Martech Record Talks The Future Of Affiliate Service With Jon Claydon.
In preparation for Martech Record's December 14th Content, Marketing & Commerce event ...
Those remain key priorities at All Inclusive Marketing Inc (AIM), the full-service affiliate and partner marketing company she founded 14 years ago. AIM was acquired by Plus Company in 2020, which has allowed AIM (which was founded in Canada) to work internationally and expand its network of clients. “One of the reasons they chose AIM was because of value alignment,” Bundy said, adding that the acquisition “fuels and expedites” the company’s vision, mission and purpose.
When she started AIM, Bundy made it a priority to clearly communicate what that vision and purpose were. In the years since, it hasn’t wavered, even as the company has grown and shifted to follow the colossal changes in the industry.
“For us, it is to take immaculate care of people,” she said. “We’re in a service-based industry and we want to solve people’s problems better, faster and with more value than anybody else.”
While it’s crucial to prioritize team members, they must first know what the purpose of their work is and why they should be passionate about showing up for the job every day, Bundy said.
“There needs to be an environment of trust, transparency and openness that gets them excited.”
Being a great leader requires knowing how to lift people up, how to listen and how to provide opportunities for other people to be problem solvers and collaborators, she said.
“I don’t have to have all the answers and tell people what to do,” Bundy said. “I need to listen and I need to understand the opportunities and the problems we’re solving for.” Once she’s heard those answers, she asks: “How can we continue to do that better, faster and at a higher value than anyone else?”
While it’s imperative for a CEO to have a strong balance of those soft skills alongside a firm understanding of the business fundamentals, Bundy said anyone in the room can step up as a leader by implementing effective problem-solving, communication and collaborative skills.
Up-and-coming affiliate leaders are entering an industry that Bundy said is more complex than it was 15 years ago. There are many different players with different needs, requiring an understanding of a wide range of variables.
Transparency of data, attribution and trust in the affiliate marketing channel has improved over the years, but the pace of changes in the industry has ramped up significantly, Bundy said.
AIM itself had to pivot quickly when the COVID pandemic began because about half of the business was travel and hospitality brands, which took a huge hit almost overnight. That led AIM to move into the B2B space, and now more than half of the team is B2B-specialized.
Bundy said solving such challenges and working with creative people remains fulfilling and she’s excited about the opportunities AIM has to continue to grow since the acquisition.
“Affiliate marketing ticks all the boxes for me,” she said. “My creative side gets to be engaged. My science and analytical/data side gets to be engaged and the need to connect to people gets to be engaged.”