Why Partnerships Are The Future Of Marketing
In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Bob Glazer. Bob is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Acceleration Partners, a global partner marketing agency. He is also the Co-founder and Chairman of BrandCycle. He has a new book out called — Moving to Outcomes: Why Partnerships are the Future of Marketing.
Marketers today have a choice. They can keep doubling down on advertising with the digital goliaths of today or begin to diversify and invest in other marketing channels, with an eye toward the future. In this episode, I talk with the Founder and Chairman of Acceleration Partners, Bob Glazer, about why diversifying your marketing strategy with other channels — like partnerships — is the way of the future.
Questions I ask Bob Glazer:
- [1:13] How would you define partnerships, and what are you offering new in the area of partnerships in this book?
- [3:29] Would you say there are different levels of partnerships?
- [5:44] Would you say this is potentially a complete point of view shift for a lot of marketers?
- [6:59] Do you have a limited range of who this methodology could work for or is this something that everyone should be doing?
- [9:14] How do I find partners?
- [12:58] Is there an example case on finding partners that you’d like to go through with us?
- [15:43] How would somebody who is listening to this get started?
- [17:43] What are some of the platforms that people would likely encounter?
- [18:31[ Have you seen examples of service companies doing this? For example, how would a company like yours create a partner?
- [21:32] Where they can find out more about Acceleration Partners as well as pick up a copy of Moving Outcomes?
More About Bob Glazer:
- His new book — Moving to Outcomes: Why Partnerships are the Future of Marketing
- His company — AccelerationPartners.com
More About Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network:
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John Jantsch (00:01): This episode of the duct tape marketing podcast is brought to you by the salesman podcast, hosted by Will Barron and brought to you by the HubSpot podcast network. Look, if you work in sales, wanna learn how to sell, and frankly who doesn't check out the sales podcast, where host will Barron helps sales professionals learn how to buyers and win big business ineffective and ethical ways. And if you wanna start someplace, I recommend the four step process to influencing buying decisions. Listen to the salesman podcast, wherever you get your podcast.
John Jantsch (00:44): Hello, and welcome to another episode of the duct tape marketing podcast. This is John Jantsch and my guest today is Bob Glazer. He's the founder and chairman of the board of global partner marketing agency, acceleration partners. He's also the co-founder and chairman of brand cycle. He's been a guest on this show for previous books, but today we're gonna talk about as newest book moving to outcomes. Why partnerships are the future of marketing? So Bob, welcome back,
Bob Glazer (01:12): John. Thanks for having me.
John Jantsch (01:13): So you've written a book called performance partnerships, as I recall. So let's define, well, let's do two things. Let's define partnerships in your view because there's a lot of definitions. And then also, you know, what are you offering new in the area of partnerships in this book?
Bob Glazer (01:29): Well, I just retitled it figured it'd been a while and, and, and released it. So yeah, I, there there's some confusion around these terms, partner, marketing partnership, marketing affiliate market, and you have influencer and B2B. I, I think there is this convert urgents where affiliate marketing was a model that used technology to, to work with partners at scale. I think it became known as like a certain type of partner set who were like professional affiliates. And then as the technology kind of became available more to, you know, to own than, than, than to rent people started to look around their organization and say, oh, there are other things they weren't using their affiliate network for business development partnerships and closely held partnerships because it, it just the economic model of paying, you know, couple percent of revenue or 20 or 30% of sale, or sort of sending people off to a third party site didn't feel right for that. So there was always the affiliate program and then all this other and business development, I think now it's all coming under one roof under one platform. So I just consider affiliate marketing, part of this greater ecosystem of partnership marketing now, which includes influencer and B2B and aspects of business development. What makes it scalable and more of a marketing channel is that it's managed using software.
John Jantsch (02:44): The partnership, of course, for a lot of people at least implies some sort of affinity. I mean, we are truly in business together, whereas yeah, I think a lot of affiliate thing was like, I don't care. You say you'll pay me 10 bucks. Sure. I'll promote. Yeah.
Bob Glazer (02:55): I agree with you. I don't like the word for that reason. In fact, you know, we have an event every year for outside of global pandemics for like the top 20 programs in the world, the people that are running them sort of like a mastermind. And that was one of the things like when they say, look, I need this for an affiliate versus I need these things for a partner affiliate just implies a loose connotation. And that's probably how things were 20 years ago. It was like, don't ask, don't tell, right? Yeah. You get me the sale. I have no right to ask you how you got it. That was before companies with brand departments got involved with eCommerce.
John Jantsch (03:30): So is there, would we create that distinction as two levels of partnership? I mean, so like, could you, could you make a case for people saying, well, yeah, we it's okay to have that low level top of the funnel maybe kind of affiliate thing, but then for a deeper relationship on a, maybe a higher ticket sale, we need something different.
Bob Glazer (03:48): Yeah. I mean, I, I think it's generally good to know like what it is that people are doing to your brand and how sure they're doing it. You know, McDonald's has a franchisee, like, it's not like, Hey, well just open that store wherever you want it and serve of whatever you want. Right. It's very control. And I, I consider this sort of a, a franchise thing, but I think you can have different types of partners that have different levels of engagement otherwise. But again, if you put them all on the same software platform and you start doing that with people, that stuff that was going through business development, or otherwise you start to have a lot more data around what's, what's converting, what's doing well, partners find out how they're doing in, in, in real time too. And all the, all you don't need blockchain for this, but you know, a lot of the pro all the contracting and payment and everything is all handled sort of in real time too.
John Jantsch (04:36): So in some ways the idea of moving to outcomes, which is of course the, the primary title of the book is that sort of juxtaposed to say, advertising or sponsorships, that you hope you get outcomes, that this model is performance.
Bob Glazer (04:50): It's two things, right? So the biggest thing that's changed since performance partnerships came out for years ago is, you know, continued to see direct to consumer companies shift from and to performance budget. So, so what I don't understand, and, you know, we've got our little clever graph here of, you know, jumping over all the hurdles. Yeah. But is if we're measuring all this stuff and we're tracking it and all this stuff, why are we still paying for inputs? Why are we paying for impressions? Why are we paying for clicks? Like, why are we paying for, you know, other things that are not the old outcome that we want when we have the ability to do that. And I think as budgets continue to move, you know, as Gillette goes from, you know, spending money on billboards to getting people to its subscription razor club, uh, I, I think they start to be, there's a lot more budget available for channels that prove the right outcomes than just the inputs
John Jantsch (05:42): Is, is as opposed to just another channel. Would you say this is potentially a complete point of view shift for a lot of marketers?
Bob Glazer (05:50): Yeah. Like it's a methodology more than a channel, right. So when I'm buying from Facebook, Amazon, Google, which is like 60 to 70% of the market that people do today, I am buying single source of traffic, right? Yeah. That, that stops work. They are the partner and the supplier are all in one. If I can build a partner program using software with a thousand different partners, with a thousand different tactics, I, I have inherently a, a diversified portfolio. It's also not something. I mean, you know, we talk about the, the Tripoly where that, like, it's the world's biggest auction. We talk about that in the book. It is a real time auction and auctions benefit sellers. If you read all kinds of auction theory and data, and someone did a study, we talk about in the book that the stuff on the auction side of eBay, the same product, we're going for 70% more than on the fixed price side. So you know that you can't come into a partner program and just outspend someone in a day. I mean, eventually you can, but it it's kind of like SEO versus PPC, right? One pour the money into gratification, the other, you do the work and you build a moat and you kind of collect results.
John Jantsch (06:59): So I think there are a lot of businesses out there that instantly say, yeah, this is for me, this makes sense for my business model, but I, I'm sort of guessing that you're saying, no, everybody needs to do this. This will work for any kind of business. I mean, so is this expanded, do you have a limited range of who this expanded version works for? Or do you think that this just every business now?
Bob Glazer (07:19): I, I, I think it's, every business needs to add the sort of activity to their portfolio. I, I think about it like stocks, right? And you know, if, if, if you own Tesla, apple, any of these things over the last decade, you made a lot of money. Chances are, you won't make as much money open in those stocks over the next decade as finding the next blockchain company or crypto or someone who's gonna, you know, 10 X, I, I think the large digital marketing channels are now bonds. Like they're gonna produce a very low, predictable, not a great return, may not even, you know, beat inflation. And, and, and you're gonna have to find something else that, that, that is your sort of growth engine in stock. So you look, this is much easier for some businesses, but I think all businesses should be thinking more about how they can use technology to, to scale partnerships. Now they can be, there are tons of hundreds of thousands of different ones that they can do, but you know, the amount of CEOs I've talked to who in the last five years built their business on a Tripoly or on social media or whatever, and say they could not possibly do that today. That the economics just aren't the same as they were five years ago.
John Jantsch (08:26): Uh, that's true. I mean, you think of a lot of marketers, there are a lot of, uh, influencers, you know, that jumped on Twitter early. You know that, I mean, jumping on Twitter or starting a blog today is not what it was 15 years ago. And no,
Bob Glazer (08:38): Everyone I know is I everyone's podcast. Maybe, you know, except for yours are all on hiatus. Now, everyone jumped in late thought it was gonna be super easy and, you know, they reach out or they schedule something and they're on break or on hiatus, you know, look first, first mover advantage. But, but this is like a, the thing about affiliate or partnership has always been cool is that there's always new publishers every year. Like there that's the new within the, even if you have a program, but you have the same publishers for 20 years, you're missing out on, who's doing cool, new, innovative stuff with who has influence that you, you know, wanna partner with em.
John Jantsch (09:11): So you led right to my next question, which was gonna be, how do I find partners? Or before you answer that, is that the first step
Bob Glazer (09:19): There, there are probably a few first steps. I mean, if you're gonna build a new program, you wanna pick the platform, you wanna figure out how you're gonna staff it, which we talk about in the book, which is, is a challenge. But look, recruiting's a life, but of any program, the way a lot of people have operated their program is inbound only, right? A if you had a sales team that just sat around, waited to see who called them, like that's not gonna be a high performing sales team. So, you know, to have a robust program, you need people who are, are recruiting and know where to look and are constantly calling and finding new partners. You know, the programs that we see, they high performing are reaching out to hundreds of people a month, you know, and they it's like a sales funnel. They might get 10 that are really interested and then five that convert and become, and then, then they move on to the next thing.
Bob Glazer (10:01): So yeah, the there's, you know, the tech, the, how you staff the team, you know, whether you're gonna spend a fit of your, these programs have been largely overlooked too. The other thing is, I, I mean the amount of times that we get introduced to someone who's managing the channel, who's never, or been in the channel before, to me is fascinating. Like you don't usually get introduced to, Hey, here's John, our new paid search manager. And just so you know, he, he has not done paid search anymore, but he's excited to figure it out. Like that happens in this channel every day. Cause there isn't a barometer of talent. There isn't a Google certification. There isn't a lot of that stuff. There's a lot more demand than supply right now.
John Jantsch (10:42): So you mentioned a word spend. I mean, so that, I mean, that's obviously a piece of, this is if you're gonna look at this as a channel and a platform, and obviously there might be some tech, I mean, it's a budget item, isn't it? It's not just, we pay for performance.
Bob Glazer (10:56): Yeah, it, it is. And one of the tricks is that, I mean, we try to argue that it should be a budget list item. And I say that a little tongue in cheek, but it, you know, the way most teams work is they set up budget for the quarter. If one channel's under over it, borrows, begs and steals from the other channel to try to get the number. And then they revisit the next quarter. You know, this is again, sales. Like you, you have a budget for commissions, but if your sales team doubles the performance, you don't say we're out of the budget for commissions. Like that's crazy. You say like great for every dollar we're selling, it's costing us five. So, you know, there needs to be a new discussion with the finance team around looking at quality, you know, making sure there's not fraud, but saying, look, as long as we are getting what we want.
Bob Glazer (11:37): And we just decided that we're willing to pay 7 cents on the dollar or, you know, we should spend 7 cents on the dollar or 7 million on a hundred million. It, it really shouldn't matter. So it has been hard for a lot of teams to, uh, I just seen some really poor decisions, particularly around Q3 or Q4 where people shut down their program. Cause they ran out of budget. Yeah. And that's like firing your sales team because you're outta commission and saying, Hey, well you guys can't make any money into this quarter, but just stay around and you'll make money with us next quarter. Like there would never fly. Right.
John Jantsch (12:11): Right, right. Right. And now let's hear from our sponsor. Look, if you're tired of slowing down your teams with clunky software processes and marketing that is difficult to scale, HubSpot is here to help you and your business grow better with collaboration tools and built in SEO optimizations. A HubSpot CRM platform is tailor made to help you scale your marketing with ease, integrated calendars, tasks, and commenting, help hybrid teams stay connected while automated SEO recommendations, intuitively optimize your webpage content for increased organic traffic ditch the difficult and dial up your marketing with tools that are easy to use and easy to scale learn how your business can grow better @ hubspot.com. So, so let's go back to that and maybe it's best done through an example, but we never really fully touched on it. How do you find good partners do, is there an example, um, case that you'd like to maybe run through with us that you've worked with or that that was in the book that can kinda says, Hey, here's what they did. Here's how it worked. Here's how they went about it.
Bob Glazer (13:18): Yeah. There was a, a case in the book around, again, thinking outside about working with Valpak on a performance basis to get to small businesses and, you know, using them and having them use their reach and paying them on a conversion basis for getting people to sign for a food delivery program. So again, looks more like a traditional business development deal, but executed across using the tools and technology and sort of, you know, outreach of a partner marketing campaign.
John Jantsch (13:49): Was that a new initiative or a new innovation from Valpak or is that actually a, an off to shelf product? Did they? Yeah,
Bob Glazer (13:56): No, I, I, you know, I, that, I don't know, it was our team reaching out and saying, Hey, how could we work together with, uh, this food delivery service? You know, you have reached into these things. We have budget to spend on this. I, I, I think, yeah, one, you know, on the flip side of the coin, there are a lot of people out there, you know, who even are retailers looking to be publishers saying, Hey, how else can I make money? Look, you just bought, you know, something from my baby store. And then I show you four baby subscription services afterwards for which I get, you know, 30% of the first year revenue, if you sign up for them. What's interesting is cuz obviously a lot of folks, we deal on the marketing. They're not normally the task with generating revenue, but we're like, Hey, if you put this in and you make money, you could take that money and then increase your budget for your own acquisition. And then they're a lot more interesting.
John Jantsch (14:46): So let's talk about mistakes that people make. I I'll share one that drives me crazy is, you know, you go and you make a, I FTD, I, I ordered some flowers off the FTD site recently and before I could actually get off of the site, you know, they offered me eight other things that were unrelated to my purchase. And it just felt like they were craming crap down my throat.
Bob Glazer (15:08): Yeah. That
John Jantsch (15:11): Is that an example of how not to do it.
Bob Glazer (15:13): Yeah. I mean, you want it to be relevant. You want it to be helpful, be much better if you were buying a ticket to Seattle and the post purchase it, preloaded concerts in Seattle restaurant reservations in Seattle hotels in Seattle where you're like, oh, this is all the stuff I wanted to do anyway. They've helped me with that. So yeah, to me, that's just more of, you know, the USF good. That's like the interruption marketing stuff and just like how many swings can we take at it? And they're probably paid for impression. I mean that stuff doesn't no one likes that stuff. Yeah. Let's be honest.
John Jantsch (15:44): Yeah. So, so how, how would somebody's listening to this? They're thinking I'm gonna go pick up a Bob's book. I mean, how would they get started? I know it's impossible to answer cuz every business is different, but essentially how would somebody go about, you know, initiating something like this?
Bob Glazer (16:00): Not, not to be self promotional, but look, the reason why a lot of agencies like acceleration partners exist is cuz people want to do this, but they don't know how to do it. Generally, if you have no idea how to do something, I find it's better to talk to someone and add it before. So whether you're recruiting someone to help launch a program in house, I, the thing to do of saying, we wanna do this, let's pull someone off our display team. Who've never done this before. We're not amended here. So let's figure it out ourselves. Like, I don't know that's you never wanna make mistakes on your own. So I mean, there's a big industry of agencies. That's special. I, as in this, they work with all the platforms. It's not necessarily outsourcing. They might work with the in-house team, but handle a lot of the externally facing aspects of the program, including how to use that software recruiting to people like getting them their there's almost a customer service function. If you have a program with a thousand partners in it and it's cyber week. Yeah. They need stuff and have requests on Saturday and Sunday and weekend. Most companies aren't staffed to really support that. So I, I, I look, there's some great in-house teams or people do stuff in house. Generally, if you have no experience in something, I think it's good to find someone who does.
John Jantsch (17:08): Yeah. I, I guess in some ways, would you say that not apples to apples, but in some ways this is like a sales force. How are you gonna support this sales force? Right?
Bob Glazer (17:18): Yeah. We're like systems integrators too. We're experts in these platforms. People on our team know how to use these platforms. If you've never used them before again, you can learn how to use it. But from the company's standpoint, your digital marketing jobs, they high turnover, 18 months is a career these days. So you get some one who knows the software, learns it, trained up, builds relationships. They leave in 18 months. Then you're kind of like starting over from zero again.
John Jantsch (17:43): What are some of the platforms that, that people would probably encounter?
Bob Glazer (17:48): Yeah. So like on the network side, you'd have the Eun CJ Rockton, a more traditional, a smaller side share sale in the SaaS play. That's growing, you've got impact partner eyes, uh, partner stack. And there's a whole host of ones in the B2B space. So there's been kind of explosion in the software that allows you to track, measure and pay in the partnership arena with some, you know, better in some verticals or countries or regions or stuff than others. But you know, one of the main thing, you know, paying out people in a hundred countries or something is not trivial. So the large global companies that have figured out how to do that. Yeah. You can just have your program globally and people can join from wherever in the world and your account team and finance team does not have to deal with that.
John Jantsch (18:31): Have you seen examples of service companies that may not, I mean, use you, for example, how would a company like yours acceleration partners create a partner?
Bob Glazer (18:40): Yeah. You know, we just did cuz the cobblers had no shoes. So we went to look like for an example, we went to like a lot of people that we know like other agencies, right. Publishers who see a lot of programs and they struggle and we're like, look, if you're trying to work with a program and the management sucks or they don't have any management, like, Hey, you can use this link, send it to us, we'll track it. And you know, we'd love to pay you for that. So yeah, it could be used really in any context. And the technology now can track through Salesforce in addition to tracking through a cart, that's where some of the more B2B stuff comes, you know, it'd always usually be add to be through a cart. Cause I had to know you bought something. Right. But now I can send that into your Salesforce instance, attracts it when someone on your team closes in Salesforce that says, Hey, that was Bob's, you know, lead, you know, we owe
John Jantsch (19:25): Him something. Yeah. So it's a, a pipeline deal at that point almost so. Yeah. But I think the point of that really is I do think a lot of people, when they think of affiliate, they think of, you know, build a landing page, have an affiliate sign up, you know, kind of thing. Yeah. But I think in this it's all old.
Bob Glazer (19:40): Yeah. Overall when, when all the, the, when the affiliates were just professional marketers yeah. Versus they were like people who have access to the audience that you want. Right. Right. So imagine like a, just an it shop and people are always asking about, they kind of the reseller stuff they're always asking about, you know, Google apps or this, or otherwise they just say, Hey, here's how you sign up. You send it here, you use our code, it's all tracked. And, and then, you know, instead of being like a traditional kind of reseller partner, it's just, it, the whole thing is more automated.
John Jantsch (20:10): But I love that idea of the, of going into your CRM though, because it, then it becomes more of a true sort of curated network, you know, as opposed to just, Hey, you know, all comers. And I think that there are a lot of companies out there that haven't considered it because that's their view. I think of partnership marketing.
Bob Glazer (20:28): Yeah. Again, marketers standing up landing pages verified to told you, you know, that Craigslist was a massive publisher and you know, yeah. Years ago, like when we were working with a ride share service, you know, we did a deal with job boards where they'd say, Hey, one set of a job. Do you wanna ride for Uber? And they'd make a fair amount of money when a driver signed up. Right. I think that's a very different, yeah. And that's where partnership marketing is very different than what people remember as their sort of father's affiliate marketing.
John Jantsch (20:56): Yeah. Yeah. ClickBank comes to mind, for example. Yes. Um, as one of the early players in that,
Bob Glazer (21:02): A lot of this ACI E Barry and all this stuff, look it, if you're talking about stuff, that's five to 10% margin, you know, then that's pretty normal. The stuff where people were paying 50% affiliate commissions would imply that like it's a junkie product. That's being Mar like it's a cream that's being sold, you know, a $5 cream being sold for $50 a month. So they had that much margin to play with, like when someone's paying you a 6% commission that would imply like normal margins, you know, in, in whatever that product or services.
John Jantsch (21:32): Yeah. Yeah. Good, good point, Bob, uh, tell people where they can find out more about your partnership work as well as pick up a copy of moving outcomes.
Bob Glazer (21:41): Sure. You can find out more about acceleration partners in our work. We've got a lot of also free resources, 1 0 1 guys, if, and just learn more how to acceleration partners.com moving outcomes is available. Everywhere books are sold and you can learn more at Robertglazer.com/outcomes.
John Jantsch (21:56): Awesome. Well, thanks again for taking time to stop by the duct tape marketing podcast. And hopefully we'll see you one of these days soon out there on the road.
Bob Glazer (22:03): Thanks Jo hn. I
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