Recently, in conversation with a client and an affiliate network, I was asked what I thought the most influential things would be in the future of affiliate marketing. I identified three talking points:
- The impact of social media
- The influence of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)
The Path to Conversion
Understanding the path to conversion, and how to attribute sales fairly across multiple marketing channels, is an important consideration for all retail marketers. For the affiliate team, weighted sale analysis is important, as sale attribution directly impacts campaign performance. There may not be a definite answer right now, but the impact on cash back, in particular, could be huge. Certainly something affiliates and retailers need to watch.
Impact of Social Media
Working closely with the brand monitoring and social media teams, I’m always involved in discussions about brand advocacy, identifying influencers and turning advocates into brand ambassadors or affiliates. Tapping into social media influence and advocates has implications for affiliate marketing. You have to ask how advocates can become affiliates.
Any affiliate marketer will be aware of the increasingly stringent rules and regulations that the IAB is implementing. As they continue, we see a reliance on feed-driven marketing emerging, which begs the simple question: is your feed strong enough to support this development?
Following our conversation, the network representative agreed with our insight, adding retargeting (behavioural and location-based) and the joining of offline with online as key things their affiliates should be looking at. In addition, the client gained some valuable insight into what would power their affiliate marketing campaigns this year.