In this spotlight Q&A, we caught up with Brad Shumard, CAKE’s Senior Product Manager with over 12 years of experience in performance marketing.
Here are some highlights from our conversation.
What is your current role and tell us about your growth journey at CAKE?
I am currently CAKE’s Senior Product Manager and focus on building new features and optimizing platform capabilities that fuel customer growth. In 2009 I joined CAKE as the tenth employee and have been along for the ride of starting at a public company to then expanding to a 100+ person company to now having the backing of a large corporation behind us. My journey with CAKE actually started when it was an entirely different business. At the time we were a lead generation network focused on generating and selling call-qualified financial leads to buyers. We originally built the CAKE software to enable our team to run our lead generation network (you lead generators might remember), however we quickly realized that we had an opportunity to license out our software to other performance marketers. In 2010 the company pivoted to focus on the CAKE SaaS platform, and this is when I migrated to helping onboard new customers as part of the CAKE support team. Then in 2012, I moved to the product and development teams, where I have been ever since. With ten years of performance marketing experience, I get to apply my learnings to my day-to-day role as a Senior Product Manager.
What are some trends in performance marketing that everyone should know about in 2021?
Cookies, cookies, and more cookies. We have known for some time that cookies are going the way of the dinosaur and it’s time for everyone to understand the fact that server-to-server tracking is the most reliable long-term solution for accurate measurement.
What separates CAKE’s product from the other SaaS competitors?
CAKE is unique in the sense that we provide more than just an affiliate platform. We are the leading provider to deliver affiliate marketing and lead distribution capabilities on a single cloud-based platform. The solution provides real-time performance insights — from the initial ad view all the way to logging lead feedback from the lead buyer. This enables performance marketers to make campaign optimizations at any point along the customer journey.
Outside of work, how do you enjoy spending your time?
I love Disc Golf. While growing up my father often took me and my brother to play the sport at local parks. Now I compete in amateur Disc Golf tournaments and enjoy making new friends who also enjoy the same sport.
What are you most passionate about with regards to CAKE’s product?
Lead distribution holds a spot near and dear to my heart. Especially since I actually experienced first-hand the advantages and benefits with our lead generation network that existed prior to CAKE software. Lead distribution just makes sense, consumers fill out the forms, people purchase those leads, the sales team closes the deal, and the consumer receives a product or service. Beyond that lead distribution is really the best way to maximize your earning potential by offsetting your marketing costs. For example, when you start off with a loose keyword bid that tends to bring in other leads that you cannot monetize. With CAKE’s Lead Distribution, customers can reach out to their network of clients (buyers) and see if they would like to purchase any of these leads. Therefore making lemonade out of lemons. This premise is really under utilized because not all performance marketers enable lead distribution, which is the competitive advantage that CAKE offers.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I am a foodie and love to cook. In my free time I like to make overly complex meals, so I get to flex my culinary school skills.
What is one piece of advice you could offer an existing customer looking to get the most out of CAKE?
Two things come to mind. First, it’s easy to proactively manage your affiliate and/or lead distribution program by simply setting up Alerts. These deliver customized real-time email notifications that alert you when there is suspicious activity. Next, for lead generation networks, take advantage of CAKE’s Ping Post functionality to create a win-win situation for you and your buyers. Users who leverage Ping Post optimize their earnings by selling pre-qualified leads to buyers. Ping Post is set up to give buyers a preview of the lead details from a form submission (e.g. lead’s zip code, salary range, case notes, etc.) without providing contact information. This allows buyers to indicate the amount they’re willing to pay for each lead depending on its content and quality. If you decide to sell it to the buyer for their proposed amount, you can then post the full lead to the buyer. You make the desired profit margin, while your buyer is satisfied because they set the price.
Other content you might be interested in:
- Blog: How to Sell Leads to Maximize Profit: Everything You Need to Know
- Whitepaper: Keys to Successfully Launch and Grow a Lead Distribution Program with Technology
- Blog: How to Run a Successful Lead Generation Program on CAKE