating massive amounts of cash, and may not get paid from the advertisers who aren’t going to be able to rebill the customers who signed up in the last couple weeks.  It’s one big mess.

Affiliates are feeling the pain, too.  Since networks are setting low caps (or pausing offers outright), publishers are losing access to offers and their campaigns are slowing to a halt.

Only time will tell what will happen in the coming weeks.