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Top 22 People In Affiliate Marketing That Represent Key 2022 Trends

Oct 14, 2022 by Martech Record

You should know all of these people . . . but you probably don’t because they mostly operate on the fringes of the market where there is friction and a need for leadership.

Before we set out to find these people, we identified key trends that are driving growth:

  • The roll up of publishing brands. Investors have identified the potential in affiliate revenue from publishers and are attempting to generate returns by creating scale through acquisition.
  • Integration of marketing channels. As e-commerce grows and KPIs move towards performance KPIs, channels like PR, TV and influencer are colliding with affiliate.
  • Content continuing to play an important role, regardless of the channel.
  • Potential regulation.
  • The maturation of global markets

So who are the people that are driving these changes? You likely don’t know most of them because most work in roles slightly outside the traditional definition of affiliate. They are the people building products, creating services, and constructing “bridges” that will connect formerly disparate disciplines and marketing budgets.

If you are someone who wants to affect change in this industry, start by introducing yourself to these people.

Who are 22 of the most important and fascinating changemakers in affiliate marketing today? Register to find out!

Here are 22 of the most important and fascinating changemakers in partnership today:


Kendal Clarke

Chief Commerce Officer, Vertical Scope
Kendal is the Chief Commerce Officer of VerticalScope, a platform that unites 1,200 vertical websites, reaching 55M registered members and 100M+ active monthly readers. She joined the company in 2015 in a role that put her in charge of strategic partnerships. She now leads the company’s performance marketing revenue. VerticalScope has built or acquired leading media destinations in auto, home, technology, outdoor living, healthcare, and sports. Kendal has made decisive contributions to building a publishing powerhouse with a strong focus on performance-based monetization.
Why is Kendal on this list? The trends of identifying engaged communities, acquiring them, and applying scale are central to affiliate, and Kendal is central to executing this strategy.

Haris Memon

Founder, Nameless Ventures
Haris is a serial entrepreneur responsible for creating and accelerating growth for many DTC brands. His D1 Brands unit is an Amazon brand aggregator and accelerator that helps other entrepreneurs exit their businesses to an organization with the skills and resources to power faster growth. He’s also the founder of Miracle brands and acts as an investor/advisor to a host of other successful businesses in the partnership space.
Why is Haris on this list? In an interview with Troy Young for his newsletter People versus Algorithms, Haris' comments reminded us why publishers exist and provided insight into how publishers might succeed with affiliate revenue. “If publishers focused on figuring out strategies like this, they're really just figuring out a game of distribution and acquisition, which is something they are inherently good at. Whereas what they've done to date — trying to figure out how to really operate e-commerce in a deeper way — is just something they're not inherently good at. So I'd bet publishers have a greater chance at cracking this than other things they've tried to do in commerce.”
Haris’s clarity on value prop is valuable in a time when investors and product teams tend to overestimate where companies can drive future value.

Lauren Kleinman

Founder and CEO, Dreamday
Lauren founded the agency Dreamday to provide best-in-class affiliate marketing focused on top-tier content and commerce PR for iconic DTC brands. She coined the term “Performance PR” and has been a major driver in trailblazing the combined affiliate and PR efforts for other affiliate and PR agencies. Her latest initiative that she co-founded, The Quality Edit, curates and reviews the web’s best brands and offers a range of innovating performance publishing solutions to top DTC brands.
Why is Lauren on this list? PR and affiliate services are on a collision course. The gap has still not been bridged between PR’s ability to weave a story and affiliate’s adroitness in leveraging publishers to drive revenue. But Lauren has taken the lead by coining the term “performance PR” and “performance publishing" and founding Dreamday and co-founding The Quality Edit.

Josh Stinchcomb

Global Chief Revenue Officer, Wall Street Journal | Barron's Group
Josh is the top revenue-side leader at WSJ and one of the driving forces behind the company’s Buy Side review site, which tests and recommends products and services and monetizes via the affiliate channel. Josh joined the company about four years ago after nine years at Conde Nast and is a thought leader on how content creators can successfully evolve their monetization strategies. The size and growth of Buy Side (75M monthly uniques) are a great reflection on his vision for new ways to support the creation of high-quality content.
Why is Josh on this list? Nothing marked the arrival of affiliate marketing as a player in the content space more than The Wall Street Journal hosting a 90s-era launch party for The Buy Side at swank 60th-floor restaurant Manahattan. The brand, the location, and attendees were a clear signal that one of the most respected brands in journalism was all in on affiliate. As CRO, Josh is a driving force behind this.

Ashley Nicholas

Affiliate and Influencer Marketing Manager, Everlane
In her 7+ years in the partnerships and affiliate space, she has helped multiple organizations take a more strategic and innovative approach to forming and monetizing performance programs. She has helped numerous companies enhance cross-departmental collaboration and activate the creator community in service of rapid sales growth. Partners say she is a powerful communicator and collaborator with an excellent track record of helping leverage and enhance brand equities while simultaneously driving revenue and profit growth.
Why is Ashley on this list? Key to establishing partnership as a core marketing channel is ensuring that we create brand value along with revenue growth. Ashley is making this happen in exciting ways, driving outstanding results while focusing on brand equity development.

Jair Lopez

Associate Director of Affiliate Marketing, TelevisaUnivision
Jair is a top player in the burgeoning LATAM partner and affiliate industry, which is experiencing 3-digit YOY growth across the region. After successful stints at Partnerize and CJ leading programs for large brands in the U.S. and internationally, he has shifted his career focus to Spanish-dominant households in the U.S. and Latin American, first leading Disney+ efforts and now driving stronger growth for media giant TelevisaUnivision. His knowledge of industry best practices and the Latin American region is helping increase the scale and quality of affiliate marketing in more than a dozen countries.
Why is Jair on this list? Global growth has long been the next big thing for affiliate. And because of Jair’s work in Latin America with Disney and now at TeleviaUnivision, we have vibrant and living examples of global success.

Hilary Sloan

Director of Affiliate Sales & GTM, Afterpay
Hillary is a key contributor and driving force behind Afterpay becoming highly active in the affiliate channel. Her vision has helped the company leverage its vast audience and rich customer data to develop successful and imaginative programs with top brands. A sales and marketing veteran of Rakuten, Instagram, and a variety of passionate media communities, she is helping set the pace for BNPL players to drive new revenue streams through performance partnerships.
Why is Hillary on this list? Due to her hard work and leadership, Afterpay has rapidly developed a reputation as a great partner and business driver for advertisers. She is setting the rapid pace in a high-growth partner class.

Andrew Landau

Vice President, Head of Partnerships at Capital One Shopping
Andrew leads the partnership organization for Capital One Shopping. Andrew's latest startup, Jewel, was acquired by Capital One in 2019. Andrew has been instrumental in attracting top talent to Capital One Shopping with his focus on culture, career progression, and collaboration. Capital One Shopping has been one of the fast-growing publishers in the affiliate industry and exemplifies the trend of creating value for both merchants and consumers.
Why is Andrew on this list? Andrew has been a quiet force in affiliate for some time. As a founder of multiple venture startups and stints at Google and Jet, Andrew founded Jewel, a brand-safe publisher to help luxury merchants connect with cost-conscious consumers. Now in charge of Capital One Shopping's Partnerships org, Andrew helps lead one of the largest affiliate sites in the world where merchants can meaningfully target consumers through numerous at-scale distribution channels. Andrew's entrepreneurial background and deep experience and knowledge of all things affiliate have made him a go-to resource in the performance marketing space.

Max Willens

Senior Analyst, eMarketer
Max is leading the charge for more affiliate and partnership industry coverage from eMarketer. You probably know Max’s name from his many contributions over the years at Digiday and Ad Age. He has a firm grasp on the industry and larger strategic trends and issues facing brand marketers. As we all know, our channel is a bit of a “sleeper” – lots of growth but not a lot of data and independent research being done. Max is a brilliant analyst, and his focus on the sector will mean lots of significant new research and data from eMarketer/Business Insider.
Why is Max on this list? Analysts have finally woken up to the power of affiliate and Max is one of the first to dive in head-first.

Lina Khan

Chair of the Federal Trade Commission
As Chair of the FTC, Lina Khan plays a pivotal role in an organization that can – and does – profoundly impact our industry. In May, the FTC published proposed new endorsement guidelines, and Khan issued a statement outlining the areas she felt were most important: that some social platform disclosure tools are inadequate, that encouraging fake reviews or suppressing negative reviews can result in law violations, and that child-directed influencer marketing is of special concern to the FTC. In the future, the FTC will publish updates to the guidelines informed by comments collected in the summer. These will have a significant impact on the influencer and affiliate industries.
Why is Lina on this list? Regulation is happening, mostly at the state level. At some point, the mess of state regulation will need to be untangled.

Michael Held

CEO, Flex Marketing Group
Michael is a very successful entrepreneur and the founder of Flex Marketing, one of a select group of “new model” agencies that combine advertising services with technology assets to help advertisers maximize success. As Flex CEO, Michael was among the first to recognize the value of premium content for customer acquisition efforts and helps top publishers and brands get more out of their marketing investments. The model enables advertisers to leverage the highest quality content on a CPC basis, integrating premium placements with performance marketing accountability.

Eric Phung

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Lola Digital Media
Eric and the team at newly named Lola Digitalhave acquired and developed a thriving and vibrant collection of vertical publications like GearJunkie and Switchback Travel in the outdoors, surf, cycling, and other active lifestyles. These publications are at the forefront of best in class long-form product reviews and
high quality product journalism, and performance partnerships are central to their monetization models. Eric has a strong background in finance and consulting, underscoring the tremendous revenue and profit potential available at the intersection of content and commerce.
Why is Eric on this list? Eric saw the value of community in the active lifestyle areas early and has built up a stable of valuable, if lesser known properties. He was ahead of the trend.

Michael Teixeira

MVF is a tech-powered lead generation agency focused on changing how companies in twelve industries capture more high-quality leads. Under Michael’s leadership, MVF has achieved its highest revenue and growth figures and has expanded its lead generation platform to encompass new media channels and regions. Under Michael, the company’s approach focuses on a client CFO’s dream model – delivering high-converting leads on a CPL basis with no additional charges for services. His leadership and business development acumen have helped make MVP the lead platform of choice for many of the largest companies in finance, software, home services, travel, and more.

Natalie Sportelli

Head of Content, Thingtesting
One of the key market gaps is consumer trust in reviews. Thingtesting is trying to bridge that gap by vetting reviewers. Natalie’s role heading up content is at the center of building that trust. While the company’s approach does not employ an affiliate model, industry leaders should be paying attention to any review model that can build trusted relationships with the consumer. With a background spanning journalism and venture capital, Natalie brings a powerfully unique perspective to commerce and content – one focusing on trustworthiness and performance. Natalie is leading efforts to create a platform and community that solves the problems of dishonest reviews for consumers and brand trial building. Great content delivering outstanding business results.
Why is Natalie on this list? During Natalie’s time in the finance industry, she learned the value of content in connecting people. Few people have been able to bridge that gap between the investment community and practical application like Natalie.

Adrine Harutyunyan

Director of Influencer Marketing, Acceleration Partners
We all know influencer marketing has exploded, and billions are being spent yearly on brand programs with creators. Adrine is leading efforts to make influencer marketing drive strong revenue performa4nce at the industry’s largest OPM. Adrine joined AP about a year ago after several years at CJ, where she led a variety of client assignments before shifting to helping the network build its influencer marketing practice. Clients say that her efforts and approach are helping drive that most elusive quality in performance influencer marketing: scale.
Why is Adrine on the list? Acceleration Partners won’t be the last affiliate agency to launch a dedicated influencer business, but it is the biggest, and it’s effort to build out a team is a clear signal that affiliate marketing budgets need help from affiliate to manage their influencer campaigns.

Jade Mayberry

Head of Affiliate and Performance Partnerships Marketing, U.S., Dentsu
Holding company Dentsu has entrusted the affiliate initiatives of six agencies to Jade: iProspect, 360i, Carat, Dentsu X, iProspect, Merkle, and MuteSix. Her wide-ranging background spans many marketing channels, with a strong focus on driving performance marketing excellence for brands in many categories. That this top holding company has invested so much in an affiliate expert speaks volumes about Mayberry and the channel's ascendance.
Why is Jade on this list? Holding companies have long kept affiliate marketing at arm's length —often doing it only if their clients asked them to. Jade’s appointment as head of affiliate across six agencies is one indicator that trend is changing.

Lindsey Gamble

Associate Director of Influencer Innovation, Mavrck
Lindsey has been at the center of the influencer economy since 2017 and is helping Mavrck (an influencer platform company) best meet the needs of both brands and content creators as an integral member of Mavrck’s growing team, where he focuses on innovation. He has a deep understanding of the specific needs of each group and how technology and relationships can create powerful business alliances between these critical groups of stakeholders.
Why is Lindsey on this list? The affiliate and influencer worlds are colliding, and more brands are leaning into always-on, long-term relationships with creators to scale their affiliate programs, especially in the “micro-influencer” segment. Lindsey’s role reflects both his unique perspective and the growing importance of the performance marketing industry in the social and influencer arenas.

Vikki Danielson

Director, Growth & Partnerships, tvScientific
When you’re with Vikki, you know you’re at the epicenter of the burgeoning performance TV industry. Vikki's involvement in partnership and affiliate goes back to 2010, and she’s had great career growth and success at CJ and Acceleration Partners. She joined tvScientific this summer and is quickly bringing her expertise to bear on an industry that is being transformed by digital and performance technology. She has already integrated tvScientific’s platform into the major affiliate networks and become the go to person for affiliate agencies and brands to learn about how they can blend brand the affiliate budgets to get measurable results from TV spend.
Why is Vicki on this list? The collision of marketing channels is major theme at Martech Record. TV is the most traditional channel for brand budgets and tvScientific is proving that its possible to blend brand and performance budgets - and Vikki is leading the way.


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