Trend Micro, a security software company, recently worked with DigitasLBi on developing  a B2B-specific campaign using direct affiliate technology.

We spoke to Jörg Gammanick, online marketing director for Trend Micro’s EMEA region, about the variation in approach a brand, with the help of its agency, takes when planning a performance marketing campaign.

What are the key differences between a B2B and B2C performance marketing campaign?

Jörg Gammanick: Due to the way our products are consumed, one of the key differences is the approach to the affiliate base. For instance, Worry-Free, our B2B product, has a higher price point and is a slightly more considered purchase than the consumer product. However, affiliates that promote the Worry-Free product will see significant benefits; such as higher commission earnings due to the higher average order values, and promoting a widely recognised product-name within the B2B market.

Due to the established reseller activity in the B2B space; the challenge is to optimise a new business model, finding sites to promote Trend Micro Worry-Free and establishing new relationships with keen partners.

In addition, the promoting affiliates are significantly different from consumer to B2B. This is both in the type of affiliate, with even more of a lean towards content publishers, and in their approach to promoting the product. For instance, as B2B customers are generally more knowledgeable about the product, they take more time to review the key benefits of the Worry-Free product than in the consumer space.

At Trend Micro, this is something which we actively encourage as we see that customers of both the B2B and Consumer products, who take time to review our products have a much higher propensity to purchase – mainly due to how we benchmark against competitors. Also, B2B publishers tend to focus more on higher value single sale purchase, rather than volume. In this case, the quality of the sale can really outweigh the quantity. This represents a challenge from a recruitment point of view, one which we are actively embracing.

How do you select which channels to utilise?

JG: Trend Micro decides the best channels to use based upon the most profitable channels at that time. At present, we are engaged in display, PPC and affiliate marketing activity for the B2B product.

What was your thinking behind running the programme direct?

JG: After extensive reviews of different “traditional” networks, Trend Micro decided to run the activity exclusively through the platform offered by Performance Horizon Group. This, along with working with our incumbent agency, DigitasLBi, has enabled greater control over the campaign. Running the campaign in this way has also enabled faster payment of our commissions, meaning that our affiliates can be paid quicker.

We are also able to provide accurate, real-time, reporting for our affiliates; meaning that affiliates will always have visibility on how much commission they are driving on the campaign.

Lastly, working with the PHG platform has facilitated Trend Micro’s rollout across key markets. We currently operate the Trend Micro B2B campaign across the UK, Ireland, France, Austria and Germany.

What Unique Innovations are You Hoping to Utilise as Part of This Campaign?

JG: We have quite a few tricks up our sleeves! We have a number of innovative ideas in the pipeline; focussing particularly on conversion rate and product optimisation. For example, we will be introducing bespoke affiliate landing-pages for our affiliates shortly and, with our commitment to improving the conversion rate, will be testing the best pages to drive revenue and commission for our affiliates! This involves regular A/B testing of landing-pages by territory, product and affiliate type. This approach has already proven to be effective in the Consumer space, where we have seen strong improvements in the conversion rates across multiple territories.

In addition, we are keen to demonstrate the quality of our product to our partners and are able to offer complementary Trend Micro Security cover to our promotional affiliates.

Improving conversion rates, regular payments, clarity in reporting and a strong commission offering will all will feed into our commitment to growing the Trend Micro B2B/SMB affiliate campaign across EMEA.