Affiliate Nerd Out

Making sense of the Chaos, with the original Chief of Chaos with Matt Frary

January 10, 2024 Dustin Howes Season 1 Episode 62
Affiliate Nerd Out
Making sense of the Chaos, with the original Chief of Chaos with Matt Frary
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered how a simple phone call can revolutionize your business network? Join me as I sit down with the Chief of Chaos, Matt Frary, to unpack the electrifying realm of affiliate marketing and the undeniable clout of personal connections. Together, we reminisce about my eBags.com origins all the way to launching Smarter Chaos and delve into why picking up the phone is still a game-changer in our digital world. Plus, we're drawing some lively comparisons between the hustle of affiliate marketing and the buzz Dion Sanders created for Colorado football – because who doesn't love a good sports metaphor?

Now, let's get personal. This episode isn't just about strategies; it's about the human touch in business. I'll share why compassion, history, and ambition are not just buzzwords but the foundation of thriving partnerships in the affiliate landscape. We're tackling the complex dance of last-click attribution, discussing how it often snubs influencers and underscoring the imperative of grasping a company's customer lifetime value. It's a journey through the nuances of performance marketing and a reiteration that understanding the human element can be your silver bullet to success.

As we gear up for the future, technology takes center stage. Learn how tools like Basecamp and HubSpot played a part in the acquisition of Smarter Chaos and why scalable processes are your best friend. We'll also introduce AffiStash, our latest affiliate tracking innovation, and discuss a passion project close to my heart – a community initiative for school safety. Before you go, don't forget to look for me at the upcoming Affiliate Summit for some face-to-face action. I'm excited for you to join us as we navigate the continuously evolving, ever-exciting world of affiliate marketing and partnerships.

For more tips on how to scale your affiliate program, check out https://performancemarketingmanager.com

Dustin Howes:

Hey folks, welcome to Affiliate Nerd Out. I'm your Nerdirator, Dustin Howes. Spread that good word about affiliate marketing. You're gonna find me every Tuesday and Thursday here at 12, 15 Pacific Time, so please put it on your calendar. Join me on LinkedIn and my guest today, matt Frary, over at Chief of Chaos over at what company now I don't even know. Thanks for joining me, matt.

Matt Frary:

There's like five of them, but the most important thing is that we are in the great state of Colorado. These are my Coach Prime sunglasses.

Dustin Howes:

So I am ready for you today, dustin.

Matt Frary:

I'm so excited, the future is so bright. In fact, in the immortal words of Dion Sanders, I would say we coming. So anyway, if you don't know what these are in the background, they are not bulls, they are buffaloes, dustin, buffaloes.

Dustin Howes:

I didn't know your loyalty went so deep in the Colorado scene. That's pretty wild.

Matt Frary:

Oh yeah, dude, my blood runs gold bro.

Dustin Howes:

Blood runs gold. Maybe the craziest transition of a football team I've ever seen, with one person.

Matt Frary:

Yeah, I have to tell you it is. You know this is tangential to affiliate marketing and marketing programs. It's all about the hype, like as affiliate managers, it's about hyping the program. Like you know, the greatest thing that happened to a sports program in history I'm on record saying it is Dion Sanders coming to Colorado Did he win a bunch.

Matt Frary:

He won some. He beat some good teams. He lost some but he won overall. I mean he had the rock he had coming and talking about us showing up on campus. He had four prime time specials he has. If you go on Amazon Prime you can actually watch the special about the turnaround of Colorado. The guy generated more than $100 million this last season, sold out tickets through the year and Colorado ain't never seen anything like that.

Dustin Howes:

That is. That is a fun story and some might like I don't know if he's in the affiliate game per se, but it's in that realm, definitely in the influencer space and generating all that content, and maybe he's the second affiliate behind Taylor Swift in 2023. But, like as in up and comers, but I mean Dion's been doing it for 30 years. I've been in this game Like he was an original influencer affiliate in that kind of sense.

Matt Frary:

So he is. But think about it. This is so tangential, like I said to what we're talking about today is it's about relationships. Dion Sanders was able to pull in, like I said, kevin Hart, the rock he had. He had Weezy rapping at the games and coming out of the. You know Lil Wayne coming out of the tunnel here in Boulder, like in Colorado. Nobody knows where Boulder, colorado, is. They do now, and you know it's all about the relationships he leveraged, the partnerships that he generated. It's all part of it, man. It's about like delivering the hype and now it's gonna be a lot like affiliate marketing. It's gonna now be delivering on the promise. So that's what the next couple of years are gonna be is like delivering on that promise.

Dustin Howes:

Looking forward to it. It's an exciting program to go from nothing to top 25. And then I'm just kind of hanging out in there for a while.

Matt Frary:

We were in the top 20 for a minute.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, it was fun, like watching ESPN lose their mind like oh, this isn't a real team. Like, maybe this is a real team. Yeah, it was awesome.

Matt Frary:

It was pretty cool to watch.

Dustin Howes:

All right. Well, let's get into it. We're gonna be doing some live Q&A today, so please drop a question for me and Matt. If you would like to be in the hot seat where Matt is, please drop a line at Dustinhowes. com slash nerd and talk about any topic that you would like to discuss. I'd love to hear it. Our question of the day what is your favorite way to engage partners? Our topic today is gonna be all about partnerships and engaging with affiliate partners. What's your favorite way to do that out there? We would love to know, but without further ado, Matt, who are you?

Matt Frary:

That is a great question. I've been asking that for 46 years now and I'm not even sure that I've got that answer. But I'll tell you a little bit about some of the things I dabble in and what I do. If we start talking about who I was, I'd get all existential on you. But in the affiliate world and in partnerships and marketing I basically started in this world in 1999, got going with ebagscom. That was back when B-Free was around, before CJ, so we were running ebags program. I then did a charity portal called kickstartcom where I was working with all the merchants and we were given 50% of what we were making back to your favorite charity. We were like the original Facebook pages where you could have a page for your organization and then all the shopping and all the advertising and all that stuff would go back to your favorite charity. So early on in the late 90s like 99, I was already forging partnerships with some of these. I went on to build.

Matt Frary:

After getting my MBA from Thunderbird I actually went on to go build a little CPA network that came out of nowhere called ROI Rocket. I built that one out of my apartment in Arizona and moved it to Colorado and then it exploded over a lot of hustle, and that was back to answering the question what's the best way to engage affiliates? You know how I grew ROI Rocket. In every company I've ever had engaging affiliates the telephone, the telephone, or right, like we used to like strap affiliate managers' hands to the telephone and they couldn't eat lunch until they made 100 calls. No, I'm just kidding. Yeah. So we started ROI Rocket.

Matt Frary:

I got out of that in 2010 and started this little agency called Smarter Chaos. Smarter Chaos had a series of really fortunate events. We were able to do the affiliate marketing for Dollar Shave Club, manscaped, fabfitfun we were on this subscription freaking wave for a while. After that, I figured out that 75% of the purchasing power through all these programs was coming through females. So we started our own affiliate CPA network called she Is Media. So we became our own affiliate under our own agency, and then I also wanted to take control of sort of the coupon narrative across all the advertisers I was working with. So I ended up buying DealTaker, and so DealTaker, she Is Media and Smarter Chaos all existed together In 2020, we actually sold our companies and were acquired by Digital Media Solutions.

Matt Frary:

We then rode the wave of the SPAC waves I don't know if you remember that in 2020, but SPACs were special acquisition companies going public and that's what we did. We went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2020. So, if you're asking me who I am now, I'm golfing a lot, I'm skiing a lot, trying to figure it out, but recently I'm back in the game. I started a B2B agency called the Partner Agency 100% dead, focused on building B2B affiliate programs. That's all we do at the Partner Agency. And then I have another company called Chief of Chaos and that is focused on helping companies grow and doing digital transformation.

Dustin Howes:

That's a wild journey, man, and you had so many irons in the fire throughout that time, doing many other things as an entrepreneur, and the fact that you thought you could retire was hilarious. Like once you go from doing all these things, there's no off switch that lasts very long.

Matt Frary:

I don't even know how Like, why would anybody do that? I don't even think of retirement, as retirement Like this is too much fun. Right, Even when COVID happened and I had just sold smarter chaos, I started a beer garden called the Backyard and a live music venue in Casa Rock, Colorado. So I mean I couldn't even sit around and play golf appropriately, like the right way. I actually started a local bar.

Dustin Howes:

Great time to start a restaurant during COVID.

Matt Frary:

I didn't say all my ideas were good ones.

Dustin Howes:

Awesome. So tell us about Chief of Chaos, Like give us a name, origin story of smarter chaos and how that came about.

Matt Frary:

It's a total evolution man. So I had just left ROI rocket, I was sitting in a beach in Mexico and I started to map out the industry. I actually drew my.

Matt Frary:

At the time my two-year-old was playing in the waves and I was like oh my god, I'm having one of those moments, told my wife, let me just go take a pen and pad and sketch for a while, sketch this picture of the industry. And I was like, okay, sometimes you have a client and they've got a brand and they come to a network. No, they don't. They go directly to affiliates. No, they don't. They go to an agency. No, they don't they. I was like, oh my God, this industry is freaking chaotic, like there's so many ways you can enter into this.

Matt Frary:

This industry, so I was like there's got to be a smarter way we could do this. And voila, smarter chaos was one of the original OPMs or agencies. And so what we figured is what if we could line up all of the networks in the neat order, have one central reporting system and line up all the affiliate opportunities? What if I could geographically map all of the affiliates out there and just hit easy button? And that's how smarter chaos was formed.

Matt Frary:

Well, I hate this, the title of CEO. So I was running this thing. So I was like well, I guess I'm the chief of chaos, so that was my title at the time. And then, as I sort of formed some of and we're going to talk about this, I think, in a second but as I sort of formed some of these like ways to engage people, called like the chaos method and some of that, I started to think like there's something to this. Like people really resonate.

Matt Frary:

When you log in to your computer as a marketer, you have hundreds of logins across Facebook and TikTok and you know Instagram and all the networks and all the tracking and you know all of it. What a freaking nightmare. It is so chaotic. So I figured there had to be a way to send in a chief of chaos to make things easier. The new iteration of chief of chaos is taking my personal brand, where I was the chief of chaos, and now the new brand is if you want to grow your company, we will go back, look on our bench of talent and bring you in the next chief of chaos that can help you out. So that's the theory behind chief of chaos is it's not a fractional CMO, it's not a fractional chief growth officer, it's not a fractional, you know, c O O. It's basically all of those things based on what you need.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, and I too also hate the title of CEO. If there's ever a title of fill out form, I'm always putting either awesome or chief something silly, yeah, chief goofball like.

Matt Frary:

What are we taking ourselves seriously? And I am the chief executive officer like, yeah, no, I'm good.

Dustin Howes:

That is, that is not part of my brand, doesn't seem like it's part of yours. But like, speaking of branding, chaos seems like an odd choice, but you were owning it. This is like who you are. Tell me about how you probably started a little bit more professional and like learn to develop, to only work with people that accepted you who you are.

Matt Frary:

Yeah, I mean early on, I'm thinking early 20s. I was buttoned up. You know, I first worked in these agencies like Omnicom agencies and I even worked at Mercedes Benz corporate. The first day I showed up to Mercedes Benz I did not have a suit coat on, I just had a tie. And they turned me around and sent me an hour back to Jersey City I was working up in Montville, new Jersey and made me go put a jacket on and told me if I violated their dress code again. I was basically not going to work there anymore and at the time I was launching the smart car into the US. So I was like well, the smart cars are fun brand like I don't have to wear a jacket to work. Well, apparently at Mercedes you do have to wear a jacket, just FYI.

Matt Frary:

But ever since then I realized I don't think I'm manageable. I don't think I'm a very good employee. I think there's just too much going on in the, in the head here to to manage and it feels very chaotic. So I figured, instead of me trying to shoehorn into that corporate world, I was just going to have to get in where I fit in and try to work with people that could accept that there's some chaos that comes with it. I actually apologize to my employees when they work with me, my people, that my colleagues when they work with me. I'm like this is going to be a bit rough and it's going to be a bit chaotic and I can't promise you that you're going to love me all the time, because I'm going to seem like I come out of nowhere sometimes and things might change on the fly. If you're okay with that, this is going to be really fun.

Matt Frary:

But if you need, like rigid me on top of you and micromanaging you. I ain't him Like it's not happening. It's not happening.

Dustin Howes:

Love that you are. Oh, look at us 20.

Matt Frary:

No way, dude, really.

Dustin Howes:

I saw you drinking early. Bought it by.

Matt Frary:

A healthy bubbly drink for marketers.

Dustin Howes:

Absolutely. Jim Nichols jumped into the chat said the passion in this discussion is so infectious, jim. Looking forward to seeing you next week there, jim, and you're going to be a future guest on this podcast here soon, so looking forward to that. So, continuing on with this chaos, there's an acronym that you use for engaging affiliates. Tell us about that.

Matt Frary:

It's not co-ass, that's what you have on the screen right now.

Dustin Howes:

No, no no, I'm not an idiot that can't smell it. It's not me. I'm sorry. Did I point that out? I'm sorry.

Matt Frary:

It's another flaw. It's another flaw so chaotic dude.

Matt Frary:

Chaos, chaos in my world, each you know we started to really dive into what was the secret DNA. The people that work at Smarter Chaos and the people that now work at Chief of Chaos and the people that work at Partner Agency they all have one thing in common and we really needed to figure that out. Like I knew it when I met people that work there and I knew how to hire for it, but it took us a little while to try to figure out what was it. And so there's an acronym that I like to think about, and when I'm reaching out to an affiliate for success, I think about when I get on the phone. I made the joke before we came on the air. I was like, imagine that treating affiliates like they're humans, or affiliates treating advertisers like they're humans, like the thing is people do business with other people that they like. Business is not just spreadsheets and numbers and incrementality and ROAS, like it's not that right, it's actually doing meaningful things with people that we like. So the C stands for compassion, having the compassion for the people on the other end of the line. If you jump on the phone with me and we don't have some sort of a conversation about, you know, compassion. I can't stand people to say this call is so expensive, it's like we need to get off in five minutes. We have to move on, like, just give you the numbers. That's also not me. You have to have some compassion.

Matt Frary:

People are going through things every single day. For instance, the client that I'm working with or the affiliate I'm working with might be might have $5 in their bank account. They might have just found out that a loved one has cancer. They might have just gone through something. You don't know what they're going through. And so when we think about humans on the other end, we start to think about.

Matt Frary:

Business is a series of human interactions. So, if I can have compassion for what you're going through. You're struggling, building a series of websites. You feel like you're just so close to monetizing these things. You just need that one thing that's going to send you over making millions of dollars.

Matt Frary:

You've seen everybody do it affiliate summit. Why isn't it that easy If I could have compassion for the person on the other end of the phone and give them that moment in time that helps them in their life? Guess what You're going to do business with, whoever it is, it doesn't matter if I'm called chief of chaos or, you know, idiot of chaos, it doesn't matter what I am. We're always going to have that relationship and that compassion for each other and we're going to do things with each other. I can go to affiliate summit. When I go to affiliate summit I know you're going to razz me about that later when I go to affiliate summit, I can walk down the hall and I'll have people that say, 15 years ago you literally told me this thing and I literally made millions of dollars with them. Like really, hey, by the way, my address to send that check is not sure Where's my.

Matt Frary:

But the next thing is history. That's H in chaos, having a history and remembering it. Coach Prime says he keeps receipts. Right, I keep receipts. We should all keep receipts, because we keep receipts of the good, the bad, the ugly, all that stuff. But as I do, as I have compassion for people, I also remember the history, the things we've done together, the incredible projects, like all of that. It's so funny how people will get on the phone and forget the last 20 years. I might have worked with them on every new project and I'm like come on, we have a history here.

Matt Frary:

The next thing is having ambition, and here's what I mean by that. I sometimes and this is another thing I apologize, don't apologize for when I'm working with people is I'm like I have a massive ambition. When I'm working with a partner, I don't think it's worth our time to say, hey, you might sell one or two things Like how can we make you one of the top five partners in our program? What would it take? Do you need to work on new websites, new techniques, new traffic? Whatever it is? How can I help you have that ambition? And I've got to discover whether or not that affiliate has that ambition. And again, I'm keeping receipts in my head Does this affiliate have they in the history I've worked with them? Do they have the ambition to get bigger and bigger and bigger and so on? So are we not going to waste each other's time? And then do we have a clear objective?

Matt Frary:

If I do this with you, what does that mean for you? What does it mean for me? Do we have a clear goal every month with the affiliates and the partners that I'm working with, and do we hold each other accountable for that? And then, do we share in the success that's the S, do we? Is there a success related? Do we share in it? Do we celebrate it? Are we recognized for it? Are they recognized for it? And does everybody recognize success when they see it? So the S is success. So that's kind of just a little acronym and it was an attempt. We used to put this next to people's phones and just say, like start with compassion, start with the C, please. Like, if I hear you get on the phone and you just start hammering on numbers, why?

Dustin Howes:

haven't you done the traffic? Why haven't?

Matt Frary:

you started the program, why haven't you had a little compassion for what the other person's doing on the other side? So anyway, hopefully that colors in a little bit of my methodology, if you will.

Dustin Howes:

I love everything about that. One thing that really sticks out there is the ambition part that you can't teach that. You can't teach that drive right. But what can you do? You can help your Bring it out, help others make their life so much easier and put things on a silver platter. If they're going to make a ton of money for your brand, like, that's like key opportunity of you to alleviate some of that time that is holding them back from promoting you Absolutely. And that really comes up to one of your key for reosophies providing value first. Like can you speak on what you do for those affiliate partners out there that you've worked with in the past, the ones that are making millions of dollars coming up without their checks and their hands to hands you? What are you doing to help provide them value first as an affiliate manager?

Matt Frary:

Well, think about every business interaction you have with affiliates, with vendors, with investors, with just anything that you could think of. The problem with most meetings is people want to get what they want to get out of it, so a lot of times our interactions are quick, get to the point like this guy could make me a bunch of money or whatever that is. So I like to reverse things is, give value first. I like to, as I say, like palms up offer, because when I offer things in the universe.

Matt Frary:

I don't know what God's people believe in or powers in the universe, but I believe when we offer value to the world first, I believe that it comes back to us 10 fold. Not because we expect it to, because I believe that you're putting that good energy out, you're adding value. People remember that and even if it's just that sort of universe's memory of you, the legacy that you leave and I think of it as a legacy in every relationship that I'm having is how are you going to remember me? Oh, if Matt calls me, I know it's a good offer. I know he's trying to make me money. I know he's trying to help me and in the business and he's not even asking me for anything. I mean, what an incredible way to be received. On the other end, if I come down the hallway and you're coming at me, you're going to avoid me if I'm asking hey, where's my?

Matt Frary:

traffic. Hey, why haven't you got my lick up yet? I'm like I got other things. But if it's like oh, here comes Matt like oh my God, he's coming with like Apple Pie.

Dustin Howes:

Oh, it's incredible More gifts.

Matt Frary:

More gifts.

Dustin Howes:

I like to. I love that philosophy. One thing I've been implementing lately is with the programs I'm running. I have pretty decent domain authority on Dustinhowes. com and another couple of websites and now I'm just giving affiliates backlinks to their homepage. Give for giving. Yeah, I'm just giving early.

Dustin Howes:

And before I even come to the conversation, I'm like hey, I really love this article. Gave you a backlink over here from my site, wondering if you'd be interested in this product that I'm working on, and now I have an upper hand as an affiliate manager because I have built myself as an affiliate and worked on SEO for all these years. But, like, is that kind of the same thing you're giving?

Matt Frary:

Yes, yeah, that type of thing, I mean now let's apply it on the advertiser side as an agency, instead of putting into an AI system and hammering the crap out of them with an AI sales thing like I know, affiliate, we should talk. I know, affiliate, we should talk. Instead of doing that, what if you added actual value? You don't ask for anything and you contact these advertisers that you're a big fan of. We were just talking about this brand, vuori, right here. Yep, yep. What if I go to Vuori and I don't ask anything? I'm just like hey, I noticed you didn't have an affiliate program. Did you know that?

Matt Frary:

You know a really healthy affiliate program could drive 20, 30% more sales to your program. How could I help you set that up? Do you want to do a 30-minute session? And I'll just tell you. Or we're not even doing that, not even asking for the meeting, just going in and literally sending them an email and being like hey, here's some resources, you should go sign up here. You should do these things. This could help your brand. Or let's say, you come up with a really good brand idea I've come up with really great videos in my mind. They were great For brands and I'll just send it off through LinkedIn and be like hey, I'll think about your brand. Like what if you guys did this? They're like wait, who is this guy?

Dustin Howes:

I love that you know what I'm saying.

Matt Frary:

Let's provide value.

Dustin Howes:

Provide value. Absolutely love that mentality. We've got Jim Nichols in the chat who dropped a big one on us and he's loving that. We're talking ambition, pondering the question. Love our opinions on it. Affiliate in the US is $10 billion. I'm going to have to carry on because Jim's question is really long, but it's only $10 billion after 27 years. Why isn't it $100 billion when retail media is $80 billion in four years? What is holding affiliate back? I've got some thoughts on this. Do you want to answer that first, matt?

Matt Frary:

I'd love to hear your thoughts and then I'll react. I'm going to play a host for a second Hold on. Here's my podcast, mike. Okay, let's go ahead. Dustin, what are your thoughts on why affiliate is not growing?

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, yes, my thought is, affiliate gets held back and is the last click attribution, and all the other channels are stealing attribution from the affiliate channel. We're going to go into how you don't think affiliate is a channel, but I can't help but say that word.

Matt Frary:

You can't, everybody can't. We're going to learn that that's not really a thing, but keep going.

Dustin Howes:

All right. So affiliate is on its own island. Nobody else at the company understands it and everybody is going to steal from it. And it's mad that affiliate is getting credit for all these other things and if anybody else touches that attribution, affiliate's out the window.

Matt Frary:

So why is?

Dustin Howes:

it, not $100 billion, it's because everybody else is stealing from us.

Matt Frary:

Well, it's just because, in that world that you just painted, it's just whether or not you have a affiliate manager with a baseball bat inside the organization that can beat down all the haters that are in the organization.

Matt Frary:

But you know, look, the old way of looking at this was, as you said, last click attribution and based on that, that's already flawed. By the way, it's already flawed saying to judge, as you put it, a channel, as I would say, a media source, but to judge media and the effectiveness of media by the last click. We all know that. Do you know about the Stanley Cup craze right now? You don't know, I don't follow hockey yeah.

Dustin Howes:

No, this isn't hockey.

Matt Frary:

This is the 100-year-old Stanley refrigeration. They make like coolers and they make water jugs, water cups. Go look it up. It was on the Today Show last week. It's like hashtag Stanley Cup craze or Stanley Cup trend.

Dustin Howes:

Oh, dude, that's screwed the shit out of my MA channel. You can't do that, Sorry.

Matt Frary:

I threw you off. You said you were going to do it to me later. This basically made me go purchase a $50 water jug for my daughter, because every teenager on the planet has to have a Stanley Cup. Right now. You have to pay $50 for this. It's sold out. Now here's the thing. A lot of it took off through influencer and the hashtagging and the so on on TikTok.

Matt Frary:

The thing is, if I was judging those influencers based off last click and, by the way, am I calling the influencer an influencer? Am I calling them an affiliate? Am I calling them paid media? What am I calling them? Oh, that's right, they're not a channel. It's the way that I work with them.

Matt Frary:

The point here is last click attribution is only what it says it is. You're only judging what the person that clicked on the last thing is doing. What about all the stuff that happened before it? If we were judging the Stanley Cup the Stanley Cup craze that I just said, by the way people were sitting camping out overnight at Target for these Stanley Cups over Christmas. They were sold out everywhere, everywhere. It was the pet rock of our generation. So if we had judged that and an affiliate had come in and had let's say it was, we tell me not had driven a last click and a coupon was applied at Target for the Stanley Cup, we would be assuming that retail me not gets the credit. They drove it. We would not know anything about all the influencers that happened ahead of time. However, for people like me that don't shop without coupons, if I had gone further up the funnel and done first click or middle click or whatever, then we wouldn't have attributed it to retail me not. That pushed me over the edge to make the purchase because of a deep discount on a fricking $50 water jug that I want to purchase. My point is it's freaking complicated. Last click is a hard way to judge.

Matt Frary:

Going back to answering Jim's question, I think you're right. It's difficult to measure, so people don't. It's difficult to defend. People have a hard time doing it in an organization and the stronger other marketing channels gang up on the affiliate channel and squash it. Then they're like you've got search affiliates. I could get search through my paid search. Oh, you've got influencers. Well, my influencer team handles that. Oh, you've got content. I have a whole content marketing division. What do we need affiliate for? That is why it's dangerous to call this a channel? It is not. This is a way to pay for media. To Jim's point, when we stop calling affiliate a channel, I either pay on a click, I pay on a sale, I pay on an impression, I pay on a lead, I pay on all these different ways and that's called performance marketing. Then I partner with media channels. You want me to get on a podcast? I can go do it in an affiliate basis.

Dustin Howes:

You want me to go get in a content blog.

Matt Frary:

I can do it on an affiliate basis. I can also do it on a CPM. I can also do it on a per click. I can do it in any of those ways. So tell me again what makes it an affiliate? The way in which we pay the media, the media, our channel, searches a channel, influences. There is a channel. Content is a channel. Toolbars God love them that's a channel. Those are channels. Mobile, that's a channel. All of it has affiliate structure. All of it has affiliate structure.

Dustin Howes:

Maybe a better way to do it is you're waving your magic wand a CMO of a company, and you have their performance marketing bucketed in and have influencers and affiliates in there under that bucket, maybe they don't get beaten down by the other bullies in the marketing department.

Matt Frary:

Well, the way we look at it at Chief of Chaos and Partner Agency is it's profitable for a company If a company knows what their lifetime value of a consumer is. That's a very key metric for me to know all the revenue on first sale and future sales in the next 12 months that I can make on that consumer. Let's say that my lifetime value of a consumer is $100. I'm going to make $100 this year per consumer on average. Great If I get the consumer for $20, and I can sell and I can make a hundred, I make a profit. We call that an ATM machine. Put money in it, lets the money out. Buy low, sell high. If I've always looked at media as buy low, sell high. If I could buy the clicks low and it could get me a high LTV, low cost to acquire high LTV. Same thing with affiliate, same thing with Legion. This just comes down to math.

Dustin Howes:

If I put a buck in can I get positive return?

Matt Frary:

The rest is overcomplicating it. I'm going to use the same type of videos, banners, content, brand story. I'm going to use all that across my affiliate program and which, by the way, to me, is just the way that we buy media If I have media buyers that understand this. My media buyers can buy in Facebook on a click, just as easy as they can work with a social media influencer to get social traffic, but just pay them on a sale. It's just what's right for the brand at that moment in time. I think of them as media buyers, media partners, and I think of it as buying on an affiliate basis.

Dustin Howes:

Well said, all right, jim, really appreciate your question and we're going to take a break here and talk about our sponsor of the day really quick, and that is we can track. We're talking about tracking, but if you envision, this is an intuitive affiliate publisher solution, seamlessly integrating affiliate conversion, data processing, attribution integration and one robust platform love we can track and what it does, leveraging we can track expertise. They empower affiliate publishers to focus on marketing optimization and automation, limiting that manual process of reporting in the hassles in there. They've got over 350 affiliate networks data sources aggregated into we can track and, with further integrations into Microsoft ads, google Analytics, facebook, tiktok, they lead the digital affiliate landscape. So welcome to endless possibilities with the success it's a reality with we Can Track. Go to dustinhowse. com, slash we Can Track and support my content habits out there. All right, and Matt, what you got thoughts on we Can Track.

Matt Frary:

I'm actually going to look up we Can Track and become more familiar with it. I'm very intrigued. I love brands that say exactly what they do, like the Partner Agency. We Can Partner, we Can Track, we Can Track we.

Dustin Howes:

Can Track, we Can.

Matt Frary:

Get Straight to the point right, that's right, that's right. So I'm not super familiar, but I'm sure it's incredible.

Dustin Howes:

The great company top of the line tool out there for affiliates to organize all of their campaigns if they're joined to tons of programs. So, and speaking, of affiliates your philosophy of providing value first. When you walk through this and like think about it in a realistic expectation, it's time consuming. How do you manage all that? How have you done this throughout the years?

Matt Frary:

Yeah. So from day one when I started ROI Rocket that was 2005. And when I started again Smarter Chaos in 2010, I always said act as though. And what I mean by act as though is from day one, when it's just me. We used to. We had three partners at Smarter Chaos and we called ourselves three guys in the basement. But when we were three guys in the basement and sometimes we called ourselves three sweaty guys in the basement, but when we were in the basement I was always like let's act as though. And here's what I meant I would go get a license to Salesforce and again I would be questioned you're three people, what do you need Salesforce for? Well, we're gonna act as though we're gonna be as big as we see ourselves in five years. Why? Because if we build the foundation now and we build the systems, we make them repeatable and scalable. Then guess what, when we start to pile this work on top of those foundations, we can make it repeatable and scalable.

Matt Frary:

So I love very neat and orderly systems. As much as I use the word chaos. If you came into our agency and this is why I think we were acquired, why Smarter Chaos was acquired, was because everything was so ordered in our agency. So we use Basecamp for all communication. So everything we say we task each other with, we test the client with, the client tasks us with, all in Basecamp it's one single record of communication and task and work being done and we could see it in real time as the work's getting ticked off.

Matt Frary:

So we've got a delegation software. We use HubSpot so we track all inbound advertisers and requests for any of the work. So if it's B2B, it goes to this company. If it's direct to consumer, it goes to that company. If it's AI it goes to another company and so on, any inbounds. We've got HubSpot and some logic there and then different types of accounts. If you're a media partner, influencer, media channel, affiliate, whatever, we have another set of accounts in HubSpot for you as well and that's all outlined in there.

Matt Frary:

And we also create what we call deals. So we'll actually, every time we have a conversation with an affiliate, affiliate agrees to run, let's say, at the partner agency they run my client remotecom. So businesscom wants to run remotecom. That to me is an agreed on media placement, that's a deal. So that gets tracked to HubSpot. So I track every deal with every affiliate across everything and I can't do all that by myself. I have incredible people. Some of the folks at partner agency shout out to Chris and Jess and Augie and Aaron and Brandon and all of them Jess and Chris actually were some of the original folks that got Pepper Jam rolling. So they have a deep knowledge of knowing how to scale something from when Pepper Jam was just an agency and then it became a platform and then it sold to eBay and then it came private, like they rode that ride.

Matt Frary:

So building scalable, repeatable processes document everything. So in the age of having chat, gpt and all this AI stuff, you could start to document. Originally back in the day we actually used an internal wiki and so if you came in as an affiliate manager at SmarterChaos, we actually had a knowledge base. And if you said, how do I set up a program at Impact, you could go into our wiki and we have video tutorials and we had articles we wrote internally. So we had all this proprietary process. Like the best of the best. We're writing these on how-to's so you could do that again. You could do that now with AI and some of that kind of stuff. So again to answer your question good people, you're welcome, jess. I saw that. Jess just saw to my shout out. She says thank you.

Matt Frary:

But having the best people, the repeatable, scalable processes and then getting the hell out of the way Like letting good people do things on those and if you have to insert yourself into everything, you cannot scale. So I may think that everything's better when I'm inserted into it, but I have to be able to let go of control and let the people do what they're best at. So, quick story my father-in-law owns one of the largest horse hospitals in the world and I asked him how he built that and his answer was well, I just hired the best vets in the world. Well, duh, like we should be doing that in affiliate right. Like hire the best surgeons, hire the best ferry, or hire the best podiatrist, hire the best, whatever that is. Hire the best, strive to be the best, build them scalable, repeatable solutions and get the hell out of the way.

Dustin Howes:

Smart. Come here and build your SOPs, your processes, make it repeatable, use a CRM to document everything and obviously follow that acronym of chaos for that success.

Matt Frary:

We have other systems. I mean GAMP's a standard go-to. Slack is another go-to We've used for many years. We used Affluent as our reporting. It sounds like we tracked it, similar to what we used Affluent for back in the day to track all the pub side stuff. And then of course, we have software like Media Rails and all the different networks that we've worked with and all that stuff. So we have our standard tech stack that we bring in, repeat it, set it up kind of the similar way, any templates that we've had for success. Even when launching an affiliate program, the quickest way to go to market is go to the media channels you've had success with. Go to the affiliates that have driven you a ton of your traffic and build that. Going back to my acronym, how you have a history with them, build that relationship with them and rinse and repeat. Everybody loves the guy that comes back around and hands him a check like, be that guy.

Dustin Howes:

Yeah, yeah, you mentioned Media Rails. I've got to let you know like I'm the new co-founder of a product called AffiStash that is doing something very similar.

Dustin Howes:

Your partner agency is gonna be very interested in seeing what that is. But as we wrap up the show, I've taken enough of your time here, matt, so I wanna get to our Defender post portion of this, and I thought it was super important. We want to slow down school shootings. We're open source to a threat detection AI. We made it for free. Other companies are charging up to one million dollars per school, but we're doing this for free. It's open source. This seems like an incredible Opportunity to be, you know, giving back to the community, and it's something we absolutely need in our society here, and I'd love to hear more about what this is.

Matt Frary:

Yeah, if everybody will go to the URL, wwwdigitalgoodai. We just launched it today. It is around that post. I'm so happy you pulled up that post. I've had to defend social media posts and this one's a pleasure to defend. So, yeah, so this is the basis. There's a company here in Denver started by the founder of ebags. If you my store gas, I told you I started in ebags in my career. That's where I. It's where I started. Founder of ebags is named John Nordmark. He was on that post that you just showed. John Sold ebags and then started iterate dot AI. Iterate is one of the first low code. Well, it is the first low code AI Platform. It allows you to create AI based apps super quickly.

Matt Frary:

One of the things that they built commercially was a weapons detection system at Circle K so that All the cameras in Circle K could detect if someone was coming in and robbing a gas station, for example, and so it could. The computer vision is trained in over 20,000 weapons and this was over COVID that this was developed. So the computer vision mixed with a device out of it's a tech startup that has a device about this big, the size of a cell phone, that Basically can see through clothing using light art. It can basically detect using point cloud Objects underneath your person as well as in a bag. It's the same stuff that you use at airports, but again, the device is this big it could see 300 feet out away from it. So if you put the computer vision with this camera based threat detection using AI and you use this other device, you could detect weapons coming in from a parking lot before they get into the building. And Then what we did is we partnered with a company that basically shut schools down. It's basically in 80% of the schools and it locks the school down and alerts authorities. So we use their API and then we put it all together and then iterate.

Matt Frary:

It felt and so did I. I started the company digital good. The URL that I just gave you, that is my giving back. We went through what it means to give first. I believe in this life, in business, we should give first. Digital good is my way of giving back and using technology for good. If I could slow down school shootings and protect our children, we should not be charging huge sums of money for that. So what we did is we open source the code. You can go on. Digital good calm. I linked to or digital good AI.

Dustin Howes:

Okay.

Matt Frary:

I linked to the github, where the code is sitting there for free. Any school Could take that code and the instructions how to install it, install it locally at their school, connect to their current cameras and have a weapons detection system using AI for free. If you need help doing that, you could contact digital good and we'll put you in touch with installers that you can pay. That would come in and show you best practices, but it should not be expensive to protect our children, and that is what that post is all about. It is about saving the world from rampant shootings and just in, at the end of the day, being a good person. The next iteration of this is Stopping human trafficking, because the same technology that detects weapons can be deployed in airports, bus stations and Detect women that are being trafficked into human trafficking, children that are being trafficked. We already have this deployed in airports in Mexico and we have the weapons detection deployed in schools in Colorado. We know it works.

Dustin Howes:

That's amazing, matt. So glad to hear that you're giving back, and a great way. I love you making a difference there. Awesome, really appreciate your time today and all the insides said some great snippets there today. For those of you out there that would Me on affiliate or affiliate nerd, please go to nerd and jump in. My computer is lagging dramatically. All right, we'll close out here. For those that are going to affiliates summit unlike Matt who decided he will not be going Please get on the affiliate summit app and schedule a time to hang out with me. I would love to meet new people, so please get out there and connect. My guest on Thursday is gonna be Jacob Schnaubert over at beehive and we're gonna Newsletters and that's it. Thanks for joining me, matt. Thanks for joining me. Crowd Jim Nichols, appreciate the questions and we'll see you all out there. Take care, appreciate you, guys. I.

Affiliate Marketing and Partnership Strategies
Compassion, History, Ambition, Success
Last-Click Attribution and Role of Affiliates
Technology in Affiliate Marketing & School Safety
Affiliate Summit Hangouts and Newsletter