Gen3 Marketing and the Next Generation of Blooming Success
Nov 7, 2022
With such a large footprint and an award-winning reputation, it’s hard not to be aware of Gen3 Marketing.
The agency currently manages over 100 programs on the CJ platform, spanning over 20 advertiser verticals. Our steadfast relationship with Gen3 began at their inception in 2007 and their continued growth and success have recently led to their tenth (!) Agency of the Year win at the 2022 CJ Excellence Awards.
Despite our close working relationship, we were curious to dive a bit deeper—what does their ideal client look like? What hot topics or strategies are trending within their portfolio? And most importantly: if their agency had a signature karaoke song, what would it be? We caught up with Jon Kendall, Senior Vice President at Gen3 Marketing, to find out.
Jon Kendall, Senior Vice President, Gen3 Marketing
CJ: Tell us a little about Gen3 Marketing.
Jon:Gen3 Marketing was founded in 2007 when Andy Cantos and Mike Tabasso guided two dozen of the largest online retailers through the unpredictable early days of online marketing. Together, they pioneered many of the affiliate techniques that are now considered standard.
Today, the Gen3 Group is the largest affiliate marketing agency in the world following the acquisitions of OPM Pros, Affiliate Manager.com, Optimus-pm, and most recently, OAK Digital.
Gen3 Marketing is extremely proud to be a 14-time award-winning agency that employs over 200 staff on 6 continents and expertly manages over 500 affiliate programs across all verticals.
CJ: Where did your agency name come from?
Jon: Having worked together to build affiliate marketing disciplines at two prior employers over a seven-year period, Andy Cantos and Mike Tabasso created the name Gen3 to represent the third time the pair had partnered together.
CJ: Share five words that best describe your agency.
Jon: Gen3 Marketing manages programs in the following advertiser verticals:
Clothing & Apparel
Health & Fitness
Beauty & Cosmetics
Appliances & Equipment
Cards & Gifts
Personal Finance & Lending
Food & Beverage
Toys & Games
Security & Safety
CJ: What regions and languages can you provide support for affiliate programs?
Jon: Following the expansion of the Gen3 group over the course of the last four years, Gen3 Marketing manages programs in North America, EMEA/UK, English Speaking APAC, AU/NZ, and Latin America. We speak 16 languages across our global staff but based on varying allocation and bandwidth we cannot guarantee support languages outside of English.
CJ: Do you manage any other channels outside of affiliate?
Jon: Along with expert affiliate management for clients, Gen3 Marketing also provides:
Paid (PPC, Paid Social, Programmatic, and Amazon Paid Services)
SEO (Technical, On-site, Content Optimization, Content Creation, Digital Outreach)
CJ: Tell us a bit more about your relationship with CJ.
Jon: Gen3 Marketing currently manages over 100+ programs on the CJ platform and have enjoyed an excellent working relationship since our inception in 2007. We were delighted to have been awarded the Agency of the Year award at the 2022 CJ Excellence Awards, making it the 10th time overall the Gen3 group has claimed this prestigious award.
With Gen3 Marketing being named CJ Excellence Agency of the Year, the skill and dedication from members throughout the wider Gen3 group has also been recognized following the release of CJ’s Ambassador Class of 2022. The Gen3 group topped the list as 64 team members became certified CJ Ambassadors and proved their knowledge and expertise on CJ’s platform and capabilities, demonstrating their comprehensive knowledge on how to navigate and optimize within CJ.
CJ: Who is your ideal client? What problems are they looking for your company to solve?
Jon: Gen3 Marketing's ideal client would have a US Traffic Ranking of sub ~300k and a top line ecomm site-based revenue of $1.55MM+. We provide experience, knowledge and best in class service to help our clients achieve a more well-rounded marketing mix. We achieve this by facilitating partnerships with highly relevant publishers that generate exposure and incremental volume to our clients in a cost-effective manner.
CJ: What qualities do you look for in an affiliate partner? What types of publishers are you looking to work with? What are some successful ways you’ve seen publishers promote your brands?
Jon: Gen3 Marketing consistently works with publishers that can promote our clients in a meaningful way and must adhere to client strategy and brand guidelines. We are very goal focused and effectively build custom/bespoke strategic plans for each individual client and research the correct publishers and technologies we can best partner with to accomplish the client’s goals and objectives.
We see significant value in working with publishers that span the entire customer lifecycle that will optimize engagement and conversion wherever possible.
The staff at Gen3 Marketing love working with content creators, tech enablers, and emerging platforms. No matter what the job requires, we have a tool for it in our toolkit.
CJ: Are there any hot topics or strategies that are currently trending within your portfolio or in specific regions?
Jon: At Gen3 Marketing, we believe it’s of huge importance that we train our staff to understand the right way to look at the channel. It should never be about any one specific sale (whether or not the advertiser would realize that transaction anyway), but rather isolate the lift we see when the affiliate is a touchpoint during a transaction.
Improvements will be seen in AOVs, frequent purchases, and better lifetime value when working with a robust suite of partners at every stage of the customer lifecycle. This provides a tremendous amount of inertia for our clients and creates unprecedented scale.
Another big topic is the value of content creation or influencers and what advertisers can realistically expect considering their relationship with revenue and other KPIs that are further down the funnel. Gen3 Marketing understands it is always critical to ensure the right volume is coming through a program, and our work with large financial services institutions has helped us develop a true best-of-breed offering in terms of program hygiene.
CJ: What trends do you see arising within affiliates or the digital space and how are you handling them?
Jon: Gen3 Marketing advocates an objective-based view of understanding the effectiveness of each publisher and their potential to favorably affect KPIs.
With a dedicated premium content team now onboard, we’ve been delighted to see more and more major content publishing houses willing to work with advertisers on a CPA basis. Our dedicated premium content team is devoted to securing mass media placements on behalf of our clients, on a pure pay-per-performance basis.
This unique offering can work in tandem with internal/outsourced PR teams or serve as a standalone. There’s a palpable excitement when clients see this type of content being created on their behalf and of course the exposure that comes from being featured in mainstream publications.
We have also seen a lot of success with flexible payments and working with emerging Buy Now Pay Later publishers, noticing an incredible effect on cart abandonment as well as AOVs for relevant advertisers.
CJ: Do you have any upcoming initiatives, news, or success stories you’d like to highlight?
Jon: Gen3 Marketing is incredibly honored to have won Agency of the Year at the 2022 CJ Excellence Awards. This marks the second time in 2022 that one of the major industry platforms has awarded Gen3 the "Agency of the Year" status. It’s always an incredible honor to receive such consistent recognition, and we look forward to continuing to innovate in terms of strategies, partnerships, and overall subject matter expertise.
Gen3 Marketing is extremely excited to offer Premium Content as a standalone service. In recent months, we have been securing some showcase-level content pieces on behalf of our clients, typically without flat fee investment. This type of upper-funnel exposure is top-of-mind for nearly anyone trying to market themselves, so we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to expand in this department.
We are very proud to have an award-winning SEO & content team, who are doing fantastic work on behalf of our affiliate clients as we continue to generate awareness, content, influence, and demand that we’re then able to optimize and capture via our efforts on the affiliate side.
We are now seeing fantastic results via Amazon Marketplace Advertising. Gen3 is utilizing a proprietary bid management tool to support a triple-stack optimization strategy. The Gen3 Amazon team now controls campaigns from highly targeted power selling down to wide-net keyword discovery with controlled precision. The ability to migrate targeting behaviors across overlapping campaigns allows Gen3 to provide best-in-class campaign ACoS while scaling revenue growth.
We specialize in the financial services vertical, with 15+ years of experience managing financial brands across credit cards, banking, lending, fintech, crypto, insurance, and more. We are well-versed in industry best practices, and compliance regulations, and offer competitive benchmarking and analysis to our clients.
CJ: Ok, let’s end with a fun one: If your agency had a signature karaoke song, what would it be and why?
Jon: “Take on Me” by A-ha because it’s the best music video ever. Andy says everything was cooler in the 80’s and because Mike has a mean falsetto! Taaaake Onnnnn Meeeeee, Taaake Meeeee Onnnnnn…
CJ: What are the next steps if a brand or publisher wants to partner with you?
Jon: Publishers can get in touch with our publisher development department by emailing email@example.com. (This is a singular point of contact so we can ensure the relevant publisher reaches everyone across the wider Gen3 group.)
Gen3 Marketing has a comprehensive understanding of the affiliate space, with unrivaled publisher contacts and experience in implementing sophisticated strategies that deliver client objectives.
Listening to our clients is key. Understanding the commercial and marketing aims of the client enables us to identify the best partners to engage with and as a result the required commercial approach. In totality, this results in a comprehensive and costed strategy for delivery.