A veteran of the industry, Chris has worked in the online marketing industry since 2001, and has managed a wide range of verticals over his years. Living in Utah, Chris is a diehard Kansas City Chiefs fan and has recently gotten back to his “roots” by starting to grow his own garden…
How and when did you first get started in affiliate marketing?
I initially got my start in affiliate marketing in 2001 while working for a company that provided websites and ecommerce solutions to their customers and clients. My job was to help our customers with their site design and search engine optimization. Along the way, I discovered affiliate marketing as a more revenue friendly resource than drop-shipping, which, at the time, was fairly big business.
What do you most like about the industry?
My favorite thing about affiliate marketing is the way it connects so many people. I have met so many interesting people from all over the world that I would otherwise never have the opportunity to meet. I am also grateful to work in an industry that inspires creativity and really challenges you to do your best.
What improvements would you like to see in the industry?
I think it would be great if all of the networks made it easier to reach out and recruit affiliates. Much of what is done today in terms of recruiting is impersonal and usually takes a great deal of effort to get in touch with affiliates.
What are some of the challenges that you encounter as an Affiliate Manager?
Standing out among the mass emails that affiliates receive can be challenging. Fortunately, we have many great relationships with affiliates, so we often will reach out to affiliates by phone. This also helps us maintain a great interpersonal relationship with our business partners.
Do you see affiliates embracing mobile and social?
Absolutely! Affiliates have traditionally found creative ways to use technology. You can already see this in mobile and social marketing today. Right out of the gate, we saw several coupon affiliates develop their own mobile apps. And social media is everywhere, especially affiliate marketing.
How do you keep up on industry trends, latest industry news, etc?
Mostly through social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Industry blogs are usually the best way to keep up on trends, but there are several groups in LinkedIn where you can participate in conversations and read about trends on a daily basis.
What most attracted you to join the MGECOM team?
The single most crucial factor in my decision to join MGECOM is the people. Over the years, I have worked with some amazing people and when I saw that MGECOM had some of the best I have ever worked with, the decision was easy. I have learned so much from so many people on this team prior to joining. Working with such an exceptional group of professionals really brings out the best in me.
What other jobs have you had outside of affiliate marketing?
Prior to affiliate marketing, I spent several years in client support, web design/development, and tech support. Going further back, I used to work in apartment maintenance, construction, etc. Going even further back, you know…high school days, I worked at Taco Bell, McDonalds and Hardees (wow…that really dates me).
And on the more personal, “fun” side:
What are a few of your hobbies?
I enjoy being outdoors, so most of my hobbies are reserved for spring/summer. I love growing my own vegetables. My grandfather always grew his own food and raised his own livestock. You could say a little of that rubbed off on me. I also enjoy hiking. Fortunately, living in Utah provides me with thousands of interesting trails to explore…when the weather is right.
What activities/sports did you do in high school or college?
I played basketball, football, baseball and ran cross-country. Looking back, cross-country was my favorite. My training, aside from getting the proper nutrition and drinking plenty of water, was to run 5-miles a day. It was difficult when I first started, but after awhile I didn’t really notice the effort and instead got lost in the run. I got a lot of thinking done back then.
What is your favorite vacation location?
Kansas City, MO – hands down. On top of being able to see my beloved Chiefs play at historical Arrowhead Stadium, I get to sample some of the best BBQ on the planet. If I extend the trip, I can swing down into Arkansas and Oklahoma to visit family.
If you won a huge lottery jackpot, what would be the first thing you’d buy?
I would hire an accountant and attorney, followed by setting up trust funds for my daughters. Then I would start looking for a house.
Your favorite band to see live?
The best live band that I’ve seen so far is Slipknot.
What is your “must see” TV?
Kansas City Chiefs games.
What is your favorite Christmas gift you have ever received as a kid or adult?
As a child, my family went through a really difficult year and my parents were unable to buy any Christmas gifts. So instead, they crocheted stuffed animals and slippers for us. It was really cool to see all of the stuff they came up with. I had 3 sisters and a brother so you can imagine how much effort went into this.
Coke or Pepsi?