In anticipation of his presentation at Affiliate Management Days entitled 'What the CFPB Means for Affiliate Marketers', conference chair Geno Prussakov interviewed David Naffziger, CEO of BrandVerity. In the Q&A below, Naffziger touches on thoughts about affiliate marketing, and in particular, affiliate programme management.
Geno Prussakov: If you were to emphasise one important issue that every affiliate manager should be paying more attention to, what would it be and why?
David Naffziger: Where are your affiliate sales are coming from and what are the affiliates doing to promote your programme. There are almost always opportunities in the answer to this question – either through removing non-incremental sales or through identifying growth opportunities.
GP: What was the most important marketing lesson that you learned in 2015?
DN: Even the best-intentioned marketing partners make mistakes in their promotional methods. A lot of our work in 2015 was with programmes that maintained very high compliance standards that required near-zero errors by the publishers. Within this set, the vast majority of compliance issues were unintentional.
GP: What do you believe to be the main areas of opportunity in 2016 – for online marketers, in general, and for affiliate marketers, in particular?
DN: While there will certainly be opportunities due to ongoing platform changes - mobile, for example - expect 2016 to present some interesting opportunities driven by macro-level economic changes. We may see the early signs of an economic slowdown in the US (it has certainly started internationally) and that may create interesting opportunities for responsive marketers to shift messaging and focus.
GP: What do you believe to be the biggest challenge advertisers with affiliate programmes face, and what steps could help them overcome it?
DN: The biggest challenge remains finding and driving incremental sales. Even with a plethora of tools available for attribution, it is still challenging to truly identify which affiliates drive incremental growth. Similarly, programmes need to reward affiliates that are found to be incremental.
GP: Give us a few reasons why marketers should attend your AM Days 2016 presentation, 'What the CFPB Means for Affiliate Marketers'...
DN: My talk is focused on the CFPB and its impact on affiliate marketers. This recently formed agency has increasingly showed that its oversight extends into the marketing channels of online financial services marketers. This is redefining the relationships between affiliate programmes and affiliate marketers and we're finding much tighter relationships than has been common in affiliate marketing. I'll explore the new relationships and the new expectations that managers are placing on their affiliates.
GP: If you were to leave online advertisers, merchants and affiliate managers with one piece of advice, what would it be?
DN: Be responsive to shifting market opportunities, relationship expectations and even key metrics.
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