There's something about Axl Rose and affiliate marketing that just feels right. I don't necessarily picture Axl at his computer updating links and eyeing publisher performance inside CJ Account Manager.
But when I think back to last September when I heard Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City" blast over the loudspeakers as CJ President, Kerri Pollard, officially kicked off CJU12—I have to say Axl and affiliate marketing seemed like the perfect fit.
Similar to last week's Forbes article by John Greathouse that touched on the perfect combination of humility and confidence. Speaking to recent graduates at the University of California Santa Barbara, Pollard (who has been steering the helm of the global leader in affiliate marketing for over 13 years) gave the eager young minds of tomorrow some advice around those two important personality traits.
Typically those two traits don't usually sit together but when they do, they can be absolutely, incredibly powerful.
Well, if you were lucky enough to attend CJU back in September, it quickly became clear that Pollard carries that delicate balance of humility and confidence perfectly. Throughout her thirty-minute, tightly delivered "State of Affiliate" for the 900+ advertisers, publishers and agency teams exactly three months ago from today, she covered a life of lessons learned, from Starbucks to ski school, and asked affiliate marketers to recognize the unique value of our channel and how today we need to "think differently" more than ever before.
As we experience hyper-growth, how do we ensure that we continue to challenge the status quo? That we never accept mediocrity? That we continue to think differently as our competitive landscape changes, as our clients and consumers change? These are the conversations we're having every single day at Commission Junction.
You can view Pollard's CJU12 President's Welcome in its entirety in the video below, but some key takeaways you won't want to leave without noting:
Skills & Experience: Changes in CJ leadership and the ValueClick, Inc. family are helping shape a new frontier for the global, digital media company.
Overall Affiliate Ecosystem: From incrementality to the new consumer journey and rise of the active and passive loyalist, Kerri touches on how Commission Junction is actively bringing the consumer back to the forefront of the affiliate conversation.
The Content Network: We've heard for years advertisers want more content, and now CJ is responding with the right tools for our clients (with a little help from the ski bus and Gumby).
As we begin wrap up 2012, it seems only fitting that we reflect back on CJU12 (a.k.a. "Paradise City") starting with the President's Welcome. As the year comes to a close and we enter into 2013, we will revisit other CJU sessions and continue the conversation around the Power of Affiliate.