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imwave performance based search engine marketing agency, Adam Viener an inteview

Adam Viener

Tell me about your imwave?
imwave is a performance based search engine marketing agency. We work with well established companies who transact business online, via online sales or leads. For the vast majority of the companies we work with, imwave pays 100% of the pay-per-click search engine advertising costs and we only get paid commissions on the sales and leads that we generate. We have been around since 2003, and were recently named one of the fastest growing independently owned businesses by Inc Magazine.

How did you get into PPC Management?
I was working as a product manager for Network Solutions and was in charge of their website builder project. The company awarded me a $1,000 debit card for re-negotiating their hosting contracts and saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars on their hosting contracts. At the same time we were doing a deal with Google to promote AdWords to our website clients, and I needed to figure out what it was all about. With my $1,000 debit card in hand, and permission from the affiliate team to market Network Solutions online, I setup an AdWords account and purchased some keywords. After seeing a great ROI, I decided to delve deeper into keyword research and identifying exactly what people type into search engines. I built up a list of about 200,000 keywords for my Network Solutions campaign and quickly became their number 4 affiliate, earning more as an affiliate than I was in my job. That’s when I decided to turn it into a business.

What was your biggest challenge getting into PPC Management?
I think my biggest hurdle was deciding to grow the business from a one person operation, to a larger business. After having a deep conversation with a good friend of mine about the difference between building income or building wealth, I realized that even though I had built a nice income stream for myself, I hadn’t put anything in place to make this a real viable long term business. That is when I decided to hire Tony Pantano, as our CEO, to help take the business to the next level.

What are the main things merchants do that you wish they wouldn’t?
It seems like a lot of really good merchants and really smart people are taking some really bad advice from their advertising agencies and internal search teams who are responsible for running the company’s internal search program. They tend to lump anything with the word “search” into the same bucket, and lose sight of the basic goal that all companies have: driving the most sales at the least amount of costs. When they step back and look at the incentive structures for a typical PPC agency, who they are paying a percentage of ad spend, and a performance search agency, who they are paying a percentage of sale generated, that these two types of agencies have very different goals and cost structures, and therefore go after very different types of keywords. While the typical agency is looking for high volume, higher cost competitive terms, the performance agency is looking for lower cost, higher converting terms that typically have less traffic.

What are the main things affiliates do that you wish they wouldn’t?
Wow, that is hard to say. There are so many types of affiliates doing so many different and creative things. I guess I wish the term affiliate wouldn’t have so much bad connotations within the marketing and advertising industry. I think the affiliate industry needs to do a better job educating and building positive awareness for the legitimate affiliate business models.

Where do you see growth in the PPC Management?
I think a lot of companies are leaving a lot of money on the table by taking hard lines on certain policies in their affiliate program. The advice from all the networks, that we hear time and time again, is that having some tight policies and then finding a few trusted partners can really move the sales needle. I think as more companies realize this, there will be increased opportunities for help more companies grow their business.

What do you do that is green?
I think you would be hard pressed to find a greener company business model than ours. We primarily deal in clicks. Most of our communications are online. As a pure online advertising company for other companies products and services, we don’t have any of our own products, inventories, etc…

What is one thing about you that not many people know?
In 2001 I was diagnosed with, and beat Leukemia. I don’t think anyone can go through that without having a new outlook on life and a good sense of what is truly important.

What is on your iPod?
My iPod has morphed with my iPhone. I have podcasts from Webmaster Radio (PPC Rockstars and really miss Danny Sullivan’s Daily Search Cast. I also have APPs and Movies.

What’s your favorite book?
I am a big fan of JK Rowling and Jeffery Archer. I loved all of the Harry Potter Books, and Kane & Abel was my favorite Jeffery Archer book.

What are your contact details (email, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums etc) ?
Twitter = @adamviener
FaceBook = http://www.facebook.com/viener
Blogs: http://www.wiseaff.com
http://www.revenews.com  (contributor)
Company website: http://www.imwave.com

What events do you go to?
My favorite events are Commission Junction University, and the Google Affiliate Network Summit. I also typically attend Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas. I will probably look for more opportunities to go and or speak at SMX Advanced or Search Engine Strategies.

Who would recommend you and why?
We have received accolades from all of the Affiliate Networks that we work with and are consistently one of the top search partners that the networks recommend to their advertisers and merchant partners. We sit on the publisher advisory boards of Commission Junction, Google Affiliate Network, and Linkshare. Additionally, this is a fairly small and close knit industry, and we happy that our clients often recommend us to their peers in the industry.

Who would you recommend and why?
We are often approached for companies who have yet to establish an affiliate program or are looking for more typical PPC search marketing efforts. We have a lot of great relationships in the industry and typically recommend the right program manager or PPC marketing agency to these companies based on which ones we think would be the best fit for the needs of the client we are speaking with at the time.

What one thing can people do to help you?
Spread the word about performance search engine marketing agencies, let the CEOs and CMOs know that their advertising agencies might now be feeding them the most complete information on how to work with other search partners.

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