Makers Gonna Make

Interview with Lisa Riolo of Impact Radius

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 in Affiliate Marketing, Tools |

Impact RadiusA new kind of affiliate network was launched just a couple weeks ago – Impact Radius.  They boast themselves as the first multi-channel performance marketing platform.  Impact Radius links performance advertising to TV, radio, print and online distribution channels—delivering to advertisers and media partners opportunities for growth and profit. I’m happy to present you with an interview with one of the founders, Lisa Riolo.

What is the Twitter (~140 Character) Definition of Impact Radius?
Well, I’m going to cheat a little and send back-to-back tweets from @impactradius

  • We’re the first multi-channel performance advertising platform. Emphasis on multi-channel.
  • We feature an open directory for discovering partners, electronic insertion orders, comprehensive tracking, reporting and payout processing.

Are all the founders of Impact Radius from your days at Commission Junction?
Yes, we all met there in the early days. We’ve all worked for other companies or pursued other ventures in-between then and now.

Those other experiences apart provided tremendous value because it gave us all expanded perspectives. It’s like when everyone in a band goes off and does solo projects and experiments with new rhythms and different instruments. Later, the band reunites with transformed creativity and a familiar, but fresh sound.

How do you feel this will impact the industry in the short term?  Long term?
We see the convergence of traditional and online media as a huge opportunity. Almost immediately, new partnerships that bridge traditional channels to online and vice-versa started forming. Relationships like these, before Impact Radius, were challenging. This makes us a catalyst for growth for the industry as a whole.

Do you foresee any hurdles since the nomenclature of performance marketing terms usually mean different things in different aspects of marketing?
One of the greatest opportunities about building this business was the chance to start with a completely clean slate. We re-visited everything about performance advertising. We asked questions like: What is fundamental to the relationships and what could benefit from a new approach? What business processes are counter to the way people actually work together? And even—is this the best descriptor to use?

So, yes, with respect to nomenclature, we have introduced changes that should minimize confusion and help bridge the differences in a way that creates opportunity. Let me give you an example: We don’t call “affiliates” Affiliates. We don’t call “affiliates” Publishers either. We say: Media Partners—which works for Internet marketers, broadcast TV networks, print publications etc.

Who do you feel this is a sure sell to? (i.e. Who are your primary demographic?)
The performance advertising industry, meaning the advertisers, the media partners, the agencies and services, and even the networks.

I know that answer sounds like we’re flying in the face of conventional wisdom—trying to do ‘everything’ for ‘everybody.’ We’re not, though, doing everything for everybody. We are a technology platform designed specifically for performance advertising. But we’re not also an agency and also a broker and also direct response product owners. We designed Impact Radius to serve the needs of many business models, including the one’s I just listed, as they manage their performance advertising efforts.

How does this integrate with the existing affiliate technologies out there?
Technology companies and solution providers alike can promote their services in our directory and interface with our technology platform through Web Services.

What are the questions you get asked the most about Impact Radius from affiliates?  From merchants?  From agencies?
How do I sign-up? Seriously.

There really isn’t a strong argument against doing some level of business with us. Even if it’s just to manage a few relationships on the platform or promote your services in the directory…

How about questions from the networks?
The initial response is congratulatory and supportive. Then comes the question: Should I consider you a competitor?

Our answer is: Not necessarily. Aspects of our functionality may overlap—but aspects may also be complementary. For example, a CPA network could promote their offers in our directory and use platform features like the electronic insertion orders or payout systems to efficiently manage certain relationships. Or, an affiliate network could refer one of their customers to Impact Radius to start managing their “offline” advertising on a performance basis.

The idea is to fuel performance advertising growth exponentially.

Lisa RioloLisa Riolo is an active, dedicated member of the performance advertising community and remains committed to its further growth and achievement. Prior to co-founding Impact Radius, Lisa consulted with high-growth businesses to develop online marketing programs and scale operations. Lisa’s previous experience includes serving as senior vice president of business development at Commission Junction, where she played an instrumental role in growing company revenue, and managerial roles at Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Bank of America.

Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Claremont McKenna College.

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