038 - Finally The Partnerships Book We've Wanted! - "The Partnerships Economy" with Dave Yovanno

What is up PartnerUp!

Jared here - I’ve been complaining for years that there is no definitive work on partnerships and no ‘book’ to reference. If you’re a listener, you’ve probably hear me rant on this a few times…

But that’s about to change, FINALLY.

Welcome to The Partnership Economy, ushered in and documented for the first time ever by David Yovanno’s must-read for every partner leader and executive in this new era.

I read an advanced copy and knew I HAD to have Dave on the show.

You’re going to love the tons of crazy stories about legendary partner deals that are sitting right in front of you and our discussion on the primer for this huge book release by Wiley.

So tune in partnerup! And don’t forget to pre-order “The Partnerships Economy” from Dave here: https://www.amazon.com/-/en/David-Yovanno/dp/1119819709 and check out the great content on impact.com.

Oh and hey, remember to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere you get your pods on the go. And if you’re on Youtube, smash the subscribe and notify button.

For the Apple Podcast fans, leave a FIVE STAR rating -- because Michele won't accept anything less.

And If you liked the show, share the episode with your commentary on LinkedIn and hash #partnerup #partnerships. Tag us in on the post so we can comment and share back!

Check out all past and future the PartnerUp episodes at https://www.partneruppodcast.com


  • Apple
  • Spotify
  • Or literally, anywhere you get your podcasts. Seriously. Ask Alexa: “Alexa, play "PartnerUp the Partnerships Podcast” and magic…


Jared Fuller  00:11
been writing and screaming things like let's go. So that's, that's gonna be your opening skit. So what is up partner up? Welcome back. We have a trio here today. So if you didn't catch the introduction to Michelle Albany's episode, we are joined by my amazing co host and colleague of the past three and a half years. Michelle Havanese. Michelle, what's up?

Michele Albanese  00:32
Let's go. What's up partner up?

Jared Fuller  00:34
Yes, indeed. And then our guest today I am super excited about I feel like we've been up leveling the folks we've been bringing to you all, you know, week after week from Bobby nap to finish. And now we have on Dave, the CEO of Impact calm day, welcome to partner out.

David Yovanno  00:52
Hey, guys, excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Jared Fuller  00:55
Of course, of course, I was super excited because I actually got an advance kind of like copy of something that I think we've all been waiting for in partnerships world, which is a somewhat definitive book on modern partnerships, not like written from the IT world 20 years ago, but like modern partnerships, Dave, you have a book on partnerships coming out, I believe. And it's available for pre order on Amazon. And

David Yovanno  01:20
it is it is actually coming out the day before my birthday, February 15. So we're excited about it. It's called the economy,

Jared Fuller  01:28
the partnership economy. So that's available for pre order on Amazon.

David Yovanno  01:32
on Amazon. Yes, published by Wiley. So we're excited about this one. Finally, it's getting the recognition that it deserves. So question

Jared Fuller  01:40
then did um, did you have to like bribe Wiley to like do that the day before your birthday? Is that part of the net right?

David Yovanno  01:48
Now? Yeah, these things take time, it's actually been in the making for over two years, probably two and a half years. Now these things take time. But they're extremely excited about I think we had the same effect on Wiley as we do, like, you know, potential customers that we talked with, or other partners, like once you get into the story, you explain what's happening, like people's eyes light up, you know, the light goes on, you know, and it snaps for them. And it was exciting to get wily behind the story. So they're excited, we're excited, comes out February 15.

Jared Fuller  02:17
I mean, I'm excited. I've been waiting for something like this for a long time. So partnerships Academy, I got the advanced copy. And one thing that I will call out and we'll get into some of the topics for today, is that the examples that you were using and calling out almost not necessarily as a case study, but illustrative of the point of how to activate these big partnerships and how people are kind of thinking a little bit differently about their go to market today. The examples that you utilize in the book are so relatable to the people that are living in the modern SAS era. And I think that's what's been lacking more than anything is that anything that's documented or written or a book is, you know, it's old names and old logos that a lot of people can't relate to. So I commend you and the team and the work that you put in on bringing something modern to the forefront. And using examples that I think the SAS world, both b2c and b2b can, you know, take some take some great nuggets from and I also think it's a great executive primer as well. Like, one interesting story, which it may or may not have been a book that you've read was, when Sequoia kind of joined formatively, at HubSpot, and started working with Brad coffee and kind of like their partnerships, leader team. They made everyone read platform revolution as a primer, and I feel like you know, this might be that similar kind of primer for a company that's going hey, we really want to formalize our partnership strategy. This is something the CMO the CRO, the CEO, the CTO could all read to go okay, what does that mean? Aside from hiring someone and saying you're anointed with partnership strategy, and go work in a silo? And then come tell us? That's right, you can't source revenue?

David Yovanno  04:01
That's right. Yeah, the first thing I would say is, you know, although my name is on the book, and definitely helped drive, the writing of the book, for sure, of course. But the truth is, this book was really written by our business and it was written by our customers, what we dive into is the stories of impact customers, the experience they've had, you know, just internally just kind of like evolving their whole strategy around partnerships and the work that we've been doing. That's really where the story came from. And it was just exciting for me and the team that kind of take that that story to market essentially, in the rewarding thing is, partnerships have been going on for hundreds of years, probably. But I think what has happened in the past is that they've existed like in silos and these very fragmented teams within the enterprise. And I feel like we're that first platform. We're now this global standard platform for all partnership types. And there's, you know, tell a story about Walmart like why did they choose impact calm and it was because they wanted to get all their different partnerships. types into one place and then really put the people process and technology behind a really important business strategy for them to compete with people like Amazon. Right? Amazon has probably the world's most successful partnerships or associate program, I call it the the Amazon associates program, they get over I think it's 600 million customers per month, to their app and to their, to their website, buying things through their associates. I think a lot of businesses are waking up to this opportunity to exist when you put influencers together with the trician rewards affiliates with commerce contests that bizdev stuff, Walmart replaced, like filing cabinets, literally filing cabinets of business development contracts, consolidated all that into one platform. And I think you know, this, the exciting thing for us is that I feel like we're waking the world up that this is a big thing, when you put it all together, like in their own, like they're kind of, you know, kind of ad hoc things that that businesses are just doing throughout their organization, but when you put it together is where you realize the magnitude of the effect that all this has on on business, essentially. And so it's been an exciting story for us to tell, you're talking about HubSpot. You know, they did something similar, they prove that there's a category that exists around inbound marketing and the need for automation. And if you were to kind of look back, you know, 10 plus years, they were roughly the size that we are today, you fast forward to today, they have over 100,000 customers on their platform, they just crossed over a billion in revenue. And we see that exact same journey for a company like impact, calm, just proving that there's a real category, and an opportunity here for businesses around partnerships. And while you're getting your act together around organizing your people, you know, you know, think of sales teams think of marketing teams, most enterprises have very sizeable teams and those other categories and channels for revenue acquisition. When you think about process, you think of territories and quotas. And you know, what's that process you're going to follow every day to make calls and get opportunities started, do business etc. Pipeline covers quota coverage, partnerships haven't been thought of in that same light. And this is the thing that's exciting for us@anti.com is just really trying to educate and evangelize the power of this of this channel. And that's really the driving force behind wanting to write this book and tell that story so that other businesses can participate, especially now, especially when you look at the challenges that are happening around just advertising in general, especially digital advertising, we're losing cookies, we're losing retargeting, we're losing measurement, we're losing the modern

Jared Fuller  07:30
consumer getting cheaper, too, right? Like, yeah, cost of ads are just going down, right version rates are going up, it's getting easier to go to market, right?

David Yovanno  07:37
Not? Yeah, there's a lot, there's a lot, there's a lot of stars aligning, that I think is just the perfect time for a book like this to come out and kind of educate the market on how you can remain competitive in this in this modern space.

Jared Fuller  07:51
And I think that's one of the things that I was so excited whenever I talked to you initially, Dave is that you're full of anecdotes and stories, and kind of examples of how companies are utilizing best in class partnerships as a primary lever in their go to market. And, you know, one of the things you talked about there's, you know, referral examples everywhere. Right, like, you mentioned something as simple as you know, recruiting, I mean, the best source of new hires is typically your people, right? So like, let's maybe talk about some of those examples that you think through, whenever you're trying to maybe educate a wider organization, you're leading impact comm I think you're the largest software kind of player in the space of, you know, partnerships, technology, what are some of the examples you use to help a team understand, hey, look, you might think this is new to you, but it's actually these referrals, concepts, they're everywhere?

David Yovanno  08:45
Well, I don't think you can dive into those stories without first understanding what's evolved on the consumer side. And we can go as far back as you want to talk about it. But you know, I think of going way back, you know, people sitting around the radio and around the TV, where there were just a handful of channels that were available to them. And, and they were kind of told what to buy, essentially, right? So everyone's saying the same jingle and ran out and bought the same products, because advertisers were kind of driving the narrative. And there wasn't like an ecosystem or anything else out there to kind of compare with people just kind of went and bought what they were told. If you fast forward to today, you look at the amount of information that is out there about products. I think it started with the large social media publishing platforms like YouTube, you had influencers that were just passionate about certain products that would do unboxing videos and people just showing products and talking about what they like and don't like and that really kind of helped to drive. You know, what people bought and how they bought essentially, I think the major publishers, like the Conde Nast and the Meredith brands, the BuzzFeed brands, those major teams of editors started to follow along and said, Hey, let's let's pay a little bit more attention to what our readers actually want. Instead of us making the editorial decisions, kind of like the old media channels, they were deciding all the news that was fit to print. And when you look at the social model, social publishing platforms, and how they had comments, and they had subscribed or unsubscribed, you know, sort of features of real time feedback that that the audience was providing on those platforms. And I think the major publishers took note of that, and started to do the same thing, surveying their audiences, following search trends, social trends, and started to write about content and reviewing products about what their audience was interested in buying, like wire cutter was acquired by the New York Times and, you know, there's they find out that people are in market to buy 4k TV, but they're too expensive. So they review all these different 4k TVs and write a product review and recommendation said, try and guide their audience. And you look at the amount of information that's out there today. That's like that commercial base content. That's really what's by driving the, the kind of the buyer journey today. And I think if you add all that up, what, what is the thing that gets me most excited about, like, who really wins, and in today's environment, it's the end consumer, because what partnerships is all about is I think, just acknowledging the fact that the consumer today is in full control of the buying journey, they're no longer doing what you're telling them, you know, with an ad, and in fact, they just have outright disdain for that disruptive, interruptive behavior of advertising. And they're taking a more active role in searching for what they want to buy, and how they're gonna buy. And they're getting that information from these publishers, these influencers, these other businesses that are giving recommendations on those things. And that's what's guiding them. And so what I get excited about most just to dive into your question, Jared, on some examples, would be we're mature businesses who get this it's all about the modern consumer today, and how do we embrace them, honor them, let's stop interrupting them. And let's start giving them a better experience. Like think about think about what we've done to the consumer over the years over the last decades that I've been in digital advertising and Mar tech, we've done pop ups, we've done email spamming, you know, we've done everything to just interrupt what they're online to do. They're online to do three things they want, they're looking for information, looking for entertainment, they're looking to connect with people. That's it, they're not online, looking for ads. And we've just abused the format of advertising, I think over the last couple of decades. And so now the modern businesses and we tell these stories, actually in the book, this is that really belong together in a way that they can integrate their their services and create a point of convenience or just a better experience and some way for the consumer, or the ones that get me the most excited like a really easy example is quantum so you go to quantum.com to book a flight to Australia, you'll see top a fold an option to also book a stay at an Airbnb. That just makes sense. Those brands are of the same caliber they kind of belong together. You would think if you're if you're booking a plane ticket you're probably gonna need a place to stay. Airbnb promotes it as fly there live there. You know, they've got a lot of travel partnerships that are done like that. And I interviewed it's not talked about in the book, but I interviewed recently Canva and HubSpot. So if you're in HubSpot, these are both channel partnership customers on our platform. So if you're in the HubSpot platform, and you're looking to do a design element for an inbound marketing campaign that you're doing, does it make sense to exit the HubSpot, you know, platform and then go over to Canva do your design and then bring it back into into HubSpot. Now, it doesn't make sense. So if you're in the HubSpot experience, you can, you know, now tap, you know, sign up with Canva. Do your design thing all within HubSpot and add that to your inbound marketing campaign. Yeah, it makes complete sense. Another example on

Jared Fuller  13:44
and on about the candidate example, I have to interrupt there because I want to come back to that because it's an example of b2c versus b2b, which I know we want to get into. But it feels to me like there's absolutely a category of technologies that can be created with that same concept in mind, like a lot of Canvas. I think innovation comes from the fact that they're not just a design tool, because there's how many design tools online, I mean, there's hundreds of design tools, right? But their distribution strategy is to power design in the area where people need it not in this separate other application. And that's a novel way of thinking about going to market. And I feel like what we've been so addicted to in the mahr tech world is how do we optimize our funnel? How do we optimize for that conversion? How do we come up with new ways of injecting ourselves into some consumer discovery process to try and capture demand? And I feel like the other way of approaching it that you're talking about is putting that consumer behavior in that buyer experience versus actually thinking about something entirely different which is how do I make the consumers life better where they already live? Right, like if you can value proposition I mean, my last company I was at Panda doc, they have a great integration where you probably need designs in your documents. That partnership got announced in there. I mean already 1000s of people using it with a startup and a startup 1000s of people using the integration just like that. Why not because Canvas tried to in organically interrupt the panda doc user flow, or the HubSpot user flow, they've said, Hey, we're going to help you where you live. A lot of CEOs should take note of that, I think in this day and age,

David Yovanno  15:28
you know, they teach you that in marketing, school and college, but I don't think people pull it forward to the way the modern marketers are thinking about today, at least on our platform, where, you know, it's all about being what I call relevant and the daily lives of the consumers that you're trying to do business with, like a lot of people, for example, have a certain opinion about cashback coupon loyalty types of publishers, like I bought, they've got 35 million app installs, people who are starting some of their ecommerce journey, going to Ibotta saying, hey, I want to buy this thing, you know, guide me in the right direction, and there's some kind of rewards or loyalty or cashback, related to that exchange, it's kind of like, I don't care what you think of that type of Publisher, think of the consumer and what they're doing, essentially. And, you know, you know, the I interviewed, wink and son basket recently, and wink was kind of telling me the story about how they choose their partners. And they said, Well, you know, we're looking for partners, you know, some about the both of our clients on our platform, and they know that do some baskets, they're getting these pre packaged pre made meals mailed to them. Doesn't it make sense that they might want wine to go with that meal? It's kind of like, the Supersize Me, you know, experience at McDonald's? I don't want to lower the experience there, we probably can cut that part of this thing. No, I think about it. But the idea is, doesn't it make sense that in your sun basket package, there would be an insert that says, hey, we're partnered with wink, and would really recommend them as you know, if you're if you're looking for wine, but it goes much further than that, like, this is the this is the thing that really gets me excited is when wink tells me, you know that how deeply they believe in how their products are sourced, how they clean their equipment, how they manufacture their wine, how they treat their employees, all that stuff. And what they built that into their partnership program. This is the other thing, again, recognizing the modern consumer today, they care about those things, they care about doing business, with brands that operate a certain way, and they're gonna keep buying from those types of brands. So when someone like wink is looking to partner with other businesses, it's not based on, you know, that the highest commission return on a referral, or it's not just the highest amount of sales, it's like, who's a really good match for my consumer, because we win as a brand care about these things. And we're gonna make sure that that anyone that we partner with that their brand in its entirety, aligns with our brand as well.

Jared Fuller  18:04
Right? If I, if I think about this a little deeper, the preference towards the consumer experience, it's like, we've been evangelizing that Michelle for you know, years, right, like consumers have all the control, like the rise of conversation overfilling, I

Michele Albanese  18:19
have all the power, all the power, whether I believe it or not, you know,

Jared Fuller  18:23
like, we see that adrift given where we sit in the customer journey that people want answers to their question, not just to sit around and wait for a sales rep in b2b. But if I think about the reasons why a lot of companies as much as they might think that they want to prioritize the consumer experience. At the end of the day, sometimes that's not enough, right? They might recognize, hey, consumer behaviors change, but I still have metrics. I still have, you know, a board, I still have a CEO, I still have these other demands of me. And I think the thing that people also need to recognize is not just the consumer behaviors changing, it's also kind of what we opened with the, or at least what I was making fun of, which is the continuation of rising acquisition costs and declining conversion rates. Right? There's this is not just a consumer preference, it's a business imperative. In 2021, and beyond like in this decade, J McBain has called it you know, the decade of ecosystems. And why is that? And I think it's, it's the consumer preference, like you mentioned, but it's also Hey, the promise of digital advertising? Is that still really here at a scale where we can, you know, break through the average American seeing between 410,000 ads a day?

David Yovanno  19:33
Yeah. Like, yeah, let's try and let's try and stuck. Yeah, let's try and step through that. Because there's, there's a lot to unpack on that point. I'm, uh, you just kind of give it from my perspective, because I've watched this movie now for the last couple decades coming from conversion and other companies in the MAR tech ethics space. And what I've seen happen here is essentially, you know, advertising has been around forever. It's had a certain promise and it's out the whole mind. onset is doing something to the consumer and manipulating data to kind of, you know, best target, you know, and you know, jam an ad in front of somebody's face. That's kind of what we've done like 400 years probably now, or at least 100 years. And when you look at, I think the tipping point that we've hit you touched on this, Jared is the skyrocketing ad price. I think that was the final nail, honestly, in the coffin for, for advertising, digital advertising, at least, because what's happened is big tech. So that's Apple, and Google, namely, so Apple has done away with IDFA. That's the identifier for advertisers. So you can no longer identify somebody on an iOS or a safari device. And then Google followed up to that with loss of the Google cookie as well as retargeting or at least I think they've pushed it out a little further. So they've announced that they're doing away with it. And so what does all that mean? If you're a brand, you cannot effectively target track or measure an ad anymore, unless it's within what are called the walled gardens, right. And so that's namely, Google, Facebook, Amazon are the top three platforms, basically, they're getting more than 90% digital ad dollars. And if you look at them, plus tick tock plus nap and all the other top, big tech platforms, their ad rates are up 100 plus percent, most of them are the average CPM on Facebook has grown to the latest figure I saw was $11, CPM, you know, a year or two ago was $3. It's now $11, CPM, on average to run an ad on Facebook. And so the it's really hit the pocketbook of the advertiser for the last 1015 years, it's just been easy. It's been very coin operated, I put $1. And I get a click back. Everyone's done. And let's just keep keep rinsing repeating this advertising thing that we've been doing for 100 years now that the ad rates have gone, so sky high, it's forcing businesses to finally wake up to the real heart of the issue, and that is this interruptive, you know, sort of behavior of advertising and what's wrong with it. I have clients now that I think, I think some of the thought leadership that we've put out, there certainly has been helpful, but I think a lot of people are just kind of realizing this for themselves. What they're saying is, guys, we've done some testing, we turn off Facebook, yes, we've, we've lost some sales results with but not as much as we thought. More importantly, as a senior team, we're realizing that we don't want to be that ad, we don't want to be that interruptive disruptive sort of brand that is kind of interrupting the flow of what consumers are doing. And we want to be a little bit more relevant in the daily lives. What are they doing in their daily lives, this is the other thing that has changed. Who the person that used to go to malls, and like tripped over a deal, you know, just mindlessly walking through and buying things that doesn't exist anymore. I think that the pandemic just put that to bed. Today shoppers are very active engaged shopper they are researching, they are looking at 15 points of reviews, recommendations, whether it's written, whether it's a video could be a small influencer, it could be a major publisher with a team of editors doing a review on something, but it is almost become a competitive sport, like people are shopping. And they are after that dopamine hit when that package shows up on your doorstep, just like you get with a comment or like on a social post that you do. There's a lot more shopping going on. You got 2 million stores on Shopify 10 years ago was like 40,000 stores on Shopify, so you got a lot more choice, you got a lot more shopping. And you've got a lot more information that's out there today that didn't exist. even five years ago, there used to be a couple unboxing videos on YouTube, you look at it now, any product that you want to buy, somebody had an experience with it, and you're in there searching for that experience that review, just to get a little closer to should I buy this thing or not. And that's what's driving the modern day purchase. And this is the world of partnerships. Impact com is a platform that is trying to get businesses to connect with that kind of information, find the people in the businesses that have this authentic, trusted relationship with the consumer, so that what they're doing is they're selling to their audience, they're not selling their audience, they're selling to their audience. And there's, there's a very different perspective, when you look at it from from from that view, right? Because it goes back to my very first point of putting the consumer first, if they don't put the consumer first they're going to lose subscribers, they're going to lose kind of their base. And, you know, I look at it as those influencers are not a salesperson for the brand. They're kind of like the buyer representative. Right. The you know, they're the agent for the buyer kind of acting on their behalf. I think it's this is like the most revolutionary era in marketing that I think we've witnessed in a very long time. And I think everyone should be excited excited about it. And that's going back to the book, what I'm hoping the effect of the book has on on businesses that are not fully tuned into this.

Jared Fuller  24:43
I couldn't agree more. And it's interesting because it feels like it's touching on another trend. That isn't just you know, the consumer experience. It's not just the rising you know, cost declining conversion rates. There's also this feeling of, I don't know I mean, I guess co It had a lot to do with it. But consumerism is like, is back in a new form. Like I felt like it was really coming on strong in the mid 2010s, and then kind of faded away. And now I almost feel like shopping has become a sport. But the second we got on this call Dave, the second we got on this call the very first thing that Michelle did is she holds up what Michelle?

Michele Albanese  25:20
By whoop, my whoop 4.0. Yeah, thank God, it's not only an influence, it's because it's not only an influence of influencers and partnerships, and quote, unquote, trusted advisors, so buying from other people you know, and trust, it's the same thing that goes with your friends, right. So when you think about a consumer purchase, you might look at what your friends are doing. Or you might look at what your favorite influencers are doing. And it goes back to the same thing with tech partnerships, and b2b or any other partnership you might discover in the space with b2c. It's like, what are the people that I want to be like, or want to pursue to be like, and how can I purchase and be like them and, and trust them in my buying purchase? So yeah, Jared introduced me to whoop. And I was excited to show him that I got the newest version and shared it on social myself got a ton of people, friends, engaging and understanding and asking, you know, where'd you get that? How'd you get that so fast? All that sort of stuff. So it's happening in your in your day to day life, let alone with these big buying purchases?

David Yovanno  26:21
Yeah, and it's not all competitive in that sense, I think, I think I think it is, to a certain extent where people are competing with each other on social media, people are just passionate about this stuff. And there's just so much choice to my other point out there, that people are into this stuff, you know, and they're excited to share it. It's just part of the daily life now is this commerce behavior?

Michele Albanese  26:41
I think people are excited to share it to your point, Dave, because they've done so much research, shopping is a very good energy into finding that purchase. So they're excited to then share it and close that loop. So and they want more people to see and experience what they did based on.

David Yovanno  26:57
And again, just to tie it back in case it's not it's not obvious that research are it comes from the publishers and the partners that are part of these programs that I'm talking about, right? Because because it's not at its very native content, right? The and the change here is going from ads that surround that content, right. That's what Facebook does, you know, and other social platforms where that content is published, we're talking about the commercial links within that content. So it could be a description of a video, or it could be, you know, an article that a wire cutter editor writes, there could be a link for a Vizio TV inside of the content piece that they're writing itself. We're not talking about the advertising around it, we're talking about the content itself is commercial in nature is what we call commerce content. And a lot of these editors are inserting these commerce links from an impact.com type of platform and forging relationships with, you know, Walmart, in that case for a 4k TV or someone else where that product is sold.

Michele Albanese  27:57
And here's your app. Yeah. And here's

David Yovanno  28:00
another thing that's like super interesting, I think is looking at the supply side of how this has evolved. So meaning the publishers themselves, especially the major publishers, these guys have been cut out big time by ad tech for the last 10 years. Like they used to have direct relationships with brands, you know, selling their CPM, you know, display ad space, but it's how you insert a DSP and SSP DMP an agency I mean, oh my gosh, there's like 10 cuts of that gross dollar CPM to where they're getting pennies on the dollar. That was like the first issue that came up. Now with the loss of targeting tracking measurement unless you're inside the walled gardens, they're in a really tough position to make those ads work. And over the last three to four years, like I said, they've been tuning into what the influencers doing, really listening to their audience, starting to publish content that's more commercial in nature, a lot of these big publishers like look at BuzzFeed look at Vogue, Conde Nast brand. Look at CNN has underscored I mentioned, New York Times is wire cutter. All of these major publishers have large commerce teams, now they're publishing a lot of commerce based content. And inside the content, are these commercial links, right to the articles that they're talking about. And these are editorial decisions that they're making. These aren't they're not doing this to, you know, be a cheesy salesperson, they are delivering authentic content that their audience is demanding. What I heard from the GM of Meredith recently is that their commerce revenue has grown 10x In the last three years, and they now have most there are many of their pages, I just say, I think is what you're saying with without ads at all. And they're so focused solely on the Commerce links within the content. They're getting 3x The return on those pages, as opposed to

Michele Albanese  29:41
because it doesn't feel like you're being advertised to right. It's just within the context of what you're hearing later. Yeah, that's very

David Yovanno  29:48
good. Yeah. And the challenge for those publishers is how do you maintain your business interests along with your editorial interest, and they know just like the influencers that taught them. If you push yourself too far outside that circle of trust, you're going to Who's your audience? Right? And so they, they know that and so they're, they're going to remain true to their audience. Always. If you want an ad, you know, I asked an interview with Neela. She's as VP of commerce at BuzzFeed recently, I said, hey, what if Kim Kardashian comes to your editors and says, hey, I'll pay a million dollars to write a review on this product that I'm watching. She says, I tell her to go talk to the ad sales team. That's not what we do. Like we're, you know, we're in control of our editorial decisions. So it's fascinating how I think how that has evolved itself.

Jared Fuller  30:31
And, yeah, I feel like that might be related to another consumer trend, which is that consumers are just more skeptical. And I also feel like that's because of the rising increase in the quality of goods and services, right, like digital transformation has not only allowed for more businesses to come into existence, for more disruption, but for the kind of price disparity to also increase, right, quality is increasing, as well as consumer kind of skepticism. I mean, Michelle, I know you could like throw it back at me, but like Jade, we were discussing how I have like, your these melon hats. I think I have like here's one, here's two. Here's three. Here's four. I have four of these stupid hats. These are six.

Michele Albanese  31:17
And how much did you spend on those hats? How much did you spend on those hats, Jared,

Jared Fuller  31:20
there's $60 Each for expected spending $60 on it, how much less 10 of them. But that's because the quality is fundamentally so much better than any other hat I've ever had. Right? Like I run in Florida, Michelle and I live in Florida. It is a humid, hot mess. Going down runs in Florida. I mean, my hats are law. They're disgusting. But these hats are incredible. They actually withstand that testing.

David Yovanno  31:48
And here's the thing, just just that that example right there with your I think you said skeptical. I would say consumers are skittish like they know when there's a filter on that photo. Right? And you know, that's like they have lower respect for that. Like they will call bullshit. If they see somebody being it cheesy salesperson, I was just a hashtag add that that's an add. That's not partnerships. That's an add what you just said, Jared is the world of partnerships where this is something that you're passionate about, you're really behind these products, if you were to do like a proper review and post about that with commercial links to go refer people are happy to buy using your links because they feel like they owe you you know, some some sort of exchange for that information. That's the other thing is that I've noticed Yeah, I was. This is this is laughable, almost. But the craziest example of this that I saw, every once in a while I'll do a woodworking project. And I needed to make a joint for this table that I was making. So of course, I get on YouTube, and I find this guy. He's got a lot of videos out there. It's got about a million dollars. We're not just some older gentleman in Northern California. At the end of his video, he says, hey, my channel is no longer sponsored by Microjig, which is this table solid jigs. You don't cut your hand. He goes, but you know, I've been sleeping on this Casper mattress for the last two years. And I love it. I almost thought on my chair laughing It was just so out of context. But you know, the guy he spent, I don't know, three, four minutes. It's it's time lapse him dragging it into his living room. He unboxes it. He's got it set up in his bed. He said I talked about what he likes what he doesn't like about his cat sitting on it. And I'm thinking myself, man, if I was in market to buy a mattress right now, I would click his commercial link in the description of the video and buy that mattress through him because he just helped me make this joint. He just made this eight minute video giving giving me some information about something something else. And I feel like I owe him something. Yeah,

Michele Albanese  33:37
yeah, it's like a thank you. It's how can I repay this guy for saving me some time by walking me through this? Yeah.

David Yovanno  33:44
It's a really fascinating economy that we're operating in. It's very dynamic. And I want to, you know, we've got clients, like, you know, maybe just to kind of change the subject here a little bit like, but on our platform is to say how dynamic this ecosystem is. So we have target and Disney plus as a client on the impact.com platform. Now they're working on a partnership where target is serving as a partner to Disney plus, so in their stores, they're promoting Disney plus streaming, and they're, they've got that set up. And there's tracking that's happening on our platform to kind of account for that. So that's just one of the things that I love about this whole economy is like anybody can be a partner to the other entity, essentially, and find ways to continue to grow and be relevant to their consumers at their each serving.

Michele Albanese  34:31
Yeah, find that joint value proposition, that better together story and it's, it's amazing what you can do, right? Like even things that you might not even recognize at first glance. Jared, you talk about this all the time finding the black swan in the room, like what's the thing that's gonna help the end consumer that you might not recognize in the beginning, but ends up being the MVP story? So yeah, I think that's amazing. So on your platform, unable to even uncover those opportunities just by working with another

David Yovanno  34:58
you're talking about the pandemic Wait. Another really interesting story that came out of left field for me, it's with Russ delis, which is a direct to consumer meat business, along with some basket just to mention them again. But resale is not a whole lot of people know about resellers, because they their main business is supplying caught protein. So meat like chicken steak, fish to a lot of restaurants and hotel chains. And so so they are the sole protein supplier to some basket who does the direct to consumer pre packaged meals. So during the pandemic, people started the sun basket and said, Hey, can we just buy a steak from you or chicken from you directly? We don't want to go to the store the grocery store because there's a pandemic, and if you when we do, they're sold out of meat. And so some basket said, long story short, hey, we don't we don't sell, you know, just the me direct to consumer, but we get all of our protein from Estelle ease. Why don't you go there to buy your your protein essentially. So they did a b2b partnership. So back to that other example. So they promoted, you know, so So I interviewed the CEO of Australis. I think I give the exact dollar amount, but it was like 100x return. So in one month, it was like 100x, I think I think I can report the numbers. They went from like 10,000, in sales through that partnership to 1.5 million in one month, through that b2b partnership. And this is just to give you another example of how again, dynamics is another really good example, what would it resellers do as their consumers picked up? And then they got commerce content placements with CNN underscore, those team of editors said, hey, people, you know, are in a pandemic looking to get me we're doing the reviews of the top direct consumer, me companies. And you know, they did their write up on rallies, and a few others almost age now. And they generated referrals that way. And then rastelli is his business, customer base built up. And then what do they do? Hey, you know, you're buying directories for me, but there's at least three times during the week that you're gonna want a fully prepackaged meal sent to you. We're partnering with sun basket, why don't you go there to get your pre packaged meals. So again, it's just like amazing how interconnected everything can be in this partnership economy.

Jared Fuller  37:16
This is this is by far my favorite part of like, Dave is all of these stories, because it's incredible how the first co hosts a good friend of mine, Kevin rahasia, so Kevin, Kevin's the, like head of partnerships, you know, HubSpot type form, and now he's over an Active Campaign, you know, which they're doing fantastic. And one of the things that Kevin always impressed me with was his initial run is leading BD like employee, the first 30 employees at Groupon. Right, because he got to see so many examples of partnerships, like quick so for example, he launched the first Groupon for Uber, right? I mean, an explosion kind of like offer, right? And Groupon is kind of an interesting model to like, get a bunch of experience for like, offers through a networker community. And I feel like that's what's missing to get to my point in b2b. So you gave some good b2b partnerships examples, but I think some of those right that it's a direct to consumer business, so you might have a b2b partnership. But the end, you know, the partner recipient, if you will, is still a consumer business. That's the stuff you know, this is more of my clarion call to the audience. That's the stuff that we should be studying is like, how are consumer brands innovating? By taking new, you know, routes to market through partnerships that can kind of help the business to business category innovate. I mean, the Canva, and HubSpot example I think is a great one. But I'd love to hear a lot of our audiences in the b2b space, think impact, you've cut your teeth and really built yourself as the best in class platform for b2c brands, even though a lot of their partnerships are b2b. Talk to me a little bit more about some examples that are b2b, Dave, that are

David Yovanno  39:00
Yeah, well, maybe that help. I'm not sure if you agree, but we we think of b2b in two forms, there's b2b to see, which are the examples that I just gave you, for two businesses are partnering to sell something directly to the end consumer, and then there's b2b to be right to two businesses working together, you know, to refer business to a business essentially. You know, and so, I think the best example, honestly, is what we're doing with Shopify, to be honest, right, so we have a channel partnership, integration with Shopify. So if you're a new store on Shopify, think about this. Are you going to get in there and pay an $11 CPM? For a Facebook ad? Sure, you might test that I worry about the scale if you're if you're not targeting that precisely. And or do you want to push a button and activate the pre installed impact integration so that you can go to work on getting revenue acquired more, more cost effectively? So think about that for a minute, like you know, finance Getting into the impact software to find influencers find these commerce, content publishers, other businesses influencers to refer you business. Even if you're a very small business on Shopify, which there are a lot of that's a great b2b sort of partnership that that exists. And there, you know, I already mentioned the, the Canva, HubSpot example, would be another one. Let me see if I can think offhand.

Jared Fuller  40:28
Well, we I'll give my shameless cloud software Association plug, I always get this in here, somehow, some way this will be a perfect example. So by the time you listened to this, I actually did a masterclass on this topic. So it's the first time where the mic was 100% turned on me. Where how to land strategic alliances as a startup, right? So with your category leader, and I told the story of how I did this from Panda doc to HubSpot, or from drift to Marketo, or drift to Adobe from like zero relationship to, like Partner of the Year like number one strategic partner. And this goes back to I think we brought this up in our kind of pre chat. And I don't think you'd I don't think he picked it up. But correct me if I'm wrong, the sumo advantage is written by the founder of true cars. Have you heard of that book? Dave? I'd brought it up a couple times on the show. And I always bring it up reluctantly, because I guess it did teach me something. But basically, what he talked about was the dynamics that are required to go land, these big industry defining partnerships. It's a little bit dated, but I think relevant, especially Michelle, to your point, like finding the Black Swan, right? Like, what is that? What is that thing that is true that not all parties are aware of that aligns all of this interest. And I feel like from a b2b to see standpoint, you're you're seeing a very clear path to customer acquisition. Right, there's typically some like direct link tracking, and there's some way to kind of expand that audience. One example that I love forever is better.com. It's the fastest growing real estate company in the world. And Credit Karma, the best credit, like I bought three houses, because of a well timed Credit Karma, better introduction, right, like my credit, hit a certain score. And they were like, Hey, you should probably refinance. Here's better. And here's their offers. Right? Great example. But when it comes business to business, like how I had to land that alliance with Marketo, or with HubSpot, or with Adobe, he was very unclear in that first year if there was going to be any ROI, so to speak, in terms of like partnering up. So I think maybe that's why the examples that we think of in business to business are like, Hmm, but it's certainly seems like the tides are changing. If you think about, you know, maybe a sister company to some of the partner disruption that you're, you know, leading Dave crossbeam. Right. So we've had bob on the show, he's fantastic episode. That platform is pretty strictly b2b right now. And it's trying to like help people understand, Oh, you do have this overlap of Tam and customers and trying to kind of associate so maybe if there's not a ton of like near term examples, I'd maybe love to get your thoughts or forecast, if you will, on, you know, that b2b, b2b side, what do you think is going to change over the next few years or decade for these b2b partnerships, that I think you have tons of incredible examples that Yeah, I

David Yovanno  43:27
mean, yeah, if you if you read the research at large companies like Salesforce, or some others, Microsoft, they talk about, how do you keep growing when you're when you're that big? You're doing billions and billions and revenue? Do you think you can realistically rely on a brute force sales team go to market motion to keep keep growing 50% Every year, at that scale? It's impossible. Like you have to thrive on a channel partnership strategy. That's what we're experiencing ourselves. Like we're investing a lot more in our own candle partnership strategy, looking for other businesses to refer us business. So I mentioned the the Shopify example, we were just out the Sastre event just recently sponsoring because we were promoting our new release our new capabilities in the b2b space, right to compete more competitively and effectively within that segment of partnerships.

Jared Fuller  44:21
So you're making so they're not just philosophical 100%? Yeah, this is

David Yovanno  44:25
this is this is a major growth initiative within a within impact calm, because it does have some nuances. What you're talking about is a very different sales motion to to your point around tracking, for example, tracking is less done through like a pixel to confirm it and it requires like an integration with a CRM like like a HubSpot and Salesforce, both of which we have because there's typically like a leader or referral that comes in for like some complex software sale, it could be a financial service package, etc. And you need to be able to pass that lead through, track it through into that CRM report back to the partner who referred a prospect over report back, hey, we're 30% sales opportunity cycle, we've got another meeting coming up as a next step. You know, there's there's collateral that you're making available to those partners, you want that available within the platform, all these things, it's very different from that b2b to see sort of experience where you're tracking, typically a sale that happens directly from the consumer on on the website that they're purchasing from, you can report that back. And we're kind of real time when you're dealing with b2b to be That's it, the biggest difference is the lag. When when a prospect or an opportunity is created to when a deal is close, you're typically dealing with larger Order values as well. So the commission rates are typically different within that exchange. Yeah, it has its own set of requirements. But we are, you know, deeply in that space now are expecting that to be another level of growth for our business, we think going forward.

Jared Fuller  46:03
Absolutely. I feel like it's indicative of the partnership economy, you know, to use the appropriate phrase, right. That's the title of the book. The partnership economy, it's coming out February 14, and you can pre order it on February 15. Today, February 15, that's your

Michele Albanese  46:25
birthday. It's the 16th.

David Yovanno  46:26
The day before my birthday,

Michele Albanese  46:30
February 15, halfway through February, actually, I guess not 28 days, February.

Jared Fuller  46:36
So I think my clarion call for the listeners that might be on the the more b2b side is, I've been fascinated in my conversations with Dave, by all of the illustrative examples in the b2c world of just partnerships, ideas and creativity that, you know, the best b2b companies that I can reference and like some of the special sauce sauce, Michelle, that made drift so special in the beginning, right was like, we took a business to human approach, right, we changed the game of traditional b2b marketing and a lot of ways like in our early stage growth, where we had an outsized impact on the market. And for those partnerships, leaders out there, if you're struggling to find good analogues, in stories and examples, follow along, you know, Dave's story, the impact.com blog, they have some great content and examples of innovative companies that are out there doing partnership deals in motions and strategies that are just, I think industry defining and, you know, really shake up like, we need to get into like the Ticketmaster example, which is such an incredible one and how they partnered with the best platforms out there around events.

David Yovanno  47:39
So maybe another pro tip, maybe another pro tip, Jared, for your, for your audience, on b2b, a key strategy is just integrate with them. And you don't even have to talk to them like, like, what I love about how how businesses have evolved is just the open nature of platforms. And we very much embrace this. And while we're very much an open architecture, there's somebody that is looking to partner with us, it's very easy to do. And we've done that with like NNPS, the mobile measurement providers, for example, like branch we have an integration with, right, it just helps clients who are onboarding with impact that helps with the ease of onboarding, attract these mobile events. And we give them an option, sure, we have a pagelet API that you can integrate with, but if you're already integrated with branch, and you prefer to use them for the reporting of those events, no problem. But what does that enable you to do? The branch guys are referring us business and we're referring them business, and it's just a great, easy way for b2b to be sort of partnerships is just, you know, get after their open source documents, their API's, everything's interoperable today, or it should be, you know, I think the companies who resist that are not going to last for the long term, I think that the companies who embrace openness are going to be able to, to grow faster, I think, than their competitors, mostly by way of partnerships. In my opinion,

Jared Fuller  49:02
yeah. Michelle,

Michele Albanese  49:06
no, I was gonna say, I feel like you know, it used to be this, you need to build all the technology to be a jack of all trades and be everything for a company. But what I found is the most successful companies are just partnering with the best and technologies. And you get, you're able to have that joint value proposition for your customers, to have everything in one place, but have the best technologies all under one roof. So good.

David Yovanno  49:28
And let the customers decide, you know, they either use our tracking or they could use Brush Tracking, like, like, like, we shouldn't dictate that and force them into, you know, one or the other. Like, yeah, I think the pros and cons like make a decision and will support whichever you think is the best course.

Michele Albanese  49:43
Exactly. I think you know, you said b2b to be here to be to see, I think no matter what the way gotta think about it is you're selling to a human and humans like are into this new what do you what are you calling it The decade of ecosystem right or at least Jamie Baines been calling it that where, you know, they're gonna buy in the way that they buy for consumer, whether it's business to business or business to consumer. And so the buyers in control, you're still selling to a human. And partnerships is a is a really great way to get in front of your audience. So that's great.

David Yovanno  50:16
Yeah, that's it. I think that's the heart of it. It's like, there's so much choice out there. You have to embrace the end buyer, the end consumer and let them be the star of the show.

Jared Fuller  50:26
That's the definition of the partnership economy, would you need to preorder your C suite to force an initiative to say, hey, we're leaning in on partnerships, David, new books coming out. I read a pre copy. It's incredible, great examples. So Dave, check them out. Check out the impact blog. Follow me, follow him online. And partner up, spin. Awesome Show. Dave, thank you so much. Before we go, quick, quick, quick reminder to the folks at home. If you're just listening on audio, so Spotify, Apple podcasts, Michelle knows that she only accepts five star reviews on Apple podcasts. But check us out. Yeah, check us out on YouTube as well. So you get to see our friendly basis as well. So David's been incredible. We absolutely have to have you back on posts, book launch. And partner up. We'll see y'all next time.

David Yovanno  51:16
Thanks, guys enjoyed it. Cheers.

You've successfully subscribed to PartnerHacker
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Error! Could not sign up. invalid link.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Error! Could not sign in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Error! Billing info update failed.