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All inclusive marketing

Charlie Calabrese, the mastermind behind All Inclusive Marketing, is our guest on Affiliate Nerd Out today. Strap in as we navigate the thrilling twists and turns of affiliate marketing with Charlie, a seasoned pro with stories more gripping than a blockbuster movie. We'll explore post-COVID landscapes, shatter “affiliate glass ceilings,” and even dish on the art of hiring. Brace for a wild ride marrying the geeky thrill of strategy with the warm fuzzies of community building.



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In an insightful podcast episode with Charlie Calabrese, the visionary president of All Inclusive Marketing, listeners are taken on a comprehensive exploration of the affiliate marketing landscape. As we traverse the two decades of Charlie's career, the conversation illuminates the transformation and expansion potential inherent in affiliate marketing, particularly in sectors such as B2B, retail, and travel. The episode provides an in-depth analysis, revealing how affiliate marketing strategies are driving growth, and how AI tools are being integrated to refine marketing practices.


Getting to know Charlie Calabrese of All Inclusive Marketing (AIM)


All inclusive marketing

Charlie Calabrese, ladies and gents, is no newbie in the wild world of affiliate marketing. He's a battle-hardened veteran with two decades of ‘been there, done that' under his belt. From network to publisher to advertiser, Charlie has worn all the hats, and now, he's donned the biggest one yet as the head honcho of AIM.

Remember the first time you tasted coffee and it just clicked? That's how Charlie describes his first rendezvous with affiliate marketing. It was love at first sight, folks! After a significant stint at Partnerize, our hero recently decided to shake things up and joined All Inclusive Marketing. Why, you ask? A thirst for fresh challenges and a chance to schmooze in the agency landscape.

At AIM, Charlie isn't just another suit in the crowd. He's a breath of fresh air, adding his own unique flavor to the agency's rich 15-year history. With him on board, the team is hitting all the right notes in the retail and B2B sectors. Charlie's passion for affiliate marketing is as infectious as a viral cat video, and his journey is living proof of the dynamic evolution and boundless opportunities in this field.


The Evolution of Affiliate Marketing.

Charlie Calabrese's insights shed light on the evolution of affiliate marketing and the need for adaptation to stay relevant. One key aspect is the integration of AI, which is becoming more dynamic and influential in the industry. Calabrese stresses the importance of B2B in affiliate marketing, indicating a shift towards diversification beyond traditional sectors.

Here are some of the keypoints to keep in mind:


1. Transparency and trust: All Inclusive Marketing is building confidence in affiliate marketing.

Charlie Calabrese emphasizes the importance of transparency in affiliate marketing to build trust and reshape perceptions. This approach not only addresses past concerns but also strengthens relationships with partners and clients.


2. Attracting big brands: Proactive strategies for industry growth.

Calabrese advocates for a proactive approach to attract big brands to affiliate marketing. He encourages the industry to actively persuade sectors like automotive or CPG to invest, aiming to tap into untapped markets.


3. Leadership and company culture: Shaping success through values.

The impact of company culture on success is highlighted by Calabrese's leadership role at AIM. Training affiliate managers should focus not only on industry knowledge but also on instilling a positive and transparent culture.


4. Resilience during COVID: Affiliate marketing's fortitude amid uncertainties.

Calabrese acknowledges the resilience of affiliate marketing during COVID-19, maintaining its appeal despite economic uncertainties. This showcases the industry's adaptability and attractiveness even amid adversity.


5. Challenges in sustaining growth: Moving beyond current momentum.

Despite the growth of affiliate marketing, sustaining this momentum remains a challenge. Calabrese emphasizes the need to break into new verticals beyond traditional sectors for continued growth and relevance.


6. Evolution of affiliate marketing: Navigating change and innovation.

The evolution of affiliate marketing involves embracing technological advancements like AI and diversifying into B2B sectors. Calabrese also highlights the role of a positive company culture in this evolution.


7. Staying relevant: Adapting, trust-building, and exploring new avenues.

To stay relevant in the affiliate space, Calabrese advises adapting to technological advancements, building trust through transparency, and exploring new sectors. These strategies ensure continued relevance in the dynamic affiliate marketing landscape.


Breaking through the affiliate glass ceiling.


All inclusive marketing

Let's take a fun-filled deep dive into the wild world of affiliate marketing, post-COVID-19. It's like finding a hidden treasure in the B2B sector, which has so far been the wallflower at the marketing prom. Yes, it's a bit like trying to crack a walnut with your bare hands – longer sales cycles, tougher environment, but boy, the rewards!

We'll be putting the magnifying glass on the pesky “affiliate glass ceiling” – that frustrating barrier stopping our industry from reaching dizzying new heights. How do we shatter it? Better attribution practices might just be the hammer we need.

Here's a sneak peek into the juicy tidbits we'll be chewing on:


    • COVID-19 aftermath: We're like the cockroaches of the industry, resilient and adaptable. We've weathered the pandemic storm and come out stronger. Who needs a superhero cape when you've got strategic pivots?



    • B2B The new frontier: Think of this as the Wild West of our industry. It's rugged, it's challenging, but it's ripe for the taking. We'll be sharing war stories and lessons learned from battling the B2B beast.



    • AI Friend or Foe?: Let's tiptoe into the mystical realm of AI in affiliate marketing. It promises untold riches, but there's a catch – we need to keep it transparent.



    • Education and attributionThe dynamic duo: Convincing brands to invest more in affiliate marketing is like teaching a cat to fetch. It's tricky, but not impossible. And with better attribution models, we can prove that affiliates are the secret superheroes of marketing.


As we unravel this tale, it's clear that blasting through the affiliate glass ceiling isn't a one-trick pony. It's a cocktail of innovation, adaptability, and a sprinkle of daring.


Should you hire for cultural fit or industry expertise?

Don't you just love the people part of affiliate marketing? You know, the nitty-gritty of creating and caring for a community. Our podcast is like a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning, warming you up with this human touch.

Now, here's a brain teaser for you: should you hire for cultural fit or industry expertise? It's like choosing between a mouthwatering donut and a refreshing smoothie – both are tempting in their own ways. Do you cultivate a green thumb and grow fresh talent or do you go for the ‘been there, done that' wisdom of seasoned pros?

Our host, ever the community cheerleader, takes personal pride in building a strong, vibrant affiliate tribe. Think of it as the Performance Marketing Manager Inner Circle – sounds pretty cool, right? It's like your favorite band's fan club, but for affiliates.

And let's not forget the magic of face-to-face networking events. They're like those fun family reunions where you bond over shared stories and lots of food. Only, replace the food with professional connections, and voila, you've got yourself an unbreakable network!


AI in Affiliate Marketing.


All inclusive marketing

AI The idea factory: Our buddy Charlie sees AI as a veritable thought-generator in the B2B marketing world. It's like having a robot brainstorming buddy, helping you see beyond your usual thought bubbles. But don't get too excited, it's not quite ready to pen your next bestseller.

The AI content police: Dustin chimes in with a little nugget of info – AI can now sniff out other AI-written content. It's like having a secret weapon for affiliate managers to ensure their affiliates are delivering top-notch work.

AI – Your new networking guru: Charlie introduces us to some fancy AI tools that are all about building relationships. Imagine a tool that can whip up personalized introductions for cold emails based on someone's blog content. It's like having a personal assistant who's really good at online stalking.

AI's debut in affiliate management tools: Dustin talks about how Appy stash is getting in on the AI action. They're using it to add that personal touch to outreach and make life easier for affiliate managers.

The big brand dilemma: Charlie voices his concern about the lack of big brands jumping on the affiliate marketing bandwagon. How do we keep the momentum going and attract bigger fish in sectors outside of retail? It's a puzzle we're all trying to solve.

Affiliate marketing – The little engine that could: Despite the challenges, Charlie sees a silver lining. Affiliate marketing, with its measurable Return on Investment (ROI) and resilience, even managed to grow during the COVID-19 pandemic. Talk about a tough cookie!

New frontiers for affiliate marketing: The chit-chat turns towards expanding our horizons beyond retail. Charlie and Dustin stress the need to break into new sectors like B2B and automotive. It's time to show the world what affiliate marketing can really do!

– Changing perceptions: Charlie emphasizes the need to step outside our echo chamber and sell the potential of affiliate marketing to CMOs who are still in the dark. It's like trying to explain the plot of Inception to someone who's never seen the movie.

– Training days for affiliate managers: The chat takes a turn towards the training of affiliate managers in agencies. Dustin is curious about how this differs from traditional network training. Charlie, now president of an agency, probably has a few pearls of wisdom to share on this topic.


Wrap it up on All Inclusive Marketing.

As we wrap things up, we're going to put the spotlight on that delicate dance between hiring for a team vibe and industry know-how. It's like trying to juggle flaming swords while riding a unicycle – tricky, but not impossible! We're also going to hammer down on the value of being transparent and honest. I mean, let's face it, our industry's reputation has had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster ride.

Moreover, we'll give a standing ovation to personal development within the affiliate marketing universe. We're talking about celebrating those who've stuck around, evolving from fresh-faced rookies to seasoned pros. It's like watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly, only with less nature and more marketing!

This podcast episode is essentially a love letter to the dynamic world of affiliate marketing. It showcases how the clever use of AI tools can turbocharge the industry, yet still keep the human touch that's at the heart of its success. Think of it as a GPS for the future of affiliate marketing – it's not just about where we are now, but where we're heading next. Buckle up, folks, it's going to be an exciting ride!


Episode Timestamp.


Timestamp Summary
0:26 Dustin introduces “Affiliate Nerd Out” on LinkedIn Live with Charlie Calabrese from AIl Inclusive Marketing
2:04 Charlie, with 20 years in affiliate marketing, shares his industry journey.
3:31 Insights into the financial incentives behind online conversations in affiliate marketing.
5:47 Exploring global perspectives on affiliate marketing and its adoption in different cultures.
7:32 Charlie discusses his transition from a major network to the agency side.
10:23 Charlie reflects on joining AIl Inclusive Marketing after 13 years at Partnerize, seeking new challenges.
12:40 Discussion on AIl Inclusive Marketing's pivot to B2B marketing during challenging times like COVID-19.
16:45 Humorous anecdote about AI-generated legal briefs, highlighting AI limitations.
18:59 Introduction of the “affiliate glass ceiling” and confusion about its limits.
23:22 Discussion on the dynamic nature of AI in marketing and openness to being targeted.
26:18 Dustin and Charlie explore the risks of using AI for content creation and potential pitfalls.
29:22 Charlie and Dustin touch on the challenges of LinkedIn outreach and the importance of personalization.
30:09 Exploring the continuous growth of affiliate marketing and its appeal due to measurable ROI.
32:31 Charlie highlights the challenge of attracting new big brands to affiliate marketing and breaking glass ceilings.
41:33 Dustin playfully challenges Charlie about his unchanged appearance over the years.
43:57 Charlie invites connections on the AIl Inclusive Marketing website and LinkedIn, anticipating meetings at Affiliate Summit West.
44:34 Closing remarks as Dustin expresses gratitude for Charlie's insights and wishes him well at Affiliate Summit.


Affiliate manager consultant

Dustin Howes


Dustin Howes is a partnership nerd spreading the good word about performance marketing. He is the chief coach at and is dedicated to helping companies grow their performance marketing channels. He also provides affiliate manager training and private consultations, helping companies find the right solution for their budget.

Find out more about Dustin here.