Speaking from the Zanox Expert Day at the Umspannwerk Kreuzberg in Berlin, Founder Matthew Wood and Head of Content Chris Johnson spoke in depth about the recent changes to the UK Performance Marketing industry, noting key changes and new opportunities as we looked to the future of Performance Marketing in 2015.
Key Changes up to 2012.
2010 saw the rise of opportunity alongside the end of other longstanding affiliate models. It was evident that the majority of affiliates were not included initially as part of a brands multichannel campaigns, and would instead find out about brand campaigns once they had been launched. This has changed considerably to current day, where we are seeing publishers actively being included as part of the integrated multichannel mix.
Not only this, but in fact we've seen publisher's working with QR codes in print and driving footfall into high street stores - so you could say that publishers are becoming media channels in their own right and therefore more attractive to brands.
Cashback and Voucher Dominance had continued - taking more of a chunk of revenue from the channel than ever before. This could potentially be one of the reasons that the UK has not seen a mass uptake of attribution modelling from networks - with what is likely to be a large number of top earning affiliates from the voucher / incentive area, an attribution solution does not complement this and would need lots of consideration.
Performance-Based Search was rising - affiliates and agencies were formed specifically to run campaigns to be re-numerated on the CPA Model. On the flip side, brand bidding we were starting to see less off due to advertisers working with a select number of affiliates or controlling it in-house.
The industry was still heavily reliant on Google. Aside from 'putting all your eggs in one basket' and being subject to algorithm changes, Google slaps and Paid Search Burnout from competitors, the main reason the industry continued to plough through Google was because the customer journey always began with a search, rather than a social recommendation or mobile application that we are more common with seeing in the current day.
Self regulation and Transparency was seeing much more clarity as we moved through 2010, thanks to the work of the IAB's Affiliate Marketing Council to release Best Practice Charters.
Data - a widely discussed topic for the UK market - but with so much data available to you what should you as a Publisher be using and why? To create profiles and segmentations of your user base. Through using Product Level Tracking from your network, combining that with purchase behaviour, frequency data and other data intelligence available, you can start to build this user profiles and personalise your offers to them through web / email / post-purchase retargeting and remarketing.
By doing this, the likelihood is you will increase your average order values, retention rates and customer engagement.
Data is also starting to be used much more by organic-based affliates, who are drilling down into their data analytics to do more multi-variate testing, split testing, email testing and also website optimisation. The key being to firm up that conversion, knowing that competition is high - especially in the organic SERPS!
Social - It's still not been cracked in its entirety and remains an enigma. Yes we have Facebook fans / likes and twitter brand presence, but the world of Social is still fairly subject to limited engagement at current day.
M-Commerce - Although bubbing away nicely - still only 3% of Affiliate Window's advertisers (50) have mobile tracking enabled on their mobile websites. We don't have any other network figures but even through the vast awareness campaigns that Affiliate Window have done, the UK is slow on uptake here.
Rather than go into too much detail about what the future may hold (mainly because we're not futurologists!) for Performance Marketing, we thought we'd suggest some future areas that we're sure Performance will be involved in.
- Digital Wallets
- Hyper Local & Geo-Targeting
- Social Search & Social Commerce
- NFC / Tap Technology
- Closing the Loop Offline
- Smarter User Profiling
- Earning with Video
- Gamification for Loyalty
- Closer Advertiser Collaboration
- Customer Ownership