It’s fair to say that most marketers are familiar with affiliate marketing. It has been in existence for more than two decades, and on the merits of its age alone, it is often included as a component in the overall mix of marketers and works alongside its peers in imaging, search, and social media. Today, more investment is being made in the channel. the last Gartner questionnaire It shows that over 65% of CMOs expect their budgets to increase for affiliate and partner marketing in 2021. However, historically speaking, affiliate has not been seen as a primary or “go to” channel in marketers’ arsenal, causing many to ask the ‘why’ question.
As a result, there is no regular answer. Instead, the answer requires a bit of a history lesson to understand what has prevented it from gaining its rightful place at the CMO’s table and channel primary in the marketing mix. To begin with, for a very long time, the category was controlled by providers who had the chance to be the first to market in the field. While this was an obvious advantage at first glance, it was actually to the detriment of the category participants. This is largely because this over-focused control imposes limitations on partner sourcing, attribution models, workflows, metrics transparency, and brand protection. And while these limitations rightly created stigma and reputational challenges around the channel, the perceptions were not worthless. They have prevented the channel from tapping into its full potential, hindering both progress and innovation.
Fortunately, we are at a pivotal moment when the category, suppliers, brand and supply side are undergoing an overhaul where they focus on the challenges holding them back and take advantage of the opportunity to deliver solutions and improvements that benefit everyone. This means opening up the available supply, diversifying revenue contribution among broadcasters, applying automation wherever possible, integrating channel performance data with independent measurement providers compared to point solutions, and providing transparency to activities creating a clean, well-lit space where brands and brands are located. integrity is preserved. This shift is just part of the catalyst that encourages marketers to invest more in the channel while also increasing revenue contribution.
We’re also seeing the once widely misunderstood and often underappreciated affiliate channel reborn as critical children of the broader affiliate channel. Today we see highly successful partnerships and campaigns that often involve multiple marketing channels and technologies to achieve goals. Today, it’s more about proving the partner’s channel of activity than it is about ensuring that brands intent on partnership and partnership success fully understand what they need to be successful in this space, and conversely, that partnership technology providers and platforms have the software. Automation and service components required to accelerate the channel’s measured ability to drive material growth for both brands and partners operating within the space.
In today’s sophisticated, nuanced, and often complex digital marketing landscape, marketers rely on relationships built on a solid foundation of data-driven performance. Both sides of the equation – marketers and partners – are interested in leveraging affiliate and affiliate marketing in a way that can be measured and proven to increase their digital efforts. Still, for many of these marketers, their software lacks the tools and insights necessary to truly optimize their affiliate strategy for success. Marketers need comprehensive solutions that enable them to maximize the benefits of the channel through end-to-end affiliate management modules that best equip them to achieve material growth and channel success.
Also, shifts in consumer behavior combined with often unpredictable climates mean marketers are putting more pressure than ever before as they try to deliver a cohesive experience throughout the buyer journey. Considering the challenges and, more importantly, the solutions are critical for driving profitable growth as marketers create strategies to maximize spend to reach ever-growing, demanding e-commerce shoppers.
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