A Schaaf-Centric World

I woke up this morning to the press release sitting there in my inbox announcing that Schaaf Consulting had acquired PartnerCentric. Of course, I read it backwards in my bleary-eyed, pre-coffee state. Then it hit me: Linda Woods, often credited as the first OPM in affiliate marketing, had sold to the Brothers Schaaf.

As we watch the expansion of OPMs (that’s Outsourced Program Management, not Other People’s Money), we also can see the consolidation of top OPM firms. Schaaf Consulting acquired Stephanie Agresta’s firm a couple of years ago before Ms. Agresta made the leap to PR.

The newly formed company Schaaf-Parntercenteric will have over 40 clients including eBay Partner Network, 21st Century Auto Insurance, Constant Contact, Moosejaw Mountaineering and Quicken Loans.

Below along with a clip that came to mind when I read the story:

We talked to Brook Schaaf about the acquisition and his plans for world domination:

How did the acquisition come about?

We’ve been talking to Linda for a while and we’ve enjoyed a friendly relationship on a business and personal level for years. She expressed interest in moving on from the OPM space and we  realized that it was a pretty good opportunity for her to make a nice exit while ensuring her clients were in good hands while allowing us to take advantage of what she had built and the opportunity in the marketplace.

What will happen to the PartnerCentric Team?

We obviously have people on our side who are experienced and talented but we couldn’t move one inch on this deal without her team. We’re pleased to be working with the core group Linda has put together at PartnerCentric. The teams on both sides understand the impact of the merger and are ready to make sure the clients get the services they need.

Over time we will share information, including tactics and best practices. I think there is going to be some really good things we can learn that will strengthen the whole team.

How do you keep two teams in sync with so many clients?

That’s a great question. We’re based in Los Angeles but everyone we are working with is virtual. Allowing for a virtual workforce is a really nice thing from an employee standpoint. It allows you to work with talented folks who are maybe not able to move from an area. A virtual outsource model doesn’t work, of course, if someone doesn’t have a good work ethic, but it’s the type of problem you would encounter in an office environment as well. We trust our team and make sure they have access to a very good internal communication structure.

Not to downplay the other clients involved in the acquisition but obviously the crown jewel is Ebay’s Partner Network. With such a big client involved was there some type of oversight or query with them before this type of merger?

We talked to Ebay before completing the deal to make sure that everything was okay with their team. We were actually involved in the R&D process with PartnerCentric for the Ebay program. So they were very good on their side in helping us work through matters, which we appreciated.

If we look at past examples, Pepperjam being one of them, the next logical phase in such growth is the temptation to become a network. What is Schaaf’s ultimate goal here?

I think our ultimate goal is to provide the highest level of affiliate marketing service. That is really my primary interest in building the business. Schaaf Consulting only provides affiliate marketing management. No SEO, no PPC, no WOM, no Social Media, we are focused on affiliate.  In terms of becoming a network I think it is a logical progression for many people but I don’t think it is a logical progression for us at all. I don’t see becoming a network as advantageous in any way. The space is very compacted and I don’t think we could build any new technology that could create new value in it. Whereas with affiliate marketing management I think we really can create value for our clients.

Obviously there are a lot of affiliates impacted by this and there is concern when a new team steps into a program. Is there anything you’d like to communicate to those affiliates?

We definitely want to give everyone a sense of confidence and continuity with the combined entity. We want that sense to extend to our clients and to the combined relationships like the networks. The same people will manage the same accounts. But what will improve is our ability to aggregate and distribute certain types of information, like coupons. So this should only be a plus for everyone currently involved. That’s something we understand about the nature of the affiliate model. We are committed to doing what needs to be done to make sure our clients receive the level of service they need to succeed with their programs.

About David Lewis

David Lewis is CEO and Co-founder of Prycing. He’s been around affiliate marketing for a long time.

Twitter: thedavidlewis

39 Responses to A Schaaf-Centric World

  1. You get extra props for using a Pinky & the Brain clip.

  2. Brook Schaaf says:

    Dave said I get to be the brain!

  3. David Lewis says:

    The overheard conversation went like this:

    "What should we do today, Brook?"

    "The same thing we do every day, Forrest… try to take over the world!"

  4. Beth Kirsch says:

    David,

    You resisted the best quote in the press release.

    “I have been working with Schaaf Consulting since 2007, and I haven’t been this impressed since my best friend’s boyfriend tried to kiss me at prom,” said Kate Runyon, Internet Marketing Coordinator at Moosejaw. “Maybe that didn’t come out right but you probably get it.”

    At first I was like…huh? And then I realized this was from the man who has brought us some of the best humor in the industry.

    Congrats Brook and Linda!

  5. Brook Schaaf says:

    haha – Shawn Collins called this "one of the oddest quotes" he'd seen in a press release. Sometimes I feel badly for his children, growing up in such a humorless household. 😉

  6. By "odd", Shawn means AWESOME and full of win, right?

  7. Beth Kirsch says:

    OK, so I woke up this morning, turned on my laptop, Jamie popped up, told me the news and then said, this is the quote in the release. Eyes still full of sleep, I was like huh and then I smiled, and thought: BROOK AT HIS BEST

  8. David Lewis says:

    Beth appears to be starting rumors now… is Birchco going to acquire or be acquired in this new OPM arms race? Can Schaafco or Birchco afford to land Pareshco? Snowco(ne)? …

  9. Beth Kirsch says:

    Hmmm, seems to me that you are the one starting the rumors! Personally, I think it's JEB Commerce that will buy the new Schaafco- PartnerCenter. Could you imagine the center of the OPM world being Idaho?

  10. Funny, I know Forrest and Brook were the target but I only see Wayne and David in that video. Wonder why that is?

  11. Brook Schaaf says:

    Trisha, who can possibly account for Shawn's behavior?

    I think he might be mad because Moosejaw turned him down when he suggested a "Shawn Collins" themed catalog.

  12. David Lewis says:

    Angel, knowing that Wayne is a legend (hell, he is The Legend), I take great offense at your comment.

  13. Brook Schaaf says:

    And, yes, we are waiting for Jamie to show up with an oversized check. 😉

  14. @David "Excellent"

  15. Beth Kirsch says:

    @Jamie

    Yeah, I guess the check to Peter and Chris made it out of the printer, but jammed up with Brook. 🙂

  16. I am a little offended that it goes unmentioned that Schaaf Consulting (before it was pronounced shof) acquired Shawn Collins Consulting a few years back.

    At the time, Brook agreed to remuneration in the form of "all that and a bag of chips."

    However, I am still waiting on the chips. I prefer Utz Crab Chips for the record.

  17. David Lewis says:

    Shawn, I asked Brooke specifically if there were others. You did not make the list.

    Peter & Chris (who have not joined us here): Aplogies but I didn't get a good "co" name for you and was working up to Snowcone.

  18. Jamie Birch says:

    Greetings affiliate marketers from the Idaho headquarters!

    Congrats Brook! About that oversized check, we’ve been trying to get it through the printer for about 5 hours now, just won’t go through, but I’ll definitely let you know when Ed McMahon and I got it figured out.

    Seriously, congrats bud!

  19. Thanks for inviting me to the party folks. Can we be Lo co ? if not ill settle for NETexco or Nexco

  20. Brook Schaaf says:

    Shawn, your remuneration shall arrive before nightfall three (business) days hence.

  21. But I thought Google was going to buy all of you?

    Or Molander.

    MolSchaafCentricPonet… practically writes it's own press release.

    But seriously, congrats to the Brothers Schaaf and Linda. Great news for the industry!

  22. It's surprising to me that someone like CJ doesn't make an offer in all seriousness. I mean, I know there is a difference between the way an OPM team manages a client and a network team but I'm not sure CJ would see that difference as deterrence. Just musing…

  23. David Lewis says:

    CJ already has a group that manages programs. It would be truly odd to have CJ buy an agency that manages programs from other networks. CJ also has a group dedicated to working with agencies.

    I have received some messages about the use of the term Outsoured Program Management. For SchaafCentric, it is everything they do. For others it is but one service for a full-service agency.

  24. Hi David,

    The implication of course is that CJ, upon buying the OPM in question, would then migrate that OPM's clients over to their network. Doesn't seem that far out of the realm of possibility especially considering that network tracking technology is commoditized.

  25. David Lewis says:

    I don't think that buying OPM is a way for a network to buy clients.

    As for commodization, I don't think so on that one either. Affiliate marketing remains the red-headed bastard stepchild of most merchants. The affiliate manager has trouble getting tech resources. Changing from one network to another would use up those limited resources.

  26. Wayne Porter says:

    "Funny, I know Forrest and Brook were the target but I only see Wayne and David in that video. Wonder why that is?"

    Strange isn't it David? Here I thought it was @Sam and @Angel…

    I did find myself in one movie

    At any rate, congrats Brook(e) and Forrest (were your parents hippies?). Maybe I will catch one of you at the Sonoma Film Fest. 🙂

  27. David Lewis says:

    I am happy that I could help Brooke and Shyawn close our this chapter of affiliate marketing.

  28. You are a business relationship magician, Mr. Lewis.

  29. Brook Schaaf says:

    Shawn, I am pleased to have made amends after so many years. But just so you know, our relationship is worth TWO bags of chips to me.

  30. Brook – I think a typical bag of Utz is 8 oz, so wouldn't that mean you think our relationship is worth SIX bags, since you sent 3 lbs?

  31. Brook Schaaf says:

    Shawn, you're right – there's a clear ambiguity here. I meant to say our relationship is worth at least double the amount of potato chips I sent so I suppose we might say it's worth 96 ounces, though it may depend on the particular flavor.

  32. Brook – I have to wonder what I'd merit in chip currency for BBQ?

    Hmmm, I think I need to grab some chips for lunch.

  33. Gar7_galby says:

      You get extra props for using a Pinky & the Brain clip مسلسل بوكريم

  34. […] was a post about the acquisition on ReveNews and I mentioned how the Schaaf Consulting acquisition of Shawn Collins Consulting was not covered […]

  35. […] was a post about the acquisition on ReveNews and I mentioned how the Schaaf Consulting acquisition of Shawn Collins Consulting was not covered […]

  36. […] was a submit about the acquisition on ReveNews and I pointed out how the Schaaf Consulting acquisition of Shawn Collins Consulting was not coated […]

  37. […] was a post about the acquisition on ReveNews and I mentioned how the Schaaf Consulting acquisition of Shawn Collins Consulting was not covered […]