Digital talents dictatura is here

They are programmers, designers, bloggers, social media savvies, online marketeers extraordinaire. Many of them are making several thousands euro (or more) a month and move from Morocco to Spain or US to live there several months every year.

They usually don’t have academic background nor have been working in an organized business environment (corporations). What makes them unique is they are the only ones understanding why the heck people are spending so much time on Facebook, why Twitter is essential for an offline revolution nowadays, why Microsoft bought Nokia (and what HUGE mistakes they should avoid in the very near future), and speak fluently about Android, iOS, CTR, CPC, CSS, SEO, Penguin, HTML5, AdWords, Conversion Rates, Funnels, A/B testing and so on. They just KNOW this shit.

In 5 years, they will rule the world. Have you been friendly with your 20-30 yo acquaintances?

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5 tips for Affiliate Summit first timers.

2 months ago I was lucky enough to attend Affiliate Summit West 2013 at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas. It was my first time at a Summit and my first time in United States, so I guess the next tips might be helpful for someone in a similar situation:

1. Buy your ticket as early as you can. You can save probably around $1,000 by registering early and reserving your hotel room and ticket plane several month before the Summit. I know it’s a nobrainer, but i didn’t do it. So I want to remind you that the tickets for Networking Plus (at Affiliate Summit East) now cost $279 and they will end up with a cost more than $600. Do the math.

2. It’s a very big event, so plan very carefully ahead. I had an hour-by-hour schedule for all three days, with several meetings established weeks before, workshops or presentations to attend and well…. parties :) . Leave enough room for new contacts, as well – to have coffees/drinks with, they might be extremely valuable.

Beside all aspects, it will take you a lot of time to walk from one location to another (not to mention again, well…. parties). And you don’t do a lot of new business when you’re tired. Speaking of this – if it’s possible for you to arrive to Nevada time-zone several days before Summit, do that. I did spent 4 days at San Francisco before arriving in Vegas, but coming from GMT+2 took me almost a week to get rid of the jetlag, when the Summit was already over.

3. Go to all the parties you can – public or private (you can manage to get invited to many, people are friendly in Vegas).

4. Always keep a photo ID with you. It’s been a while since I’m over 21 ;) but I couldn’t get in to a big party without it and I was too tired to get back to my hotel room and get it (remember tip no.2) .

5. Always be networking. Go to meet market and stop at each booth. Check everyone’s badges and if you see someone interesting – approach him! Everyone is there for new business. Rehearse your lines very well – you will have to introduce yourself more than a hundred of times, most likely. “I run an affiliate network in Eastern Europe” was my answer to “what do you do, Dorin?”.

And bonus – the extra tip: don’t go at a Summit alone. I went with a friend and partner, and it was very helpful for both of us.

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London and Affiliate Management Conference in May. What’s not to like? :)

I’m a champion of attending relevant business events – in public or as a speaker. I don’t think there’s other more efficient ways to grow as a professional and promote your business to a relevant group of people in the same time.

It always costs time and money, of course – but it always worth it, if you select them well and approach them with the right mindset.

Just in the last 5 months I attended Webit in Istanbul, a VC event in Wien (organized by Wien British Embassy and Amadeus Capital), Venture Connect in Bucharest, Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas, Interactive-Seminars in Sofia and I’m getting ready for the third edition of ecomTIM next week in Timisoara (plus 2 or 3 other local events like Lumea Seo PPC).

From each event I came home with more knowledge, relevant contacts and fresh, new ideas. I always keep my mind open, I’m staying focused on the speakers and approach anyone who seem interesting for me. They are all there for business development, too many people from the audience forget that!

So I don’t understand people who say they are “too busy to attend a business event” especially when is 100% linked to their field of activity.

Guys, there are your best competitors, clients or partners, gathered all together, speaking about industry trends, opportunities and issues and you’d rather stay in your office, doing the same things you’re doing in a regular day?

So they will understand better how your industry is changing, learn how to react faster,  expand their business network and having a good time at parties, while you will be at home? Do you really want to give them such a big, unfair advantage over you?

Well…. it’s obviously your choice, but If you’re into affiliate marketing, online marketing or ecommerce I’d say to grab ASAP the 20% discount that I’m offering you for Affiliate Management Days in London and buy your tickets NOW, and then book your trip to London, I’m sure it will worth it.

PS yes, I’m looking forward to see you there, I will have a speech about gamification in affiliate management. How I got there and how happy I am about this engagement, in a later post ;)

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What you should learn if you’re in ecommerce.

In my 3 years amazing journey as the CEO of an affiliate network I’ve met thousands of people involved in ecommerce.

Everyone in this field is so passionate about online marketing and programming, so careful about which platform to use for building an online store or for online payments that usually forgets that ONLINE commerce is still COMMERCE and ONLINE business is still BUSINESS – that fundamentals still apply and matter the most, I’d say.

So please, before starting your new PPC campaign, go have a look on Coursera – Introduction to finance and Operations Management. They might help you more than you think to build a great online business.

Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.

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isn’t about saying how or why, but what and when.

should inspire, lead, help to grow, to deliver, to be a team.

Posted in Thoughts | 1 Comment

Watching a TV commercial = donate money (not yours!) to a social cause

One of the most brilliant (and yet extremely simple) idea I’ve heard in many years came from my colleague Victor Stroe (Strategy Director at Leo Burnett Romania) – in a partnership with Gazeta Sporturilor).

The project is to air 29 sec spots instead of 30 sec – and donate the cost of that missing second to a humanitarian cause. (positively without any loss for advertisement impact)

That means 3% of the media budget. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big thing, at first – but the exquisite part is yet to come – the more people are watching those commercials, the more money will be donated (considering the current business model of paying the TV reach).

So, TV stations could explain the concept to their audience, right before commercial breaks, and ask them not to switch the channel if they want to help someone in need. Everybody wins (TV stations included, by selling more reach to advertisers) and everyone feels good.

Victor already received an internal award in Leo Burnett (“Idea of the month” award) but I really believe this project deserves all the attention it can get – so I kindly ask you to share, distribute, promote and so on to all your friends and business partners.

2 advertisers have already joined the project – Axa Asigurari & Gazeta Sporturilor – you can find more details on

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Increase your impact

We all want to be important – to our family, to our colleagues, to our business partners, to society – but we forget too often how simple is to become more and more important on any scale.

It is not a secret, it is not quantum physics and definitely I’m not trying to claim that I’m inventing the wheel here, but actually to write a simple idea that I can come back to from time to time.

So, if you don’t find this post as good as you expected, please take into consideration that is written more for me rather than for you.

And now, the big secret: AFTER you get done the day to day routine tasks, the mandatory ones (they’re different for each one of us, but I’m sure you know them), or BETWEEN them – take a moment and ask yourself: What can I do today that would bring some unexpected, not-specifically-requested-in-my-job-description value to my colleagues, my company or my partners?

What can I do today to increase in a positive manner my impact to the whole ecosystem around me? If you can figure out a thing that only you can bring on the table, you may actually get a bonus on importance scale.

It doesn’t have to be revolutionary, it doesn’t have to triple the sales, to cut half of the costs, or to double the wages.

It just have to bring more value than you brought yesterday.

It’s the same on your personal side, with your friends and family.

Do that at least 2 or 3 times a week, and you’ll be important for all the people that matters to you. Consequently, you’ll be happy.

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Sharing is caring

I’ve just arrived at the office coming from the 5th editon of Venture Connect  and I want to write down some of the ideas & learnings that I’ve found (or remembered) today.

  • 800k 900k android activations daily worldwide in Q1 2012 (average txs Dan Virtopeanu for the update)
  • 25B global apps market in 2015
  • 30k Romanians are going out every weekend (I kinda thought there are more)
  • 2.5M smartphones in .ro and 0.5M of them have apps installed
  • 150k 180k downloads so far for #1 mobile Romanian app in .ro
  • 21.5B global online gaming market in 2015
  • 5% of players are actually paying
  • the profile of core gamer worldwide is: 75% male, 21yo, 50% play daily, driven by achievements
  • has 15m core gamers with an ARPU () 60-100% higher than Fb
  • Biggest 6 online markets in the world are .us .uk .de .fr .ca .au (I’m not 100% if its for a specific online market or for apps/gaming/advertising/business – maybe I’ll get a little help here) was one of the best presentation today (and I’m not saying that because I’m a good friend of one of the cofounders ;) )

It’s a multiplayer casual game platform, started with the most used windows app ever – solitaire :) .

In 8 weeks they already have 15k registered players & 700k games played, 81% return visitors with an average of 40 min per visit. 85% of their users are women 42yo.

Monetization: advertising + sell unfair advantages (I loved that :) ) to users: undo, hints, flip deck.

Words of wisdom heard today:

  • There’s much more money than talent in Europe, especially in South Eastern Europe (so true, several big players are prospecting our market right now and closing interesting deals)
  • 50% of new jobs in france in last 10y came from internet businesses
  • you never count your money when you’re sitting at the table; there’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done” – Kenny Rogers, The gambler
It’s hard for me to give credits for all the above info and learnings, so please check all the startups presented today  and do not miss the next edition (it’s scheduled in November). Last, but definitely not least, congrats to Mary & Dan & Alexandra – guys, you’re doing a wonderful job for everyone in regional online market!


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Scrisoare deschisa

Stimata doamna eMAG, Stimate domnule eMAG,

Ne cerem scuze ca va deranjam in weekend si nu vrem sa va alarmati, lucrurile sunt acum sub control – insa Profitshare a facut din nou prostii.

Daca dupa ultimele discutii de acum cateva luni lucrurile pareau ca merg spre bine – se integrase chiar destul de bine in clasa si ne bucuram ca evolutia lui scolara parea sa fie cea potrivita cu istoria familiei precum si cu planurile pe care le aveti pentru el – din pacate ieri a avut o criza destul de serioasa desi nimic nu parea sa o anunte.

Ce s-a intamplat: in timpul orei de publicitate online s-a urcat in picioare pe banca si a inceput sa strige ca el este cea mai mare retea de afiliere din Romania si apoi a alergat printre banci spunand tot felul de expresii dintre care pe multe imi este jena sa le reproduc aici, dar va spun altele, cat sa va faceti o idee despre gravitatea crizei: “75% cota de piata”, “peste 10.000 de site-uri active”, “mii de laptopuri pe secunda, Black Friday”.

Nu l-am putut opri decat strigandu-i repetat la ureche “spor la conversii! spor la conversii!” – desi stim ca ne-ati interzis asta, dar nu am avut efectiv alta solutie. Dupa ce s-a linistit am incercat sa ii explicam inca o data ca expresia respectiva este inventata de altcineva si ca nu se face ca urmasul unei familii atat de distinse sa copieze pe fata sloganul public al unui alt elev, dar nu a parut sa inteleaga, asa ca am inchis subiectul (sper sa ne intelegeti).

Va repetam, nimic din ce s-a intamplat in ultimul timp nu anunta aceasta criza.

Asa cum ne-ati instruit, am pus in jurul lui colegi care sa ii cante in struna in schimbul catorva gume turbo pe zi si chiar parea ca strategia asta functioneaza – cel mai probabil nu a remarcat ca alti elevi se implica permanent in activitati extracuriculare, participa la olimpiade internationale, isi fac prieteni adevarati, inventeaza jocuri noi etc.

Restul clasei sunt oricum constienti ca donatiile generoase pe care le faceti ne ajuta sa supravietuim, asa ca in general nu spun nimic ba chiar il mai sustin din cand in cand (daca veti relua programul de burse avem cateva propuneri de candidati cu potential).

Ca sa fim sinceri pana la capat trebuie totusi sa va spunem ca intr-un moment in care parea om de inteles am incercat sa ii explicam inca o data ca pana si idolul sau (copilul rudelor dvs. din strainatate) este program de afiliere si ca nu e nici o rusine in asta – dar n-am obtinut nici un rezultat.

Desi ne surprinde persistenta simptomelor – ne asteptam ca pana la varsta lui sa inteleaga ca valoarea vanzarilor generate nu este un indicator potrivit pentru el, ci pentru parintii lui – si ca ar trebui sa se focuseze pe valoarea comisioanelor pentru afiliati, de exemplu (indicator la care nici nu sta foarte rau – fiind permanent un challenger pentru locul 1, ba chiar uneori lider de piata), se pare ca refuza sa vada orice realitate in care nu detine pozitia de lider absolut la mare, foarte mare distanta de ceilalti.

Suntem insa constienti ca realizarile dvs. au setat niste standarde greu de atins pentru el si in plus stim ca are o traditie in a evita confruntarile directe, asa ca nu ne mai propunem sa il schimbam.

Va cerem insa ajutorul intr-o problema extrem de serioasa: nu stim cum sa mai ascundem de el definitia retelelor de afiliere de pe Wikipedia si credem ca in curand o va descoperi, cu urmari greu de estimat.

Puteti interveni dvs. ca macar de la IP-ul scolii noastre sa se afiseze o alta definitie, una “potrivita”? Daca ati putea sa treceti acolo si numele lui la exemple de retele de afiliere, cred ca am obtine chiar o perioada destul de lunga de liniste.

Va multumim mult pentru tot.

Cu deosebita stima,


Posted in Categorice, Online, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Busy little bees @2Parale

Cronologic vorbind, iata de ce nu am scris pe blog in ultimele luni:

  • am organizat editia 2 in februarie, la Timisoara – a fost genial, multumim speakerilor, participantilor, sponsorilor, partenerilor, timisorenilor :)
  • am intrat in grupul Leo Burnett Romania
  • am adus in Romania cursurile de marketing online MarketMotive – avem si un concurs
  • Bogdan Aron (ex este Marketing Manager 2Parale – welcome on board!
  • am anuntat astazi SEMdays.roprima conferinta internationala de search engine marketing din Romania.
  • avem 122 de campanii active in retea in prezent, peste 8.700 de afiliati, am generat vanzari totale de peste 24 milioane de lei si am dublat de curand 2 comisioane foarte interesante :)
  • am lansat prima campanie de afiliere pentru un ONG (pro bono, evident), in parteneriat cu prietenii de la The Geeks - pentru World Vision.
  • unul dintre putinii afiliati 2Parale care declara public cat castiga din marketing afiliat, a produs in primele 3 luni din 2012 comisioane de peste 15.000 lei.

Spor la conversii sa avem, zic – multumesc tuturor celor care ne sunt aproape.

In alte stiri, se apropie RoNewMedia si PRBeta, cred ca voi participa la ambele.

Posted in Advertising, Online, Promo | 6 Comments