Spotlight Q&A With Chris Tradgett, CMO of Publisher Discovery, on New Partnership with CAKE - CAKE Google+
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Spotlight Q&A With Chris Tradgett, CMO of Publisher Discovery, on New Partnership with CAKE


We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with Publisher Discovery. They are a leading SaaS platform that provides advertisers and networks with insights into more than 80 market verticals across 17 industries to help you discover new affiliate partners to expand your performance marketing program.

Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, the Publisher Discovery platform sources the most relevant affiliate domains within a specific vertical and identifies the exact partners promoted on that domain. This gives advertisers and networks a competitive advantage by allowing them to also search across multiple competitor domains to access a holistic view of the competitors’ affiliate partners. Once partners of interest are identified, advertisers and networks can connect directly with those affiliates.

We recently caught up with Chris Tradgett, CMO of Publisher Discovery, to learn more about how the Publisher Discovery and CAKE partnership equips customers with opportunities to maximize their affiliate program profitability and expand their affiliate partnerships.


Tell us about Publisher Discovery, what problem are you solving for performance marketers and what inspired your team to build the SaaS solution?

Publisher Discovery is all about making the process of finding and recruiting affiliates easier.

The platform started out as a concept, initially based on my experience in both affiliate network and advertiser roles, and the realization of how tough it was to find affiliates – mostly by keyword research in search engines at the time.

The first version of Publisher Discovery was built on an SEO model where users would manually search by program ID code. The platform quickly gained traction as there was a growing need to efficiently and effectively find affiliates. Since that time we have developed the technology to take the heavy lifting out of affiliate recruitment and automate the search results by returning a list of all affiliate domains specific to that vertical.

We carry out analysis of affiliate, network, and advertiser relationships using AI and machine learning. Publisher Discovery users input their own site, our platform returns relevant prospective partners in a clear interface, and we equip them with the tools to directly reach out and recruit the new partners.


What are the top two benefits to CAKE customers with our new partnership?

The beauty of a solution such as CAKE, apart from the advanced technology, is that advertisers have full control of their affiliate program and partnerships, without their hard-won affiliate relationships being shared across a network of other affiliate programs. We think we are a perfect fit as our platform provides the tools to extend their reach to find new affiliates to grow their program.

The first benefit to customers is that Publisher Discovery adds a comprehensive database of over 3.5 million affiliate websites in all geographies and verticals from networks connecting to more than 570,000 advertisers. This translates into a myriad of new partnerships and growth opportunities for CAKE customers to explore.

The second benefit, and one of the most popular parts of our interface, is the ability to show a gap analysis of a program against its competitors’ affiliate lists. This enables you to identify the quick wins of new partners to recruit that match a specific vertical and industry. Advertisers and networks have access to this unique competitor analysis tool, which is currently not available in any other independent or network-based software.


For advertisers or networks looking to find more affiliates, how will Publisher Discovery help them?

We equip advertisers and networks with the tools to examine their own vertical —whether that’s forex, pet food, fashion, or webhosting — to quickly and easily drill down into the most relevant and valuable potential partners.

These partners can then be filtered by geo or network, then assessed by a relevance score specific to that vertical as well as a prediction of traffic levels. This helps users quickly build a shortlist of potential partners to reach out to and recruit.


What advice would you give to an advertiser or network looking to grow their affiliate partner base?

A lot has been written on this aspect. The key points include:

  • Look at what’s already been working well, and then look for more of the same. For example, if product review sites convert well, then maximize that opportunity by connecting with additional review sites.
  • Diversify your affiliate base. We always recommend moving away from having the majority of your partners in the coupon/rebate space. That minimizes your risk from changes in their search presence or focus.
  • Get to know the most influential affiliates in your vertical and develop a relationship to champion your program. Many smaller affiliates will follow their lead!
  • Identify complementary advertisers who would be happy to cross-refer customers. Corporate partnerships are increasingly important and many advertisers are happy to leverage affiliate referral programs.
  • I’d also advise to follow industry forums or podcasts to stay up to date on the latest trends and learn what others experiences with specific affiliates have been.


What type of information does Publisher Discovery provide about each affiliate?

The Publisher Discovery engine analyzes all aspects of the relationship of each affiliate domain or website, and the partners associated with it. We’re able to show quite a bit of detail and every affiliate contains information such as:

  • The networks they work with
  • How many and which programs the affiliate promotes
  • Other connected websites owned by the same partner
  • Connected social accounts of the affiliate
  • Email addresses of the affiliate when available
  • Keywords relevant to that advertiser’s website

We also provide the ability to save each listed website to a separate list and to add custom notes on the affiliate to enrich the data available.


What are three best practices for nurturing long-term, profitable affiliate partnerships that you would recommend to CAKE customers?

  • Remember that affiliates are people – Too often digital teams forget the differences between programmatic and affiliate. Affiliate is still very much based on relationships, and better relationships give better results.
  • Be flexible in your approach – Affiliates won’t all work in exactly the same way or for the same terms. Expect to negotiate and develop the terms as your relationships develop.
  • Communication is key to maintaining relationships. As in any relationship, work is necessary to make sure all parties benefit.


What’s on the horizon for Publisher Discovery, any new feature releases that your team is excited about?

Our development has always been driven by requests and ideas from our users. This means that we are constantly working on new tools and refinements to add to the platform.

For example, we are very excited about the Chrome Extension we are about to launch. This new development will allow users to receive an alert for any website they land on to show whether it contains affiliate links, then click the links for the full details and add them to a saved affiliates list.


How can CAKE customers get started with Publisher Discovery?

Any CAKE customer can add the power of Publisher Discovery to their recruiting tools. You can reach out to your CAKE customer success manager directly or the CAKE team here.