Exploring Affiliate Trade – with Martech Record

This week, Lee-Ann is joined by Michael McNerney, Founder of Martech Record. Michael shares the story of his journey into affiliate marketing and gives us a glimpse into his career story, to date. Martech Record is a trade publication that covers the intersection of marketing, content and commerce with a focus on affiliate and partner marketing. Michael explains how he got into affiliate marketing, exactly how Martech Record was born, and talks about exploring affiliate trade. This could be the inspiration you are looking for to take your next step in the affiliate world.

Listen in here for all of the insights:

The appeal of affiliate marketing

Everyone’s route into the world of affiliate marketing is unique to them and Michael’s story is no different. He talks to Lee-Ann about how he realised the importance of affiliate marketing and how it can be used to monetise content:

“It became very clear to me that affiliate marketing was something that could be applied to any content type. And we were in this market where content types were proliferating every day, right? You know, social was exploding and TV was going digital and all these things. It was just very clear that if you were someone who had been in my position at McGraw Hill, you’d be very interested in what affiliate marketing could do, frankly, to help you save your business in a lot of cases. So that’s why I joined.”

The perfect market for trade publications

Michael goes on to explain how Martech Record was founded, “Very quickly, I realised this was a market that was perfect for trade publication. The characteristics that are good for a trade publication are that you have a lot of competitors, there’s opaqueness around products, services, pricing, those types of things. You learn really quickly in affiliate marketing that the best way to learn is to go to an affiliate summit and meet people and learn about the market. And that is wonderful, but it’s not the best way to grow a market. You need some transparency around pricing, and how much you pay people. 

So I was sitting there thinking, I always wanted to start a trade publication. I just didn’t know what market to do it in.

What market has a ton of competition, you know, from the technology standpoint, that drives advertising revenue, opaqueness around kind of key components. Suddenly I was like, it’s this market right here. I’m in the middle of that market. So I founded Martech Record four years ago with the simple idea of how do we provide some clarity around the technology options people have, the pricing elements, salary  – all these basic things that help you do your job.”

Creating a Slack community

Lee-Ann refers to the Martech Record Slack community – a huge resource that can be used to meet people in the industry.

Michael explains, “The Slack community is interesting. I will be totally honest about this and say prior to starting this, I really disliked Slack. It was just another announcement that I had to respond to. I started it because I needed a way for someone to respond to what I was doing. The first thing we did at Martech Record was conduct a survey that surveyed the different platforms. We do this every year. We’ve gone from surveying 50 people to 350 people, now. The reason I started is I needed to give someone something for responding. So I said, you’re now part of this exclusive Slack community, which didn’t exist until the day before.”

Listen to find out more about:

  • Michael’s route to Martech Record 
  • More on the Martech Record Slack community 
  • The big issues in Affiliate Marketing right now 

Key segments of this podcast and where you can tune in to go direct:

[04:40] The digital revolution

[07:00] How Michael fell in love with Affiliate Marketing

[14:00] The importance of listening to and learning from your community and not micromanaging your partners


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Taking place in London on October 23 from 1pm–6pm. Registration is now open. Tickets are  limited.

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