Carolyn Kmet lives in Evanston, Illinois, and is a senior lecturer at Loyola University of Chicago. Her specialty is information systems; however, she has a rich background in performance marketing – including such powerhouses as Orbitz, ShareASale, and All-Inclusive Marketing.
In conducting our I Am Performance Marketing feature profiles series, we had the opportunity to ask Carolyn some questions about her long (in Internet time) history within our industry. From her first affiliate management job with The Bradford Exchange right out of business school to her present career with Loyola University of Chicago, we had a lot to cover! Let’s dive right in…
When asked what does Carolyn Kmet presently do, she pointed out her focus on investing in “the next generation of business leaders” and working to instill within them “the highest capacity and commitment to contribute to society through ethical and socially responsible conduct.” This goal includes imparting “sound decision-making and problem-solving skills” along with “the knowledge to act effectively in complex organizational settings and in a diverse global economy.”
What a vision! And what an understanding of the needs within performance marketing. As she elaborated, “performance marketing spans industries and sectors.” In terms of its present reach, performance marketing “focuses primarily on transactions occurring in the online and mobile arenas” but she looks forward to the future when it will “track through the entire customer funnel, from that very first moment of interest, all the way through to transaction, regardless of whether or not it all happens offline, all online, or some combination thereof.”
Thinking about her time working within this industry, Carolyn pointed out some things she loves about performance marketing in general and affiliates in particular: “Affiliates are some of the best marketers I’ve ever met. Since they are paid on a performance basis, they are constantly under pressure to come up with creative and compelling ways to drive traffic. Because of this, many affiliates I get to work with go beyond advertising.” She continues: “I’ve seen smart mobile campaigns, great videos, well-written tutorials.” Summing things up, “it’s not about banner ads any more. It’s about providing consumers with true value.“
When asked to complete the “performance marketing is…” thought, Carolyn replied that it’s “one of the best ways to expand brand reach while building true relationships with your affiliate partners.” She continues: “You aren’t just paying someone to advertise your business, you’re working together with someone to figure out cost-effective ways to drive incremental revenue.”
That symbiotic win-win attitude is what makes performance marketing so uniquely relational and different from many other promotional channels. Fast-forwarding this thought to Carolyn’s work emphasis today, she pointed out that The Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University of Chicago seeks to ingrain “the concept of magis” into their students. As she explains, “magis represents a strong work ethic and a drive for success. It also means contributing to society and social justice.”
With magis as her guide, and a vast marketing experience to draw upon, Carolyn is truly an industry leader. Given this stellar foundation and aim, it’s no wonder that Carolyn works so hard to inspire her students to be nothing short of “extraordinary leaders committed to the betterment of others.”