Entrust Marketing to Experts! Localization Disaster Example

I’ve been in marketing for so long that very few people remember (or even know) that, first and foremost, I’m a linguist and a translator. Having spent over 7 years of my life training for, and working in this area, I am particularly sensitive to translation and localization mistakes. And while many of them can be justified by complexities of grammar, the banner that I’ve spotted today was plain hopeless.

Checking my Yahoo mail earlier this morning I was staggered by what I saw in the sidebar. A banner which was clearly localized (the concept was likely American, the original ad copy was in English, but since I was accessing Yahoo from Russia, I was served a “Russian” version of it) contained 7 mistakes in 7 words:

What is even worse, all of the above are mistakes made by elementary school children.

When you need a surgery, you go to a medical doctor, not to a plumber whose mother is a nurse and he knows a medical thing here and there (and may even have similar tools). Why, then, when it comes to marketing, would you even think of hiring anyone but a professional? When you are marketing, you are putting your brand (your most valuable asset!) on the frontline. Do you really want to have it associated with low quality?

The above example has once again reminded me of Aldo Gucci’s “the bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”

Entrust your marketing to experts! Unless, of course, you want your brand to be associated with dilettantism.

Failure is an Integral Part of Success (in Business)

I am a big soccer fan. My team is FC Zenit St Petersburg (Russia). It is a good team (holder of UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup 2008, Champions of Russian Premier League 2007, 2010, and 2011-2012), but it didn’t win the Russian championship in 2012-2013 (coming to the end just one point short), and now that they have instituted a joint tournament between the most popular soccer teams of Russian and Ukraine it has already lost two (of the first) games: 0:1 in the game against FC Shakhtar Donetsk, and 1:2 agaist FC Dynamo Kyiv.

Tomorrow they are playing their third game in the tournament, but the team spirit is at an all-time high. Everyone at FC Zenit is optimistic, and ready to fight to the end. Knowing them I am also fully confident that their chances of finishing (this tournament) well are pretty high.

Why am I so confident?

Because I have come to treat defeats as an integral part of success. Any business(man)/(woman) can learn a ton from athletes here. I’ve mentioned soccer already; but here’s how the legendary Michael Jordan once put it:

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Remember how Steve Jobs was raising back up from his failures? Remember what he achieved as a result?

Failures and defeats should be treated as opportunities for learning and strengthening, not as excuses for whining or quitting.

The wise Sir Winston Churchill is known for saying:

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

So don’t let any momentary failure get in the way of your longer-term success. Press on… Don’t lose passion (or optimism)… Overcome, persevere, and succeed!

Prussakov on 2013 Affiliate Marketing Awards Judging Panels

Earlier this year I had the privilege of judging the 2013 Performance Marketing Awards in the UK (for the third time in a row). The winners were announced in London a month ago [see the full list here].

This month I am judging for Rakuten LinkShare Golden Link Awards 2013 in the USA. This is my second time [see last year’s news here] serving on LinkShare’s judges panel, and I am truly honored to have been invited.

The Golden Link Awards are going to be presented on Monday, June 17, 2013 in New York City.

10 Free University-Level Online Courses in Business and Marketing

Did you know that there is a number of universities (including some of the world’s top schools) that offer free access to their courses?

Below you may find my compilation of business, marketing and entrepreneurship-related courses that are currently available for free access:


  • Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies with Dr. James V. Green (University of Maryland): on Coursera
  • Introductory Probability and Statistics for Business with Fletcher Ibser (UC Berkeley): on YouTube / iTunes
  • Supply Chain Management & Logistics: An Introduction to Principles and Concepts with Richard Wilding (Cranfield University): on iTunes
  • Surviving Disruptive Technologies with Hank Lucas (University of Maryland): on Coursera



  • Entrepreneurship and Business Planning with Mark Juliano (Carnegie Mellon): on iTunes / Feed
  • Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of Venture Capital with multiple instructors (Stanford University) on iTunes / YouTube
  • Technology Entrepreneurship with Chuck Eesley (Stanford University): on YouTube / iTunes



  • Marketing 321 with Elaine Daussy (Texas A&M): on iTunes



  • Search Engines: Technology, Society and Business with Marti Hearst (UC Berkeley): on YouTube
  • The Future of the Internet with Ramesh Johari (Stanford University): on iTunes


If you know of any other ones, please post links to these via the “Comments” form below. Please make sure that they are full courses (not merely previews/teasers)

American Marketing Association DC Seminar on Affiliate Marketing

While I love speaking to audiences who are savvy in affiliate marketing, I also really enjoy discussing it with people who are not new to marketing, yet aren’t too familiar with what affiliate marketing is, how it works, and what an affiliate program can do for their business as a marketing tool. Three of such seminars/workshops of mine are coming up in the month of May. This coming Wednesday (on May 1) I am speaking in Washington, DC at a seminar organized (for advertisers) by the DC chapter of the American Marketing Association:

This is going to be a one-hour crash course on making affiliate marketing work for your business. If you live/work in the District, NoVA or SoMD, I hope to see you there at 6:30 pm on May 1.

If Europe is closer/better for you, I am also going to be conducting similar seminars in Romania and the Netherlands later this month [details here].

First Comprehensive Affiliate Management Book in Chinese

Less than a year ago I announced that Wiley “signed a contract with a Beijing-based publisher for the translation and publication of my ‘Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day‘ book.”

In 2012 China’s population of Internet users rose 10 percent adding 51 million to the previous number of 510 million users. “Chinese leaders encourage Internet use for business and education” [source], and the Internet penetration is nearing 50 percent of the country’s population [source]. I am extremely excited that at a time like this my “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day” has come out in Chinese:

The Chinese translation of my book has been published just two weeks ago, and is now hitting bookshelves.

This is the first comprehensive affiliate marketing book in Chinese, and I am looking forward to flying to China for book launch activities (exact dates TBC).

Affiliate Marketing Book Receives Small Business Classic Award

classic: noun : a work of enduring excellence [Merriam-Webster Dictionary]

Today is a very special day for me. Due to your overwhelming support, my “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day” tome has won a big award, winning the first place in the Classics category of 2013 Small Business Books Awards.

I feel honored and altogether humbled to be acknowledged in this way. As far as I understand this is the first time an affiliate marketing book gets selected as a small business classic. Thank you for your support, everyone! It means the world to me!!

In case you haven’t yet heard, later this Spring the book is coming out in Russian, and it is now also being translated into Chinese. If you are interested in acquiring translation rights for it, I’d love to hear from you.

Affiliate Management Hour – 2013 Small Business Book Award Nominee

Yesterday I was pleased to learn that my last book — “Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day” — has been nominated for a 2013 Small Business Book Award. I’ve learned about it from this Tweet:

I am especially honored to see it being nominated in the Classics category.

At the time of this writing, the book has 65 reviews on Amazon.com, averaging 5 stars.

As I have mentioned in a recent interview to Affiliate Window, “Affiliate Management Hour” is now being translated into Russian and Chinese. Should you be interested in publishing it in other languages, do talk to me. I’d love to also see it in Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, German, French, and a number of other languages [details here].

Super Bowl 2013 Power Outage: Best Reactions & Lessons to Learn

When the lights turned off over half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the middle of SuperBowl XLVII, I Tweeted:

Honestly, I didn’t expect some of the turns this “talk” has ended up taking, and today (one workweek into the reflections on it, and reactions to it) I’d like to bring a compilation of the five articles I’ve found to be most interesting. Here they are (in chronological order):

1. How Advertisers Made The Super Bowl Power Outage Work For Them by Jennifer Rooney of Forbes.com (02/03/2013, 10:13p)

2. 10 Innovative Social Media Newsjacks of the Super Bowl Power Outage by Anum Hussain of HubSpot (02/04/2013, 11:30p)

3. Marketing Lessons From Super Bowl Power Outage by Daniel Rodriguez of Indivly Magic (02/04/2013)

4. Marketing Lessons and Missed Opportunities From Super Bowl XLVII by Julio Fernandez at HuffingtonPost.com (02/05/2013, 11:51a)

5. Four Things Corporate IT Can Learn from the Super Bowl Power Outage by Jay Livens of Iron Mountain (02/06/2013)

Have you found some interesting follow-ups on the subject? Please share them through the “Comments” area below. I’d love to read them too.

Facebook Gifts and Principles of Effective Social Commerce Campaigns

On December 11, 2012 Facebook rolled out a new feature. A little too late in my opinion for pre-Christmas shopping, but they have made it possible for “everyone in the U.S.” to receive gifts from friends [original announcement here]. Of course, the friend would have to pay for the gift. That’s the whole point of the exercise. Long gone are the days when we all wondered how (wasn’t the better question “when”?) Facebook is going to monetize their massive membership base.

On the same day TechCrunch‘s Josh Constine ran some numbers and concluded that “Facebook could earn up to $1 billion a year from Gifts” [more here]. His higher-end estimate was based on Facebook earning 20% per purchase. Knowing a bit about what various merchants pay through their affiliate programs, I, actually, think that Facebook’s average cut is closer to 10% here. While they do feature some products from higher-paying niches (e.g. magazine subscriptions, T-shirts, sunglasses, gift baskets) which may yield 20% in “commissions” to Facebook, the majority currently featured merchants do not really pay as much as that. The more common range would be 5%-6% (e.g. Target, iTunes, Cheryl’s) to 7% (e.g. Starbucks) or, maybe, 10% (e.g. Brookstone).

But whether they are going to reap $510 million or $1.02 billion is really irrelevant. The idea itself is great, and represents a perfect example of a well-built social commerce campaign. Here’s a screenshot of how I saw it earlier this morning:

This is one beautifully-crafted social commerce campaign (from which we can all learn something). It is:

(1) Timely — It is Scott’s birthday.

(2) Relevant — He is my friend, and I am a perfect “target audience” for gift buying.

(3) Convenient — I can buy my gift right there and then (out of their selection of gifts) without having to search elsewhere.

(4) It incorporates compelling Social Proof — My others friends, whom I trust, “have used Facebook Gifts” already. What am I waiting for?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check my own social media or other online marketing initiatives — to see how they compare with what Facebook is doing with Gifts. I’m sure I’ll find plenty of things to tweak.