The premise of driving customer acquisition has changed over recent years due to new traffic sources becoming available. How do you rate the new acquisition channels in social, mobile, display etc for the affiliate channel?
The big question about new channels is if they are driving value and, more importantly, new customers. We work with and talk to some of the top e-commerce players on a daily basis, and we consistently see that when things seem too good to be true, they usually are. As a lot of companies overweight last-in attribution with their affiliate channel, a lot of the newer services are finding ways to be last-in and get paid a disproportionate amount. Top brands want affiliates who can drive new customers and incremental demand. As a result, we are taking a close look at how affiliates overlap with the other online marketing channels and then valuing them accordingly. This often means much higher commission levels for the most innovative and valuable affiliates.
Which of the above in your opinion delivers the best ROI for campaigns, and why?
BG The best ROI, hands down is from affiliate partners who proactively promote individual products and push offers out to their user base (across web, social and mobile).
How successful are integrated campaigns for you across the Performance Marketing spectrum?
BG Very successful. For instance, we have found clever ways to merge social media and affiliate campaigns in a way that helps both channels meet their goals. We are working with all of our clients to get all of their performance channels to communicate more and not operate in silos.
What advice would you give to brands that are looking to set up performance-based campaigns in the US?
BG Find the right partner – one who understands marketing strategy as a whole and also possesses expertise across various channels Ask a lot of questions. Guarantee that campaign success is determined based on under-the-hood data. Question any performance marketing success that seems too fast, too high and too good to be true.
What one change within the industry do you think would propel more investment through the channel?
BG Multichannel attribution that allows for real time changes to performance pay outs based on the value of each channel in the customer funnel. Companies need to focus more on what is driving top of funnel awareness and devalue channels that are showing up right before the sale, as they are mostly targeting existing customers. Using a baseball analogy, too many companies are spending all their money on closers, but it takes great starting pitching and a bullpen to get to the ninth inning. A team who pays all their money to the closer and ignores starting pitching wastes a lot of money.