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Q&A: What Does 'Incrementality' Mean to the Affiliate Channel?

Q&A: What Does 'Incrementality' Mean to the Affiliate Channel?


The term “incrementality” has been coming up more and more in discussions about how to evaluate the affiliate marketing channel and individual affiliate partnerships, and it forms the basis of a panel discussion at this month's Performance Marketing Insights: London.  

Ahead of the event, we caught up with Impact Radius co-founder and panel moderator Todd Crawford to learn more about the benefits of tracing affiliates driving those elusive incremental sales, and what it means for the channel as a whole.    

Why is ‘incrementality’ on the lips of affiliate marketers at present? 

As marketers look to maximise their marketing efforts, it is important that they measure (beyond just revenue) what is most important to their business. For two £100 sales, what makes one more valuable than the other? For affiliate, it is helpful in determining the value of each partnership and which affiliates to leverage to drive more of what an advertiser values most.

How would you apply the theory to determine how much revenue a single affiliate drives?

This is tricky to explain briefly since incrementality can depend on so many factors and varies from advertiser to advertiser. To get the best sense of how incrementality can be measured and leveraged, I suggest coming to our panel and hear it firsthand from the experts.

What sort of challenges do you face with this approach? 

The biggest challenge is making sure the incremental data is available for analysis. Often what the advertiser feels is incremental is not tracked by an affiliate network. This makes the job of the affiliate manager more difficult and can put the channel in jeopardy if other channels are shining brighter due to access to better data.

Is this a ‘stepping-stone’ in the affiliate industry’s path to maturity? 

All marketing channels need to measure and value the same data, the same way. It is important for affiliate to be able to demonstrate the same incrementality metrics as any other channel. This will help affiliate further mature and play an even larger role in driving value and results.

Do you have your eye on any other particular sessions at PMI in London this month? 

That's a tough decision - having attended Performance Marketing Insights many times before, I have found all of the sessions I have seen valuable and insightful. Being a data junkie, I am looking forward to seeing The Hidden Commission Killer in Affiliate Marketing. I am also very excited about the global opportunities for affiliate so I also recommend Going Global with your Affiliate Programme, the Right Way.

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Mark  Jones

Mark Jones

Mark manages all aspects of editorial on PerformanceIN as the company's Head of Content, including reporting on the fast-paced world of digital marketing and curating the site’s network of expert industry contributions.

Going by the ethos that there is no 'jack-of-all-trades' in performance marketing, only experts within their field, Mark’s day-to-day aim is to provide an engaging platform for members to learn and question one another, helping to push the industry forward as a result.

Originally from Plymouth, Mark studied in Reading and London, eventually earning his Master's in Digital Journalism- before making his return to the West Country to join the PI team in Bristol.

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