Blue Ribbon Panel: Interview with Chad French by Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book, February 15, 2016 1. Over the last two years has it become harder or easier for newbie affiliates to enter the industry and make money? Why?Having operated the PeerFly Affiliate Network for 7 years now I can tell you the rate of newbies entering the industry has definitely increased… but we’ve made it easier for them to become revenue producing affiliates. We have many proprietary tools and integrated services that make it easier than ever to produce a dollar in affiliate marketing. We’re also in the process of building a training & resource system so we can educate our affiliates and turn them into professional online marketers backed by PeerFly. This is the year to be a PeerFly affiliate. No other network will come close to what we can offer.2. What did you learn from ASW?Like every Affiliate Summit, our team came back with a ton of new business. We get better and better at exhibiting and making use of our valuable time at these shows and this was our best yet. We did notice new segments like Pay Per Call taking on a larger role.3. How is big data going to impact the performance marketing industry?Simply put: more data equals more opportunities for getting ads in front of the right people. The more targeted your audience is, the cheaper your costs. It’s a win-win for everyone, even the consumer, as long as data companies like Facebook and Google property use the data for the benefit of the consumer and enhancing their experience online.4. As networks begin to announce new optimization platforms, exchanges and “operating systems,” does this mean that investment in proprietary platforms will become a key competitive advantage again? Can commodity platforms like Tune and Cake keep up?I’ve always been against being on a 3rd party platform where all technology and innovation is the same and limited. Our competitive advantage IS the technology and innovation. Using an existing affiliate platform service to create a plug-in-play affiliate program for your online service/product is a great use for one of these platforms. However, using it to be a network of many affiliate programs (i.e.: an affiliate network) makes you no different than other affiliate networks on that platform and limits your competitive edge to just hiring pretty affiliate managers and saying you have the best payouts.5. If you were a CMO for a major brand, what would be the 3 most important questions that you would ask prospective network partners?There are many things that would come to mind when trying to get your deal on a network and making sure it’s a successful venture. These 3 questions would be at the top of my list: How do you proactively get affiliates on our offer/deal? What are your compliance procedures to catch or thwart fraudulent activity? What can we do on our end to maximize the traffic affiliates send on your end? AboutChad French is President/CEO of PeerFly, Inc. As a seasoned programmer and affiliate marketer, Chad built the PeerFly Affiliate Network from scratch. Chad’s now 7-year-old company is considered one of the fastest growing performance marketing networks in the industry and is ranked #2 in the BLUE BOOK rankings of the best CPA networks in the world for 2016. Filed under: Interviews, Revenue Tagged under: affiliate marketing, affiliate networks, Interviews About the Author Chris Trayhorn, Publisher of mThink Blue Book Chris Trayhorn is the Chairman of the Performance Marketing Industry Blue Ribbon Panel and the CEO of mThink.com, a leading online and content marketing agency. He has founded four successful marketing companies in London and San Francisco in the last 15 years, and is currently the founder and publisher of Revenue+Performance magazine, the magazine of the performance marketing industry since 2002.