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Impact’s Chief Partnerships Officer Michael Head’s career path hasn’t always been linear. In fact, his career trajectory is much more a zig-zag than it is a straight line. His journey has included pit stops in the healthcare industry, ambitions of running a gym, and finally a foray into app development. Luckily for all of us, the road eventually led him into partnerships, which are obviously critical in the world of marketing. On today’s episode of Marketing Trends, Michael discusses the shifts he’s seeing from modern partnerships to influencer-based ones, how the partnership ecosystem continues to benefit everyone, and why the journey from start to finish is so important.

Key Takeaways:

– There’s a big shift from the traditional reseller to more affiliates and influencer-based models.

– A successful partnership program thinks about the entire consumer journey.

– Influencers are shifting the ecosystem dramatically because they don’t have trust issues from the consumer. Their messages are organic and they engage with their audience more.

Key Quotes:

“Partnerships are broad, and broad for a reason. They take shape in many different forms and sizes and entities based off of your business and the types of partners that you work with.”

“What causes organizations to not be able to scale as efficiently is due to the fact that there’s similar partnership activity, but there’s inconsistency in how they manage them. The technology that they use [is different] and then they’re sitting in different teams and departments with different P-and-L’s as well as different KPIs.”

“Because they have a team, [mature organizations] can really think about forming the activities and the roles and the responsibility around what we call the partnership life cycle.”

“You need to be really diligent with your process of recruiting. What are the types of partners? What’s the brand alignment that you’re looking for? The geo? The demographics, all of those things. And you need to be able to make sure once you identify the types of partners, you’re constantly recruiting and bringing them into your programs so that you have a consistent pipeline of new partners.”

“To have a successful partnership program, you want to think about the entire consumer journey and see who’s initiating, assisting, as well as closing.”

“The reality is there are a lot of opportunities that are out there. And if you don’t continue to diversify, you put yourself at a concentration risk where you only have a small handful of partners that you need to depend on, and the real mature programs end up having a lot of diversity and breadth so they don’t have a heavy reliance on any single partner.”

“Marketing is in an authenticity crisis.”

“Partnerships is really an ecosystem play that benefits everyone.”


Michael Head serves as the Chief Partnerships Officer at Impact. He is responsible for the success and growth of the Radius product line. He’s a veteran at Impact who has been instrumental in scaling the global sales team across all three products. In his current role, he’s focused on evangelizing Partnership Marketing and helping clients grow faster.

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