A few years ago, if you mentioned COPEAC in the performance marketing industry, it was possible that someone would have thought you were talking about some new synthetic depression medication. However, over the last 24 months COPEAC and it’s parent company IMMi (formerly known as Intermark Media or the ξ sign) have become a major success story. Now when people talk about the major players in the industry, they always mention COPEAC as not only a player, but a dominate part in the industry. As one client told me, “If you want to really do business in the industry, you need to work the folks at COPEAC.” At it’s helm is Mike Krongel, who has built his company one relationship at a time and similarly, made it clear that those relationships are important. While many CEOs are impossible to get in touch with, Mike can be found chatting on the industry message boards, engaging affiliates one-on-one.
In the last several years you are mentioned along side of ClickBooth, Epic and similar sized networks. What is the secret of your success? Our secret is listening to our clients and publishers and delivering on what they want. We take feedback seriously and constantly try to improve on our processes to improve the experience for all
You just launched CopeacU, what made you want to do this? Almost a year ago we removed our network sign up form and required publishers to call us to apply. We still require this but realized that many publishers applying with us were green and didn’t understand the space as well as our seasoned publishers. Typically these green publishers would be denied by our network due to us not being able to give them the time to educate, train and help them improve. To combat this we launched CopeacU as a resource for new publishers to learn how to effectively run an offer in the performance space and ensure they remain complaint.
What do you look for in affiliates? We look for publishers who can drive quality traffic to our advertisers offers and remain complaint.
What have you done to separate the bad affiliates from the good affiliates? Anything that you’ve started to ban that was “ok” before? Our proprietary system is built in levels. Publishers and offers are assigned to certain levels and there’s a criteria we use to move publisher up in our system which allows them access to more offers. This allows us to let new publishers in to the network and allow them to run a small handful of offers that can manage issues. If we see publishers driving quality traffic with no issues to the first level offers they are opened up to the next level. This allows us separate the good from the bad, as well as those we aren’t sure about, and maintain volume and quality to advertisers.
Without giving trade secrets, what proactive steps does your company to prevent fraud? Our system design as I describe above is one of the main ways we combat fraud. There are other actions we take but those are trade secrets we don’t share with the public
Do you think networks that don’t take fraud seriously will be around? What do you see happening in 2011 regarding fraud? If you don’t take fraud serious you wont last, fraud has killed offers, advertisers and networks. Its important to proactively monitor the network to ensure fraud isn’t slipping through. I think 2011 will bring down more advertisers and networks, as those in the space get more aggressive to fill the void left by continuity some will undoubtedly allow less qualified individuals in to the network.
Like a lot of people, you were hit a bit by the continuity problems, what did you learn from that? Is there any room for continuity programs? We learned we are not a bank, and if someone wants credit they should contact their bank for a loan. Any high risk advertisers we work with must prepay or we don’t work with them. There’s a market there but merchants need to learn to fund themselves which tends to reduce the volume potential
What is your opinion of incentive based marketing? Several content incentivized companies have opened recently, is this a legit form of performance marketing? Incent marketing can work for those who know how to convert the leads or sales. Netflix does well in this channel. The growing content locking incent can work as well, however a lot of times the content is copyrighted and used without permission. Those involved in that space do need to keep that in mind and monitor for abuse.
Why did you guys build your own platform instead of going with an outsources platform? What does COPEAC’s software provide that you can’t find elsewhere? Our platform is built around our needs as a business, we felt by not developing our own system we limited our ability to innovate and develop products in the future that truly revolutionize performance marketing. The current system is only phase 1 or a 3 phases we plan to launch
What verticals do you growing in 2011? If I told you think every network will jump on the same bandwagon, lets just say we have a few exclusive lead gen offers we have been testing with huge success and expect 2011 to be huge years for the two markets we are focused on
If there was one thing that you’d recommend affiliates try, what would it be? Please layout a basic strategy (ie, edu making autoresponders, with PPC). I say test any and everything. You never know what’s going to work
If you’d pitch an airline company to use Performance Marketing company like yourself, what would you tell them? I wouldn’t pitch and airline. However if I was to pitch a big brand I would probably focus on the fact that they are wasting millions in their current media spend by assuming the CPM, CPC risks when there’s a cost effective, and controlled model in performance marketing that allows them to control their spending and ensure results. I would probably walk in a meeting and set fire to a pile of money to get their attention.
You had a baby a little before me, how did this change your life? What have you learned as you’ve gotten older? I used to think work was what mattered, but all that matters is my kid. It’s definitely tougher running a business with kids and making sure you give enough time to both and if need be willing to let the business suffer or do without you so you’re there for your kids. He is number 1 everything else takes a backseat and doesn’t really matter.
What is your dream car?
Honestly I don’t have one anymore, as long as its comfortable, and fast its good for me.
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