Affiliate Industry Preview: Google Affiliate Network’s Dan Greene
As part of the ReveNews 2012 Affiliate Industry Preview Series, I interviewed affiliate marketing industry leaders to get a sense of their plans and goals for 2012. Todayâ€™s interview is with Dan Greene, Director of Online Media Sales for Google Affiliate Network.
Angel: How do you feel about the health of the Affiliate Industry overall?
Dan: This past year, the affiliate industry at large saw continued growth and development. Macroeconomic and social trends continue to drive consumers online, making discounts, coupons, and savings-based sites more popular than ever. For a quick and simple look at this trend, just enter any coupon-related keyword into Google Trends.
Consumers are looking to save money on all of their purchases, driving growth in our industry in a variety of ways. Retailers continue to invest deeply in the affiliate channel, growing their affiliate programs even more. Iâ€™m excited about this space and see a lot of innovations on the horizon for the entire industry!
Angel: Beyond posting coupons, how would you like to see affiliates use social media?
Dan: Social media has helped consumers engage with businesses and brands in a whole new way, while letting them easily share these experiences with their friends. I would love to see more affiliates invest the time and effort needed to build communities online that help their users share the brands and products they care most about. One simple and powerful tool any publisher can add to their website is a Google +1 button, which makes it easy for users to recommend content to friends, and helps make search results even more helpful and relevant.
Angel: What excites you most about mobile?
Dan: The explosion of the mobile web and mobile apps has opened up many new opportunities for marketers to reach consumers and grow their businesses. Mobile devices have particular characteristics that create unique opportunities for marketers. For instance, mobile devices will enable advertisers and publishers to take their relationship into the stores instead of simply online.
Mobile shopping and deals products have the potential to create new opportunities for affiliates to track transactions offline as well as online. Ultimately, I see mobile as a tremendous driver of growth for our channel over the next few years. But right now, the most important mobile priority for all advertisers and publishers should be to create mobile-enabled sites. Without that basic step, thereâ€™s not much to do.
Angel: What type of affiliate (coupon, loyalty, etc) would you like to see more of?
Dan: High-quality content sites. There are a lot of them out there in almost every niche and vertical you can imagine, and theyâ€™re highly desirable to advertisers. Many content sites monetize their sites through ad networks like Google AdSense, and weâ€™re starting to see more of them experiment with affiliate marketing to drive incremental revenue. Weâ€™re working on educating these publishers to bring even more of them into the affiliate ecosystem.
Angel: What will the newly launched Google Affiliate Network API provide publishers and merchants?
Dan: The Google Affiliate Network API allows publishers and advertisers to integrate Google Affiliate Network reports with their internal systems. The Search API for Shopping allows publishers to automate the integration of affiliate product links directly into their public-facing websites. There have been a lot of changes to the UI in Google properties in AdWords and Analytics.
Angel: When will we see an update of the Google Affiliate Network UI?
Dan: At Google, we try to give users a seamless and consistent online experienceâ€”one that works no matter which Google product youâ€™re using or what device youâ€™re using it on. Google Affiliate Network will launch updates in our interface throughout 2012 to be more consistent with the design changes youâ€™ve seen in other Google products this year.
Angel: What are Google Affiliate Network’s goals in 2012?
Dan: Our primary goal is to continue to help drive revenue growth for our advertisers and publishers. To accomplish that goal, weâ€™ve embarked on a number of key strategies. Weâ€™re integrating with other Google products to create deeper channel insights and unlock incremental supply to expand the overall affiliate channel.
Weâ€™re also making a number of key changes to our product feature set to improve the way in which advertisers and publishers connect and find opportunities in the space. Finally, weâ€™ll continue to expand our business globally to provide a seamless global affiliate network to Googleâ€™s advertisers, publishers and users. 2012 will be a year of innovation and growth for our customers and our business and Iâ€™m very excited about it.
I’d like to thank Dan Greene for taking the time to participate in our interview series. Tune in tomorrow when we talk with Todd Crawford of Impact Radius.
About Angel Djambazov
Born in Bulgaria, Angel Djambazov has spent his professional career in the fields of journalism and online marketing. In his journalistic career he worked as an editor on several newspapers and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Wyoming Homes and Living Magazine. Later his career path led to online marketing where while working at OnlineShoes he earned the Affiliate Manager of the Year (2006) award at the Affiliate Summit, and In-house Manager of the Year (2006) award by ABestWeb.
For four years Angel served as OPM for Jones Soda for which he won his second Affiliate Manger of the Year (2009) award at Affiliate Summit.
Currently Angel serves as OPM for KEEN Footwear and MedicalRecords.com. His former clients include: Dell, Real Networks, Jones Soda, Intelius, Graphicly, Chrome Bags, Onlineshoes.com, Vitamin Angels, The Safecig, and Bag Borrow or Steal.
Angel is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher for ReveNews.com and ReveNews.org.
Angel lives north of Seattle, spending his free time reading up on obscure scientific references made by his wife MGX, while keeping up with a horde of cats and a library of books.
You can find Angel on Twitter @djambazov.