Predictions for 2017 from performance and affiliate marketing experts

Performance marketing is a living, breathing, ever-changing thing, as anyone in the industry can tell you. Keeping up with the latest trends is an absolute must in order to stay at the top of the game, for advertisers and networks alike. To discover what’s hot now, you need look no further than HasOffers’ recent Performance and Mobile Marketing Meetup, the first of its kind held in mid-November on the rooftop of London’s Shoreditch House.

With the fire burning and the TUNE and tonics handed out, the crowd of over 60 people turned its attention towards the main event; discussing the way everyone could mutually benefit and, ultimately, build a stronger market. Major topics of conversation included how to use data to make a business stand out, looking beyond the (mobile) install, re-engagement, re-targeting, and capitalising on that mobile moment by using the right native, video, and content-led ad.

Emcee Stephanie Emmanouel of SomoGlobal started the night’s panel of local performance and affiliate experts Ami Spencer (VoucherCloud), James Little (TopCashBack), and Max Pepe (Mozoo/Surikate).

The evolution of affiliate marketing

Stephanie’s first question asked how affiliate marketing has shaped the evolution of business. Ami, an early employee of her company who has tracked many changes throughout the years, had an insightful response:

“Similar to most digital industries, we’ve seen a great deal of change within affiliate marketing over the past few years, and as a business we have had to adapt to this. Taking a more creative and content-led approach to working with clients has allowed us to grow brand partnerships and deliver more engaging campaigns across all of our channels, especially mobile. As we [Vouchercloud] continue to support brands’ mobile strategies, we are starting to see more budget allocated to the channel…whether this is using location-based data to drive mobile engagement or target customers more relevantly. At Vouchercloud we see mobile as an important channel to focus on in 2017.”

Ami’s response was a strong one, explaining that using targeted and up-to-date messaging in the right moment drives engaged users, which in turn leads to increased budgets.

Capturing those (mobile) moments

Another topic the panel discussed regarded “mobile moments,” the point when a user gets on a device and decides to execute the purchase of a product or service. More specifically, they discussed how customer expectations on mobile are evolving faster than advertisers can develop best marketing practices, agreeing that this makes designing a successful advertising campaign more challenging than ever.

James Little shared that he believes the best way to capture the customer at the right time is with content, coupled with the right technology, data, and not too many KPIs.

We tend to agree with James since most successful campaigns we’ve seen this year from European clients are those who are proactive, have anticipated their users’ needs, and have included personalised content around that user’s events. These clients then use data to measure, analyse, and optimise in real-time to iterate and duplicate “look-alike moments,” using their own intellectual property (IP), or what HasOffers call secret sauce.

Adding value

The more value you add for an advertiser the more likely they are to work with you instead of another network. Being more transparent and teaching how to better optimize is a win for all involved parties.

Max Pepe gave the audience an excellent perspective on how best to solve the problem of which advertising campaigns are driving tangible results and how he believes these results should be measured (other than using rulers and inches.) He quoted his CEO’s recent comments.

“Let’s take out the laziness in the industry by reducing the amount of produced non-targeted advertising content. How many times have you found yourself interrupted by an interstitial that takes up the whole screen, even before you’ve had the chance to begin reading your article? To prevent the situation getting worse, we must take the opinions of users, using technology to gather this feedback, with other key data to continuously improve our campaigns. My question is: when are we going to see more responsible advertising [on an industry level]?”

Pepe’s company Mozoo truly knows how to use marketing to capture those moments and get users converting to consumers for both the advertiser and the publisher. His position allows him to achieve a three-way win.

The key to success

What we learned from all of our panelists is that affiliate marketing isn’t dying, it’s evolving. This evolution is naturally developing from the advertisers who build their marketing strategies to focus more on performance and business objectives than anything else. When companies proactively search for answers by balancing their interaction between data, KPIs, technology, and messaging, they find success. It’s these elements that worked in 2016 and will continue to see success in 2017.

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Author: Josh Swerdlow

Joshua Leads European Business Development for HasOffers by TUNE. He focuses on driving revenue from European clients and managing relationships with traffic partners for the enhancement of their performance and affiliate marketing programs. Joshua has over 14 years of experience in business development, sales, and marketing, specifically in online and mobile advertising for technology agencies and startups. He specialises in monetisation and programmatic solutions for display, search, video, and mobile. Joshua has a BA in Business & Management from Leeds, United Kingdom.

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