Get a good return on marketing investment: This prevents many people from sleeping at night. How will the money spent for this PR business translate into sales dollars? How will this massive $ 1 million advertising campaign impact your brand? For most marketing initiatives, determining return on investment is an unpredictable waiting game with no guaranteed outcome.
However, there is a marketing model that obeys a different set of rules – rules based on payment for performance after the results were conducted. Affiliate marketing, once considered a coup in the dark, is now based on sophisticated technology, transparency between partners and remuneration linked to specific and measurable results.
That said, a successful affiliate program requires the right experience and the right partners. Whether you want to create an affiliate program or upgrade an existing program, you need a strong team. Here are the five players you need to make sure you get the ROI from your affiliate:
1. An agency
Unless your company has the resources and bandwidth to build a team of people with extensive affiliate marketing knowledge and experience, hiring an agency is the best option. Agency marketers have the habit of managing the multifaceted complexities associated with creating and developing a successful program.
Be sure to look at the agency’s configuration, making sure it’s performance-based. I’ve already seen a speech by Robert Glazer, the CEO of Accelerating partners, a global affiliate marketing company. He has written a book titled “Performance Partnerships,” focused on aligning any affiliate program on performance. It’s easy to fall into the trap of working with a company that says it will earn you sales, but make sure it puts your money where it is. If this does not give results in the short term, there is a good chance that he will not be able to meet the long-term expectations.
2. An evolutionary network or platform
Whether it’s a network of affiliations or a SaaS platform, all affiliate marketing programs need a technology platform. Your platform must be able to support your growth projects and provide you with the right functionality and geographic coverage, especially if your brand is global.
Awin is an example of this type of platform. The company provides technology that helps address industry challenges, such as third party tracking, data tracking, attribution and advanced commissioning. These types of data were not available years ago, but with new technological advances, you can identify what works, when, and why. This is not only useful for the affiliate program, but also to find out what works so you can apply that knowledge to different sales channels.
3. Loyalty partners
If you want to quickly adapt your program, you have to partner with actors who are looking to establish loyal customers. Ebates is one of the leading players in the loyalty industry operating on a performance basis. The brand is actively expanding its markets and categories beyond retail to include travel, meals and carpools for cash back.
It is important to determine if these types of partners will truly retain or attract the wrong types of customers. If you choose the right type of loyalty partner, you will be able to build a strong and loyal customer base that is essential to the long-term survival of your brand.
4. Mobile Partners
Customers are spending more and more time on mobile devices and apps. It is therefore imperative that your affiliate program has partners that dominate the mobile ecosystem.
Ibotta is an example of one of these applications in the United States, connecting consumers with grocery brands, retailers and lifestyle brands and rewarding them with cash for the purchase of things they have need. I used the app quite easily when I was lining up with customer service after a purchase. I’ve just taken a photo of the receipt and the app has applied the refund to my account. With a strong growth in the number of mobile users, it is good to look for partners who have developed a mobile user experience that makes things easy and accessible for the customer.
5. Technology based publishers
The affiliate space has developed well beyond the coupon and deal partners. To generate additional revenue based on your program’s performance, consider partnering with state-of-the-art e-commerce vendors, including in-depth web integration and artificial intelligence.
RevLifter For example, the company helps brands drive more conversions, additional sales and customers by customizing advertisers’ offerings through marketing channels. Available around the world on a pay-as-you-go model, it uses AI to understand real-time signals of user behavior on the site and deliver the right offer to the right customer at the right time.
Whether you are new to affiliate marketing or simply need to improve your game, checking these boxes will help you develop a strong affiliate marketing program. Return on investment is hard to manage when you run a variety of marketing programs, but the right team can help you take the lead and achieve the desired result.