Hitting the Magic City: Highlights from PI Live Miami 2023

Just last week, our teams attended PI Live, hosted by Hello Partner , where we joined changemakers, e-commerce brands, and publishers in the Magic City of Miami. The event featured three jam-packed days of networking, insightful discussions, and networking opportunities where we could work hard while enjoying all that Miami had to offer.

Thoughtful panels focused on the power of affiliate dollars in the face of economic change, the creator economy, content commerce, emerging AI technology, and more. Our Managing Director of North America, Anthony Capano, hosted a panel alongside industry veterans Kelly Reilly of Urban Outfitters and Kris Ritchie of Dealmoon to discuss using personalization to get the most out of your affiliate dollars.

The most exciting event for the Rakuten Advertising team was the US Partnership Awards! We took home 4 gold trophies, 3 silver, and a bronze award throughout the night, proving that we truly provide advertising that outperforms and outdelivers (according to the judges).

margarita w/umbrella  2 white women stand around with margaritas in hand

The Rakuten Advertising Stage

Monday and Tuesday were packed with inspiring content on the Rakuten Advertising and Matterkind stages. The Rakuten Advertising stage hosted panels including:

  • Influencer Convergence: How to Effectively Leverage Partnerships in an Economic Downturn
  • Balancing Creative, Talent and Measurement in Influencer Marketing
  • Building Trust with Content Commerce
  • Build, Don’t Just Seize: Connecting Awareness to Revenue With Content Partnerships

Group of women stand in front of stage & smile

Getting more affiliate dollars with personalization

 Our stage also hosted a panel by Anthony Capano, our Managing Director, featuring Kelly Reilly, Associate Director of Digital Marketing, Urban Outfitters and Kris Ritchie, Senior Managing Director, US & AU Partnerships, Dealmoon.

Their panel, “Using Personalization to Get More Affiliate Dollars” focused on common struggles within the affiliate channel and tackled the following topics:

  • Identifying unique audiences with a brand’s CRM data
  • Re-engaging lapsed customers and building loyalty
  • Using action-based targeting for more acquisition
  • Increasing dollars and investment in affiliate programs

Kelly of Urban Outfitters discussed the importance of making smart budget decisions to drive incremental value within the affiliate channel through the use of targeting action-based offers and rewards through Rakuten Rewards. The Urban Outfitters team has found success by leveraging our commissioning technology to drive priority categories or categories that need an additional boost, both of which found a significant increase in conversions and purchases with the technology.

Kris of Dealmoon focused on the crucial relationship between advertisers and publishers – building a trusting relationship where both parties feel heard and have clear objectives is key to achieving success in an affiliate program. While revenue is the baseline metric that most focus on, it is important to remember other KPIs that are relevant to measuring success including conversion, CTR, and AOV.

group of people mulling around a hotel lobby

The hot topic of the event: the creator economy

While Anthony’s panel focused on the affiliate channel and its capability to utilize personalization, another major topic of discussion throughout the event was the creator economy – focusing on influencer marketing and its extended reach into the minds – and pockets – of the influencer audience.

While there were numerous panels focused on the power of influencers and the creator economy, this session was particularly insightful: Influencer Marketing: Certain Strategies for Uncertain Times hosted by Rakuten Advertising partner, Mavrck.

Lyle Stevens, CEO and Co-Founder of Mavrck gave 4 top tips for leveraging influencer marketing in your marketing mix:

  1. Align your teams!
    Share tactics, metrics, and strategies with each team along the funnel. It will not only increase your return but will reduce investment across the board.
  2. Use creators to boost all media strategies.
    Use user-generated content beyond the expected and repurpose it into reviews and paid-ad content.
  3. Pick the right creator persona for your audience.
    Partner with someone who will resonate with your audience, focus on their audience and see if it aligns with yours.
  4. Prioritize your existing customers!
    If you have someone who is an existing customer, it could be a natural fit! Partner with customers who already love and promote your products, with very little lift needed on your end.

Large group of smiling people holding up trophiesTaking home the gold!

Our teams were thrilled to hear our name called not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR TIMES during the US Partnership Award ceremony as the gold winners. We were honored to have also been named silver in three categories, and bronze in another, our achievements are your achievements, and we couldn’t have accomplished such a feat without our incredible network of clients and partners. Thank you to all!

We are honored to announce our wins from the night:


  • Rakuten Advertising Advanced Analytics Team: Best Partnerships Team4 Gold Winner Trophies
  • Rakuten Advertising IAP & Data Labs: Most Innovative Technology
  • Hilton: Best Use of Data and Insights
  • Wells Fargo: Best Partnership Optimization Strategy


  • Rakuten Advertising: Best Platform for Partnership Success
  • Vans: Best Multi-Channel Strategy
  • PartnerForward & Rakuten CLO: Together We Solved That


  • Partake Foods: Best Partnership for Good

Thank you to the entire Hello Partner team for throwing such a wonderful event and for providing an opportunity for us to learn and network with the industry. We cannot wait to see what next year brings!

Avatar of Rakuten Advertising
Rakuten Advertising

Rakuten Advertising leads the industry in delivering performance-driven ad solutions that help the world’s top brands connect with unique, highly engaged audiences – from first impression to final sale.