Seek to Understand Content Commerce with Sarah Bundy at CJU19
Sep 5, 2019
In advance of moderating a highly anticipated CJU panel session on content commerce, we asked Sarah Bundy from global performance marketing agency, All Inclusive Marketing (AIM), to set the stage for what attendees can expect. Sarah shares more about her industry expertise, her views on diversity in digital marketing, and the values that drive her day to day.
CJ: You will be moderating a panel on Content Commerce at CJU. What should attendees expect in this session?
SB: I'm excited about this session because I’ll have three very successful Content Commerce Publishers on stage with me. The audience will get some real-life case studies, examples, and tips on how to work with Content and Mass Media Partners. I've found that most Advertisers assume that this distribution model has all the same needs and wants, and based on this panel alone, we'll prove that's not the case, and that each has very specific requirements when working with a brand. It will be a very useful and actionable session for Advertisers looking to work with more Content Commerce and Mass Media Partners.
CJ: For those unaware of your background, can you tell us a bit about your career within the digital marketing industry?
SB: I started in digital marketing in 2004 when I joined the Coastal.com team as their in-house affiliate manager. I was new to the affiliate space, but I had worked at Coastal before going to college to study Marketing Management and I loved the CEO and work environment. I learned so much in this role—team building, digital marketing, consumer behavior, competition, the value of a brand, how to resolve really challenging e-commerce obstacles in a hyper-growth industry—all within a fast-growing multi-million dollar company. When Coastal sold (for nearly half a billion dollars) I started my own affiliate management agency in 2009, All Inclusive Marketing, to serve more brands with my knowledge, passion, and expertise in the industry. Since then, we've won several awards, from “Top 40 Under 40” and “Company of the Year in British Columbia” and various Pinnacle Award recognitions. I’m also insanely proud of our team winning the Global Excellence Award at the Performance Marketing Awards last fall. It was an amazing recognition of the work our team does to deliver the highest standard of excellence in affiliate program management.
CJ: There’s been a lot of talk lately about the need for diversity in digital marketing. Can you share your thoughts on this topic?
SB: I think there are a couple of different ways to look at this. There is the need for diversity in the types of partners within our ecosystem, and then there is the need for diversity in expertise and personnel in the work force within our sector. I think there is some truth to both, but that this expansion is starting to happen on its own very naturally. As affiliate marketing becomes more mainstream, it creates a whole world of additional opportunities for everyone, both on the supply and the demand side. This growth seems to be expedited more each year, and the global online economy is helping us easily fuel it from both sides with less effort than ever before. I see people from all walks of life coming into the space—companies of all sizes, people with skill sets and abilities of all types. It makes me happy to see this growth and progression, and I believe it will only bring more opportunities as we continue to scale into the future.
CJ: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
SB: I have found that the saying "seek first to understand, then be understood" has been a powerful guiding force for me in this industry. When your key purpose is working with people, helping people, serving people, and solving problems for people (whether you have a technology to sell, a product to sell, a service to sell or a customer to connect with), you should understand what they need before you try to get them to understand your side. Learn to ask the right people the right questions at the right time, in an open-ended format. Draw out context and background into why people do the things they do, or why they need the things they need. In my mind, this approach creates the best marketers, service providers, solution providers, and brands. From there, it's just a matter of creating a winning strategy and execution plan that aligns with that, and getting to work!
CJ: What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
SB: In one word: Discipline. There is no hack that's good enough if you don't have the discipline to focus on the most essential tasks at hand. You have to stay focused, learn to stay no, and prioritize and power through obstacles when things get tough. That said, I use a variety of tools and techniques that help me be more productive, from our company CRM, plug ins, and APIs that integrate all our systems (so we don't have to log in and out of each one manually), to OneNote for easy and quick access to absolutely everything I need in one place. I rely on a well-organized calendar and workflow system for task reminders and contact access. I believe that having efficient tools and systems coupled with discipline is the best productivity "hack" one can have.