Episode #21 – The Performance Marketing Spotlight with Vikki Danielson

About Our Guest

Vikki Danielson is a seasoned professional with a proven track record in building strong brands through meticulous market research, ensuring a deep understanding of customer needs and effective product development. With a dynamic skill set, Vikki has successfully influenced global and regional stakeholders, steering impactful decisions that have become synonymous with her leadership style.

Originally hailing from London, Vikki’s journey in the marketing world began two decades ago when she embarked on an internship in the United States. Fast forward to today, she holds a pivotal role at TV Scientific, a connected TV platform revolutionizing the landscape of TV advertising.

In her current role at TV Scientific, Vikki leads the charge in educating affiliate and digital marketers on integrating TV into their performance strategies. The company’s innovative approach involves buying TV media on behalf of brands on a cost-per-outcome model, challenging the traditional CPM model prevalent in TV advertising.


In this episode of The Performance Marketing Spotlight, our host Marshall Nyman sits down with Vikki Danielson, the Director of Growth and Partnerships at TV Scientific. Vikki shares her journey from her start in e-learning software to her time at CJ and then her sabbatical around the world. She discusses her role at TV Scientific and sheds light on the challenges and opportunities in the performance marketing industry. Tune in to hear Vikki’s insights on working with TV Scientific as a publisher and her take on the evolving landscape of affiliate and performance marketing. A dynamic discussion with a seasoned professional in the field awaits you in this episode.



Marshall Nyman [00:00:02]:
Hello and welcome to the performance marketing Spotlight. I’m your host, Marshall Nyman, founder and CEO of Nymonco. Each episode, I will be bringing you someone with deep experience in the performance marketing space where they will highlight their experiences within the industry. Today I have Vicki Danielson, who is director, growth and partnership at TV Scientific. Welcome to the podcast, Vicki.

Vikki Danielson [00:00:29]:
Thank you, Marshall. Thanks for having me.

Marshall Nyman [00:00:31]:
Of course. Super excited to have you on today. Let’s jump right into it.

Vikki Danielson [00:00:35]:

Marshall Nyman [00:00:36]:
Would love for you to introduce yourself to the audience.

Vikki Danielson [00:00:39]:
So, as you said, my name is Vicki Danielson. I’m with a company called TV Scientific, which is a connected TV platform. You can probably hear. I’m from England originally. I grew up in London, southeast, and I came to America on an internship. I think it was 20 years ago, showing my age now, and they put me on this little island in northern Florida. It’s just outside of Jacksonville called Amelia island. And here I am 20 years later, I’m back living on this small island.

Vikki Danielson [00:01:11]:
I didn’t know how I was going to do because I’m used to the big city, but even though there’s no ubers or food delivery, hey, I’m surviving. So that’s me.

Marshall Nyman [00:01:21]:
Amazing. Well, would love to hear how you got your start in the performance marketing space.

Vikki Danielson [00:01:27]:
Yes. So actually after I graduated university, I went into, don’t laugh, elearning software, and it was kind of SaaS tech based. I was always in a marketing role, looking after events or the european programming, and it was just when I went to trade shows, I was the youngest person by about 30 years. So I was like, this can’t be it for life. Suited and booted in and out, all these oldies. And I had a friend actually that worked in search, and he was always doing client dinners and happy hours. And when you’re in your 20s, that’s the life you want. So he got me connected with commission junction back in the day in London, and that’s where I started my career and ropes, learning everything.

Vikki Danielson [00:02:10]:
Affiliates. It was at CJ in the London office.

Marshall Nyman [00:02:13]:
Amazing. Well, we’d love to hear about your time at CJ.

Vikki Danielson [00:02:17]:
Absolutely, yes. So I started, as most of us do, on the account management side, looking after a portfolio of brand that ranged across all the verticals, really. And I think that’s the best spot to be in because you can learn technically how all affiliate tracking works. You get to manage programs and learn what happens brand side, what’s important to them, more about kind of the branding and the awareness players and then how that all ties back to affiliate. So, with CJ, I think my whole time I worked my way from an account manager up to an account director managing a portfolio of brands and account managers just helping run their affiliate programs. So it was really good. I think I was there for three years or so.

Marshall Nyman [00:03:00]:
Awesome. And then you decided to take a little bit of a sabbatical. I’m a huge fan of that myself. Would love to hear a little bit about your time traveling the world.

Vikki Danielson [00:03:10]:
Yeah, I did. So my husband and I got married. He’s american, moved over to London, and then my parents referred to me as the boomerang kids because I was always that child that left home but then came back. And then, of course, I moved my husband in with my parents. Very cool, I know. But we wanted to save as much money as we could to get to that point where we could both just say, hey, let’s quit our jobs and go. And so we both took a year out. We put some bags on our backs.

Vikki Danielson [00:03:38]:
We didn’t do one of the kind of trips that’s all planned out over the year. We went to a spot. We hung out there for as much as we enjoyed it. And then when we were ready to move on and bounce, we did. So we started in Africa on a 42 day overland tour throughout the Serengeti, the mathemara. It was just wild. And then we jumped over to Asia and did all of Asia. Then we did Australia, New Zealand, and ended up in the Galapagos Islands swimming with penguins and sea lions.

Vikki Danielson [00:04:07]:
So, best year of my life. It was pre kids, pre any responsibility. And I think about it all day, every day. Take me back.

Marshall Nyman [00:04:16]:
That sounds incredible. Reminds me of a time in my life. Glad you got to do that. And then in 2016, you joined AP. What led you to join there?

Vikki Danielson [00:04:28]:
I did. So it was funny, when we were in New Zealand, we were deciding, as you all do, your future. Right? Are we going to live in England? Are we going to live in the States? And I fell in love with New Zealand, both North and South Ireland, the most. And so I said to my husband, hey, where in America, if we end up in America is most like New Zealand? And he said, probably, can we both have Venturus? We love to ski. I was like, let’s do it. So we picked Denver, Colorado, and I started in a few digital media agencies around there, but become a mum, and that changes everything. And I needed the ability to juggle and be at home and work, of course, because we spent all our money traveling. So we did that all a little bit backwards and I discovered acceleration partners, which was an agency known for remote work before the pandemic.

Vikki Danielson [00:05:18]:
So it had a lot of first time mums, really professional, digital minded mums that just needed that flexibility. So I joined with those guys as the account Management client service guide and then I flipped towards the end of my tenure with them onto the publisher development team where I was focused more on trying to find new to affiliate publishers that weren’t necessarily educated on how it all works and bring them in and try and open up new types of publishers that could help drive revenue for our brands. So yeah, I managed to do the remote thing and it was super cool.

Marshall Nyman [00:05:56]:
Amazing. So you were in quite a few different roles there. Would love to hear about your evolution while you were there.

Vikki Danielson [00:06:03]:
Yeah. So I think you get to a point where client services, as you all know, in agency land too. It’s intense. It can be really intense. Just juggling managing lots of programs, staying ahead of the curve, making sure that you’re understanding technically what’s happening from a management of the program perspective. But then you’ve also got to get deep rooted and just in the weeds with the brand themselves in terms of attribution and measurement and how they view everything on their side. So it was a lot, I think I worked with some killer brands, doing some really killer things for them throughout my time. But then moving on to the publisher side, I got a new love for understanding different publisher types, their models, how they monetize, and then how they work with brands across verticals too.

Vikki Danielson [00:06:54]:
And that’s what really piqued my interest and I think got the most excitement from me. It was kind of a newfound love for affiliate all over again. Just focused more on the publisher side versus the brand side.

Marshall Nyman [00:07:06]:
Well, speaking about new publisher types, I guess that leads me into my next question. You left about two years ago to join TV Scientific. Would love to hear what they do and what made you want to join them. Maybe you already answered that.

Vikki Danielson [00:07:20]:
Yeah, no, it’s a great question because my role, agency side was trying to find new publisher types and TV scientific was one of those publisher types. So traditionally we are a connected TV platform. So we are helping brands and apps of all sizes to get on the big screen. So when you’re streaming content across streaming platforms and you see those 15 or 32nd commercial breaks, that’s where we can put brands. And all TV media is sold on a CPM model. That’s just how it’s been. And the big question mark that we had was, hey, can we actually do this on a cost per outcome model. So whether that outcome is a purchase or a lead or a form, fill anything, an in store, whatever, is that KPI that’s important to the brand, can we do it where we take the risk on that media so the brand doesn’t have to, right.

Vikki Danielson [00:08:14]:
Typically with TV they’re either tied into contract lengths or monthly minimum spend levels. So we didn’t know if we were going to be able to do this or even if it would work. But the opportunity to the market was hey, let TV scientific buy the media on your behalf on a CPM model and then we’ll figure out how we can back it into your CPA, CPL, CPO, whatever. The thing is that’s important to the brand goals. And the good news is it worked, thankfully for me. So yeah, I crossed the bridge in the summer of 2022 and joined TV Scientific and then obviously tasked here with trying to educate affiliate and digital marketers on how they can, through their affiliate team or performance teams, measure TV as they would any other channel. So we are actually integrated across all of the affiliate networks and we show up like a publisher in any of the reporting interfaces that brands are used to seeing, depending on the network that they’re using. So it’s pretty cool we’re passing all the conversion data back in to the affiliate networks, but then we have our own dashboards and reporting too.

Vikki Danielson [00:09:26]:
So brands can get in the weeds of what the TV data is, meaning they can see by streaming platform who’s driving the most impressions. If we’re doing any testing with creative a B testing, if we’re doing any optimizations, what’s working, what’s not working so they’ll get all of the TV and data insights passed back to them as well. And what we’re finding is that we’re really helping brands and apps of all sizes figure out TV, whether it’s their first foray and they’re dipping their toes in the water because they’ve never done it before, or even if they’re a huge brand with a sophisticated TV team, we’re still finding gaps where we can suppress against what their TV team are doing and focus on streaming platforms that they don’t have covered. And in that way, we’re viewed as complementary to be able to add value across CVT sources that they’re not yet touching. So wherever the brand is in their TV journey, TV scientific are flexible enough and sophisticated enough to be able to come in and add value, which is super cool.

Marshall Nyman [00:10:28]:
What are you doing in your role specifically as director of growth and partnerships at TV Scientific?

Vikki Danielson [00:10:34]:
Good question. I’ve been tasked with figuring out those network integrations. So working across the platforms, whether we’re in master tag container tags, alleviating the need for brands to do any dev work, or working with brands direct on either pixel or postal integrations. But my job is really to find brands that want to test TV and educate them on how TV scientific can help and get them onboarded and set up for success within our platform. So working across a ton of different brands, a ton of different verticals, what’s neat with TV is with standard affiliates, it can sometimes be difficult to narrow in on a particular audience or to get granular with targeting, unless it’s a big publisher that’s got third party data providers. With TV, we can work with both first party and third party, meaning we do have integrations with the live ramps and oracles of the world to be able to get granular with targeting, whether you’re going for if it’s a pet food brand, are there pets in the home? Let’s make sure we deliver ads to where there’s pets or if it’s a children brand, we can see if there’s children in the home. So we can get pretty granular with the targeting through those third party integrations. But then we can also work with brands on their first party data.

Vikki Danielson [00:11:47]:
So depending on what their goals are, if they want to, for example, suppress existing customers and focus on prospecting net need to file, we can do that. They can upload their first party data through a third party platform, either a live ramp or a stem casting. So it’s all data privacy hash compliant. And then we can not target their customers IPs with their ads. Or on the flip side, if they wanted to upsell or cross sell or win back customers that have been lapsed for a set period of time, we can take that data, find those folks on TV and use the TV screen to help bring them back. So lots of different ways in which we can work with brands and their first party data, depending on what levers to pull to make sure we’re getting in front of the right audience for them.

Marshall Nyman [00:12:32]:
What are some things that brands or agencies should be taking into consideration when looking to work with TV scientific?

Vikki Danielson [00:12:41]:
I think there’s a few. I think it’s attribution is the biggest education that we do because TV is not a last click channel. There’s no click involved in the journey. As you know, if you’re sat on the couch and you see a TV commercial, you’re not getting up off the couch, walking over to the TV to convert. So we already understand that all of these conversions are going to come through elsewhere. The good news is we do see a lot of folks put out their laptop, cell phone, usually whatever’s convenient to them on the couch at that time, and navigate direct to the site or to the app. And we love those because they’re nice and clean. But should that user navigate to Google as an example, and the paid search team deliver a paid search ad that they click on, then brands would run the risk of paying over in paid search and with TV scientific.

Vikki Danielson [00:13:27]:
So the biggest education that we do to the market is that sounds scary, but we can put some guardrails up to control this and make it really controlled. So we could, for example, reduce the attribution window. So if their program pays out on a 30 day window, we would recommend starting TV scientific out on a seven day window to get ahead of that overlap as much as we can. We can also play around with the CPA and the attribution window to make sure that it makes sense for them based on their customer acquisition costs. And we can also work within budget cap. So if they say yeah, we want to test, but we don’t know what we don’t know yet, then hey, let’s take 15K as an example in pure CPA commissions. So this is a no integration fee, no launch fee, no managed service fee opportunity. But we can work within their comfort zones and pace accordingly to make sure we’re all looking at the data in the same way, we’re storytelling in the same way.

Vikki Danielson [00:14:21]:
We understand what that overlap is. So we can then move forward on the right set up that is optimized for them. So there’s lots of education when it comes to, I think, working with TV scientific or TV in general, and I think affiliate and performance teams just have to be open to the fact it’s a different model, but it essentially is all tied back in the same way. And we have reports and path to purchase reports that can help them close that loop too. So a lot of what we do is around that education on attribution and then of course there’s the tech and dev work as well.

Marshall Nyman [00:14:58]:
So if it’s a different model than maybe people are used to, what do brands need to be? Successful creative assets?

Vikki Danielson [00:15:07]:
Yes. So the big three that we need in order to get started would be tracking. I mentioned this earlier, but in some networks we are in the master tag or container tech. So that eliminates brands having to do any dev work. So depending on their current setup, it’s pixel postback or a network integration. The second would be creative, right? We do need 15 or 32nd ads to run on their behalf. A lot of brands do not have creative and that’s okay too. We’re working with a ton of brands that haven’t tried TV yet.

Vikki Danielson [00:15:36]:
So for those folks, we can take their online video, should it exist, if they’re running over on YouTube or any social platforms. And we have a creative team that can weigh in and stitch their online video together to make it tv ready. We just don’t want creative to be the sticky point of not moving forward. So we can work with what exists or we can create ads from scratch and we have different packages and price points for that. So you’ve probably seen some of these as you streaming content as well. It’s becoming a little bit more like social like too. We’ve used ads that are filmed from influencers on an iPhone, and we’ve put panels down either side with a QR code with a website to make it tv ready. And we’re seeing some of those social ads really work and perform phenomenally too.

Vikki Danielson [00:16:22]:
So I would say don’t let creative be the reason to not test TV. Let’s have a conversation and figure out what we can make work for you and the chances are you’ve got something that exists that we can work with.

Marshall Nyman [00:16:35]:
Are there any minimums or anything that a brand needs to have established in order to work together?

Vikki Danielson [00:16:41]:
So we don’t have minimums. We try not to tie them into monthly minimum spend levels. That said, we of course have to make sure that the math works. Because with TV scientific taking on that risk, what we don’t want to happen is get in a position where we have to come back in a couple of weeks and say, oh, we’re spending more in media than we’re seeing in conversions. We’re going to have to pause. There’s an element of that where we’re learning and growing and we bake that in. But with each brand, we will work with them based on their existing metrics. So we look at things like average order value, the average conversion rate that they see, their site, unique monthly visits, and we build a model to say, yes, we can come out either on the public rate, let’s go, or we’re going to need a little bit of flexibility on that rate, and here’s why.

Vikki Danielson [00:17:26]:
Or we’re not comfortable taking on that risk. But here’s a couple of hybrid options for you. So depending on the brand and their vertical, we work with some sock brands that are paying $10 right up to mattresses and online furniture that are 500 plus dollars with their CPA. So it really does vary and it’s unique to the brand and we’ll work with them to figure that out.

Marshall Nyman [00:17:46]:
Great. And a quick message here from our sponsor, PI Live USA. Coming to your podcast ears. We want to let you know that tickets are currently on sale and if you don’t know, PI Live USA is the leading event for those working in the affiliate, influencer and partnership marketing space, and it’s taking place in Miami April 16 to 18th this year. If you’re a retailer, agency, tech platform, affiliate, publisher or creator, PI Live USA is the place for you to connect with like minded individuals, learn from other leaders in the industry and ignite profitable partnerships. Head to Slash USA to get your ticket and join us at the new home of partnership marketing and I expect to see you there Vicki, since I know you’re also going to be a judge for the US Partnerships awards.

Vikki Danielson [00:18:44]:
We are going to Miami and I am very excited. Yeah, it’s going to be a great event. Like you say, all of the right people across all of the brand network publisher sides are going to be in attendance. So I’m ready for some great conversations.

Marshall Nyman [00:18:59]:
Definitely. And speaking of awards, a few months ago you were also recognized as one of hello Partners 2023 top 30 performance media pioneers. So congrats on that recognition.

Vikki Danielson [00:19:11]:
Sent that link to my mum. Yes, it was very exciting to see that. I loved it.

Marshall Nyman [00:19:18]:
Yeah, always nice to make your parents happy. Yes. All right, well, shifting the conversation a little bit, would love to hear what are some of the biggest challenges faced working as a publisher in the performance marketing industry?

Vikki Danielson [00:19:32]:
Some of the biggest challenges, I think for tech partners, which is the side that I sit on, it’s getting a better understanding of the internal setup at the brand level. So as you know, it’s not an easy ask sometimes for a brand to just place a pixel. You’ve got to go through it. Review and legal review and security and privacy teams. So I think for us on the tech side, we’ve seen great strides in the last few months with networks making advancements and helping tech partners get integrated better to provide one click type activations so we don’t have to go through all of these different teams for approval and it can truly sit under the affiliate umbrella. But I think on the tech side, it’s a challenge and also just on the measurement and attribution side, I mean, this is always a big hot topic, but each brand does it differently. They all use different tools. It’s about understanding industry wide, what is that average level of discrepancy? Because it’s never going to be apples to apples when you’re crossing platforms and looking at measurement in that way.

Vikki Danielson [00:20:42]:
So I think what I’m most excited for is us as an industry to move towards more of those standards where we’re all talking the same language and looking at the same platforms, because I think that’s always a challenge with any kind of measurement that you’re trying to do and reporting to. I think both of those things are being worked on, which is really exciting.

Marshall Nyman [00:21:05]:
What is a common misconception that brands have when trying to work with a publisher?

Vikki Danielson [00:21:10]:
I think thinking that we’re all the same. I think a lot of the time brand communications is just, hey, this is us, this is what we do. I think if we can get more personalization, if we can understand the different value, add that different partners who are contributing different value across the full funnel, is a great way for brands to really engage better with their publisher base and help set their partners up for success, which in turn is going to be setting them up for success too. So just taking that time to understand each of the publisher types that you have within your program and making sure that you’ve got that diversified mix, I think goes a really long way. And I’m starting to see brands do a lot more of that now. It’s very common, especially if it’s an agency led program, to just speak with your agency contacts. But I’m seeing more and more client contacts, joining calls and getting that more deep rooted knowledge over to publishers, which I think is the way forward for us all.

Marshall Nyman [00:22:20]:
And final question, what has been your favorite part of working in the performance marketing industry?

Vikki Danielson [00:22:26]:
Do you know what it is? It’s the people. We are a really fun, talented, forward racing bunch. I think there’s so many creative, talented, smart people doing some really cool things. And I think that that for me is never boring, it’s never stagnant. It changes all the time. And you’re always learning, I think is what excites me. Like I come in every day and whether it’s a new newsletter or publication or event that I’m looking forward to, there’s always this new concept that you’ve got to grasp or get ahead of or get your head around. And that’s what keeps me going day in and day out.

Vikki Danielson [00:23:09]:
Fun people, for sure.

Marshall Nyman [00:23:12]:
Well, that’s a great place to wrap. I look forward to seeing you in Miami in about five weeks. A big thank you to Vicki from TV Scientific for joining the podcast this week. Some really great insights into her background and how you can best work with TV Scientific as a publisher. Vicki, what’s the best way for listeners to connect with you?

Vikki Danielson [00:23:35]:
You can find me on LinkedIn. It’s Vikki, one of those awkward spellings. Danielson or my email is simply vicky@tvscientific.com.

Marshall Nyman [00:23:46]:
Again, thank you to Vicki Danielson and to our producer, Leon Sonken. If you’ve enjoyed this content, please give us a like and follow. Thank you for joining us. I am Marshall Nyman, host of the performance marketing Spotlight and founder and CEO of Nymonco, signing off. Thank you and have a great day.