Matt Wool (02:02):
Chris Ronzio (02:03):
Hey Matt. Welcome. Thanks for joining.
Matt Wool (02:05):
Thanks. Great to be here.
What Is Acceleration Partners?
Chris Ronzio (02:07):
All right. So before we dig into your story and partnership marketing, why don't you just tell us really quickly, what is Acceleration Partners?
Matt Wool (02:15):
Yeah, Acceleration Partners is the largest partnership marketing agency in the world. We do really one thing, which is partnership marketing. We don't do SEO or paid search or other pieces of the digital marketing world. As you mentioned, we do a lot of affiliate programs. We also do influencer marketing and we work across B2C, B2B on a global basis.
Chris Ronzio (02:40):
Okay. So we have a ton to talk about, because I think one of the things that a lot of growing businesses are still trying to figure out is the right mix of marketing channels and how they get business. And so we're going to dig into that pretty deeply. But first, you've been with the company for several years from when they were four employees, is that right?
Matt Wool (02:59):
Yeah. So I started over 10 years ago. We had four people at that time and I've pretty much seen every stage of growth. I started as the VP of Client Services and then I became General Manager. Then I became President. And last year I became CEO. I have kind of a weird path. I actually started my career in the movie industry, did that for a bunch of years and then through some twists and turns ended up in digital marketing.
Chris Ronzio (03:25):
So it's interesting because now working with partners and influencers, and that you kind of understand the value of those celebrity things that you probably encountered in the movie days, right?
Matt Wool (03:35):
Absolutely. I was on another podcast a couple weeks ago and we actually pulled a lot of parallels out that I hadn't even considered. It's really interesting.
Chris Ronzio (03:42):
So any major takeaways from that conversation that you want to start with here?
Matt Wool (03:47):
I think the biggest one was honestly the value of relationships. The movie industry is an industry that is really predicated on relationships in a way that I think few are. And so I think that's the biggest parallel. Whenever we're talking about partnership marketing, it's all about relationships. And, we'll probably get into this later, but it's not something you can do with an algorithm entirely. Obviously there's ways you can enable with technology, but it's always about talking to a person. And I think that's pretty awesome.
Chris Ronzio (04:19):
Yeah. Those key relationships can be such a differentiator and open up opportunities. And so finding those relationships is crucial. And I assume that's kind of what you help do is cultivate those relationships for brands, right?
Matt Wool (04:30):
Yeah. So we find partners, we bring them into programs, we optimize them and as programs scale, there's just a lot of operational stuff that has to happen. There's regulatory stuff that has to happen. There's reporting. So, obviously, finding and working with the partners directly is the most important thing, but there is a lot of back office work that also has to get done to make sure it works right.
Chris Ronzio (04:55):
Sure. And so you said that you're the largest in the world. And so for context for our listeners, how big is the team now? You grew from four people to...?
Matt Wool (05:02):
Yep. We have 300 all around the world at this point about two thirds in the US and one third across Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.
Chris Ronzio (05:11):
Wow. Congrats. That's amazing.
Matt Wool (05:13):
Chris Ronzio (05:13):
And for you, in particular, you started off as a VP role and grew into the CEO role. There is a founder, right? Is he actively involved in the business.
Matt Wool (05:20):
Yes. We have a founder. He was our CEO for a long time. He is now the chairman of our board. So he is very involved in the business. I think one of the things that we discovered over time is that when you have a really visionary entrepreneur, they add a ton of value. And then as the company grows what they need out of the business and what they're really good at starts to change vis-à-vis how the business is developing. So, he decided that he wanted to focus on the parts of the business that he really enjoyed and leave more of the operational stuff to me and the leadership team.
Chris Ronzio (05:56):
I love that. Well, that's great self-awareness on his part. And I think that's something that our listeners can take away as well to figure out really what their role in the business is, and then bring on the right executive team to help grow what they're doing.
Matt Wool (06:08):
How Is Partnership Marketing Different From Other Marketing Channels?
Chris Ronzio (06:09):
Let's get into partnership marketing. How does this differ from any other digital marketing or marketing channels?
Matt Wool (06:16):
Yeah, it differs a lot. And the biggest way that it differs, is that, again, it is about relationships and it's about connecting with, at the end of the day, people. I'll come back to this theme a lot, probably today, but when you are doing paid search or marketing with Facebook or Instagram there's obviously a lot of strategy that goes into it, there's a lot going on. But at the end of the day, you are dealing with a platform and an algorithm and that platform and that algorithm are setting the price. Google tells you what a click is going to cost or what an impression is going to cost, Facebook and Instagram tell you what those things are going to cost.
Matt Wool (06:59):
In partnership marketing, you are working with people, you are building relationships, you are trying to scale them the best you can. And what is really different about that, is that you, as the advertiser, are actually the one that usually sets the price. You get to say, "I want to pay my partners X." So, it becomes a very different model and it changes the dynamics of the industry really significantly. Now that's not to say there isn't negotiation, or there aren't times where a partner might say, "Hey, I'm only going to work with you if you pay me Y". But at the end of the day, it not about a black box that is just dictating what a price is going to be. It's about you figuring out what works for your business and working with partners in a win-win way.
Chris Ronzio (07:46):
So in regular paid social or paid search, there is a cost for the impressions. That's what the algorithm is figuring out. You put a certain amount of budget toward it, and then you get whatever exposure. And so, by working with a partner in this case, like an influencer or some kind of person with a following, are you taking advantage of their organic following to get that reach? Is that what you're saying? That you would form a relationship with that partner and then they would organically post?
Matt Wool (08:12):
So honestly, it can be that, or it takes a million different flavors. So one of the great things about partnership marketing is that there are, not literally an infinite number of partners, but kind of figuratively, infinite number of partners out there. And they range from influencers on TikTok to old school bloggers to huge businesses like Honey or Rakuten Loyalty or RetailMeNot. And then it ranges to folks like CNN or The New York Times.
Matt Wool (08:52):
So they all have different models. They all work differently. There is organic reach, some of them arbitrage. They go out and buy their own media. So for example, sometimes, we'll go to a partner and we'll say, "We'll pay you $10 for every new customer you send us." And that partner might say, "Well, then I'm going to go buy my own media. And if I can for $7, bring in that customer, and then you pay me $10, then I'm making the spread." There's an incredible variety of ways that this works and that's one of the reasons we think it's great, because you can pick and choose based on all the different models, what works for your business and your brand.
Chris Ronzio (09:32):
That's interesting. So I love that specific example. And I'm trying to use the context of what we've done as a business because that's really my only background here. So we have an affiliate program where we've done revenue share deals with people and some of those affiliates have, like you mentioned, found a way to do paid media in really narrow markets where we're not touching those markets. And then they make a commission on the signups that they get through those markets. So that would be like an arbitrage example, right?
Matt Wool (10:00):
Yep. And that's a great example, that happens all the time. That's great.
Chris Ronzio (10:04):
Okay. And then we've had other influencer types where, like a TikTok influencer, where we say, we're just going to pay you this fixed fee to put out so much creative and hope that it goes viral and gets picked up because a lot of your other stuff gets picked up. So we've done that.
Matt Wool (10:22):
Yeah, but this is a key thing. We would argue that that second one isn't really truly partnership marketing, unless you know the outcome that comes from that.
Chris Ronzio (10:35):
The Definition Of Partnership Marketing
Matt Wool (10:35):
So for us, the definition of partnership marketing is that you are working with partners on some kind of way where the outcome is being connected to the input. That doesn't mean you're always paying directly on performance. It doesn't mean you're paying a rev share. You might be paying someone a flat fee up front. But that you really have some indication of, "Hey, I paid this influencer $5,000 and I know what I got for that." So, we would argue honestly, that if you go out and pay Kim Kardashian whatever to post on Instagram, and you have no idea what that actually does for you, that that is a partnership, but it kind of doesn't fit into what we would call partnership marketing in the way we define it.
Chris Ronzio (11:15):
So it's a little ambiguous because a lot of the attribution is hard to nail down. And so I'll give you another example, for instance. We have an endorsement partnership we did with Montell Jordan, the singer that sang the (singing).
Matt Wool (11:27):
Chris Ronzio (11:29):
We produced a different song with him. It's been added to like 50,000 Spotify playlists and it's gotten out there and we don't really necessarily know that because someone heard him talk about Trainual in the song or saw him wear the T-shirt in the music video, they came to us. And, so it's just kind of like a prayer almost-
Matt Wool (11:53):
So, that we would put in a brand partnership. And look, obviously it's a little bit arbitrary, but that's how we would, we would approach that kind of a deal. So, that's not necessarily the kind of deal that we would be focused on. But if you had connected somehow Montell Jordan to an affiliate platform where you could track clicks that came from the songs, then 100%. And then you would know exactly what happened and I'll give you actually a really good example.
Matt Wool (12:22):
So everyone knows about the Coinbase ad on the Super Bowl, with the QR code. So historically you did a Super Bowl ad and you really didn't know exactly what that did for you. You were basically spending $5 million and assuming that something good was going to happen. And it's a brand thing, you know, Avocados from Mexico or whatever. With the Coinbase, because it was a QR code, now they actually knew exactly what was going to come out of that. And so you could almost imagine a world where like an advertising agency would say, "We're going to go and arbitrage a super bowl ad with a QR code. And we're going to put up $5 million and Coinbase is going to pay us for every customer that comes through and that's how we're going to make money." So, that's kind of the difference, it's more that it's tied to the outcome in that case.
Chris Ronzio (13:19):
And it's hyper trackable, I mean, a QR code, it probably doesn't get any more trackable than that. It's really hard to have URLs that people visit when they see a billboard or something like that.
Matt Wool (13:30):
Chris Ronzio (13:31):
And so I think it is getting a little easier. Are there other ways other than QR codes to really make things trackable in a physical world?
Matt Wool (13:38):
Yeah. So, well, when you get into out-of-home and stuff, it's obviously very difficult. Well, there's more and more that's happening in that world. But, for us, and for most partnership marketing, it's driven by what we call affiliate or partnership platforms that are essentially tracking everything. There's a lot of different technologies, but that's really the rails that it's all run on.
How To Start Utilizing Partnership Marketing?
Chris Ronzio (14:01):
Okay. So for anyone listening, if they haven't set up any kind of affiliate program, affiliate marketing, where do they even start? Is there a way that they can get educated on this? Is there a simple, do-it-yourself platform that you say is a good first step for people?
Matt Wool (14:16):
Yeah. So there's a couple of things. So, first of all, if you go to our website, accelerationpartners.com, there's tons of content and people can check it out there. I think for a smaller business, what they have to think about is that there's two components. There's the technical component of actually tracking what's going on and making payments to partners and that kind of stuff, and reporting. And then there's the actual, how do we do it? How do we go out and find partners and work with them? Those are two separate components. And much like if you're doing paid search, you'll have your Facebook account or your Google account, but you'll maybe hire an agency to run the paid search or run the Facebook. That's how works in our industry, too. So you set up on a technology, that technology is what is underpinning everything, but then either you have to do it yourself in terms of building the relationships and managing them, or you bring in an agency.
Matt Wool (15:19):
So from the technical side, there's a few different options. Historically there's been a set of technologies that have been more enterprise focused and that have lots of whizbang and are more expensive. And we've advised small businesses kind of stay away from those. Those include folks like Impact or Awin. Those are big names in that world. Then there's another group, folks like Reversion, for example, that really specialize or Everflow is another one, that specialize generally in working with smaller businesses. They simplify things, they have pretty easy ways to get set up and pay.
Matt Wool (16:00):
So in the old days, we would say, you go to one of the ones that are really focused on the smaller businesses, that have lower barriers to entry. Over time, what's happened is these bigger platforms have realized that there's a huge market in the small business world and so now they've created versions of their products that work with small businesses. So, for example, Impact, which we work on with brands like Target, for example, they have done an integration with Shopify. And basically if you're on Shopify, which probably a lot of people who are listening to this are, with one click, you can set up an Impact account, you're integrated and you're basically ready to go with a stripped down version of their product that works for small business.
Matt Wool (16:41):
Awin has a product called Awin Access. It's similar, not integrated with Shopify in the same way, but similar, very easy, low barrier to entry. There's another one called ShareASale, which Awin owns. It's kind of targeting the smaller market. So there's lots of these options on the technical side where you can now really easily go and just get set up. But that's only half of it because that's like the nuts and bolts.
Matt Wool (17:03):
So then you have to figure out the other side of it, which is what do you do? So, on that side, what we really recommend is that businesses that are new to this and smaller businesses, they start small. Like anything, you're not going to flip a switch and all of a sudden have a massive program. It's not automatic like that.
Matt Wool (17:25):
But, unlike Google or Facebook... With Google or Facebook, you can go and you can say, "Look, here's my budget. It's $50,000." And all of a sudden you're basically scaled. They'll take all your money and they'll buy as many ads as you can get with that. But in this world, because it's about partnerships, it's a ground game. And especially if people aren't sure who you are, you're going to have to identify them, you're going to have to go out and call them, you're going to have to say, "Hey, this is my brand. This is what I'm doing. This is why I think we'd be a great partnership." It's like any business development. "Here's kind of how the economics are set up." So we just recommend that brands start small. They identify a small handful of partners they can work with, focus on those and go for quality over quantity. Build a few deep relationships and then over time scale them, that tends to really work the best.
Chris Ronzio (18:10):
I have so many questions about this, but Nadia in the chat has a great question. Do you think affiliate marketing will eventually dominate the digital marketing space over other channels. And so while you're thinking about that, I think, with the privacy laws and the cookies and everything that's been changing to try to get cold traffic, the intermediaries, or these partners become even more important. And so can you see a future where affiliate marketing is the dominant strategy?
Matt Wool (18:38):
Yeah. I don't know if I see a future where it's the dominant strategy and the reason for that is that it does take time and it takes a while to scale. It has been over the last number of years been getting more and more prominent and I think that will continue, but I don't want to go out and claim that it replaces running Instagram campaigns. It doesn't replace that, it is different. But the way that we think about it is, if you have a stock portfolio, your retirement fund, you don't want to put all your retirement money in one stock. But we have so many brands right now that are basically putting all their money into one marketing channel.
Matt Wool (19:22):
We look at partnerships as like a basket of mutual funds. You can go out and you can find 10, 20, 100. You can run them through one program, but, they're all doing their own thing. They're all out there promoting in different ways. And so it diversifies everything and it also just gets you out of that risk of, hey, all of a sudden Facebook's rates went up 40%, which has been happening. So we don't want to claim that it's going to take over everything else, because I don't think that's realistic, but it has definitely been increasing in importance. So we see brands with bigger and bigger shares of their revenue coming from the channels.
Chris Ronzio (19:59):
And from the individual standpoint, the person with the audience, I think more than ever, this affiliate marketing has become a way to finance their lifestyle or whatever they want to do where they don't have to do services work or something. They can just put out good content and finance that in a way like never before. So, in affiliate programs, one thing that I've seen, maybe this is common, is you get a ton of affiliates, I think we have thousands of affiliates, but then 5% of them generate everything. And most people that sign up don't move the needle, don't even get one sale. Is that pretty common?
Matt Wool (20:35):
So it is common when the program is under resourced. And I don't want to cast aspersions on your program.
Chris Ronzio (20:44):
No, that's my next question. So it's-
Matt Wool (20:46):
Yeah, but the reality is, again, because this is relationships it takes work. And so what happens is, someone sees your program like, "Oh, that sounds great. I'm going to sign up." And then maybe they get an email from you every couple weeks saying, hey, this is what's going on. But like there's not really that relationship and there's no one calling them saying, hey, this is what we're doing and this is why it's exciting and here's some assets that you can use and how can we figure out what to do? So that's typically what happens.
Matt Wool (21:13):
So I think that's really common, again, in places where there's a person spending 20% of their time on the program. So, that's where an agency can help, but it's also, frankly, why I said before, start small. So if you have 1,000 publishers, but only 5% of them are being active, you're probably better off having 50 publishers and getting most of them active and getting more out of them. That tends to be how the math works.
Chris Ronzio (21:41):
Yeah. That's interesting. And so almost just making cuts in the program and saying that we're starting over and if you've had any engagement in the last year, then your default in and everybody else has to reapply, something like that.
Matt Wool (21:53):
Yeah, exactly. And maybe that some of the ones who applied weren't even good fits. And maybe that someone just kind of was hitting accept, accept, accept, and they weren't really alive.
How Often Should You Be Engaging With Your Partner Relationships?
Chris Ronzio (22:02):
So if someone's doing this themselves and they do want to put a lot of resources into this, or if they're working with an agency like yours, what are some of the sweet spots of engagement? How frequently should they be engaging, building these relationships? And maybe what are some tactics to do that?
Matt Wool (22:17):
Yeah. So, most people hate this answer, but it depends. There are some partnerships that are so fruitful that you want to be talking to them every week or even multiple times a week. And it also depends on your business model. For example, we've had brands that are introducing new products almost daily. And in that case, you need to be really connected to publishers so they know what's going on and which products are going to work for them and all that kind of stuff. I think in general, if you're connecting with a publisher every couple weeks that's good. Again, if they're not getting value from it, they're not going to want to spend the time to talk with you. So it's about bringing them value.
Matt Wool (23:03):
And, frankly, we find that making their life as easy as you can, tends to work really well. So it's like, hey, we've, pre-written this thing. And now you can go take and you can put it in your own voice, but at least you don't have to start from scratch. Or here's a bunch of assets or here's a campaign idea. So, I think the more that you can bring to them, the better. It just makes their life easier.
Matt Wool (23:25):
And what you have to remember is that these publishers in some ways they're like grocery stores, they have shelf space and they can only promote a certain number of partners, brands. And so they're going to want to promote the ones that are best aligned with them and bringing them the best stuff. So another tactic that works really well is exclusives. So, if you've got a really great partner and you say, hey, we're going to create a 10% off discount that's only coming from you, so they can push that to their users, that gets them additional value. If we're going to give you an early look at a new thing that we're doing, or anything like that is incredibly helpful, because it just adds to the relationship.
Chris Ronzio (24:07):
Okay. A question that may be a little bit, maybe scarcity minded instead of abundance thinking, but I've heard people say that why would I give a partner a cut of this when I might make that sale anyway? I could reach that customer anyway. And so what do you say to that perspective?
Matt Wool (24:25):
Yeah. So I would say that we call this the incrementality question. And I would say that there is probably no one who has actually solved this problem. Even the giant companies that we work have not solved this problem. So, yes, you do not want just to pay someone if you were going to get that sale anyway, without their interaction. However, what it comes down to is figuring that out. And how do you figure that out? A lot of it comes down to the business model of the site. In our experience, if there are sites that are simply throwing out discount codes, for example, with no context or content or anything, the incrementality of that tends to be relatively low. Because what that means usually is that someone is doing a Google search for the thing they already want to buy to just looking for a discount code.
Matt Wool (25:19):
But if you're working with a content based site that has a big audience that's really aligned with what you're doing and you're a relatively small brand with relatively little market penetration, the chance that the audience member who is coming through them was going to buy from you anyway, it's probably not that high. So I think over time you can get into analytics platforms and Adobe and all the complicated stuff, but as a small business, the 80/20 is often enough where you can just look at what that publisher is doing and how they relate to you and you can make some decisions.
Matt Wool (25:57):
But the thing to remember is, a lot of times, it's not whether you work with them, it's how. It's not if, it's how. So you can go to one publisher and you can say, look, I don't think you're quite as incremental for us, so we're going to pay you a 2% rev share. And you can go to the other publisher and say, I think you're super incremental, so I'm going to pay you a 15% rev share. It doesn't have to be the same for everybody and that's a lot of what we do is really figure out like where's the value for different publishers and how do we set the price?
Chris Ronzio (26:26):
I love that way of thinking about it. So you can pay different rates based on someone's content and their alignment and how likely they are to reach a different customer. And just having that discussion, I think is probably easier to do when you're working more directly with those partners instead of hands-off automated sign up process.
Matt Wool (26:43):
Chris Ronzio (26:45):
So, again, for my smaller business folks that are, that are watching when they're getting started and just trying to figure out their stock portfolio, like you said, of where they're going to put their attention or their budget, is there a right time that you think they should start introducing an affiliate or partner marketing strategy?
When Is The Right Time To Introduce Partnership Or Affiliate Marketing?
Matt Wool (27:05):
Yeah. So I think the right time is when they have a well-functioning website that is converting reasonably well. And the reason that I say that is, there's nothing that publishers and partners hate more than sending lots of traffic that doesn't convert. So making sure that your site is set up well, is a prerequisite. Making sure that you are really clear on your product and product market fit so that you're going to the partners with a really good story that's not changing every week. If you're pivoting all the time, that's going to be really hard for a partner to keep up with.
Matt Wool (27:48):
And then I would say having some level of brand recognition. Obviously you don't need to be out there in the world like Target or something, but you need to have something where you can go to a partner and say, this is who we are, this is what we're doing, this is where we've been and, ideally, at least some case studies of traction that you've gained elsewhere. So at a minimum, those are the things that I would say you want to do before you start going out to partners.
Chris Ronzio (28:20):
Yeah. I think that's great. I'm taking all these notes for myself. So hopefully everybody who's listening is taking those notes too. I remember in the early days when we first launched our affiliate program and we had people sending traffic to the website and they could see their stats and they'd say, well, 100 people clicked the link and no one signed up, so how many do I have to send before I'm going to get a sign up?
Matt Wool (28:43):
That's exactly it. And, back to my earlier analogy, they've got limited shelf space and if you're a grocery store, if people are walking by the display and they're not buying anything, then that display's not going to be there that long. So that's how it works in this too.
Chris Ronzio (28:57):
So we've talked a lot about affiliate programs, but I know partnership marketing is broader than just that. So what other examples would you pull for types of partnerships that people might consider?
Matt Wool (29:07):
Yeah, so influencer is obviously a big one and I think there's a lot of different flavors of influencer. So as I had said before, we focus on, on influencer programs that are connected to outcomes in some way. And there's a whole other set of tools and technology that goes along with influencer, as opposed to affiliate. There's CreatorIQ and ACTIVATE, and IZEA and GRIN, Whalar. There's this whole other technology set around discovery and campaign management and all that stuff. So influencer is definitely a big one.
Matt Wool (29:45):
And then there's this kind of newer category that are more technology based companies that work on a performance basis, but aren't necessarily directly in affiliate program. So, there's a company called Button, for example, and they do deep integration with apps. So if you're Uber, you can partner with a deep integration to OpenTable, for example. So if someone goes on OpenTable, they make a reservation and then a little button pops up and says like, "Do you need an Uber to get to your reservation?" And that's connecting Uber and OpenTable and they pay each other on a partnership basis. There's a company called Cardlytics and there's a bunch of these other companies that do what are called card-linked offers. So they're literally connected to your credit card and then they can give you offers based on your spending history and when you use the credit card, you actually get like statement credits back.
Chris Ronzio (30:46):
Is that how that works. Every time I log into Amex, I'm like, oh, I just shopped in these five places why do I have discounts now?
Matt Wool (30:52):
Exactly. Yep. So there's all this stuff and a lot of it, like the card-linked offers, is so much about understanding you personally, so they can serve you an offer that is contextual, that you'd want, as opposed to just throwing up a display ad. So there's a lot going on in this whole space and especially as programmatic continues to struggle. I think, in a lot of ways, more and more companies are pivoting to this model because they see it as the future.
Chris Ronzio (31:26):
So another tech oriented question, but Joe in the chat was building on your Super Bowl, QR code example and he says, are there specific resources to research in-home or out-of-home technology enablers to help capture or drive more measured outcomes? So, similar to a QR code, are there other things you'd recommend to be able to capture in-home, out-of-home traffic I guess, and attribute it?
Matt Wool (31:53):
Yeah, so it's really hard. QR codes are really the way that most people are doing it these days. There are some advanced technologies, for example, a lot of like the connected TV, OTV platforms, they're able to triangulate based on your mobile device and what you're watching and your IP address that you're you, even though you're not clicking on a link on the TV, for example. But that's a pretty deep technical solve. So there aren't a lot of other great solutions that aren't super technically intensive, unfortunately.
Chris Ronzio (32:34):
I remember, my consulting business before this, I had a client that had a business in the Dominican Republic and this was like 2012 and I was so hyped on QR codes. There was really no way to scan them with your phone at that point, you needed to download a separate app. But I was advising them that they should do a full building wrap. They had this big building in the DR.
Matt Wool (32:57):
It's a great idea. Yeah.
Chris Ronzio (33:00):
I thought everybody going down the highway is going to wonder what the heck is that thing and scan it. Now, that was probably a bad idea 10 years ago, but right now I would say, that's a-
Matt Wool (33:09):
Look, it's about timing, right? QR codes died and all of a sudden they are back with a vengeance and I think it's pretty interesting. But look, they're good technology and they're easy and I think that's the reality of it.
Partnership Marketing With Web3 & NFTs
Chris Ronzio (33:23):
All right, so as we wrap this up, I want to touch on the future future of what this could look like, because one of the topics I've been digging into and trying to get educated on, is everything related to augmented reality and NFTs and I think that there's a lot of opportunity there for partners to have smart contracts and things. So, when you think about your world and where your business fits in here, what's on your mind, what do you think is coming?
Matt Wool (33:50):
Yeah. So this is definitely on our mind. We actually have a working group internally at the company on Web3 and understanding where things are going to be going. Smart contracts and publishers, I'm still not exactly sure of where that goes, although it certainly could. But I think the bigger thing is, you can imagine, in the metaverse. The difference is you actually could click on a billboard, which is totally different than the real world. So, literally everything becomes an opportunity for partnership marketing in that context. So I think we have no doubt that partnership marketing will be massive part of the Web3 and metaverse world. I think it's so early, I don't want to make prognostications on what that really means yet, but-
Chris Ronzio (34:41):
You don't want to be on the record, is that what you're saying?
Matt Wool (34:45):
The reality is that I'm getting on and I leave it to the younger folks to understand all this stuff. I'm not the smartest when it comes to these pieces. But what I would say is that we have no doubt that it is going to be a huge part of it, but I don't think we're ready to lay down our chips and say, this is where it's really going to focus. But as a general matter, again, the idea of you could click on anything walking around, it just is the biggest opportunity probably ever.
Chris Ronzio (35:19):
It's infinitely more trackable. I remember when I was a little kid and my mom would have these like Pampered Chef or Tupperware kind of parties and invite all the neighborhood friends over and get a cut of whatever they bought. And that was a model, I don't know if people still do that. But you think in the metaverse, imagine a performer puts on a concert and everybody that was in attendance is getting now tagged for different offers that are brands that would align with them and-
Matt Wool (35:45):
For them, right.
Chris Ronzio (35:48):
And that kind of stuff is a lot harder to do in a physical world where we're just trying to track people's IP address for the free internet they signed on with or something like that.
Matt Wool (35:59):
Or just like, your avatar is wearing something cool. And someone comes by and says, I like that. And you could basically buy it, copy it from them, and they get paid a commission. There it is, right?
Chris Ronzio (36:10):
All of a sudden, [inaudible 00:36:11] and there you are. That's fun to think about. Well, I want to just remind everyone, if you have questions, put them in the chat, but otherwise we're going to start to wrap this up. So any questions for Matt, put them in the chat, about partnership, marketing, about affiliates, any burning things that you want to know. But Matt, while we're waiting to see if there's more, tell us about your book. You've got a book that just recently came out, Moving to Outcomes-
Matt Wool (36:35):
Shameless plug, right there.
Chris Ronzio (36:37):
Why Partnerships are the Future of Marketing.
Matt Wool (36:39):
You got it. Yes.
Chris Ronzio (36:40):
So this is you and the founder of the company put this together. What could people expect from the book?
Matt Wool (36:47):
Yeah. This is actually a sequel to a book that we wrote a few years ago called Performance Partnerships that laid out our early thinking on the evolution of this industry and this is taking it to the next step. We talk a lot about this concept of diversification in your marketing portfolio and how brands can, instead of paying upfront for pretty much all their marketing, they can pay on the outcome, which is dramatically less risky. So it's all about risk mitigation and finding new growth areas.
Chris Ronzio (37:20):
Perfect. Well, I think that's something that everyone could probably benefit from. So check out Matt's book, wherever books are sold, Amazon and airports. He was just telling me there's... Depending on where you live.
Matt Wool (37:29):
Chris Ronzio (37:31):
They're popping up in airports now that we're flying again. So Matt, amazing talking with you. Thanks so much for sharing. I appreciate you coming on. Where can people connect with you?
Matt Wool (37:39):
Yep. www.accelerationpartners.com is the best place to be and maybe at some point I'll get dragged into the metaverse and I'll see you there.
Chris Ronzio (37:49):
All right. Can't wait to see your avatar and what you look like in the metaverse. I appreciate it. Thank you, Matt, for coming on the livestream and thank you everyone else for joining. This is fun. I'm really liking these livestreams.