One of the more positive results of the NY Affiliate Tax is that I have had a chance to work with some very amazing people. I’ve profiled a few of these amazing people in “Stories of NY Affiliates” including the stories of Kevin, Herb, Jannis and others. Working with people on any project often gives you a chance to see the inner person.
For many reasons, getting to know Kim Salvino has been an honor and a privilege. Before the Albany NY July 28 meeting I had met Kim a time or two, at that time she was the affiliate program manager for 4Checks. With all the initial confusion over the tax law, 4Checks had to reverse its stance and made a last minute decision to remove NY Affiliates. That decision hit many NY affiliates hard; it hit Kim equally hard. As we began to plan the July 28 meeting to work on a solution, we invited Kim to attend. We did this because we needed to understand her company’s position; we also need merchant input. Inviting Kim was one of the best moves we made. (Please note, as a result of a lot of effort from everyone, 4Checks reinstated NY affiliates in early August.)
Kim’s bravery in attending a meeting to face the very same affiliates she had removed from her program and the dedication with which she worked on implementing a solution, demonstrates some of the many qualities that make her an asset to the industry. It also speaks volumes about her dedication to her affiliates and to her merchant.
On a personal level, when my strength was faltering it was her dedication and her refusal to sit back that was a source of encouragement. After all was done, I learned that it was our passion that kept her going. I think it was a very symbiotic relationship; we inspired and encouraged one another. We – affiliates, merchants and network, worked together towards a common goal. As I have gotten to know Kim it has become clear that Kim truly understands and believes the phrase “valued partner”. Just as Kim values her relationships with merchants and affiliates, I value her, both as a friend and a business associate and she has most certainly earned my trust.
I asked Kim why she fought so hard on behalf of her NY Affiliates; it would have been much easier to just sit back. Kim confesses that she was crushed when forced to discontinue working with NY Affiliates. Though nervous, Kim was eager to be a part of the meeting in Albany. At the end of the meeting, like us, she left with a renewed spirit and an understanding of the action needed. Kim continued, 4Checks “recognized the value of our affiliates and were willing to do what was needed to move forward. How could anyone sit back and do nothing is what I would like to ask. A passionate group took the initiative to spearhead a discussion with a lawyer, well versed in NY tax law, to seek a way to comply. I was just lucky enough to be invited.”
Kim continues, “The biggest brand name, the largest inventory – none of that matters in the affiliate space if trust is non-existent. My affiliates trusted me to pay them for the traffic they referred that converted to sales, and they invested a lot of time and energy into building sites and promoting my brands. They trusted me to advocate on their behalf internally and I wasn’t about to sit back and watch so many lose their income.”
In my opinion, the actions of 4Checks and Kim’s passion and dedication to both merchant and affiliates has helped reestablish some of the trust that was shattered in May and June of last year. Although no longer with 4Checks, the 4Checks program has shown that they still have the same standards and values. The 4Checks program is a NY Affiliate Friendly merchant with programs located at ShareASale network and Kowabunga (MyAP)
Kim is now at Buy.at network and holds the position of Senior Delivery Manager. Kim Salvino is a great addition to the Buy.at team, bringing many strengths and talents to a growing and quality network. Kim explained her position, “I work on the account management side, overseeing a team that provides full service program management to Buy.at’s merchants. Right now, I am concentrating on two major initiatives – strengthening and growing our existing programs on the buy.at network and seeking new merchants that will make a good fit for our growing affiliate base.”
Kim continued, “At Summit, I was asked what makes buy.at different. I could say the interface and reporting is flexible and accurate. I could tell you that we offer proactive account management and that we pioneered the “open network.” I could tell you that as a team, you will be hard pressed to find more passionate individuals who want the best for this industry and who give 125% every day.”
But it is more than that. Buy.at’s open network policy and their dedication to both advertisers and publishers is a strong foundation, but as Kim says, “At the end of the day though, it’s about trust and value, two things our team holds sacred and strives to be worthy of and provide every day.”
It is that very philosophy that leads me to believe that great things lie ahead.
Trust and value, flowing both ways; just what many are looking for.