Inside Internet Marketing #32 – Shoemoney and the PMA


Last week I was contacted about providing a platform for Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker and the Performance Marketing Association to have a discussion in the wake of some recent comments. I couldn’t be happier to have as my guests today: Jeremy Schoemaker, Rebecca Madigan and Peter Bordes. I know you’ll find this educational as Jeremy asks some tough questions and gets some great answers.

The formation of the Performance Marketing Association was not without bumps in the road. Jeremy began at the beginning, asking Rebecca and Peter to explain the involvement of Anik Singal, the nature of the organization and how the membership levels affect the direction of the organization.

Trust is a key factor in the success or failure of an organization like the PMA. How much data does the PMA collect and what does it do with that data? Is that data kept confidential or is it sold or given to third parties?

Much time was spent on the nature of the “Amazon tax” or “Affiliate Tax” and how many people it has affected – and in what ways. Jeremy asked some very pointed questions about what the PMA has been doing about the state and national tax issues and how the PMA has been funded.

Rebecca explained what paid roles exist within the PMA and noted that most of the positions are staffed purely by volunteers. She and Peter also answered Jeremy’s concerns about how the board is elected and whether or not a seat on the board can be bought. There were also concerns about the people making up the board not having enough direct experience as affiliates, which Rebecca spoke about.

The most enlightening part of the episode was, for me, the discussion about the overall value of affiliate marketing to companies like Amazon. The insights that Jeremy shared were eye-opening.

You really don’t want to miss this episode, folks. If you have any stake in the affiliate marketing industry, you need to hear this open, frank discussion.

ShoemoneyJeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker is one of the most successful internet marketers of our time. He has proven his skills online in the PPC community, time and again in affiliate marketing, and is legendary for his $133,000 Google AdSense check. Whether its his blog or any of his companies ShoeMoney has proven that he has the dedication, drive, and at times the audacity to get the job done.

Rebecca MadiganRebecca Madigan, executive director of the Performance Marketing Association. Since leading the formation of the PMA in 2008, Rebecca has built the PMA to be the only trade association representing performance and affiliate marketing. She has collected 25 years of leadership experience in product management and marketing. She has had the pleasure of working with many very talented people in pioneering industries such as wireless data, voice-over-IP, wireless LAN, Bluetooth, and online affiliate marketing.

Peter BordesPeter Bordes is the founder and executive chairman of MediaTrust and is on the board of directors of the PMA, of which he is also a Founding Charter Member. He has been involved in technology and affiliate marketing since the early days of the industry and is a frequent speaker at events such as ad:tech, PubCon, AffCon, and more.

Big thanks to my guests for the fantastic show today!

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Published by Daniel M. Clark

Daniel M. Clark is a podcaster and proprietor of QAQN, a writer at, and an all-around cool dude everywhere else. God, I hate talking about myself in the third-person.

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  1. Jeremy thank you for a great conversation and for the important insights and feed back. i am looking forward to working with you and building a partnership that helps move ou industry forward, and helps affiliates grow their businesses…

  2. I was disappointed to hear that Jeremy felt that the affiliate nexus tax wasn't a big deal and was basically a red herring that we made up.

    Jeremy, I respect your opinion and position, so if you ever want to talk to someone who sees it differently and has seen the negative effects of these laws, feel free to shoot me an email. There was a whole lot done by individuals, companies, and the PMA with regards to the affiliate nexus tax – most of it done without financial support. To hear the issue being described so inaccurately and with disregard for what happened or who was affected was disappointing.

    Brian Littleton
    President/CEO, Inc.

  3. Brian I never said it was something that was made up. Like I said in the podcast I would love to hear from someone who has been effected.

    I am excited to talk to some of these people and get their stories out there. I am still baffled how 60,000 people are effected by this in some way and less than .05% of them (probably even much less). Joined the PMA.

    I am sorry you were disappointed for someone asking questions on many peoples minds but I am not going to get behind something that I don't understand.

    1. I think we can sadly chalk up the lack of interest and activity among affiliates to complacency. A small minority of affiliates have taken the time to contact their local representatives and speak out against these bills. It seems most people are counting on somebody else to fight the fight.

        1. I also think that the words "Tax" and "Legislation" are such un-sexy words that most people shut down when they hear the mention of either one. Between that and the inconsistency of nomenclature (affiliate tax, advertising tax, amazon tax), there's a ton of confusion on who this really effects, what entities affiliates are supposed to fight/appeal too and what the heck the darn tax is in first place.

          Whenever I talk to anyone about the situtation (that hasn't already taken some sort of action regarding the legislation) they freely admit while they've "heard something about it", they :

          1) don't understand how it effects them (now or possibly in the future)
          2) undersatand the situation, but they don't have the time to help because they're concentrating on other things (work, family, etc.)
          3) have been somewhat effected already, but have figured out "workarounds" or changed up business models to compensate.

  4. Jeremy,

    I wasn't dissapointed that you were asking questions… feel free to ask as many as you want it is certainly productive and a lot of them were good questions. My disappointment has nothing to do with you asking questions.

    I was dissapointed because you suggested that the affiliate tax was a non-issue or "about nothing" or that someone the Merchants that were terminating affiliates "didn't matter". Those were your words, I just listened to them.

    I have no idea if there are 60,000 people affected… that number came from the PMA and I had never heard it before prior to listening to the podcast. I know there were a lot. I'm in Illinois and we have a meetup every month where this comes up as an issue… I also know several high-profile businesses (FatWallet, Coupon Cabin, Viglink, and more) who have been forced to move to Wisconsin and Illinois. That isn't made up. Nor is it something that is a non-issue. Nor is is about Amazon. This is real, everyday affiliates – forced to uproot their businesses.

    It is something where you actually need to talk to them in order to believe it is a real problem?

  5. I just listened to the podcast and I just want to thank Jeremy for asking the questions that are on many affiliates minds.

    I was really surprised how much money they are bringing in and how little impact they are having. Seems like a bunch of big companies getting a lot of free press.

    1. james i am sorry to hear that you feel that way. i can tell you its far from that. everything goes to helping move the industry and internet tax issue forward. which is no small undertaking. the PMA members and Board have no interest in getting press and have committed fund and time to fight a very big fight on behalf of everyone in the industry. from big to smal. from merchant, to network to affiliate publisher and marketer…

      these companies are the ones who have stood up to fund the fight on all our behalf. without them and the PMA there would not have been any voice from the affiliate marketing industry

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