TUNE was founded in 2009 as one of the first SaaS-based platforms to support affiliate marketing and mobile measurement. Throughout the years, we’ve seen it all, from the rise of app install campaigns to the evolution of cookieless cross-channel attribution. A few things have remained the same, though. TUNE’s focus on mobile is one. Another is a lack of mutual understanding when it comes to mobile attribution and affiliate marketing. Often, it seems that individuals who specialise in mobile are unaware of how partner marketing works. On the flip side, many partner marketers confess to not fully grasping how the mobile ecosystem works.

The knowledge gap that exists between mobile and affiliate has been holding countless marketers back from success. We want to change that with a new e-book that’s designed to bridge this gap. You can download the free e-book here. Below, we provide a glimpse at how the industry got to this point, and why bringing mobile and affiliate together is key to future success. 

User acquisition meets affiliate marketing

When mobile app user acquisition started to take off in the mid 2010s, it was the Wild West: colossal volumes of clicks and installs, extremely low conversion rates, fraudulent downloads that everyone ignored, and massive amounts of money exchanging hands. Back then, user acquisition (UA) was focused solely on generating installs; as long as they were coming through, no one asked questions. 

Most UA managers referred to this practice as “affiliate marketing,” as many marketing partners were paid primarily on a cost-per-install basis. However, once a large mobile advertiser did start asking questions, the focus shifted from quantity to quality, and a new emphasis was placed on fraud. 

But the damage was already done to the affiliate marketing industry. Budgets shifted heavily to Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and other programmatic sources. The number of partners mobile advertisers worked with shrunk, along with the industry’s opinion of affiliate marketing. 

Two different worlds

Despite it all, affiliate programmes and partner marketing have been growing strong, even without a heavy mobile app presence. The industry is projected to grow to $8.2B in 2022, and the number of searches for “affiliate marketing” on Google has almost tripled in the last five years.

With all the success partner marketing has seen over the last half decade, it’s rarely included mobile apps as a point of conversion. The general understanding of mobile web tracking remains underrepresented in the conversations we have with prospective clients. Whether they are just starting a partner marketing programme, or looking to migrate from their current solution, the trend holds just as true.  

This all signals that there is still a disconnect between user acquisition teams and partner marketing teams. And it’s not hard to see why, when you consider the following: 

  • Legacy affiliate platforms were initially resistant to embrace mobile 
  • As mentioned above, “affiliate marketing” is still a dirty term in the user acquisition industry 
  • Deep linking technology for mobile apps has been available for years, but is only now starting to reach the partner marketing world 
  • User acquisition and partner marketing teams are typically siloed and do not work together often (if at all) 
  • Large-scale, traditional affiliate partners do not have the partner-side technology to work with app developers 

After over a decade at TUNE serving customers at brands, networks, and publishers across web and mobile, it is apparent that user acquisition managers and partner marketers must align their goals and strategies to succeed. For them to do this, the first step is to understand what it is the other does, the tools they each work with, and how they can fit it all together.  

How TUNE’s guide can help

This e-book was designed to give user acquisition teams and partnership teams the knowledge they need to understand and expand affiliate marketing activities to the mobile ecosystem. The goal is to empower these groups to do that in three ways: 

  1. Equip partner marketers to understand completely how tracking and attribution work on both mobile app and mobile web 
  2. Enable user acquisition managers to understand the possibilities partner marketing can provide 
  3. Provide some common knowledge that both partner marketers and user acquisition managers can act on to work more closely together 

No matter your field of expertise, The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Partner Marketing will be a valuable resource for information and insights on the industry and your colleagues. Download the free e-book now.

Continue the conversation on LinkedIn

Partner Network

Share Your Brand's Expertise on the Partner Network Find Out More