Marketing is now more focused on revenue than it has ever been, says Sam O’Brien, CMO at Affise.

Media 7 | February 14, 2022

Sam O’Brien, CMO at Affise discusses Affise's powerful business intelligence tools and their sales strategies. Read on to know more about his thoughts on digitization and content personalization in his latest interview with Media 7.

Partner market has huge growth at the moment. It has really taken off and still, it seems quite complex for people.

MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us a little bit about your role at Affise and your overall professional journey?
SAM O’BRIEN:
As Chief Marketing Officer, I have been here now for nine months. I am responsible for driving revenue, and growth for the business. This includes positioning the company ensuring the brand is representing Affise externally as well as internally. One challenging but exciting aspect about Affise is that we operate globally, with offices and staff in China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Lituania, Germany, UK, Brazil and USA. Managing such global brand that is still a start-up is extremely challenging, especially when you add in the fact that we operate in 5 different languages.
 
As a CMO, I'm very analytical, but I've got a background in design and in product management which I like to lean on and leverage in this role. My professional journey has been an interesting one. I started out as a graphic designer while I was at school, 15 years old. I have just had my way through design into performance design, got  involved in testing and optimization, then started running Google campaigns, paid media campaigns. I spent a long time working with small, very early-stage startups and E-commerce companies to build them up and run their advertisement, their marketing, and really driving revenue for them. And over the years, I just migrated into this sort of marketer, that is very analytical looks at everything, and can focus on the long-term, big picture while managing the day to day world of demand generation.


M7:  That’s really inspiring. Affise offers a number of simple yet powerful business intelligence tools. Could you please tell us more about them?
SO:
So, at the core of what we do at Affise, we simplify partnerships. Partner market has huge growth at the moment. It's really taken off and still, it seems quite complex for people. Since joining Affise I've had many senior, experienced CMOs, head of marketing, demand generation leads reaching out to me asking how they can learn more about partner marketing. We want to solve that and make it easy. We want to make it simple. Marketers are under so much stress right now. They're really feeling the pressure to grow their business and continue performing. Marketing is now focused more on revenue than ever before. Back in the day, you'd get away with running a campaign and delivering 1000, 2000 leads or trials, whatever the metric, without ever looking at the business goals.
Now marketers are looking full-funnel, as a result, the pressure has just grown and grown and grown, but the big crux at the moment is the cost.

Google, Facebook, Amazon, take 60% of our ad spend a year. These guys are increasing their prices. Google went up by 187% from 2020 to 2021. Okay, one year 187% in their CPC and CPM. Unless you can increase the price of your product by 187% a lot of campaigns will now be ineffective. Affise is offering an alternative or complementary solution for you to come in and find a way to go to market. We're working with some huge brands at the moment, we're giving companies a faster way to start Partner Marketing. Find the partners you want to work with, or the publishers or creators or affiliates, to promote your business. Actually, the best part. Affise offers a payment term - CPA model, cost per acquisition, what we call outcome-based marketing. Unlike your Facebook and Google where you're paying a CPL or CPM, here, you're paying for outcomes. You only pay for what actually works. This is a huge time saver, cost saver and overall makes a very compelling go-to marketing strategy.


Personalization can work after the user has identified themselves. Let them come to your website, read your content, once you build that understanding on them, then start personalizing their experience.



M7: What is your strategy behind helping your sales team present your products and services in an engaging manner to your potential customers?
SO:
Working with sales is crucial. This is why marketers now align to revenue right? There's no point in marketing targeting MQLs and sales aren't closing. You have to think full funnel. When I joined Affise I came in with a clear vision to be full-funnel, by that I mean aligning with sales, customer success, support and the onboarding team. The way we work is we sell globally. We have got offices in China, India Russia and Berlin. Everybody markets differently but they also take on information differently. We work closely with the sales team, what and how they are doing, watch what's natural, what words are working, we arre analyzing their scripts, checking chat transcripts and seeing what works, what doesn't work. And from there, we are trying to combine what we are hearing, the pain points, we are creating the ideal persona that we are going to solve the problems for. And a lot of the time we find that at the core of it what people, what personas want to know. It is the same across each department.

I think the key is taking the time to think about what you're doing and think about what people care about. It's all well and good showing a product. But if you're showing a product to a CMO and he's never going to step foot in the product again and you're showing him all the nuts and bolts of how it works, you're going to lose interest. CMO cares about what revenue we're going to see, how am I going to get an ROI? How many more people do I need to be on the team, whereas when we are working directly like a partner manager, they want they want to know what integrations we've got and how quickly they can start a campaign and how quickly they can turn it off. What fraud protection do we have built in all things like this? So, you need to know personas and then you need to help sales with identifying who's on the call more parts are going to be important.


M7: Every marketer is chasing the golden combo of personalization and privacy. How do you strike a balance between both?
SO
: There is a golden balance between personalization and privacy. I would say it's based on starting your marketing with good quality content, things which are educational and people want to read. If they want to read it, and you provide them with that content for free, they're willing to identify who they are and they're willing to share their information with you for more quality content. Building trust with them on a purely organic you know, content-led approach, it’s a great way to start. When you start personalizing content to them, they won't even notice it's personalized. I do go against what Gartner said, they predicted 80% of marketers would abandon their personalization efforts by 2025. I disagree. Personalization is extremely scalable. Personalization can work after the user has identified themselves. Let them come to your website, read your content, once you build that understanding on them, then start personalizing their experience. I think we got away with a lot around tracking people and away we're tracking them the way we're using their data. And you know, When GDPR first came in overnight, I lost access to a lot of my data and it was very stressful. But actually, at that time we launched ABM and lightly personalized to the masses based on their country, vertical or other “grouping date”. Now, obviously, ABM technically is done too few, maybe 100 people maybe 20 people, maybe as one on one, but you can use these tactics to create a better experience for your users without encroaching on their privacy. It doesn't feel intrusive, and I think that's the golden balance.


Invest in creativity and the long-term brand that will help you stand out.



M7: That’s indeed a very insightful take. What do you think is essential to stay competitive in a market that is going through constant digitalization?
SO:
Look, it's a challenging time to be competitive. Everybody's trying same tactics. I'm not trying to have this interview being all about the negativities of Google and Facebook because every marketer uses Google and Facebook, but it's hard to stand out. And because more people are using them it becomes hard to compete. It becomes hard to make a positive ROI from these channels. So, we do think it is a sales push, but I do think looking at partner marketing, looking at content creators, finding people who can get your point across for you without you having to do it is hugely valuable. And it does make you stay competitive. I think the other thing here is creativity. A lot of brands try a campaign, they turn it on, they turn off and run it again for a few days, they turn it off again, then they try something else.

Consistency and creativity. Spending the time to think of a creative campaign, thinking through some who's going to stand out, differentiate yourself, like take the time to do it, and run it longer. Don't think campaigns got a shelf life for three months? If it's good, and you took the time to think about it, run it for a year run. If 18 months it, it will last? And I think that's like one thing that's missing and when companies have a competitive advantage I don't think that there. They are finding their way to differentiate themselves creativity.


M7: What is your marketing mantra to stand out in an overly saturated MarTech space?
SO:
There are a few things I think, going back to the basics. Trust is key, spending the time, building a community will pay off in the long term. And I think that gets left behind because it takes a long time. A lot of marketers are very top of the funnel – pre-purchase focused, they're focused on getting people to the purchase stage and not thinking past that. Community building is a very beneficial tactic and will help you stand out in the long run. I think to add to that, the golden nugget that every marketer especially in something like Mar tech wants to do is create a category. Category creation is brilliant, but it's hard. Not only do you have to think of a new position but if you create a category and it doesn't resonate with people nobody's going to come because they don't understand your business yet. The best example that I always reference is drift. Drift created the category of conversational marketing. It was a chat tool not very different to any other chat tool. But they owned conversational marketing, and that's what people then knew them for. So actually, as a mantra, invest in creativity and the long-term brand that will help you stand out.

One of the big challenges we have at Affise is we're not just competing against other people in MarTech. I'm competing against Neil Patel, for instance. He writes loads of content about affiliate marketing. So, I'm competing against him, and Pat Flynn, who also writes loads of content, again about affiliate marketing. So, it's a different kind of competition. You're competing against them for keywords, but not necessarily for the same product. Partnerships is a good way to approach this. It's a good way to get your brand out there and approach a new audience. If you can find something which is mutually beneficial, it's a good way to stand out and again, helps you helps build credibility to your brand that you're working with these people.

ABOUT AFFISE

Affise is the performance marketing solution that puts the user in control. Creatives and conversions, publishers and payments, everything is right where users need it, easy to manage and analyze. Over 100+ companies using Affise for driving their business forward with conversion-based costs instead of paying for clicks. Among their clients are iFunny (#1 AppStore application in USA), FxClub (The largest Forex broker in Europe), MobUpps (Top 30 AppsFlyer worldwide ratings), Zorka.Mobi (One of the biggest CPI networks in Russia).

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Pixotope | September 28, 2022

Pixotope, the leader in live augmented reality (AR), extended reality (XR), and virtual production solutions, is continuing to break down barriers to Virtual Production adoption by expanding its network of partners across the EMEA region. This expansion follows the success of major productions for Pixotope, including support of the world's largest esports event, Valve’s Dota 2, 2021, held in Bucharest’s 50,000-capacity stadium, Arena Națională. Alongside Pixotope, new business partners Tangram, Telmaco, Vantec, The Level, Mondatum, Post Logic, Plan Shoot Deliver, Centron, CVP, and BDS will drive market-leading virtual production technology in their respective territories. David Cheng, VP Sales & Marketing (EMEA) at Pixotope, says, "We're delighted to be working with our new partners in the EMEA region. These new partnerships reflect the increased global demand for high-level, virtual production technology throughout EMEA. We’re looking forward to broadening access to Pixotope technology and seeing what clients create next." David Cheng, VP Sales & Marketing (EMEA) at Pixotope, says, "We're delighted to be working with our new partners in the EMEA region. These new partnerships reflect the increased global demand for high-level, virtual production technology throughout EMEA. We’re looking forward to broadening access to Pixotope technology and seeing what clients create next." All the new business partners represent the best talent in their respective regions to support the adoption of Virtual Production. Clients can take additional assurance with the introduction of Pixotope Certified Experts, who have each taken a specialized course and exam, ensuring the best level of support for productions. To support the new business partners, Pixotope has appointed Lisa Schneider as Channel Marketing Manager, to be responsible for the global Pixotope Partner Program. Lisa joins Pixotope from Arvato Systems, where she supported the sales teams and spent several years in the company's Media & Entertainment division, becoming a familiar face at industry events and exhibitions. Lisa says, “I’m looking forward to working with such a prestigious group of partners and leading a program that brings real value to our business partners, enabling them to grow their business as we grow ours and fulfill our mission to make virtual production accessible to all media creators.” New Pixotope EMEA Partners Tangram Solutions - Spain We are a company offering the best audiovisual solutions through the most advanced technologies for more than 18 years. We provide our clients with specialized advice, being experts in the development and optimization of pipelines for Media Entertainment. We are a company that distributes both software and hardware of the first brands in the audiovisual industry, and we are currently leaders in Virtual Production. We are HP Amplifly Power Partner specialized in Workstations Specialist and Autodesk Gold Partner of Media & Entertainment (M&E). We work with film production companies, series, animation, VR, AR, professional schools, and universities. Always being at the forefront of new technologies, providing the sector with new ideas to speed up production. Telmaco - Greece Telmaco S.A. is a leading European AudioVisual and Broadcast Systems Provider and Integrator located in Athens, Greece. The company has been operating very successfully for many years in Greece and Cyprus, with a branch office in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece. In recent years Telmaco has expanded operations internationally and is involved in Turnkey System Integration projects in Northern Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. VANTeC - Portugal VANTeC provides technology, consulting, integration, training, and support for the media market, optimizing its clients’ resources and offering complete solutions. Founded in 1991, VANTeC has 31 years of experience in the market. VANTeC is part of the Danmon Group*. *The Damon Group works specifically in the broadcast sector, with an international presence in various countries like the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Dubai, Jordan, Vietnam, Spain, and Portugal. The Level - UK & IRE Established in 2020 by founder and creative director Kevin Cooney, The LEVEL has worked with some of the biggest names in television sports broadcasting, including F1, FIFA, ITV and Disney, to deliver a truly immersive experience in real-time production. Blurring the lines between animation, virtual and live performances, The LEVEL are creators and innovators and proud to pioneer virtual production solutions and workflows for the broadcast industry. Based in Nottingham in the heart of the midlands, the team have over 20 years’ combined industry experience, which they are now using to take the business to the next level, delivering real-time virtual productions of all shapes and size across the broadcast, media and corporate sectors. Mondatum - UK We are tech innovators, problem solvers, and contract developers. We specialize in on-set virtual production, in-camera visual effects, and real-time visualization. As Unity’s newest tech partner outside games, we are focused on helping organizations to incorporate game engine technology into their creative processes and workflows. Post Logic - France Post Logic distributes a complete range of software and integrated systems for post-production video, film, 3D animation, and broadcast. We are looking for innovative technologies and offer software solutions for the whole of the image processing chain: management of rushes & DI, film restoration, encoding, storage, & special effects compositing, 3D, DCP, and graphic design, as well as hardware systems suitable for the graphics chain: workstations, render farms, secure direct-attached, NAS and SAN storage, networking, monitoring & HD UHD play-out. Plan Shoot Deliver - Czech Republic Plan Shoot Deliver. That's what we do. Founded by Warren Yanish, who has twenty-five years of broadcasting and content creation experience. We bring thousands of hours of live television, sports, documentaries, and corporate & commercial video production experience to the industry. Our focus is innovative solutions for video technologies, Virtual Production, 3D Environment Creation, XR, VR, and AR content creation. Based in Prague, Czech Republic we have worked with clients worldwide to produce amazing projects using Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, Pixotope, Blender, Houdini, 3Dsmax, Sketchup, Revit, and many others in our production pipeline. Contact us for a solution to your next video, broadcast, or film project using Virtual Production. Centron - Slovakia Centron is one of Europe’s leading integrators in the field of supplying professional audiovisual systems and designing, managing, and implementing projects based on audiovisual and communication technologies. Founded in 1991, we have been operating across the Slovak and Czech markets as a distributor, seller, and integrator of professional audio and video technology. CVP - UK & Belgium For over thirty-five years, CVP has been one of the leading Broadcast and Professional video solutions providers, with a comprehensive sales and support infrastructure across the UK and Europe. The company prides itself on maintaining close relationships with key manufacturers such as ARRI, Sony, RED, and Canon, and uses its unrivalled experience to listen to customers, understand their needs, and deliver the right solution with first-class service. CVP offers creative consultation, sales advice, technical service provision, and training. BDS - Italy Broadcast Digital Service was founded in 1994, spanning thirty years of experience in the construction and assembly of audiovisual and commercial directories in multimedia systems, Virtual Studios, Augmented Reality Studios, and Realtime VFX for Film & TV. For over ten years we have expanded our focus on two new sections: Production & Creative Lab. We always work by your side, guaranteeing highly qualified teams, able to develop ideas and content for important audiovisual realities.

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CHANNEL PARTNERSHIPS

Horizon3.ai Drives Global Partner-First Approach with Expansion of Partner Program

Horizon3.ai | September 28, 2022

Horizon3.ai, a cybersecurity firm focused on autonomous penetration testing, today announced it has expanded its partner program to include new rewards, incentives, training, and tools to help partners drive more recurring revenue. The mission of the Horizon3.ai Partner Program is to drive growth opportunities for partners and position them as trusted advisors for their clients. Leading this charge is Jennifer Lee, newly appointed Head of Channel Sales. In this role, Jennifer will be responsible for the strategy and execution of Horizon3.ai’s global channel program. Horizon3.ai’s award-winning autonomous pentesting platform, NodeZero, enables partners to help clients continuously verify their security posture by identifying any exploitable risks and weaknesses across all attack surfaces – hybrid, on-premises and in the cloud. Over the last year, the Horizon3.ai Partner Program has seen tremendous growth, adding partners across the US, and recently expanding internationally, with new partners in Canada, LATAM, EMEA and APAC. As the new Head of Channel Sales, Jennifer brings more than 20 years of experience driving joint sales within the Channel Partner community and will oversee the strategy and execution of the program as it continues to expand. In this role, she’ll be responsible for ensuring GTM alignment and maximizing the program’s value for partners. “The driving force behind creating our new partner program really aligns with our channel-first commitment and how we go-to-market,” said Snehal Antani, CEO and co-founder of Horizon3.ai. "Autonomous pentesting enables the next-generation of security assessments. With NodeZero, partners can help customers continuously verify their security postures. Horizon3.ai’s business strategy is built on the concept of enabling partners to create high value, high margin businesses on top of our platform.” “The Horizon3.ai Partner Program enables partners to leverage the industry’s most advanced, comprehensive penetration testing available. By using NodeZero, partners can help their clients find and fix attack vectors before attackers can exploit them, then verify any issue is resolved,” said Lee. “We’re excited that this expansion further deepens our footprint with MSPs, MSSPs, Resellers and Consulting Partners across the globe, opening up new market and recurring revenue opportunities to better position them for success.” "Most MSSPs and VARs don’t have the talent for pentesting, and trying to staff this position can be incredibly difficult,” said Christopher Prewitt, CTO of Inversion6. “Partnering with Horizon3.ai has been a game changer for us, as it's allowed us not only to perform new services for our customers, but also provide a product where customers can pentest their own network – both internally and externally. With NodeZero, the outcomes we provide to customers are special, unique and effective. It allows us to provide better analysis on systemic issues to customers, so they truly understand what needs to be fixed.” Driving New Market Opportunity with More Incentives and Rewards Horizon3.ai is upskilling and empowering channel partners with financial incentives and professional certifications that position them for rapid growth. Benefits of the Horizon3.ai Partner Program include: Partner Portal – a one-stop shop that offers on-demand support and training as well as the tools needed to simplify deal registration and provide superior and knowledgeable partner support. The portal also enables partners to manage their pipeline, quickly leverage Horizon3.ai resources and sales tools, and gain access to marketing campaigns; Deal protection and increased margins – partners can easily grow their business with high margin opportunities through the deal registration program. These levels of margin are available only to the partner with the approved deal registration. This ensures deal and renewal protection for the partner; Partner Certification training – in-person and virtual trainings are available for sales professionals, technical sales support, and operators to achieve certifications with the industry’s top penetration testing platform, helping drive new recurring revenue opportunities; Partner incentives – deeper discounts and sales incentives available for partners that meet specific commitments, like the completion of the Horizon3.ai Partner Certification training Joint marketing opportunities – partners are given priority in joint marketing opportunities with Horizon3.ai, such as sales campaigns, sponsorship opportunities, events, and more; Additional sales, marketing, and technical resources – resources are available to ensure solution competency and enable partners to articulate value and better meet customers’ needs. Join theCUBE and Horizon3.ai on September 27 at 12 p.m. EDT for the session, “Horizon3.ai Drives Global Partner-First Approach.” Tune in to learn why the program is designed to be an easy win for partners. Read more about the Horizon3.ai Partner Program. About Horizon3.ai Horizon3.ai’s mission is to help you find and fix attack vectors before attackers can exploit them. NodeZero, our autonomous penetration testing solution, is an unlimited, self-service SaaS offering that is safe to run in production, available on-demand, and requires no persistent or credentialed agents. See your enterprise through the eyes of the attacker, identify your ineffective security controls, and ensure your limited time and resources are spent fixing problems that matter. Not just a compliance checkbox; this is effective security. Founded in 2019 by industry and US National Security veterans, Horizon3.ai is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

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