We’re pleased to announce Partnerize is a Gold Sponsor of this year’s Performance Marketing Awards.

Samantha Purcell, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA at Partnerize, spoke to PerformanceIN journalist Niamh Butler-Walton about the upcoming awards, what Partnerize is most looking forward to, and some exciting projects going on behind the scenes…

It’s great to have Partnerize involved as a sponsor for this year’s Performance Marketing Awards. What are you most looking forward to about the virtual event?

It’s not been the easiest year for many brands and businesses alike, but as an industry we have made massive advancements which deserve to be acknowledged. We’re excited to celebrate the accomplishments of the channel and the organisations that operate within it which are helping to define partnership as one of the most legitimate tools at marketers’ disposal for affording them the operating leverage necessary for them to not only survive, but thrive.  

The PMA’s celebrate the achievements of the best minds in the industry. Which particular categories and talking points are of interest to you this year?

We’re really interested to see the stories that emerge from the ‘Best use of Performance During Covid-19’ category. Given the fallout from the pandemic, 2020 will go down as one of the most significant years for revenue growth in the affiliate marketing channel. Driving this growth was the surge in consumer eCommerce spending, rising numbers of online shoppers and heightened marketer demand for outcome-based performance.

The last year has allowed marketers to see the true value of the channel as a profit centre and as such partnership specifically has been executed more strategically than ever before. We’ve seen our own clients using partnership innovatively and we’re looking forward to learning about the approaches other brands have also taken in navigating this uncertain time.  

At Partnerize, what are the main goals you work towards when working with advertisers?

We want partnership to be viewed as a primary channel that offers critical operating leverage for marketers. Its unique combo of scale, automation and outcome based pricing models offers opportunities that no other channel can provide. It is our duty and goal to educate advertisers on this so they realise its full potential. Accomplishing this objective can be simply around that education piece, which is where our research and benchmarking comes in the form of Partnership Growth Index, which provides channel trends and data-driven insights to help marketers benchmark their own program performance.

It can also be observed in our efforts to elevate our service level offering to help brands achieve profitable growth from their partner campaigns. We endeavour to put our clients at the centre of our own developments to ensure that they have the tools and support available to elevate the historic pain points of affiliate and instead allow them to focus on optimising across their marketing efforts to successfully reach and influence their own target audience. 

At Partnerize, what are the main goals you work towards when working with publishers?

One of our most important goals when working with our publisher partners is to ensure they are rewarded appropriately for their contribution to the consumer buyer journey. For too long, certain partner types have been overlooked because their influence comes before the point of sale and thus evades ‘last-click’ attribution models. But this approach does not align with the omnipresence required from brands to ensure they are meeting consumers where they are.

We know that consumers don’t shop in siloes, today’s digitally connected consumer has a complex array of touchpoints requiring a more sophisticated approach that breaks down barriers and therefore supporting this journey and ALL publishers that contribute is vital. Brands need to tap partnerships across the consumer research purchase and loyalty phases, but they need a more holistic view of these interactions and to be in command of the spend or unit economics that fuel worth. 

Further, we must also create greater awareness around mitigating affiliate fraud and ensuring brand safety. Suspect affiliate behaviour, when no monitoring protocols are in place, tarnish and distort the reputation of the channel and publishers within it and must be tackled to avoid incorrect commission attribution and devaluation of the channel. 

How does your work benefit those you work with?

Partnerships have often been viewed as manual, difficult to track and fragmented. This has exacerbated marketers hesitancy to the channel – too many resources, specifically time, were needed to ensure they got it just right. Transparency was almost non-existent. Brands couldn’t invite partners to programs – they had to wait for the partners to apply. Additionally, there was no information about them. Specifically, there was no optics into their reach, audience demographic, social footprint or their contact info. 

But our world view is different. We are working to provide full transparency into programs and a greater understanding of partner backgrounds to ensure that brands can find the RIGHT-FIT partners and vice-versa. Today, with Partnerize, we automate the manual tedious tasks like partner discovery and optimisation identification to ensure marketers spend time on what matters most and can scale their programs when they achieve the growth afforded by the channel. 

There is little argument over whether the dynamics of the marketing game have shifted. They have. In fact, they’ve shifted considerably over the past few years alone. Thanks to an ability to toggle between multiple devices and a sharp increase in both consumer experience and expectation, more than ever before, we’re living in a time where the path to purchase is clearly controlled by the consumer.

This is reflected in the diversification of partner types we are seeing as one of the most prevalent trends in the industry this past year. Curating a rich, diversified mix of publisher partners not only broadens audience reach, it also relieves over-reliance on just a few select partners, minimising unnecessary risk. Savvy marketers are expanding their partner programs to include a greater spectrum of traditional and non-traditional affiliate partners and are generating incredible value from them.

This is paving the way for both emerging partner types such as CLO (card-linked offer) and on-site conversion technology, but also giving more attention to long overlooked partner types such as content. There isn’t a one-size fits all approach for brands OR publishers – no two are exactly the same. It’s in a brand’s interest to have a healthy mix of traditional and non-traditional partners, to create holistic programs that provide the omnipresence required to reach consumers. 

Finally, are there any exciting projects that Partnerize is working on at the moment?

In the more than 20 years since affiliate marketing first hit the digital advertising scene, there have never been more service choices than there are today. And while having the flexibility to choose is generally considered optimal, there are times when choice leads to complexity.  We believe in providing a customer-first experience and that means offering choices to our clients based on their unique needs.

In line with the acquisitions made in 2020, Partnerize is now the only in-channel provider offering both an innovative partner software platform and a team of experts to help you achieve profitable growth from your partnerships. Whether you need short-term support to quickly ramp your partnership program, or you have long-term aspirations to establish an in-housing practice, we strongly believe that service level is a choice; not a tier. From program activation working in tandem with your agency or internal team, to in-sourcing support, to comprehensive program management, our service solutions are designed based on client needs. This new offering is one we’re very excited about and we’re looking forward to helping more brands discover a better way to partner. 

Don’t forget to check out the PMA website for more information about the upcoming awards, and stay tuned for more exciting news as we approach the ceremony by signing up to our newsletter.