Johnny Page, the CEO at SaaS Academy, joins Affiliate Nerd Out to discuss his experiences and insights into the world of SaaS. With firsthand knowledge as a former client of the academy, Johnny is set to offer an unfiltered look into this unique group coaching program designed for B2B SaaS founders at various stages of their business journeys. Our conversation will not only discuss the intricacies of affiliate marketing but also highlight the importance of investing in top-tier talent and when to kickstart an affiliate program for your SaaS company.
As we navigate through our chat, we'll also explore the crucial role of an affiliate manager and the ongoing debate on whether this role should sit under marketing or sales. This intriguing discussion promises to be enlightening for entrepreneurs and those interested in the inner workings of the SaaS industry.
Saas Academy Review: What is SaaS Academy and its role in Affiliate Marketing.
At the forefront of affiliate marketing strategies, SaaS Academy, led by co-founder Johnny Page, has made a name for itself by redefining affiliates as a key marketing asset. Instead of rushing into affiliate programs, the academy's unique approach encourages mastering one marketing channel at a time. This strategy aligns perfectly with their belief in the power of focus and the concept of “pioneering vs. operating” channels.
The Academy advises entrepreneurs to establish operational processes for primary channels before starting an affiliate program, thereby reducing the risk of early failures. But SaaS Academy isn't just a coaching platform—it's a vibrant community where members share experiences, gain insights, and contribute to each other's growth. In essence, it offers a comprehensive roadmap for navigating the complexities of affiliate marketing in the ever-evolving SaaS landscape.
SaaS Academy provides a unique group coaching program for B2B SaaS founders. Catering to companies at various stages, from pre-revenue to those making over $5 million in annual recurring revenue, SaaS Academy offers a comprehensive curriculum, an executive coach, and a community of peers to its clients. Johnny emphasizes the unique approach of the program, highlighting the importance of the community and the transformative power of shared learning experiences.
Lesson #1: Navigating the Affiliate Manager Role:
The intricate dynamics of affiliate marketing require a clear understanding of roles and their placement within an organization. Johnny highlights the strategic importance of correctly positioning the affiliate manager role.
• Marketing vs Sales
Page argues that the affiliate manager should be positioned within the marketing team rather than the sales department. This is mainly because affiliate marketing inherently is a one-to-many function, which closely aligns with the objectives of marketing – broadening reach and enhancing visibility.
• Collaboration is key:
While placing the affiliate manager under the marketing umbrella, Page emphasizes the crucial need for cross-functional collaboration, especially with the sales team. This is to ensure a seamless customer journey from first contact through to purchase and beyond.
• Bridging the gap:
The affiliate manager, whilst part of the marketing team, plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between marketing and sales. By doing so, they can create a cohesive, customer-centric experience that drives both growth and loyalty.
To sum up, the affiliate manager role, according to Page, is not just about managing affiliates, but also about fostering a collaborative environment that enhances the overall customer journey.
Lesson #2: Pioneering vs. Operationalizing in marketing strategy: A deeper look.
Page introduces the concept of pioneering a channel versus operationalizing it. For SaaS companies, the focus should be on mastering one or two channels before venturing into affiliates. Pioneering involves figuring out the intricacies of a channel, while operationalizing ensures a solid process is in place for sustained success.
Let's delve into the distinctions between these two approaches and their implications.
Pioneering – Unearthing New Frontiers:
- Pioneering entails venturing into unexplored territories, akin to blazing a trail in the marketing landscape.
- It involves figuring out the intricacies of a channel, understanding its dynamics, and experimenting with novel strategies.
- For affiliate marketing, pioneers focus on identifying potential partners, testing the waters, and gauging the viability of the channel.
Operationalizing – Systematizing Success:
- Once a channel is explored and proven to be effective, the shift towards operationalizing begins.
- Operationalizing involves systematizing the processes, creating playbooks, and institutionalizing the strategies that have demonstrated success.
- In affiliate marketing, this phase kicks in when there's a clear understanding of what works, and the goal is to replicate and scale these successful approaches.
Lesson #3: Affiliate programs: Tailoring to the SaaS stage.
SaaS Academy focuses on companies with less than $5 million in ARR, emphasizing foundational channels in their early stages. Despite instances like ClickFunnels excelling in B2B with affiliates, Page suggests affiliates often become a primary channel in more mature stages. The majority of SaaS companies are advised to prioritize other channels initially, integrating affiliates strategically as a later-stage addition. This nuanced approach aligns with the academy's philosophy of tailoring strategies to a company's growth phase, emphasizing the importance of channel sequencing for optimal performance.
Lesson #4: Building community for continuous learning.
Page emphasizes the importance of building a community for continuous learning, advocating for physical immersion in groups of like-minded individuals. Whether through joining existing entrepreneurial communities or initiating local meetups, being in a room with peers striving for similar goals offers insights that surpass traditional online learning experiences.
You got to go get into the room of people who are doing what you want to be doing.
This direct interaction fosters a rich environment for exchanging ideas, experiences, and different perspectives, accelerating personal and professional growth. The emphasis on real-world application and shared experiences within a community underscores the value of learning from others who have faced similar challenges and triumphs in the entrepreneurial journey.
Lesson #5: The role of action and reflection.
The advice to young entrepreneurs is clear – default to action.
So yeah, I'd say, go get in that community and then, and then second, just default to action, action and then reflection Hey, where did I learn from that? What worked well, what didn't?
Page encourages a culture of implementing lessons learned and rapidly reflecting on outcomes. This iterative process of action and reflection builds a robust muscle for growth and adaptation.
Lesson #6: Affiliates and marketing collaboration.
Highlighting the often-seen struggle between affiliate marketing and other channels, Page emphasizes a culture of collaboration. He stresses that all marketing efforts, regardless of the channel, should align with the ultimate goal of serving the customer and achieving success.
- Cultural harmony: Page emphasizes the need for a collaborative culture within a company.
- Potential vonflicts: Acknowledges conflicts due to varying conversion rates and acquisition costs in affiliate marketing.
- Unified front: Stresses the importance of a united approach, where all marketing efforts align with the common goal.
- Customer-centric focus: Advocates for a mindset where serving the customer and achieving success takes precedence over channel-specific objectives.
- Cohesive efforts: Highlights the necessity for all marketing channels to work seamlessly together for sustained success in the marketing landscape.
Lesson #7: Shaping a culture of ownership.
Page reveals a cultural cornerstone at SaaS Academy – the concept of ownership. The team's mindset is framed around facing problems collectively rather than engaging in internal battles. This approach not only fosters collaboration but ensures a unified front when dealing with challenges.
Lesson #8: Turning consulting into coaching.
The core transformation touted by SaaS Academy is the shift from consulting to coaching. Page delves into how this shift is pivotal for the success of SaaS companies. It involves not just providing solutions but empowering clients with the tools and knowledge to navigate challenges independently.
Wrap up this SaaS Academy review.
SaaS Academy emerges as a beacon for SaaS startups seeking to thrive in the affiliate marketing landscape. The insights shared by Johnny Page underscore the importance of strategic planning, community building, and a culture that values continuous learning and adaptation. The blueprint provided by SaaS Academy offers a roadmap for converting consulting expertise into a flourishing coaching enterprise, shaping the next generation of successful SaaS ventures.
AFFILIATE MARKETING CONSULTANT
Dustin Howes is a partnership nerd spreading the good word about performance marketing. He is the chief coach at performancemarketingmanager.com 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.
|Dustin introduces Johnny Page, SAS Academy, excited about SaaS Academy review
|Johnny, CRO of SAS Academy, emphasizes programs, echoes SaaS Academy review
|Johnny details B2B programs, referencing positive SaaS Academy review
|Dustin discusses SAS Academy benefits, echoes positive SaaS Academy review
|Johnny explains SAS Academy's unique approach, aligning with SaaS Academy review
|Johnny discusses SaaS Academy interactions, echoing positive SaaS Academy review
|Johnny talks about SaaS Academy events, community, as in SaaS Academy review
|Dustin and Johnny emphasize community, accountability, echoing SaaS Academy review
|Johnny discusses SaaS Academy's MRR approach, reflected in SaaS Academy review
|Johnny identifies focus as a growth hurdle, discussed in SaaS Academy reviews
|Johnny discusses SaaS Academy's affiliate entry, partnerships, reflecting SaaS Academy review.
|Johnny highlights top talent, hiring process at SAS Academy, echoing SaaS Academy review.
|Dustin praises SaaS Academy culture, discusses Embers beers' positive SaaS Academy review.
|Johnny advises starting affiliate programs post-channel optimization, based on SaaS Academy review.
|Dustin emphasizes A/B testing, suggests refining conversion rates before affiliate.
|Johnny explains finding first five partners, gradual entry into affiliates, echoing SaaS Academy review.
|Dustin discusses timing, suggests opening affiliate programs after successful partnerships, aligning SaaS Academy review.
|Johnny discusses rare cases of primary affiliate channels, considering company stage
|Johnny categorizes affiliates under marketing, emphasizes cross-functional collaboration, aligning SaaS Academy review.
|Dustin and Johnny discuss affiliate managers, recommend reporting under marketing, echoing SaaS Academy review
|Dustin highlights industry challenges, emphasizes teamwork, echoes SaaS Academy review
|Johnny shares tips for entrepreneurs, emphasizes community, action, and reflection.
|Dustin appreciates the importance of community, echoes SaaS Academy's core values.