Purply Profiles: Founder and President, Kyle Mitnick, on Surfing, Philanthropy, Digital Lemonade Stands, and the Story of Purply

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Real talk, I spent a longer time than I’d like to admit thinking about whether Purply is an adjective, a noun, or a verb. I know, but it’s better than watching FedEx delivery walk by my window for the 100th time this week. 

Anyway, I thought that instead of twiddling my thumbs at the thought of it, I could just have a quick powwow with Kyle Mitnick to learn more about Purply’s origins and how the Founder and President spends his time as a true Southern Californian. And I assure you, he isn’t as interested in package delivery as I am. 

From his affinity for surfing, sailing, and all things water, to his humble beginnings in businesses he likens to digital lemonade stands, we get into much more engaging topics. Shall we dive (water reference secured) into our first Purply employee profile ever? Yes, I think so!

Kyle, you look familiar. Have we seen you on the Advertise Purple blog somewhere? Ah, yes! I think we have. Well, in that case, would  you care to introduce yourself to the Purply community? Share some things about yourself, where you’re from, what you do when you’re not working, and what makes you you. 

Yes, Noelani, I have been spotted in the virtual hallways once or twice last year 😉 I am the founder and President of Advertise Purple, the parent company of the Purply.com technology. As a native of Southern California, my off-hours may be considered a bit cliche, most of them spent in the ocean doing various activities like surfing, paddling, sleeping on the sand with a book. I am a voracious reader and when I’m not spending time with my two girls, I am glued to the latest novel that has any mention of sailing around the world in it. I also have my feet firmly planted in philanthropic initiatives in my community, am an active investor in Tech Coast Angels, and am actually a budding chef (when time permits). 

What is your background and how did it pave the way for where you are now? 

Simply put, I am a student of business. I became infatuated with building companies in college, and played my first hand at “professional company” building soon thereafter at the age of 23 (I use the label “professional” because we did create companies before that point, however, they were pretty much lemonade stands with digital storefronts).

Last question before I get into all the serious stuff. And this is a big one. What is your go-to meal on the good days and the bad ones? 

A wonderful topic! I have become very regimented in my diet during COVID, not really by design, more so by geo limitation. So, it’s an easy question to answer: Nuts and fruit for breakfast, kale salad for lunch, and dinner du jour for the evening, which typically consists of a Mediterranean taste. Boring? Possibly. Prior to COVID, my answer would have been a laundry list of the best Italian spots in Santa Monica. 

Mediterranean, you say? That seems like a perfect pair to your taste in sailing novels. And also, we’ll be needing that list of best Italian spots eventually. Hopping back into things, tell us the story of Purply. Where were you and what were you doing when you decided, “Wow, this needs to be a thing”? 

Having been in the affiliate space since roughly 2011, Purply grew from a pressing need that surfaced circa 2018: How do we continue to provide uncompromising service to our clients AND maintain company growth? This question has plagued the agency model for many moons, a model which has typically relied heavily on the following formula: The more marketing experience an employee has, the more successful they will be at managing a client. Sadly, there is a low glass ceiling when scaling a company under that pretense, so we decided to build a better mousetrap. The journey has turned out to be very rewarding. 

And thus, Purply was born. Nice. I have to ask, how did you go about bringing Purply into existence? It being a proprietary technology, I can imagine it was a hefty endeavor. 

With the help of people much smarter than myself! It has been an iterative process consisting of bite-sized architectural pieces, development sprints, revisions, QA, and feature reviews. Development of a proprietary technology is not for the faint of heart, but when its fundamental purpose is to improve the efficacy of service to our customers, it’s worth the long nights. 

Absolutely, all a worthwhile process if it’s customer-focused. Not to mention, you’ve got an awesome team behind you! Now that Purply is alive and kicking (not in a Westworld kind of way), how do you believe it fill gaps in the affiliate space? 

The short answer is, it removes the veil of secrecy that has shrouded the affiliate channel for years. You’re probably thinking, “Hmm, so you’re removing the barrier to entry that has kept agencies, like yours, in business?” Yes! Digital businesses deserve to access insights, data, and strategy without the red tape of an agency, and that is what Purply.com is designed to provide.

In your opinion, what makes Purply the perfect AI partner in creating a successful affiliate program? 

Global context! Very few businesses, and marketing agencies for that matter, have the strategic insights about which real-time data-backed initiatives can improve results in this channel. Having a tool like this will give unbridled power to any internal marketing team looking to make the most of affiliate. 

The ability to possess and utilize the power of result-improving initiatives? We love to see it. How would you say that it stacks up to working with a human-based affiliate marketing management team? 

Different. There will always be a place for agencies in our world, but the growth of the DIY marketing team is impossible to ignore, and this gives them a bit more firepower. 

Great point. And is it true that the team at Advertise Purple works with Purply technology as well? How do you feel it’s helped them in their day-to-day?

They are our guinea pigs! Jk… kind of. So, the technology was actually developed for our internal operations team in an effort to better service clients. Only recently in Q4 of 2020 did we release the SaaS version at Purply.com, and we already have a significant amount of users. Our internal team at Ad Purp assists the tech team in developing features that help them best manage customers, then when applicable, we port those over to Purply.com for our SaaS users. A symbiotic relationship at its finest! 

What you’re saying is that the Ad Purp team has a real hand in developing features for Purply? Pardon the geeking, but cool! It sounds like Purply is already seeing a lot of growth, too. Looking into the future a bit, what can we look forward to with Purply as it evolves to tailor to the needs of businesses and Advertise Purple’s clients? 

Without giving away our secret sauce, I can say “predictive modeling and AI suggestions.” We have a lot of work to do, but when done, it will provide unparalleled strategic suggestions for users on precisely what levers to pull for growth. 

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Kyle, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks so much for chatting with me about how you spend your time, your hard-to-ignore healthy diet, and the growth and promise of Purply. And believe you me, I will be back for answers about the best Italian spots in Santa Monica.

 

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