Senior Manager of Affiliate Marketing at PUMA, Wilmar Klein, has a rich history on both the advertiser and publisher side of the industry, meaning his opinion was a great one to delve into. We managed to grab him for a chat about his role, his tips for standing out when working with brands, and the importance of a change in perception of affiliate marketing.

What’s your role and what do you do at PUMA?

In my current role at PUMA as a Senior Manager of Affiliate Marketing in the Global E-Commerce department, I am responsible for creating and rolling out our global affiliate strategy. I help our existing markets stay ahead within the affiliate marketing world and I share knowledge about the channel across all our international markets, as well as helping new markets launch their own affiliate programmes.

What do you most respect or what impresses you about your key affiliates?

Our key affiliates are proactive, they share important information which helps us with optimising campaigns or brainstorming completely new ideas. They have our goals in mind and help us reach them without losing their own identity. When we want to test and learn, they are almost always open to try. We see our key affiliates as integral partners of the brand.

What shifts are you seeing in affiliate marketing with your company?

During the pandemic, e-commerce has become an even more important distribution channel. PUMA has been using affiliate marketing for a long time, but you can clearly see it has become even more of a focus over recent years. Going off that, we’ve been able to create a more thorough understanding about how affiliate marketing interacts with all our other marketing channels and what opportunities exist – stretching from classic affiliate models to brand ambassadors and brand-to-brand partnerships. We are now looking a step further and working to measure LTV, where we see a lot of exciting opportunities.

What emerging publisher strategies are you seeing right now?

More publishers are keeping the entire checkout process on their own site rather than using a classic affiliate link. From a consumer perspective, this creates a more cohesive checkout flow because when customers purchase products they aren’t directed to a different website. It has its pros and cons for the advertiser and is something to keep an eye out for.

What’s impressed you about the industry this year?

We are still a tight community even when events are limited to digital meetings. It’s great to see that everyone is willing to help each other, share knowledge and elevate the industry to the next level. This helps us to be quick with adapting to new regulations, adopting new technology and further growing our industry.

What’s your top tip for publishers?

It’s important to build a partnership and stand out from the competition. This can be by focusing on a niche, adding a piece of technology, or sharing information about what works well on your platform. Of course, in a profitable partnership we should both benefit, so we will return the favor and invest in valuable partnerships that we can grow together.

What can affiliates do to stand out when working with your brand?

Like I mentioned above, we like to interact with our affiliates and are open to new ideas of working together. It’s always great to hear from affiliates about new opportunities and how we can work together to get the best out of our partnership.

What one thing would you change about the industry?

In our industry, we all know how well-developed affiliate marketing is. Therefore, I would rather change the perception of the channel for everyone working outside of the industry. There is still a lot more to this channel than coupons, discounts, and fraudulent behaviour. Luckily on platforms like PerformanceIN, we see proud ambassadors spreading positive messages about how developed and widespread the industry is.

What other areas of the industry would you be interested in being involved in in the future?

Having worked across different sectors and on both the publisher and advertiser side, I have been gaining an array of insights into the industry. What I enjoy in affiliate marketing is that it’s such a diverse mix of partnerships, marketing, data, and technology – the job encompasses such a wide spectrum of knowledge. For me, I love working in these exact areas, and I hope to continue growing and learning. On the advertiser side, I like working closely with other channels and learning from them as well, which gives me a much better understanding of how the affiliate pieces fit into the puzzle.

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