Season 01 / Episode 030
Beth Kirsch – VP Marketing and Growth – Pipedrive – Lead Gen, B2B and International Affiliate Marketing
With Beth Kirsch - VP Marketing and Growth, Pipedrive
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Being in this affiliate marketing industry for as long as I have has afforded me the luxury of meeting some pretty incredible people and building a relationship with them that spans decades. And our guest today is just one of those. Long time friend, long time digital marketing veteran, Beth Kirsch, joins me on the podcast today. Beth is a legend in our space and has been running affiliate channels and all other digital marketing campaigns for over two decades. She has been so ubiquitous in the space that I have referred to her as the “Michael Jordan of Lead Gen Affiliate Marketing”. Her career has expanded so much beyond that now that now nickname does her justice.
Beth is currently the VP of Marketing for Pipedrive, a global sales CRM SAS company.
Today we talk all things B2B affiliate marketing and Lead Gen affiliate marketing. Beth and I talk about career, covid, travel and more. But we really dive into the following areas:
- Business to Business affiliate marketing
- Lead Gen affiliate marketing
- Choosing the right technology partner for your affiliate program
- The difference between subscription and B2B marketing
- The need for different technology for B2B than retail affiliate marketing
- The importance of aligning your affiliate compensation and payouts with your business model
- How vital true partnership is to affiliate marketing success
- And much much more.
Oh, and pipedrive is hiring! https://www.pipedrive.com/en/jobs
About Our Guest
Beth leads global marketing and a team of over 20 for a leading sales CRM SaaS platform for SMBs.
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Affiliate marketers tend to be better than your average in-house marketer. Beth discusses the overall value of the affiliate channel, describing it as the “old-school value” and also the new approach. She mentions that affiliates have always been good at doing the marketing that in-house marketers could never get to. The newer parts of the industry (influencers, the big players, etc.) have been able to create their own customer base and they truly add value to an organization’s marketing efforts.
Choose your partners wisely in any type of program! Beth says the first rule in any program is to choose your partners wisely, but in lead-gen programs you have to choose them incredibly wisely. You have to set boundaries and limits on the number of tests you allow so you can test the quality of incoming leads. The ramp up of the program may take a bit longer, but when you find the right partners you can get incredible volume.
Beth discusses how the marketing industry has transitioned over her career.
“The thing is marketing has changed and it also hasn’t changed. It’s still the right offer, in front of the right consumer during the right time of their life cycle. There are more channels than ever, with more tracking than ever, but you still need to amplify everything you’re doing. That is why affiliate is so great and watching how the channel has ebbed and flowed is awesome. It’s more than just an e-commerce channel.”
Beth talks about her biggest learning curve at her current position at Pipedrive.
“The most interesting thing about this position is that it has been my first worldwide experience, in the fact that I am working for an Estonian company. It has involved learning about the cultural differences between Estonians and Americans … learning about how to work with different teams from different cultures has been the most interesting piece of it.”
[21:08] – “Affiliates eat what they kill … meaning affiliates are in a pay for performance channel. If you manage to get customers for an advertiser, you get paid. If you don’t manage to get customers for an advertiser, you don’t get paid. The phrase comes from being hungry.”
[30:57] – “We [Pipedrive] are a SaaS platform with a recurring revenue model. Most platforms I was looking at aren’t built for a recurring revenue model. It’s problematic, because in the affiliate space, in B2B and SaaS platforms, you tend to pay on recurring revenue and pass back data all the time with several updates, and the traditional affiliate networks aren’t set up to do that. It’s an event that happens that doesn’t include a pixel so we are batching.”
[40:51] – “I am still learning B2B, but affiliates here seem to be more partners than affiliates, compared to when I worked in the lead-gen space or the retail space. This is because you’re connected from that ongoing revenue stream … with B2B people are connected to the hip, and it feels more like a business development partnership.”