In the world of partnership and affiliate marketing, finding new partners can be a powerful avenue to growth. After all, new partners can bring many valuable benefits to a brand, including broader offer distribution, the ability to reach new audiences, new avenues to grow the buying funnel, and ultimately new incremental revenue.
That said, all partners are not created the same. Sometimes quality over quantity is a better path.
At Partnerize, we recognise both the value that additional partners can bring, as well as the enormous potential unlocked when a brand engages deeply and directly with its largest partners — instead of through an outsourced service provider like a network. We are also abundantly aware that brands don’t have unlimited financial and people resources. In such an environment of scarcity, it’s critical to place your bets on the partners most likely to deliver outstanding results.
Based on our vast experience in a variety of categories, we believe there is a better road to take versus spray-and-pray partner recruitment or focusing solely on a handful of uber partners.
We call it the ‘best next’ principle.
‘Best next’ advocates that a brand should intelligently expand its pool of partners, prioritising those with the potential to deliver the largest possible incremental revenue and conversions. These are your ‘best next’ partners. This simple idea provides a strategy that prioritises new partners that have the highest potential to achieve your KPIs. With ‘best next’, your goal isn’t to have a specific number of partners but rather to be supporting the mix of partners that best helps you achieve your goals.
Enter Intelligent Partner Discovery
Our team has conducted extensive research defining the key signals that indicate that a particular partner will be of great value to a brand. These include:
- Historical partnership revenue generated by a publisher (total and in vertical)
- Target partner audience and contextual content fit
- A partner’s historical propensity to drive sales at scale for new clients and campaigns
- The similarities of a potential partner to your most successful current partners
Most brands don’t have access to all of the data necessary to assess specific partners on each of these key criteria. Further, even if they did, the interplay between these indicators can be extremely complex.
That’s why we are introducing Intelligent Partner Discovery, which uses proprietary machine learning to help brands identify and automatically invite their best next partners to their programs. Our vision is to help brands add new partners judiciously based on real data and intelligence.
Most networks and solution providers offer partner directories — some with basic search capabilities. When we created Intelligent Partner Discovery, we wanted to raise the bar considerably — to provide a partner discovery methodology powered by data and strategy rather than guesswork.
How Intelligent Partner Discovery works
Intelligent Partner Discovery analyses both historical and real-time data on the characteristics of all active partners to identify those partners with a high propensity to deliver maximum conversions to a particular brand. For the first time, brands on Partnerize can explore our ecosystem of 300,000+ partners, including affiliates, content partners and influencers — and be automatically recommended those partners that are likely to be the best fit.
Those new partners are flagged in an easy-to-use interface.
From there, brands can examine specific information about that partner so that they better understand why that potential partner would be a good fit for their business.
Brand partner program leads can review all recommended partners, selecting only those that they wish to add to their programs. They can then send an invitation to the program in just a few clicks, so that those new partners can start driving revenue.
Respect for partner exclusivity
Partnerize has long been a preferred provider for those brands that want to retain and cultivate exclusive agreements with certain partners, most frequently with partners focused on their specific vertical. Our solution respects those desires by only analysing and surfacing partners that work with multiple brands. This ensures that exclusive agreements stay that way while also empowering other partners and brands to achieve maximum revenue.
Intelligent Partner Discovery and partner audits
Agencies and internal teams often conduct internal audits to surface additional partner recommendations for their businesses. Intelligent Partner Discovery should be seen as a supplement to that process, not a substitute. Our performance-focused model is extremely powerful, but people also bring extraordinary value to a partner discovery process because they can consider strategic objectives beyond the view available from quantitative analysis.
Clients can also invite other partners to their programs that have not yet been identified as ‘best next.’ This gives the client greater freedom of action and helps partners expand their business with the Partnerize client base.
Most partners have a great deal of experience investing time and resources in a host of campaigns. Some work out to be tremendous business drivers. Others deliver little or no value. By pre-screening relationships, Intelligent Partner Discovery helps partners focus on relationships with a far greater likelihood of delivering outstanding results.
Intelligent Partner Discovery provides recommendations down to the campaign level, so partners can be invited to join specific campaigns where they have the greatest likelihood of driving the best results. That helps to ensure partners join exactly the right programs based on their profiles.
Coming soon: Intelligent Brand Discovery
At Partnerize, we want to extend the power of machine learning and intelligence to all stakeholders in the partnerships ecosystem. In the coming weeks we will be introducing a companion service — Intelligent Brand Discovery. With this new tool, partners will be able to explore our ecosystem of brands and be automatically recommended the best brands to work with — those where they are likely to drive the greatest impact in conversions.
In the second post of this two-part series, Matt Simmonds will discuss Partnerize’s long-term vision for leveraging machine learning and data science to transform the business of partner management.