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MARCC Roundup: Affiliate as a tactic and a channel

Our panel discussion with Jason Fairchild, Founder & CEO of tvScientific; Elisa Charbonnel, Director of Global Paid Media at Disney Streaming; and Jarrett Sidaway, SVP and GM of Ziff Davis Shopping was a part of several live discussions hosted by Martech Record on December 6th in New York City as part of Marketing, Content & Commerce.


This panel discussion was made possible by CJ. You can stream the panel discussion here.






More and more marketing budgets are incorporating coupon deals and cash-back tactics.


Panelists said that’s because affiliate performs and has the data to prove it. Rather than inferring what marketing tactic worked, “at the end of the day, you have users, data points and sessions,” said Jason Fairchild, founder and CEO of tvScientific. “Just follow the data.”


Fairchild argues that many already are: “It’s not the caboose, it’s the engine of the digital economy,” he said. “No one should be self-conscious of the word ‘affiliate’ or ‘performance.’ It is why people advertise – to get someone to take action.”


Jarrett Sidaway, SVP and GM of Ziff Davis Shopping, agreed. Performance marketing data can help show the necessary steps to turn a user into a consumer.


The barrier, however, can be the budget, Sidaway said.


“The great thing about getting to work across a diverse set of assets is that we can really influence behavior throughout the whole shopping experience,” he said. “What it comes down to is that the budgets aren’t as flexible as our audience or solutions.”



Affiliate as a tool allows you to be performing at any point throughout the funnel, he said, and there’s increasing awareness of that versatility. But “where we get stuck,” isn’t in the publisher/partner relationships, he said. It’s the financial constraints.


In thinking about the entire funnel, Sidaway has drastically changed his approach from several years ago. Where he used to create separate campaigns for discovery and conversion, now he tries to wrap that “optionality” into one campaign, if the budget allows.


“I used to be matching the right piece of content to the right consumer on the right channel,” he said. Now he looks for ways to make campaigns that encompass the whole funnel and encourage the consumers to act right away if they’re ready to.

For him, the question is: “Do we have a way to accomplish multiple objectives when we have a user’s attention?”


Fairchild sees TV as the “next frontier” of affiliate marketing because of that very factor, which can now be measured. If someone sees an ad on TV, they can immediately look up the product on the screen in their own hand.

“That’s the standard, that’s the new model,” he said. “Now we can measure the ROI of every exposure.”


Disney Streaming defines affiliate very broadly, said Elisa Charbonnel, its Director of Global Paid Media.

“It’s really a business model to us,” she said, adding that the “channel of channels” has grown and expanded beyond a single, original definition and now includes many more types of partnerships.


Disney Streaming’s KPI’s are generating new subscribers, Charbonnel said, though the affiliate partners also naturally help with brand awareness and retaining subscribers by generating excitement about new shows and movies on the streaming platforms.


Disney Streaming’s affiliate efforts are now more closely aligned with its digital programmatic team to really share a singular vision on investments. That partnership led to a new term – “aff play” – that the teams use to describe the hybrid channel. That’s created a “flywheel effect” of value, Charbonnel said.


Working with a global brand, Charbonnel said she’s eager to see affiliate continue to spread in other markets around the world.

Fairchild said the reach of performance marketing is already evident: “This is not a sideshow,” he said. “This is the main event.”


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