Last year, I attended London Adtech and was blown away by the number of suits in attendance. I guess it was only a matter of time before our industry became profitable enough that the yuppies and base touching urchins of the Square Mile stuck their dicks in it.
One of the things I remember distinctly was catching Jason from Ads4Dough at an extremely bare basics table, decorated with a bottle of water and surrounded by a hundred companies that had gone all-out to ‘dress for the occasion’.
It really emphasized in my mind how vast the gulf is between affiliate marketers who ‘get it’, and those who think they ‘get it’ by gelling the hair back and dousing their booths with:
1. At least four scantily clad female affiliate managers.
2. Enough jargon speak to give me a fucking headache
3. All style and zero substance.
As most conference junkies have probably worked out by now, I’m not one to travel halfway across the world to trade business cards with slick sales reps that I’ll probably never speak to again in my life. That’s not to say I don’t value the power of networking, I just prefer to stick to my small circle of confidants who generally keep me up to speed if there’s anything big I need to hear about.
I found London Adtech frustrating and confusing in equal measures. Not only did the companies seem to be wrestling for the title of best corporate Zoolander face, but they were also hugely out of touch with the solo working class affiliates like myself. I may not look like a Wall Street banker, but I’m actually a better representation of a real life affiliate marketer than some tosser with his glass of Champagne and never-ending presentation of “digital e-projects”.
Seriously, if you’re still prefixing business terms with “e” to show that you get the digital age, slap yourself in the ganglies and go back to the starting line. You suck.
I think most companies who attend these corporate events are under the illusion that affiliates are dumb, blind and blissfully unaware that suits and jargon speak actually add up to… not much.
Christ, the second you mention that you’re a CPA marketer who works from home, be prepared for that head to toe glance, the tutting of dismay and a polite ending of the conversation while the poorly educated twat turns his back on you to deal with other more respectable attendees.
The latest event on the horizon here in London is the A4U Expo. I don’t know about you, but I stopped taking this event seriously when I saw that it was sponsored by Argos.
What’s that all about?
Am I supposed to be seduced in to promoting Argos? With an entry pass starting at £395, I’d have to spend the rest of my life shelling Argos links to come anywhere close to making a return on that investment.
The only affiliate who will pay £395 for access to this kind of corporate circle jerk is the affiliate who is being sponsored by his company.
Now, I realise there may be corporate suits reading this now who gasp at the idea of their favourite event being compared to a Yuppie’s Day Out. But really, that’s all this shit is. Every single keynote spirals in to a final self-adoring sales pitch. You would be better placed collecting a list of the speakers, Googling their blogs, and reading up on the tips that everybody else will be paying £395 to hear a speech about.
The corporate affiliate marketing landscape couldn’t be further detached from the hard working affiliates who drive the industry’s popularity forward. Some of us are educating ourselves to build sustainable businesses, others are spending lavish amounts to dress with sophistication and learn how to make 4% on a fucking book sale with Amazon.
Good luck with that.
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