This year, the TUNE Product Team had the opportunity to attend Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas, and wow, what an event! 15 years of marketing experience could not prepare me for the excitement and tenacity of ASW.
For a fantastic overview of the conference and the Vegas experience, click over to Dan’s Ultimate Guide to the Affiliate Summit West 2023 Recap.
Attending a conference like Affiliate Summit usually provides two main opportunities from a product perspective: to gain industry insight and to validate ideas.
For someone relatively new to performance marketing, I have quickly learned that this industry is like no other. As a result, I knew going into ASW that any insight I gained would be invaluable, and that quickly proved to be correct.
#ASW23 Product Team Takeaways
Comparing Affiliate Summit West to other marketing conferences, I noticed a significant difference in behavior. Most conferences feature attendees sitting in sessions all day with a few short breaks in between sessions to mingle. Not ASW! Everyone is networking and engaged in conversation 24/7 inside and outside of the conference walls. The networking does not stop. The Meet Market was at capacity for six hours straight and spilled into the city late into the night. The next day we did it all over again between the Exhibit Hall and TUNE’s Topgolf event.
While this is an interesting observation on the surface, there is a much deeper realization to be had from a product perspective. In many ways, this conference anomaly perfectly summarizes the essence of the affiliate marketing space, and that’s relationship building. Whether you are on the affiliate end or the brand end of the spectrum, the need to connect with new people is the lifeblood of any successful program.
How does that translate into building great products? Knowing that relationship building is the nucleus of the performance marketing world, it becomes the product team’s charge to ensure that the TUNE platform is facilitating those relationships across the entirety of our users’ journey. From surfacing opportunities in-app through tools like TUNE Connect, to ensuring the day-to-day tasks of managing a program are as frictionless as possible.
We had a good sense going into ASW that building relationships is core to performance marketing, but how can we validate those assumptions and make sure we are building the right features to support that hypothesis?
The product team at TUNE has spent the last several months researching and envisioning what the future holds for our product. 2023 will be focused heavily on the affiliate partner experience and how we can better empower them (and the brands they are working with), building on the product updates and features we released in 2022.
Thanks to the TUNE Partnerships Team, we had access to some of the biggest partners in the industry. Speaking and sharing with them validated our initial plans for 2023, and they were excited to hear more! We are constantly speaking with partners and brands in virtual space, but there is something extra special about getting to talk face-to-face. I’m glad that ASW was able to be the catalyst for those meetings.
In the end, the product team was able to learn a lot about the unique world of affiliate marketing and we validated one of the most important tenets of the industry. It’s all about building quality relationships!
Learn how to master relationship management in your own affiliate program with TUNE’s most popular e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Partner Marketing.
Cale is a Senior Product Manager for TUNE and is focused on creating the best experience possible for TUNE users. Prior to TUNE, Cale worked in the email marketing space for 8 years, building tools to help marketers better connect with their audience. Cale has a background in design earning a BFA from the University of Tennessee.