Our ‘Profile: A Day in the Life of’ feature takes a look at some of the global professionals working across performance marketing. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the flourishing industry.


Brook Schaaf

Job title and company: 

Co-founder and CEO, Schaaf-PartnerCentric

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

Advertisers pay Schaaf-PartnerCentric to manage their affiliate programs. 

What are the company’s unique selling points?

Our career affiliate managers act as trusted advisers to clients to configure the optimal tracking platforms and commission rates, ensure compliance, and recruit and optimise publishers. We give our clients a clear view and supportive hands in the affiliate marketing world. Excluding December last year, clients with us since 2012 saw an average 171% increase against a 25% cost decrease!

Within the last six months, what stands out as the company’s major milestones? 

We had many wins in 2013 but I think the wins that are most note-worthy are the ones we are just now sharing that have to do with performance in Q4 and the holiday shopping season. For example, our clients saw 78% year-over-year revenue growth on Black Friday in 2013. The industry standard was 15%. Our clients saw 118% year-over-year revenue growth on Cyber Monday in 2013. The industry standard was 18%.

This is phenomenal performance well above what is happening elsewhere. We also increased the amount of productive affiliates for our clients in 2013 by an average of 23% year-over-year, which was a big reason for the other successes we have seen.

Duration in current role:

I’ve been in this role since we founded the company in 2006.

Where are you based?

Most of our team, including our COO, work remotely, which enables us to attract and retain some of the industry’s best talent. For operations and back office support, we opened a headquarters in Austin, TX, recently relocating to a new office at 327 Congress Avenue (Suite 300) – just down the block from RetailMeNot, coincidentally. 

Previous performance marketing-related companies you have worked at:

I used to work as the in-house affiliate manager for Zappos.com, Shoes.com and Edmunds.com. 

What are your main job responsibilities?

According to one of our consultants, the CEO is responsible for vision, succession planning and overall company execution. My day-to-day work mostly involves supporting sales and our management team, with a fair amount of travel to clients and conferences. 

Take us through what you get up to on a typical working Monday:

David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” is my ideal framework, though it’s easier said than done. On a good day I’ll use Nozbe to knock out my top three tasks around standing calls like sales, marketing and one to ones. This Q&A is being filled out at the end of a Monday. 

What top three websites can you be found browsing during your lunch hour?

I’m proud to say I’m usually pretty good about avoiding website distractions, except for a little Facebook, which is mostly affiliate marketers for me (Shawn Collins is quite prolific with his updates). Performinsider has one of the best newsletters in the space, so I check those headlines, along with AffiliateTip, LinkedIn’s newsletter, our internal one (Affiliate Marketing Digest) and a few others. I get most of our client’s consumer newsletters, just to stay in touch.

What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?

Of course, in affiliate marketing you can always start your own thing, which is what my brother and I did, but that’s really not where most people thrive. In this quickly changing space, you have to be connected – first, to hear about what’s going on; second to be a well-reputed candidate. For example, when we hire affiliate managers, the back channels always provide a strong picture of their work habits. 

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

I think that affiliate marketing will continue to grow. In three years we’ll have expanded our client service offerings.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

Prior to our team retreat at Disney World last September, it would have been that I’ve secretly been taking vocal lessons for some time, but I performed for everyone so the cat’s out of the bag. The other secret would be that I sometimes do eat gluten but our December company cookie exchange pretty much called that out as well.