Jay Baer: Welcome to Social Pros, the podcast for real people doing real work in social media. I am, as always, Jay Baer from Convince & Convert joined as per the usual by my special Texas friend. He is the executive strategist of Salesforce marketing cloud. It is Adam Brown.
Adam Brown: Jay, what a great show today.
Jay Baer: Man, what a good one.
Adam Brown: Robert Glazer, super smart guy, author, founder, CEO of Acceleration Partners. One of the things I think I've told you before is the whole idea of affiliate marketing and performance marketing, not something that I know as much about as I know about other topics. So, probably like you, last week, this week I was the one taking copious notes from our guest.
Jay Baer: Well, and I love that because so much of what we do in social, the story is always ... that's not measurable enough. It's not accountable enough. It's not trackable enough. In many ways it can be if you use a lot of the principles that Robert and his team use a running performance programs for many of the largest brands in the world, you're going to get a lot out of this one, especially if you're in any kind of commerce company. This is gold.
Adam Brown: I agree. And just understand how this space is changing and transforming as you have agencies like Acceleration Partners, the platforms themselves, and the affiliates, and the content creators, all in this new ecosystem that's moving as quickly as we can.
Jay Baer: Damn, I love it. This week on Social Pros, Robert Glazer, CEO of Acceleration Partners enjoyed the episode.
Jay Baer: Hey friends, it's Jay Baer. Thanks so much for listening to Social Pros. Before we get into today's show, a quick acknowledgement of our sponsors. Our friends at ICUC are sponsoring the show this week. If you're getting ready to put together your 2019 marketing plan, your marketing strategy, which you probably are, I bet a lot of you are trying to work on that. ICUC can help you make better data driven decisions that will improve your 2019 approach.
Jay Baer: ICUC can, on the side, develop some really interesting reports and analysis using social media strategic insights which will give you a deeper understanding of your audience, your market, and your competitors and it will empower you to develop a 2019 strategy that best targets reaches, engages and retains your customers.
Jay Baer: If you need a little strategic bump, a little help for 2019, take a look at ICUC. They can give you a hand. Go to icuc.social/plan2019. That's icuc.social/plan2019. And of course, the show is brought to you as always by Salesforce marketing cloud, social, more important than ever for B2B in 2019 and beyond. If you haven't done so, download the complete guide to social media for B2B marketers from our friends at Salesforce, super useful document. Best types of content, best channels to use, all kinds of new information about advanced social listening and B2B.
Jay Baer: Check it out, totally free, bitly/socialb2bguide. That's bit.ly/socialb2bguide. Social-b-the number 2-b-guide, all lowercase, all one word. Thanks so much to this week's sponsors. Now, here is the Social Pros Podcast. Here we are once again on Social Pros with this week's guest, Robert Glazer, CEO of Acceleration Partners, author of the terrific book, Performance Partnerships.
Jay Baer: Bob, thanks so much for being on the program. Fantastic to have you here.
Robert Glazer: Thanks Jay. Excited to be here.
Jay Baer: So, tell us a little bit about the world of performance marketing and what you do and Acceleration Partners. You and I have had this conversation a couple of times. I feel like your take on the market and the services that you provide in your company are really interesting and unusual and it is absolutely the right time for what you do. Explain it a little bit to our listeners if you would, please.
Robert Glazer: We manage large scale affiliate or what we call performance partnership programs for our clients really separate from the platform. I think for many years people went to a large network and got there the platform and the services together. In other industries, the Facebook is disconnected from the agency or [crosstalk 00:04:08].
Jay Baer: What would be a platform in that world? Just so everybody knows what we're talking about.
Robert Glazer: Every single one has changed their name, but the names of people are probably ...
Jay Baer: Are they to protect the innocent or are they evading [crosstalk 00:04:18]?
Robert Glazer: LinkShare which is now [Rakuten 00:04:18] marketing, Commission Junction, Pepperjam and Affiliate Window, so full service networks. There is now the SASS technology in the affiliate space in which where people license technology and create their own program. So that inherently kind of detaches itself from the network and leads to more services. So, we just focus on the service side and we represent the brands, not the publishers, and help people build large global programs that might have 10,000 or 20,000 partners in it that are all paid on a CPA or performance basis.
Jay Baer: Is the art in that the recruitment and management, the cat herding, if you will, of these large networks of performance partners or is the magic in it figuring out what the structure is, the program to incentivize people who could presumably do a program for a number of different businesses? Is it sort of the financial side of it or the account management side of it that's really the gold in the river?
Robert Glazer: It's really both. I think the thing that is neglected in most programs is recruiting. A lot of people are running their programs, like a sales team sitting there waiting and answering the phone for whoever calls rather than going out there. And obviously those people are there to be sold or to make a deal rather than going out and building more partnerships. I think the truth is the programs are under resourced and that's why, and you need a team that is recruiting and spending a lot of time recruiting, but it's probably the life cycle of both designing the program and the strategy to be attractive.
Robert Glazer: We always say, then there's getting them to join the program. Then there is engaging them and to getting them to stuff within the program.
Jay Baer: Yeah, it's a funnel, right? It's funnel like anything else.
Robert Glazer: Yeah. It actually, a funnel almost the exact acquisition cycle of the business itself, but the funny thing is no one's ever thought of it that way.
Jay Baer: Yeah. When you're thinking about a potential performance partner, so an individual, influencer, a performance based company, when you're recruiting them, are you recruiting them because they have demonstrated the ability to put up sales for other companies, other brands, other products, or are you recruiting them because maybe they're just "regular influencer" who's getting paid to send tweets and maybe you're like, "Hey, you know what? You could actually get a back end on this if we actually made it performance driven." Or is it a hybrid there?
Robert Glazer: Yeah. I was gonna say, I don't wanna answer all your questions both, but actually, you go to the tried and true, and the people you know that had performed really well in other industries or programs, but usually the key win for a program is finding that person who is sort of new to the space or the ecosystem. And this is where the message is different, right? My message to a publisher who I knew was a big affiliate and worked with networks would be, "Hey, can you join this program?" To someone else who I saw maybe Ad Sense or Amazon or other monetization, I would say, "Hey, we think you'd be really great for this.
Robert Glazer: My best example is we have a client in subscription meat business and they built ... they 10X their business over three years by going and finding five or six key influencers in the Paleo community and setting up tracks and measured relationships on a performance basis. They said, "Hey, we've never done this before. We want guarantees." And the company was called ButcherBox said to them, "All right, well, how about we'll guarantee you a little bit, but honestly we think you'll do better on this. So, let's track it, measure it and pay on it."
Robert Glazer: And they actually made more money and they kind of went all in on it. So, that's a great example for me of someone who we consider like a performance partner who may not have been a traditional affiliate.
Jay Baer: Is that recipes and that kind of thing? Is that where the ...?
Robert Glazer: Yeah. Lifestyle recipe. So, anyone who's a hardcore Paleo would be really interested in grass fed beef being sent to their door. Another pocket that we're seeing is mass media publishers. With all the display fraud and stuff, their cpm rates have plummeted 80%. In the programs that we manage, these large magazines and mass media publishers are coming into the performance space, willing to work on a performance basis. We've seen revenue from that segment up about 70% year over year.
Jay Baer: Wow.
Adam Brown: As a followup to Jay's question, I'm curious, Robert, what are the big changes you're seeing and what brands are looking for in their partners? Are they looking for a different type of creator? Are they looking for a different angle? Are they looking for credibility or influence in a different way? You mentioned kind of in the open how things are so changing in this space. I'm curious how that person who's coming to you, the who's coming to you is asking for things different than maybe two or three years ago?
Robert Glazer: Yeah. Well, if I can back it all the way up to 10 years ago, kind of a mimic, what I talked about in the book, 10 years ago, the affiliate space was, don't ask, don't tell. If you get a transaction, you pay the person on it and like you don't even know and want to know, is a sale's a sale. Now, with all these brands-
Adam Brown: It's like Chicago politics, but with the eCommerce is [crosstalk 00:09:19].
Robert Glazer: Right. Like, I gave you this so don't ask any questions. In fact, 10 years ago and running programs, if you were to ask a publisher about what they were doing, they would be offended, which is crazy when you think about it. These days, I think brand see this more as digital business development and so they want a relationship. They want an on brand partner. They want to know what's going on. All the technology to track, measure and pay around that has grown.
Robert Glazer: But we used to do these audits of programs. I remember one time we hadn't signed NDA yet, and I talked about this in the book, and our president, Matt, said to the person, one of the companies, "Look, I'm guessing your top seven publishers are X, Y, Z, and the person sort of freaked out. And they were like, "How do you know this information?" And he said, "Because they're everyone's top seven publishers." Every program had the same large scale deal coupon set of publishers.
Robert Glazer: Brands today are thinking, "Look, I'm on a shoe company, I should have a different top 10 in terms of my publishers. Then if I'm from a wedding invitation company, there should be people talking about shoes and fashion and there should be people talking about weddings. I think they want relevance. The first time the brand and performances is kind of overlapping and they to make sure that those people are representing their brand in a positive way.
Adam Brown: Robert, I'm curious where the budget for affiliate marketing programs is coming from and are you seeing a shift as well in that? One of the interesting things, at least, for me about affiliate marketing type programs is the budget for this kind of coming from comms and PR because it's around content creation? Is it coming from marketing? Because there is a direct attribution here. Or is it seen as a sales activity so it's coming directly from the sales organization?
Adam Brown: A, where is that home room? And B, is it shifting as well with all the other aspects of these types of programs?
Robert Glazer: I think the answer is yes. One of the things about what we say in new performance partnership program, partnership program is, a company decides they want this to be their single program and they either sign up with a network and they sign up with a platform and it just becomes a scalable way to track and measure partners. And then different types of departments get in on the action.
Robert Glazer: So, you have the traditional affiliate base, you have the PR influencer team that says, "Look, we've been managing way too many of these people, 200 of them. We don't even know if they can do anything. Why don't we set them up with accounts and see what they can do." We've even seen like the business development team, we got BD like the staff that they were like, "Look, if I went to Salesforce business development team and it's a deal that's under $50,000, they're going to say go away. That could become a great partner in one of these programs."
Robert Glazer: So, the budget actually starts coming from a bunch of different places as people look at building a holistic program that covers a lot of traditionally different channels. Also, yeah, that partner in Biz Dev I think is one of the biggest growing segments.
Adam Brown: Your example about the Paleo for the subscription meat organization, grass fed beef is interesting because it's so contextually relevant, right? Where a Paleo influencer, grass fed beef, do you find that to be more true today than it was yesterday? That the partners that really succeed are those that have a community or a topical influence that really matches up with the brand as opposed to it's just sort of a mechanism for creating landing pages and doing paid search and just sort of Amazon miniature?
Robert Glazer: Yeah, I think it's both. You have the Barbell, I think you have your really large publishers that are around deals or loyalty or just have scale, but what a lot-
Adam Brown: Coupon sites and that kind of thing.
Robert Glazer: Yeah. Coupon, and loyalty, and comparison shopping, and even Google's getting into the CPA space, but on the other side you have people really trying to aggregate these micro influencers. And particularly, the influencer space, what they're seeing is, let's say it's something about a pet, something about the company of pet medicine or something like that. Rather than going to a Kim Kardashians and paying $10 million for sort of a inauthentic mass market post, they would recruit 100 of these people with maybe followings of 10,000 to 50,000 and see a real lift by aggregating a bunch of folks who have relevant audiences and who are talking much more authentically and on brand about the product.
Robert Glazer: Rather than, I think the Gen one of influencers was ... okay, what is X influence are going to be peddling today that they're really not authentically interested in?
Adam Brown: To that end with that changing mixture performance partners, do you find a difference now in the venues and formats that performance messaging can occur? I assume that Instagram, or Myspace, Instagram wasn't a thing that long ago. Now I suspect that certainly is, Snapchat, et cetera. There seems to me to be lots of other fields for you to plow that didn't exist in the past.
Robert Glazer: Yeah. One manifestation of that is 10 years ago when we were running a program, we would put so many banner ads in the platform, 100 by 100. And no one uses any of these anymore.
Adam Brown: Every size. Every kind of size.
Robert Glazer: Every size-
Adam Brown: Skyscraper, leaderboard, Postage Stamp.
Robert Glazer: Seven twenty by ninety. No one does this anymore. It's mostly text links and that gives you the sense of how people are... or it's deep text links or product links that people are using these on their Facebook, they're using in social, they're putting them on Instagram. Instagram doesn't make it as easy to direct link to things, but I think chat, and within apps is sort of the next frontier. So, you have this smart AI thing and you say, "Look, find me a pair of socks." And it brings you three choices and you click on one of the three in a chat window and buy it. That is going to be probably some sort of tracked lane.
Adam Brown: Robert Glaser, founder, CEO of Acceleration Partners, great to have you on the show. One of the things you told us in the pre-show was you're passionate enthusiasm for Instagram. And you had said something that really stuck with me. You said, in your opinion, Instagram is really the only platform that can sell lifestyle and culture. I took that and I began to realize, yeah, there's something actually to that. So, I'm curious if you could elaborate on that and why is that?
Adam Brown: Is it because of the emphasis on photography and imagery? Is it just because of how people are using Instagram and how brands are using Instagram as well as the consumers? Curious around lifestyle and culture, obviously, a huge part of what you're doing on behalf of your clients and your customers. Talk a little bit more about that.
Robert Glazer: Yeah. It's interesting. I think that it's not dissimilar to, I would have said five years ago when a company had a blog. The best blog that they could have really never touched their products. So, we had a company in the lifestyle design space. And it was about color and it was about ... and they really ... you would go to it because it was a great style blog, not because it was showing products and that was a choice that they made. Instagram, again ...
Adam Brown: A good choice.
Robert Glazer: Yeah, good choice. Now, you're starting to get more, sort of linking a product placement, but the only way to build a following was really through this kind of lifestyle and culture and image and showing what your brand looks like and feels like, you couldn't click here. In some ways I actually think it was a blessing for everyone and that forced them to find relevant imagery and on brand stuff to build their followings.
Robert Glazer: But companies grew these tremendous followings on Instagram without any ability to have a transactional component. What we're seeing is that transactional component is now starting to come into these things, that I'm interested to see whether that sort of ruins the quality of the communication for some brands now that ... they couldn't before and now they can. I mean, we have one client who's in the bracelet space and they have just built this incredible following and if you just went on there, it's all about the lifestyle and the brand and the things that they represent. That's built a loyal audience for them.
Jay Baer: Yeah. I've been thinking about this idea. I'll take your temperature on this, both you guys, because I haven't written it yet. I've got to write a blog post tomorrow and I've been thinking about doing this thing that everybody is so concerned about attention and they spend so much time trying to create the best movie, right? We got to hire the best actors. We got to have the best special, we got to have the best CGI, we got to have the best budget, but really what you need to do is create the best documentary, like just show people what your company does and what your products do.
Jay Baer: And let's not worry about can we afford Brad Pitt? Let's just make a good documentary. It feels like that's a strategy that we need to embrace even more.
Robert Glazer: Yeah. It's exactly that point. If you think about how Instagram is letting brands do that, they're creating the documentaries with their own authentic customers, right? Free actors who are showing other potential customers how they are living with that brand.
Jay Baer: No doubt.
Adam Brown: I would assume a lot of our listeners are in situations where they're trying to push their CMO or whoever they were report up to in an organization to do these types of things. And as you said, the idea of creating lifestyle type of content, it's a little bit of a Trojan horse. We're gonna we'll that lifestyle Trojan horse in there, then the ads and the call to actions are going to come out in the middle of the night. What would you tell a social pro who's trying to get their CMO or other senior leader to go on this journey? To recognize how we can't always talk about call to actions.
Adam Brown: We can't always talk about the product. We've got to build a category before we can start to sell the brand, any advice there?
Robert Glazer: Yeah. I think, the clear expectations that it is a long term play. Jay, I think we've talked about this in the past, but the biggest mistake that companies make is trying to be average at six channels when they will be better off picking one or two and being great at it. If you have someone doing Instagram full time and they have the effort to be great at it, it probably will work and you'll build that audience. If you're trying to check the boxes of being across Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Snapchat and kind of half in and all those areas, I've never seen that work for anyone.
Robert Glazer: Instagram is not a conversion channel I think right now.
Adam Brown: [crosstalk 00:19:51], yeah.
Robert Glazer: Not that I say they can't convert, but I think if you're spending all that time and energy, you're talking about having a CMO-
Adam Brown: Well, let's say it can convert, you just can't see it.
Robert Glazer: Right. You're talking about building an audience with the faith that a loyal, engaged audience will lead to conversions.
Adam Brown: If you build it, they will come and click. They will watch.
Jay Baer: I suspect that you think, Bob, that there are some lessons for social media marketers even if they are not in the performance space per se, but what you do in terms of holding marketing accountable on both sides of the ledger, using math using, testing, using optimization, I suspect there's things that our listeners can really benefit from, even if they're not for whatever reason, in the performance space today. What do you think about that?
Robert Glazer: Yeah. The lesson that I have just learned and this goes to my writing and campaigns, is really create the most value for the user and you will get the most in return for that. So, even in the best performance campaigns, they're really good. Again, they're not trying to be clickbait or linkbait, they're something that's really authentic. They may talk about a toaster and everything they love about it and hate about it, and then have a link, and if you're cool with the things that they hate about it, then you buy the toaster and they get paid.
Robert Glazer: And I think it's the same thing with Instagram. The people that I've found are the most successful in whatever they're doing, are authentic. Then they're really good at it and then everyone tries to catch up with them by gaming it and it doesn't-
Jay Baer: Yeah. And they're inauthentic by definition. You can't game authenticity.
Robert Glazer: Yeah, they're really doing it because they want to do it. I mean, if you talk to people who have a great Instagram, I mean, they are focused on it. They believe in it. They believe they're sharing valuable stuff. That's different than a marketer who's saying, Oh, I think this one will convince people to do acts. I think sometimes people get the cause and effects all mixed up. It's funny, I got reminded this. I'm working on my second book now and the editor looked at it and was just like, "The reader doesn't care about this. The reader doesn't care about this."
Robert Glazer: There's things that I cared about, but the reader didn't care about it. And it was a great point on like really even thinking about being customer centric in that way.
Adam Brown: Another interesting thing, Robert, that you mentioned in the pre-show was two platforms and I hadn't thought about in a while, and that was Medium and Quora. Two platforms that four or five years ago I loved and embraced and was active on it. Haven't heard a lot about these platforms in a while, but it sounds as though they're working for you, with the Acceleration Partners, and they're working for your customers. What are we doing wrong and why haven't we heard about these platforms a little bit?
Robert Glazer: Yeah, I think it's not dissimilar to what I was saying before in a different way. If you invest in it, one of the ways that we had been using them is in syndication. There's also syndicating stuff that we've already written and there's a lot of syndication that actually comes off of Quora and Medium, where things that are popular are told. If you commit on a regular basis to create, it's the type of thing where I think you have to do it for 300 days and then on day 302 you start to see the value.
Robert Glazer: But that's what I've seen. I started taking some my best content, syndicating it, putting it up on those platforms, stuff that I didn't already written that I thought could get different exposure. The effort goes like this and then all of a sudden it hockey sticks up once you've put up out enough stuff into the world that other people value. So, I think again, if you're trying to gamify it and just like SEO, if you're trying to get the click.
Robert Glazer: If you commit to doing it, I was inspired by a guy I'd worked with, he committed to write an article every year on Medium for an entire. And then by year two, he was one of the top X writers on the entire Medium platform.
Adam Brown: Wow. I think that might be one of the mistakes that companies and individuals make. It's almost like a syndicating TV show. You can't do it until you have seven seasons in the can and until you have a massive content there, it's very difficult to begin to syndicate it, and to get those eyeballs and they get the link love that those two platforms are going to [crosstalk 00:24:13].
Robert Glazer: Yeah, I went back to a lot of my content from two or three years ago, which I realized a lot of people hadn't seen. I had new audience. I updated it, each post in 5 or 10 minutes, made it relevant and suddenly, it hits a whole other audience. I think that the way that things syndicate from one place to another these days, I think we need a little more ... everyone could leverage reduce, reuse, recycle more into their content strategy.
Adam Brown: Write once, use many.
Robert Glazer: Yeah.
Jay Baer: Bob, one thing I wanted to ask you is the tactics and mechanics of running all of these partners. I mean, you've got programs where you've got literally thousands of participants in these programs. How do you keep that all straight? I mean, the messaging, the disclosures. I mean, there's just a lot of moving pieces there. It makes my head hurt even thinking about it. Obviously, you've got very, very talented people on your team and Acceleration Partners. But how do you kind of keep everybody in the same sandbox?
Robert Glazer: Yeah, I know. it's a good question. Sounds like a bad marketing pitch for what we do, but I would say it's not rocket science. I think one of the biggest things that we've found in this industry was that the staffing to revenue ratio of the programs was out of whack. People were either managing five channels in-house and doing it or they were working with a network that has 25 account reps. Sorry, one account rep per 25 programs and you can't possibly stay on all this stuff. We have global accounts that have 10 full time people on it. We think of it's a real channel, it takes real resources and there's different specialists from the creative specialists to the fraud specialists.
Robert Glazer: We centralize a lot of those things like fraud and application and the things that you can develop highly scalable, repeatable processes around it, learn. And then we put the creative and strategy talent out in the account management team closer to the client to say, "Look, here are the best practices of things that we know how to do well and how to recruit and find fraud and apply and do that. But let's think about what your program needs, what the right strategy is, what the creative is, and let's make sure that we have the right resource level on it.
Robert Glazer: We turn down a lot of programs. We refer them to other people. Our minimum is sort of a halftime person on a program because hey, look, if you're not willing to put a halftime person on this channel, you're not really committed to making the channel work.
Adam Brown: Robert, I'd love for you to talk a little bit more about the fraud and I'm assuming one of the things that customers and clients get as a peace of mind. That you're on top of that and that you're managing it. Talk a little bit about what the fraud is and of how you're mitigating that risk on behalf of the brands.
Robert Glazer: Sure. I mean, first off, I'm a believer in ... one of my favorite quotes is, and I used in the book is Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's number two, he says, "Show me the incentive and I'll tell you that behavior. The problem is fraud has paid for a lot of people in a lot of marketing channels, where the people are-
Adam Brown: So, it's spam, right? And so has telemarketing and all the things that we hate, like it wouldn't happen if it didn't pay off at some level.
Robert Glazer: Right. So, I'm managing a program, I'm paid on the number of commission dollars I pay the people, so I don't want to do things that reduce commission dollars. First, we've gotten the right incentives. We don't represent two parties in the same transaction and we really try to never be tied to what anyone is spending. We think those are bad metrics. I will say that a lot of fraud in the ... there's a couple of different types of fraud. There's kind of cookie stuffing and hard fraud, the attribution fraud.
Robert Glazer: There's also just low value tactics and sort of manipulating the attribution model by trying to come in at the last second and not really adding a lot of value. In terms of, if you have good account managers who are watching a program and they see a new publisher come in on two days and they don't really understand what they do and they blip all the way up. A lot of people go, "Oh, that's great."
Robert Glazer: We're more inclined to say, "Oh, let's ask some questions there." So, what we always say is actually, our human account managers, if they're doing their work, they should spot this stuff early. Actually, the technology might tell us how someone is cheating because we might not figure out exactly what it is they're doing without some of the technology that we use, but if you're just looking at the regular patterns of analysis, things that don't make sense or that are kind of aberrations usually are not positive.
Robert Glazer: Occasionally they are, but they're more 80% negative, 20 percent positive. Again, our incentives are not aligned to look the other way when those things happen.
Jay Baer: I also wanted to ask you about acceleration partners and the fact that you have been named best places to work by every organization that bestows such a thing. You've got to be really proud about the culture you've built there and the organization and your people and your team. Congratulations, first of all, that's not an easy thing to do. And many folks listening to this show either are entrepreneurs or certainly entrepreneurs who are running teams and divisions inside companies. What's your tip?
Robert Glazer: Yeah, my tip is to be yourself. One of the things I talk a lot about a good culture is I think there's some things we think about are good culture. Hey, a good culture is one that pays people well and it's nice to people. But really, a good culture is one that is consistent I think with what it says and what it does. So, we really try to go out there and say here's what we're trying to do, here's our plan, here's our values, here are our goals. This is honestly how we act.
Robert Glazer: If you come here and you don't like it here, it will be because of these things. It will not be because of not these things. We think we have a great culture, but we think it's great for the probably 5% of people that we try to screen that would really do well in our environment and a lot of other people might appreciate it but not might want to work how we work and in the way that we work.
Robert Glazer: I've talked to so many employees and staff that come from places with really bad cultures and usually, the number one complaint is, hey, we walked in, we saw these core values, we heard these things on day one, we just never heard them again. Look, we're in a services business. So, our ability to attract and retain the best people, all those awards, the biggest thing they do for us because we have this great inbound pipeline coming every week of people who want to work here and our best people stay.
Robert Glazer: And that allows us to offer a great service to our clients because anyone who has ever bought a marketing service or professional service, including me, knows that turnover and account management is the thing that drives the clients crazy. We have turnover usually because people are being promoted and not because they're leaving. Yeah, so I really think that if a founder doesn't know what kind of company they want to run and who they want to be and aren't clear about what they want, it's really hard to then build an authentic culture around that.
Adam Brown: I'll echo Jay's point, congratulations on your success as it relates to Acceleration Partners being a great place to work, that means a lot. I'm lucky, Salesforce to be in a kind of similar type of organization that really puts a lot of focus on that. I'm curious Robert, in terms of the people that you are bringing in as you continue to grow the organization, who is the right person for your organization? And recognize, you said earlier on that you've got so many different disciplines and areas of expertise.
Adam Brown: You've got fraud folks, you've got copywriters, you've got account executives, but are you looking for people who are, maybe I've been on the other side of the affiliation programs? Are you looking for people who have ad or PR experience? Or are you just looking for people who are passionate, who know how to write, who know how to communicate with a customer or a client?
Robert Glazer: Yeah. We have two tracks. We have the people who have the experience. First of all, we're always looking for a combination of fit for our core values and aptitude. And aptitudes are related to whatever those functions you just kind of rattled off, but one without the other doesn't work. I always say that your toleration of the brilliant jerk, it says a lot about your culture. The person who does all the right things for the wrong reasons, doesn't work at our company.
Robert Glazer: So, we test and screen against the core values. We test on the aptitude. But at a high level, we have a path for people with experience in our industry and both experience in professional services. I can't stress enough like there's a big difference there. We have a lot of in-house affiliate managers who apply to work here and we say, "Look, we're in the high-end professional services business." It's a really different thing than than being in house and I don't think enough people appreciate that.
Robert Glazer: And then because also that our industry does not produce a lot of talent. We built as far as I know, the first global program of an academy training program where we can hire smart digital marketers who have agency or client service experience and basically put them into a 90-day intensive program. And a lot of cases, the upside may be higher there because we can hire the best and brightest and highest aptitude person and train them, versus someone who has the right experience, but honestly, you need a combination.
Robert Glazer: Because we need some people coming in who have the experienced on these accounts, but we're also ... we have a pretty good program. We're doing two to three classes a year or five each, where we're really building managers that have great cross-functional digital marketing skills and teaching them what we do.
Adam Brown: How did you create this organization? Now, did you come from the professional services world? What were you doing before you got the idea to found Acceleration Partners?
Robert Glazer: I worked in strategy consulting and at an incubator. I think a lot of our DNA comes from my experience in sort of consulting firms. We were actually structured more like a consulting firm than a marketing agency in terms of the marketing agency is typically you get sold by someone who is senior and then you've got a 24 year old account exec [crosstalk 00:34:01] which drives everyone crazy.
Robert Glazer: A consulting firm doesn't really work like that. A consulting firm, the engagement manager, or the person who talks to you about the strategy and stuff ends up being a project manager. There tends to be a day-to-day manager and associates and 24 year olds were great work behind the scenes on the program. And that's actually how we're structured. We have fewer clients then account managers, just to give you a sense of the ratio. And our teams are structured more like a consulting firm with sort of senior engagement managers and then associates and analysts who work under the manager behind the scenes doing a lot of that work.
Adam Brown: I've got one more question, Robert, for you before I hand off to Jay. This is something I've thought about and I've wondered why I haven't asked this question to other people that we've had on the show that have come from agency or professional service or consulting backgrounds. And that is kind of what's the one biggest piece of advice that you give your clients that you could be utilizing for Acceleration Partners? What's the one thing that you're not doing? The cobbler's kids are going barefoot on one thing.
Robert Glazer: Yeah, I mean, we got called out on this by one of our coaches. So, we've tested this, but we should be using more performance based marketing in terms of the leads that are coming to us or we've even played around with this on the recruiting side. Instead of working with recruiters that we haven't had a great experience with, I could go to anyone and say, if you bring me someone in any of these roles that meets my criteria and they stay here, I'll pay you $10,000.
Jay Baer: You'd be your own recruiter, yeah.
Robert Glazer: Right. I can basically a crowdsource recruiting program-
Jay Baer: We'll be happy to put one of those links on the Social Pros Podcast show notes page. Socialpros.com where we have transcripts of every single episode and you just go there and get a job at Acceleration Partners [inaudible 00:35:50] going to take it and buy Tequila.
Robert Glazer: Yeah. I'll have to try the good Tequila with you.
Jay Baer: We'll make it [inaudible 00:35:56].
Robert Glazer: Yeah, we actually do that. Our employees do that. So, when they use their referral links, we can tell where it came from and what we say to them is, "Look share it on Facebook because you might know, but your friend's friend might not know about the job. It could go two generations away and we can track it back to you." Yeah, we need to use more of our own performance marketing, but we actually, there is somewhere where you can sign up on our site and be a freelance recruiter and for us it's like a free look at the person. Send us someone and if we end up hiring them and they stay, I'm happy to pay you.
Jay Baer: You heard it there first people. Two questions we're going to ask you, Roberto, that we ask every single person on this show going back, almost eight years now, which is hard to believe. Question number one, what one tip would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro?
Robert Glazer: I mean, it sounds trite, but I guess there's two answers to this question. Do something you really believe in, or passionate about or ... because we said before, it's hard to fake it. You're just gonna be better at something that you're your authentic at and I would say the second part of that is, particularly, if you're on the younger side of your career, focus more on getting the right mentor under the right people, the right learning. What's amazing, I'm sure you've seen this Jay, if you go on to see like all these great leaders, the companies like Linkedin, all these places and who they worked for early on in their career, they were all these amazing leader.
Robert Glazer: I see people chasing jobs for $,1000 or $500 and switching around. I think it's much better to dive in and find the best person in the industry or in your industry, work for them for a while, learn from them and that will take you a lot further.
Jay Baer: Boy, that is such good advice and I wish we'd talked about that more here on the show. I am certainly a product of that good fortune. It's the same thing in sports, right? You see all the good managers and coaches played for good managers and coaches like almost uniformly, that's not an accident. I think you're right. Chase your boss, chase a mentor, don't chase $500 and a title.
Robert Glazer: There's an argument that you would offer yourself for free to some people and the LTV of that would be far higher based on where you worked and who you worked for than otherwise.
Jay Baer: Well done. Last question for you, Robert Glazer, who is the CEO of Acceleration Partners Performance Marketing Geniuses, if you could do a video call with any living person, who would it be?
Robert Glazer: Probably more recent answer, but at this point I would say Ray Dalio. I read the book, principles-
Jay Baer: Yeah. I'm looking at right now. I [inaudible 00:38:28] here on my shelf and it's awesome.
Robert Glazer: I mean, it's a top five, I think all time management leadership book. There's a lot of things that they have done that we have tried to do that they were 20 years head on and he's really thought through it all and I would love to pick his brain and learn about some of the stuff they're doing and ask him about how to do some of the stuff that we're doing better.
Jay Baer: Yeah, that's a great answer and one that we've not had here, I don't believe, on the Social Pros Podcast in the past. But boy, what a good book. He and I share a literary agent and my agent sent me an early copy of that book and I was like, holy cow. It's a long book, there's a lot in there. It's like an MBA in a book.
Robert Glazer: I've never put as many red flags on notes. I think on a book I've read in the last five years as I have another book [inaudible 00:39:13].
Jay Baer: It's almost just [inaudible 00:39:13] if you read that book, you're like, "God, I suck." I'm saying like, I'm so not good at this. And I'm like, I thought I was good. And then you play page 32, you're like, "Man, I suck."
Robert Glazer: If you're running a high performance business, there's a page that answers everything in that book. Difficult conversations, page 237. Question about value, page 211. Like I said, it's a long read, but we made our whole leadership team read it and everyone really enjoyed it.
Jay Baer: That's great. Good answer. We'll make sure to link that up in the show notes, ladies and gentlemen. Maybe we'll put a performance marketing link to Ray Dalio's principles.
Robert Glazer: [inaudible 00:39:47] Amazon affiliate.
Jay Baer: I do have an Amazon affiliate link. We just never use it. Yeah, we should, but we never do. And we'll link up your book as well. When's the new book coming out?
Robert Glazer: The new book's coming out next September.
Jay Baer: Fantastic. We'll make sure to have you back on the show and talk about that when the time is right. Until then, he is Robert Glazer, from Acceleration Partners. He is Adam Brown from Salesforce marketing cloud. I am Jay Baer from Convince & Convert. Make sure you go to socialpros.com for all the show notes, transcripts, recordings, links, special surprises, dating back, whatever, 350 episodes or whatever number we're on now. There is a treasure trove of stuff for you there. Until next week, thanks so much for listening to Social Pros.