Trade shows and conferences are both excellent ways to meet new people and grow your network. These events provide a venue where thought leaders can share ideas including their experiences and personal growth tips.
Affiliate Summit is a semiannual performance-marketing event that has afforded me invaluable learning opportunities and personal connections. This year, at Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas, I was fortunate to meet up with industry leaders from cutting-edge tech companies. They were all willing to share their experiences and business success tips so that we may all learn how to become better at what we do!
Oly Rillera from growth marketing at Uber discussed how important it is to understand exactly what each marketing dollar is used for and how important setting goals is for success.
“Know what you’re paying for,” says Rillera, “there are a lot of things that you can pay for in marketing. It’s not just one big marketing budget, so you need to know exactly what your goals are and what it is that you want to incentivize.”
Your marketing spend can work for anything from increasing the volume of people coming through your door to boosting website visits to new customer acquisition or even remarketing campaigns. Regardless of the goal, it is important to measure and examine the results.
Related: How Targeted Marketing Can Improve Your Brand’s Efficiency
John Toskey, director of eBay’s global partner network agrees. He encourages business partners “to get a testing infrastructure in place and then just ruthlessly change things to see what works.” He knows that it can be a struggle to understand exactly what is happening with a marketing strategy. Toskey stresses that we need to measure and understand what is working and what is not.
He knows the future of marketing includes performance-based metrics where advertisers want to understand their straight and incremental returns of their ad spend. A brand has to commit to spend money on a particular consumer and then when to spend.
Along with testing, Toskey said that, “As technology allows us to do more testing to understand people’s behaviors, I think there will be further expectation that dollars are spent smartly and incrementally.”
Bonnie D’Amico, a senior affiliate manager at Shopify, says it can be “really tempting to just say yes to everything.” She cautions entrepreneurs, especially those in the startup phase, not to “deviate too much from the original business plan.” Furthermore, D’Amico stresses to also not “deviate too much from the core focus of what you’re trying to achieve with your company, at least in the beginning.”
Rillera also emphasizes how important lifelong learning is. “There are so many things you can learn from your peers, the internet and just reading in general.” Entrepreneurs risk falling behind their competitors if they don’t advance their knowledge. “You just can’t stop learning given the amount of information that is being curated and how advanced your competitors are also learning themselves.”
Nonstop learning hopefully leads us to want to attempt new ventures and take on new challenges. D’Amico encourages us to not “be afraid to try new things and not to let fear stop you from doing anything.”
She knows that pushing past trepidation can unlock other opportunities. Setting goals and trying new things can help advance your career. However, she reminds us to put ourselves first. “Taking care of yourself is really important. It’s the only way you can take care of your business,” says D’Amico.
Even though we are absorbed in technology, all three thought leaders truly valued human interactions. Learning and self-care are important. So is nurturing relationships. Toskey closed with, “The best opportunities I’ve had throughout my career have been based on the people that I have worked with and gotten to know.”
Meeting these bright leaders inspired me to triple down in efforts in my current ventures. Their willingness to share their time and their tips was illuminating. My success tip for entrepreneurs is “Don’t be afraid of failure.” View failures and setbacks as life lessons and keep moving forward!
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