by: Anne Haynes
I’ve been following Motive Interactive and Brendan Smith for the last few years. Motive is in the process of launching an upgrade to Advent ™ their affiliate software platform. In an effort to shed some light on the new features, I interviewed Brendan to learn more about his career and the Advent ™ enhacements. Following is the first part of the interview, focusing on Brendan’s background.
Question: What was Brendan Smith doing before Motive Interactive and the creation of Advent ™ affiliate software?
I started in internet marketing around 1996, as a website owner and publisher. I taught myself everything I needed to build and manager content, ecommerce and viral marketing specific websites. At this time my focus was on niche travel, technology, sweepstakes, and humor websites. I utilized content building, domain ownership, organic search engine optimization, paid search engine arbitrage, CPC, lead generation, affiliate marketing, viral marketing, and low cost sponsorship buys to drive traffic to my sites and landing pages and primarily lead generation, CPM banners, and email list building to drive my revenues. During this time I began managing off shore developers, to build technology needed to support this small home business. The technology I built included a number of systems: Content Management, Registration Path technology, Ad tracking and basic ad serving, email and date management, financial management, social networking , and even a neat photo and video hosting platforms. Successfully â€œsmart sourcingâ€: my development overseas taught me a great deal and allowed me to focus on the business and ideas more and less on the actual development that was getting way over my head. I was able to find very smart people, with incredible work ethic who I built lasting relationships with.
In 2001 I was hired by netcreations / postmasters direct, the leading double opt in email list manager (acquired by return path) to work as a business development manager. I had an acute understanding of this business because I was also one of their leading list owners. I worked for Netcreations until 2003, when I made the decision to focus again on my entrepreneurial ideas and building what is today Motive Interactive Inc.
Question: When you started out, who were your role models? What blogs,websites and affiliate networks did you use?
My most influential role model was not in the internet business at all, my father. He is an entrepreneur and business owner. I grew up watching him handle all aspects of a business and learned how to deal with the common ups and downs that come with that. That was one hell of an education, something you certainly canâ€™t learn in school. I also got to see first hand the kind of sacrifice involved in being an entrepreneur, it takes an incredible work ethic, willingness to risk it all and the ability to handle extremely long and unusual work hours. Itâ€™s not for everyone. For my industry education I watched what successful advertising and marketing companies were doing and how their publishers worked with them to drive traffic. I started working early on with Commission Junction, LinkShare.com, Yahooâ€™s Overture and Googleâ€™s Adwords and Adsense. I read everything I could find and still frequent industry forums, sites and blogs like:
Wickedfire.com, Sitepoint.com , DM Confidential, Revenue Magazine, Clickz.com, Searchenginewatch.com, dmnews.com, marketingvox.com, www.abestweb.com, ewealth.com, cumbrowski.com. I also follow blogs of experts in the internet marketing and advertising field if I find someone I respect and look up to I find out what they read and I read it.