Ask the experts: Adam Glazer of Partner Commerce provides insights into B2B affiliate marketing

Adam Glazer, President of Partner Commerce, and Emma Tett, Vice President of Agency Innovation at discuss B2B affiliate marketing, what makes a program a B2B program, and the unique challenges that B2B brands face with affiliate marketing. Adam breaks down the challenges into different categories and discusses how to solve them. 

Ask the experts
Emma Tett
Emma Tett
Vice President of Agency Innovation
Read time: 6 mins

Last week, Emma Tett, Vice President of Agency Innovation, had the opportunity to sit down with Adam Glazer, the President of Partner Commerce at the New York office. 

They talked about Adam’s area of expertise, B2B affiliate marketing, specifically how B2B affiliate marketing differs from other types of affiliate marketing—and how agencies can help B2B programs grow on 

Emma: First, it would be great to know a little about you and how Partner Commerce started. 

Adam: I started at Young & Rubicam in the late 90s and began one of the first affiliate practices for a global agency.  In 2001, I spun that group out as an independent agency called Converseon, which managed large enterprise consumer affiliate programs like Hilton Hotels.  After exiting Converseon, I became a publisher focused on B2B offers. It became clear that there was a need in the market for an agency with deep B2B expertise, so I launched Partner Commerce. We now have offices in NY and CA, and have launched over 25 tier 1 B2B programs on the platform, including TikTok for Business, Microsoft,, OnDeck, Dun & Bradstreet, J2 Global, Seamless, and Alibaba, among others.

Emma: B2B is a broad term. For you, what makes something a B2B program? 

Adam: A B2B affiliate program targets a business consumer rather than an individual. This often means that the buying decision isn’t made by a single individual. The differences between selling to a business versus an individual are what causes many of the unique challenges that B2B programs face. 

Emma: What unique challenges do B2B brands face with affiliate marketing?

Adam: There are quite a few, here is how I would break them down: 

  • Finding the Right Partners: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all list of super affiliates for B2B.
  • Complex Sales Cycles: B2B products tend to have longer, more complex sales cycles, making it harder to attribute sales to partners.
  • Deep Funnel Attribution: With B2B programs, we want to track and credit partners based on deeper funnel events & offline events, often these actions are stored in disparate systems and not easily associated with partner marketing activity – think marrying Hubspot or Salesforce data with affiliate transactions.
  • SaaS Business Model: Performance-based marketing is inherently difficult for SaaS brands due to the nature of the SaaS business model. There is a risk of paying out a front-loaded CAC for low-quality leads that do not convert or even for converted (paid) customers that churn too soon or do not yield a high enough LTV over the lifetime.
  • KPI Considerations: SaaS businesses consider different KPIs (to e-commerce brands), such as CAC/LTV, MRR, ARR, and churn, which are challenging to tie back to specific publishers or campaigns.
  • Commissioning Strategy: Related to KPI Considerations, you want to ensure you’re commissioning and rewarding partners based on the right KPIs so you’re incentivizing the right partner activity.
  • Channel Conflicts There can be internal channel conflicts that need to be managed within the advertisers’ organization.
  • Senior Involvement: Finally, due to its closer alignment with Biz Dev, B2B programs may require more involvement from senior team members, which can be a challenge to secure.

Emma: So, how do you go about solving those challenges? 

Adam: There are three things I go back to for every B2B program we manage. First is our best practice approach, we have a proven track record with B2B programs and know what works. We leverage our established best practices from designing an optimal commission structure to producing the types of enablement materials that will empower your partners to truly sell your offers effectively. 

Second, over the years, the Partner Commerce team has built a network of partners with collective reach into decision-makers at 100s of millions of SMBs worldwide. We have the network to pair the right partners with the right B2B brand. 

Last is technology. We use powerful platforms like to enable the team and we are constantly trying out new tools and products to enhance our programs further. 

Emma: Could you share some specific examples of how has helped scale the B2B affiliate programs you managed?

Adam: Absolutely. We use several features for most of our programs.

Dynamic commissioning is essential for B2B programs.  For Microsoft, we paid partners based on billed revenue, which aligned payouts with high-value events. paid high commissions for partners that referred new customers but still rewarded partners who drove renewals and add-ons.

Optimize has been crucial for identifying bottom-of-the-funnel partners that were leapfrogging credit from partners that were truly introducing new customers and deserved credit for the sales. 

Custom contracts enable us to quickly customize deals without needing legal review, this has been essential for the Microsoft program. acts as a global clearing house, so we can support partners worldwide in their local languages and currencies. 

Finally,’s couponing features have enabled both Microsoft and to restrict credit on certain coupons to specific partners, which allowed us to enable partners to distribute discounts without worrying about the discount codes leaking out to the open web.

Emma: Can you share a little about the types of partners you work with and the ones that work best for B2B affiliate programs? 

Adam: B2B programs can succeed with traditional affiliates such as comparison or review sites, discount and loyalty, and media buyers. However, they require careful management to ensure you understand the conversion path and are correctly assigning credit. But they also have a lot of other publisher types available to them. Newer publisher types such as member marketplaces, courses or education, and influencers offer great opportunities as long as they are carefully selected to align with the brand (just like with any affiliate program). 

Where B2B gets interesting is the opportunity to work with Channel Partners and the wider Partner Ecosystem. B2B can leverage resellers and distributors unlike DTC ecommerce brands. In addition, we look at Ambassador programs, Technology Partner integrations, strategic Brand to Brand co-marketing, and PR opportunities. Lastly, we work with VC firms, accelerators, and incubators to get our brands in front of the right people at the right time. 

Emma: Lastly, where do you see the partner marketing industry heading over the next few years? 

Adam: Well, I would love to see the affiliate capability with organizations starting to be leveraged as a resource for all teams within the company. Affiliate teams have so much to offer the rest of the organization and I think people are starting to take notice. 

This will likely lead to the emergence of Chief Partnership Officer as a role in the senior leadership team. 

And as part of this, I think we’ll see a convergence of all partner tracks (Affiliate, Reseller, Ambassador, etc.) under centralized organizational management, using a single technology platform. 

B2B brands may face unique challenges when setting up and running affiliate programs. Clearly, without a program, they are leaving substantial revenue opportunities on the table. By leveraging an agency partner with B2B expertise, like Partner Commerce, and’s advanced tracking and technology, B2B brands can set themselves up for success. 

To learn more about the features Adam mentioned, such as dynamic commissioning, custom contracting, Optimize, or’s global clearing house capabilities, reach out to

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