Okanjo Spotlight: AvantLink

Welcome to our Spotlight Series, where we introduce you to some of the great brands, technology providers and partners with whom Okanjo works. Today, meet AvantLink -- a unique affiliate network that's disrupting the space. 

Launched in 2005 and headquartered in Utah, AvantLink is an industry-leading technology platform for affiliate referrals. AvantLink is disruptive in the affiliate world -- built out of a commitment to being nimble and transparent. We work with AvantLink on a daily basis for a couple of reasons:

  1. They really have the corner on the outdoorsy market, bringing cool products from brands like Patagonia, Stio, and VSSL. We love how these products match up with our publishers' content.
  2. The AvantLink team is committed to working with new technologies and providing their merchants with new and exciting opportunities.

We decided to dig a little deeper into what makes them such a great company. We chatted with Marketing Manager, Chad Waite, to get the details:

What is your role at AvantLink?

Officially, I am the Marketing Manager. Unofficially, I am the self-proclaimed foosball champ.

What does a typical day look like at AvantLink?

For me, it generally starts with a daily analysis of the prior day’s marketing channel’s activity and social announcements for new affiliate program launches. But from there, there’s usually nothing ‘typical’ about a day as there is always so much going on. Prepping for tradeshows, planning our annual users conference, content creation and planning for the AvantLink blog, working with other teams on product design and messaging. Heck, I even spent the better part of a month earlier this year learning how to become a lobbyist to fight proposed affiliate tax nexus laws in the state of Utah (which I’m happy to say we defeated against all odds).

AvantLink also places a very high emphasis on work-life balance. Lunch breaks around here usually consist of taking advantage of the local Park City mountains with trail running in the winter and epic group mountain bike rides in the summer.  

What is the best experience you’ve enjoyed since working at AvantLink?

From a very high level, I have genuinely enjoyed the opportunity I have had to meet so many people in the industry over the past seven years. There are some truly amazing people in this industry that I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet if it wasn’t for my time at AvantLink.

For a specific experience, spearheading the concept, planning and execution of AvantLink’s annual user conference, AvantExpo, has really been a highlight for me. It was challenging, fun and contributed my point above.

What sets AvantLink apart from its competition?

A few things really help us stay demonstrably different from the competition. First, we’re a privately held company and make plans and road maps purely on what’s best for our clients. Not what’s best for a VC firm, shareholders or parent companies.  

This in turn allows us to focus on three major areas of being different in day-to-day operations:

  1. Quality over quantity: We focus on only on working with the best and most serious affiliates and merchants. Clients are only allowed to participate on the AvantLink networks after a strict and very thorough vetting process. We don’t have the biggest client numbers of any network, but that’s by design. Frankly, we’re damn proud of it.

  2. Disruptive Technology: For affiliates, this means access to cutting-edge ad tools to meet any advertising needs. For merchants, this means things like full-scale attribution and real-time commission splitting platforms.    

  3. Support: Try messaging [email protected] with a quick hello. You won’t have to wait 24 hours for a response.

What is the next big thing in the affiliate world?

Commission splitting powered by attribution data. The entire industry is moving through a paradigm shift that focuses on optimizing programs with real data. This means avoiding kneejerk commission reductions for affiliates with an assumed low value. It means powering payout models for sales that involved multiple affiliates. It means brands trying to create the most equitable environment possible for affiliates who are working hard to promote their brands.

We’ll be joining you at AvantExpo this year, what can we expect while we’re there?

We’re so excited to have you in attendance for our fifth anniversary of AvantExpo! Expect a small group of serious, dedicated power players in the affiliate space. Expect to have plenty of networking time mixed in with crazy memorable activities (bobsleds, anyone?) in an environment that is completely opposite of Vegas or LA. And expect to talk strategy and business plans instead of just exchanging cards and following up later with emails.

Lastly, the most important question: what is your favorite cereal brand and why?

I can do some serious damage to a box of Captain Crunch.

To learn more visit AvantLink.com